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'It is about getting in shape and being your best sexy self': Gyms find ways to keep us active during shutdown

Fitness companies have adapted to the COVID-19 shelter-in-place, to keep patrons healthy while looking to the future of their business.

ATLANTA — The fitness industry is taking a big financial hit during the pandemic, but some Georgia gyms and studios have quickly adapted to keep their members moving and the staff employed.

The CycleBar Studio in Dunwoody is one of them. Its general manager, Colton Southworth, says he closed his doors weeks ago with a lot of anxiety. 

“I was terrified with how we were going to be responded to. I can’t tell you the number of emails I got thanking me for thinking of them and their families, and all the other people, by not allowing anyone in the building,” said Southworth.

The studio recently offered members free online classes for a limited time and has been live-streaming through its Instagram account.

RELATED: How to stay in shape while you stay inside: Atlanta fitness guru shares tips for healthy living in coronavirus quarantine

When Southworth sent an email offering to rent his bikes, all of them were reserved within 30 minutes. 

“The next three days, we were sterilizing the bikes, cleaning them, delivering them one by one,” said Southworth.

Group fitness gyms, like the Training Room in Atlanta, are also changing their business models.

Owner Amber Goppert says they’re providing multiple workouts a day through Zoom, renting out some equipment and offering nutrition plans. So far, more than 50 percent of its members have continued paying their monthly fees to keep staff employed. Members pay about $200 a month.

Goppert says her members’ commitment has meant the world to her. 

“It is about getting in shape and being your best sexy self, but above all, people look for that family and that community and this is truly a family," said Goppert. 

Southworth says his clients are stepping up, too. His members have purchased gift cards and class passes. 

“Everyone is thinking about the future. We all want to be back together and I couldn’t be more impressed with the support we’re getting from our community," explained Southworth.

RELATED: Here are 7 tips on how to stay healthy and boost your immune system during coronavirus outbreak

Personal trainers, who are mostly independent contractors, are also taking a hit. Some are meeting their clients outside at parks, still keeping a six-foot distance, just to continue offering sessions.

Large chains, like LA Fitness, are also suspending memberships fees until the state allows gyms to reopen.

11Alive is focusing our news coverage on the facts and not the fear around the virus.  We want to keep you informed about the latest developments while ensuring that we deliver confirmed, factual information. 

We will track the most important coronavirus elements relating to Georgia on this page. Refresh often for new information. 


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