Texas Gyms Can Partially Reopen Monday

Gov. Greg Abbott says there are some restrictions, including limited capacity and social distancing

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It’s been nearly two months since gyms have been able to allow customers inside, and local gyms say they're ready.

“We are excited to have everybody back. We’ve been doing a ton of cleaning and prep for this, we’re ready to have everybody in,” said Jarett Nobles, director of sales and operation for Trophy Fitness.

The fitness center has three locations: Uptown, Mockingbird and downtown Dallas. Nobles said they have about 2,000 members and their focus is to make sure people feel comfortable coming back to the gym.

Nobles said the gym has thousands of disinfectant wipes, cleaning sprays, sanitizing stations and extra staff on hand to help clean up.

It’s been nearly two months since gyms have been able to allow customers inside, and on the eve of partially reopening, local gyms say they’re ready.

“We’ve always been about customer service and cleanliness here and I want people to understand that even in an uncertain time, it’s OK to come back and it’s OK to be nervous and be cautious and come in when you’re ready," Nobles said. "We’re here to help really take control of your health."

According to Abbott’s checklist for gyms and exercise facilities to reopen on May 18, they can only operate up to 25% occupancy. The state’s website listed the “minimum recommended health protocols” for gyms to follow, which includes screening employees, spacing workout equipment and constantly disinfect.

Big chains like 24 Hour Fitness plan to close the gym after every hour for a 30-minute deep clean.

Black Iron CrossFit in Frisco had professional cleaning crews come in to deep clean their facility.

“Just getting everything prepped and ready, from scrubbing the floors to wiping every barbell down, every single pull up ring, we’ve got a lot of stuff that people handle and touch, so we’re just trying to make sure every little thing got wiped down,” Michael Manning, owner of Black Iron CrossFit, said.

He said he’s only allowing 10 people in at a time during his classes to make sure there is an ample amount of space between members.

“It’s really going to be kind of having common sense and making sure you take care of your area and keeping distance and all of that. I don’t want to be like a chaperone at a high school dance keeping people on the opposite end of the room, but also make sure we are taking precautions to make sure people do feel comfortable and safe,” Manning said.

As of Sunday night, most of his Monday classes were almost full of people who have signed up, but he said he’s keeping an eye out for how people feel coming back during a pandemic.

“I think that’s the big unknown, besides the major unknown of this whole thing, is how are people going to react coming back and if they’re ready, if they’re not ready, if they’re comfortable if they need more time," Manning said. "I don’t think there’s a light switch here that you switch and flip on and we all get back to normal, it’s going to be a progression."

He said he’s glad many of his customers have stuck with him and is glad for a sense of camaraderie once again.

“This is their happy place and that’s what they’ve missed more than anything is you can do a workout at home by yourself, but it’s the community people have missed,” Manning said. “I just want people to feel comfortable coming back in, because this was their happy place leaving and I want that to be the same coming back.”

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