A New California: The future of 24 Hour Fitness clubs
LOS ANGELES – We’re focused on fitness, specifically, 24 Hour Fitness. The chain that has almost 450 clubs, 22,000 employees, and some 3.5 million members have spent the last two months figuring out how to make the gym model work amidst the coronavirus crisis.
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The club’s CEO, Tony Ueber, says they’re ready to reopen with modifications.
“The most important is we’re going to open the clubs for an hour at a time; let people come in and workout, then we’ll close the club for 30 minutes in order to do a deep cleaning. And then open it back up for another 60-minute segment,” says Ueber.
Ueber says the hour on, 30 minutes off will give cleaning crews the opportunity to thoroughly disinfect throughout the day.
Another big change: members will need to make a reservation to workout using the 24GO app.
The app lends itself to contactless check-in.
The reservation system also allows each club to limit the number of people inside a gym, at any given time.
As members might expect, some machines will be blocked off to allow for physical distancing in both the cardio and free weight areas.
Group exercise classes will be moved to the basketball court. Employees will be required to wear masks and gloves, but Ueber says face coverings are optional for members.
Much of the 24 Hour Fitness plan is modeled after clubs that have reopened in Asia.“It’s about really understanding what they went through and how they decided to reopen and what some of the implications are,” says Ueber.
Areas that will remain closed, for the interim, include the pool, jacuzzi, sauna, and locker rooms. Until 24 Hour Fitness reopens in California, Ueber says the club’s live stream workouts via their 24GO app have been extremely popular, with options for all fitness levels.
The workouts are simulcast on YouTube, as well.
Best of all, those online workouts are free, even to non-24 Hour Fitness members.
Meanwhile, all eyes are on Texas because some 24-Hour clubs in the Dallas area are set to reopen Monday, May 18th.
We’ll be watching and waiting to get back into the gym.