Gyms prepare for the possibility of reopening, will look different

Austin

AUSTIN (KXAN) — During the coronavirus pandemic, many have turned to local trails and parks for their daily exercise since gyms closed in March. KXAN checked in with local gym owners to find out how they would feel about the potential to get back to work.

“We have these precautions and barriers in place to keep us safe, but I think myself, and others included, are going to feel like it’s a very vulnerable time for us,” said Matt Ryan, the owner of Heavy Mettle Fitness.

He said, if allowed, he would get back to work but would check in with his clients and work on an individual basis while taking extra safety precautions and practicing social distancing.

“I think it’s easy to say, having sat in my home for the last four weeks, that I am ready to get back to work, but I think that’ll be on an individual basis,” Ryan said. “While I feel ready to get back to work, I know it’s going to feel like walking without a cast.”

The founder and co-owner at HEAT Bootcamp and Personal Training, Cody Butler, said he also plans to practice social distancing in the gym. He will do this by reducing the number of people in group classes from 25 to 15 or fewer. He said clients will be provided with individual, sanitized weights during a workout.

“We are eager to have our clients and customers come home but we’re not going to jeopardize the utmost standard of practicing healthy behaviors just for the sake of opening,” Butler said.

Butler added The Carpenter Hotel has offered some of its outside property space for Butler’s workout classes.

“A lot of people might feel safer working outside,” Butler said.

He has purchased a no-contact thermometer to check temperatures at the door.

“We would be ready to open, however… my biggest direction on when we would open will be based on what we think is safe and what our clients think is safe,” Butler said. “If they said, ‘You can open next week.’ We would have to gauge the temperature of how our customer base feels about us opening. Although we have all of these contingency plans ready to go, we’re still going to gauge what public health officials are doing to keep everyone safe.”

During this time, Butler is offering free online daily workout classes.

Gov. Abbott’s announcement of new details in his phased plan to reopen the Texas economy is at 2:30 p.m. Monday, and will be air on KXAN, as well as online at KXAN.com and the KXAN Facebook page.

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