As cases of COVID-19 continue to pop up throughout the United States and elsewhere, gyms are being forced to reckon with a difficult question – how can they reopen and provide their customers with the health and wellness experience they’re after without putting them at risk?

MarketScale sourced fitness professionals Kelly Bryant, Founder of Kelly Bryant Wellness, and Natasha Miles, Founder of Transformazing Fitness, to get their thoughts on how their gyms (and gyms across the country) can best engage in reopening practices.

Planet Fitness CEO Chris Rondeau has implemented a mandatory mask order for all Planet Fitness locations, but Bryant said it’s more complicated than that for most gyms.

“Let’s keep in mind, here, that there are two different entities that we’re talking about,” she said. “We’re talking about gyms, and we’re talking about personal trainers. Some gyms function as, essentially, just a personal training facility, and some personal trainers have a facility that operates like a gym. … For the facilities that are more of a large facility where people come and work out alone, that is a very different situation.

“The gyms are going to have to get a lot more creative.”

One of the biggest questions facing gyms is whether or not Americans, even post-COVID, will return to gyms in force – and how gyms will cater to those who choose not to.

“My fitness business has moved solely online,” Miles said. “I decided to make this move because I still wanted to help my clients, but I wanted them to have the opportunity to practice social distancing and feel safe at the same time.

“No one wants to risk exposure if they don’t have to.”

There’s also potential for the fitness industry, like many industries in the age of COVID-19, to pivot to a blended model that accounts for a renewed focus on working out at home.

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