Arguably one of the most popular New Year’s resolutions is getting back into the gym. But what does that look like this year? A few of Coronado’s gyms weigh in.
What Has Changed in the Gym?
Changes at Coronado Training Center, CrossFit Coronado, and Sweat Circuit (formerly known as Sweat Equity) include new sanitizing procedures and increased distance between clients, among other safety precautions. All three have also utilized Zoom, an online video platform, as a virtual option for clients who cannot make it in person.
Dan Boyle, Chief Instructor at CTC shares, “We believe we are in the health business and therefore found it essential to ensure the safest training environment. We purchased a HEPA filter machine, abundance of sanitizing wipes, non-contact infrared thermometer, fingertip pulse Oximeter and added extra cleaning protocols to our already clean facility. Additionally, we re-arranged our equipment to ensure 6’ social distancing and reduced headcount in our gym. We eliminated sparring from our martial arts programs and partner drills in training. Our coaches all wear masks.”
Liz Merrill, owner of Sweat Circuit says, “The health and safety of our members is our highest priority. At the first onset of covid, we examined how we could best comply with the CDC guidelines while still providing the best community-inspired workout. We firmly believe that staying active is crucial for mental and physical health, especially during a global health pandemic and the additional stress we’ve experienced in 2020.”
Liz continues, “we adjusted our Sweat Circuit programing to eliminate shared equipment, and increased social distancing without minimizing the ability of our members to have the well-rounded, individualized workouts for which we are known. As necessary, we moved our workouts outside. We also bought a commercial air purifier that removes viruses of all kinds from the air every 15 minutes and implemented extra cleaning protocols to increase the safety and protection of our team, members and guests.”
Kim Russell, owner of CrossFit Coronado, describes their gym practices, “While we were operating indoors (when allowed), we capped classes to 12 participants and everyone had their own taped out box area to work out in. With good weather we have been very fortunate to use the car wash lot. There, we don’t have to cap classes because the space can accommodate more people. We have adjusted programming to prevent or significantly limit any sharing of equipment during workouts so that people can complete their workout without having to stop and clean equipment mid workout.”
Unfortunately, Kim explains that they had to suspend offering childcare. “We recognize this is really hard on a lot of our parents, and ourselves included. I have only done a handful of workouts at the gym since we reopened because we have four kids. I still help my husband remotely behind the scenes but it’s hard to not be able to do more since our kids are home and I need to be there helping them with Zoom school,” echoing a familiar sentiment of many other parents.
Kim adds, “We also launched a private physical therapy practice and started taking Tricare insurance in the middle of covid. This has been very helpful in keeping the gym operating as we have experienced a financial dip at the gym, as I’m sure all Coronado gyms have.”
Benefits That Will Continue When Restrictions are Lifted
All gyms have found some changes implemented during the pandemic that will remain in place as they have been well received by clients. For CTC, the extended hours are a huge hit, for Sweat Circuit it is the outside classes, and for CrossFit Coronado it is the increased cleanliness.
Dan (CTC) states, “We will continue to use all the PPE equipment we purchased to ensure maximum safety for our customers. The machines/heavy bags will stay 6 feet apart. We will use our 75 minute workout maximum during peak hours to reduce headcount in the gym. We will continue our extended hours of 5 am to 10 pm, seven days a week, 365 days a year, which is by far the most training hours on the island. This feature allows customers to separate their schedules which allows for a reduced volume of people training simultaneously and virtually eliminates waiting for any equipment.”
Liz (SC) highlights some of their changes, “Everyone loves the new programming and being outside. We plan to keep the programming, possibly even expanding upon it, and implement our outside area in some capacity. There’s nothing better than getting in a good sweat in the fresh air!”
Kim (CrossFit Coronado) shares that the new cleaning schedule will be continued, “Our gym cleaning is enhanced and our clients are cleaning every piece of equipment touched after every use. An even cleaner facility is never a bad thing and we plan to keep the enhanced cleaning going forward for sure.”
Looking to the future, CrossFit Coronado is focusing on their operations while Coronado Training Center is revamping their marketing, and Sweat Circuit is connecting with their members.
Of the changes at CTC, Dan shares, “Coronado Training Center is excited to relaunch our new branding, logo, and website. We will offer unique fitness training regimens in Cardio-Boxing, Mixed Martial Arts, Personal Training and complete wellness and health. We will add additional fitness classes and seminars. Our class sizes will increase and we will allow partner drills and sparring in our mixed martial arts classes.”
SC is focusing on member engagement, Liz explains, “Sweat Circuit is more than a gym – we are a community. It can be challenging for our members to experience the full benefit of that uplifting community with the social distancing measures; even so, it’s been so inspiring to see our community continue to support and uplift each other even when we can’t be close together. We’re also looking forward to being able to utilize our indoor spaces again.”
Kim at CrossFit Coronado shares, “We are looking forward to getting to be back in our building. While we are grateful to have use of the car wash lot for now, we miss being in our own space where we can keep equipment out during the day. We are not programming in barbell movements and pull up bar movements due to being outdoors so being able to add those things back into the program will be fun.”
Additionally, Kim recognizes the importance of childcare for their clients. “We want to bring back childcare for all the parents as well, once we can do so without worry about kids tipping the capacity numbers and having to navigate all of the regulations for a childcare setting. We will have to take things back to basics when we go back inside to build people back up safely with lifts and movements we haven’t been able to do outdoors. August 1, 2020 was our 10 year anniversary of ownership of CrossFit Coronado (the gym has been around since 2008 though). We had been looking forward to a big celebration and beach bash. There was no Christmas party this year which is always a lot of fun. We look forward to being able to get together with our members in a fun social setting once things are ‘normal’.”
So, What Do Those New Years Resolutions Look Like This Year?
Dan shares, “At CTC we have noticed that people who still are training are more interested in health, wellness and longevity instead of the typical New Year’s resolutions. They realize the benefits of health and training especially during these pandemic times. It is not, ‘I’m going to try again,’ as much as ‘I know how important my anxiety, stress and fitness is to my overall health and mindset.'”
The New Year’s incentives look a little different at CTC this year. “Coronado Training Center is prepared to launch a post covid campaign but has held off to ensure we abide with current SD County health advisories. Once lifted we will offer unique personal training and membership packages that continue our 15 year run on meeting Coronado clients and their fitness goals. We respond immediately to our clients’ input and add additional equipment to help improve their unique training in a safe manner.”
CrossFit Coronado is also not one for a traditional New Year’s pitch. Kim explains, “We are doing a 31 day challenge with a different healthy habits each day of the month. As far as promoting to new members, our focus is on serving the members we have the best we can. We normally have people go through an intro series including three private sessions before group classes but while we are operating outdoors that is not necessary.”
Kim adds that what they are seeing at the beginning of the year is, “People coming in are excited to get back into working out and grateful to have a place to do so. Everyone that’s coming to the gym is appreciative that we are open and happy to have a positive outlet during these times.”
Over at Sweat Circuit, Liz talks about their New Year’s clients, “What’s great about Sweat Circuit is that we welcome everyone to join our community – regardless of their fitness level. We’ve found that our group-inspired fitness classes tend to be more sustainable over time because we are better together, encouraging and pushing each other to dig deeper to achieve our goals.”
The Sweat Circuit New Year’s theme is “We are Better Together” brought about by the community response over the last nine months. “Something that we had the extreme blessing of being able to witness is how our community responded to the challenges of the previous year. We know that there is a tendency for people to start the new year strong with many resolutions, especially regarding their goals for physical health. We are encouraging our members to focus on small changes they can make, that are sustainable and can be built upon to create more impactful change over time.
“We are focusing on establishing goals, and encouraging our clients to be accountable to meet those intentions and we will be measuring progress as we go. To encourage more engagement, we will have a special challenge for our membership every month. January is the 21-day streak where we encourage our members to try and complete workouts 21 days straight.” As a bonus, they will also have a drawing at the end for great prizes.
Coronado has a plethora of gyms, fitness studios, yoga options and personal trainers. Take charge of your physical and mental health by training locally!
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