June 16, 2020

Studios and exercise facilities across the United States have finally been given (or will be given soon) the green light to open their doors! Soon, clients will be back in your space pumping iron, stretching their muscles and working on their fitness and health goals once again.

We couldn’t be happier that your gyms and studios are finally opening but it’s important to acknowledge that even though it might feel like things are back to normal, they’re not.

While we’re sure you’re aware of this, we want to help you strategize your re-opening plan and all of the changes to deal with, obstacles to overcome and challenges to meet head-on.

Create Non-Negotiable Rules & Stick to Them

As a gym owner, you’ve probably already implemented a few rules that aren’t up for discussion (i.e., no running near the pool, no bare feet, no training sessions after 9 PM, etc.), but now, you need to develop some non-negotiable rules that are specific to keeping your members and staff safe.

  • First (and most obviously), be certain you’re implementing any of your local government’s rules as your gym’s rules
  • Next, identify what other rules you want to implement to protect your members and your staff. Some ideas could include: asking members and staff to stay home if they feel sick or have a fever and limiting access to shared spaces like lockers in the locker rooms.
  • Once you’ve establish your rules, ensure that you’re sticking to them. Making exceptions is just going to make your rule harder to follow and could potentially put more people at risk.

Take Containment Measures

Do your best to limit the potential spread of COVID-19 by implementing containment measures. How you do this is totally up to you, but we suggest trying strategies:

  • Limiting class options so that you have more time to clean in-between classes
  • Cutting back on the number of people allowed in classes to follow government regulations
  • If you have the space and ability, try moving some of your classes outdoors to the fresh air
  • Further, the CDC advises that you, your staff, and your members wear “cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.” Ultimately, enforcing this rule is up to you, but if you want to mitigate as much risk as possible, this is a great option.

Implement Social Distancing in Your Facility

When it comes to cutting down the potential spread of the disease, social distance policies are your best friend! We’re sure everyone is sick of having to maintain 6 feet of distance, but as of now, it’s still one of the most highly recommended strategies for COVID-19 prevention. If you can implement policies that help your members and staff keep this distance, you can help limit the spread of infection.

  • If you don’t already have a self-service check-in system for guests, try implementing one to help further reduce the need for touching.
  • Invest in plexiglass for the front desk so your members and your staff feel safe
  • Consider spacing out your equipment six feet apart (when possible)
  • Tape 6-foot distances on the floor around various sections of your gym that tend to get crowded (we’re looking at you, free weight section)

Additional Ideas

Make sure you’re stocked on supplies. Ensure your members have easy access to sanitization wipes, touch-free hand sanitizing stations and you can even go as far as offering your guests complimentary PPE.

Most importantly, be sure that your members know these policies. Communicate these policies at check-in, post signs around your gym, post on your website, social channels and send updates through email. People will be more likely to follow these rules if they’re aware they exist in the first place.

One of the biggest pieces of the reopening puzzle is making sure that your staff is informed and onboard. If they’re not ready to implement these new policies, it’s going to be a challenge to get your members to follow along, too!

Remember, even though all of this seems scary and challenging, you’re not alone. We’re all out here acclimating to this new normal and it’s going to take some time for us to get it totally right. We can’t predict when COVID-19 risks will subside, but until they do, we’re going to offer you as much insight, advice, and info as we possibly can on our site to help you get through it one piece.

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