Fit for Business: Fitness Centers Adapt to COVID Challenges | News

PLATTSBURGH — Local fitness centers are finding ways to adapt and survive the ongoing pandemic.

The Klubhouse, located on the Big Lots Plaza in Plattsburgh, has been tasked with making sure its patrons feel safe in their gym as COVID cases continue to rise in the North Country.

“Our class attendance has dropped due to the increase in COVID cases in our area, but our space is large enough for us to keep our distance from each other,” owners Kathi Grabda and Krystal Lewis said.

“We have several hand sanitizing stations in our studio and encourage members to use them. We clean our equipment after each use and between members. We also do a very thorough cleaning every week.

ACCEPT AND WELCOME

Grabda and Lewis believe their gym should appeal to all customers looking for a safe space to work out.

“Our space is open and bright and has excellent air circulation. We have the ability to get fresh air in by opening windows and doors when needed,” they said.

“We also hold classes outside as often as possible, even in winter weather permitting. We and our members accept and welcome all levels of fitness.

PANDEMIC VS. FITNESS INDUSTRY

Limitless Training, located on Sharron Avenue in Plattsburgh, has also worked to overcome many of the challenges COVID has brought to the business.

“It’s the pandemic against the fitness industry,” Limitless Training owner and founder Megan Leary said.

“A lot of people have turned to home training, and a lot of us fitness instructors have had to introduce ourselves to the virtual world of personal training. But we’re competing with companies like Peloton, at who people buy home workout equipment in. I completely understand that I’m not comfortable in gyms and studios, but gyms suffer from it.

CHANGES IN PRESENCE

Leary said attendance at Limitless Training fluctuated from week to week.

“I know it has been ups and downs for me personally. We are at the point with this pandemic where everyone is getting sick again. So some weeks are better than others,” Leary said.

“You might have two people in your classes one week and then the next week they’re full again.”

As for cleaning measures and protocols, Leary said she always kept her studio hygienic, before and after the pandemic.

“We are dealing with people who sweat all the time. Before this pandemic happened, we always cleaned the floors and we always cleaned the equipment,” Leary said.

“I will say that for the measures we had to take, getting air filtration systems was difficult. With the whole mask mandate, everyone had to wear masks and that was also difficult, especially when your heart rate is already high, so you add a mask to it.

TO FEEL COMFORTABLE

Limitless Training doesn’t accept walk-ins, Leary said, because it makes her and her clients more comfortable.

“We have more control over who walks through our doors, and I know exactly how many people I’m going to be around every day,” Leary said.

“Also, people are turning to smaller, more intimate environments now. With the group exercise studio, we can only have a limited number of people in our class, and people like that like to have fewer people. Is it perfect for my pocket? No, but when customers feel more comfortable, it puts me at ease.

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