Gyms' rebound off to a slow start

How to stay safe at gyms after COVID-19 quarantine
Posted at 9:33 PM, May 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-18 23:55:53-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The latest phase of Governor Greg Abbott’s plan to reopen the state went into effect on Monday. Gyms, athletic clubs, and other exercise facilities are now allowed to reopen. While many people couldn’t wait to get back into the gym and break a sweat, the crowds surprisingly weren’t all that big.

Lisa Gorsline, the president for the Corpus Christi Athletic Club said business was surprisingly a little slow the first day back open.

“It's slow but it's steady and I can say for the most part our members have been really really gracious and very kind today,” said Gorsline. “I think it’s a little bit from apprehensiveness as far as not knowing knowing what to expect. A lot of times, I don't think they know the measures that we've done to try to keep them safe."

Some measures the athletic club and other gyms like Freedom Fitness have put in place are requiring guests to wear gloves that cover their fingers, and encouraging guests to wear a mask. Visitors must also wipe down equipment after every use. At Freedom Fitness, there is no locker room or shower access either.

Jake Garry, the corporate senior membership director at Freedom Fitness said, “We definitely missed our members and we missed being open. But we've had nothing but gratitude and great attitude from our members.”

“We are taking some safety protocols to make sure everybody's safe, and so far, everybody's been in compliance and had a great attitude about it, and they're really helping us keep everything clean and enforcing social distance,” Garry added.

At the athletic club, guests are given their own bottle of disinfectant to wipe and clean equipment. In an effort to maintain six feet of social distancing, gym equipment at the club has also been color coordinated for certain days of use.

"Every other day, we're having blue equipment on one day, and then green equipment on the next,” said Gorsline.

Gorsline also mentioned some people are canceling their membership because of limited services or for financial reasons. However the athletic club has a solution for their guests.

"We have worked out an arrangement where instead of terminating their membership, we're putting their membership on hold at a zero fee,” said Gorsline. “And when they feel comfortable, or they see everything that we've been doing to try to keep them safe, then we're allowing them to to come back and reactivate their membership at no charge."

Under Governor Greg Abbott's order, gyms are currently open at 25 percent capacity for now. Garry said at Freedom Fitness Saratoga, 25 percent capacity is a number that’s in the hundreds.