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On Wednesday, Gov. Roy Cooper announced that gyms would not be a part of Phase Two as anticipated. After spending weeks implementing procedures that adhered to government guidelines, gym owners have been forced to face a longer shutdown and, in some cases, quickly form a plan b.

Here’s what some of them had to say:

Comments have been edited for length and clarity.

“I think we are all in a very similar place of feeling very frustrated. Micro gyms like CrossFit, Forte, Workhorse, etc. all uphold a very high level of integrity. We have the ability to maintain a safer environment than any big box store. We have invested a great deal in extra cleaning and safety protocols to ensure our athletes feel comfortable. We firmly believe that gyms are essential for community wellness. Both physical and mental wellness.”

— Sally Duren, an owner of CrossFit Baile

An empty Evolution Athletics | via Instagram

“Thankfully, we’ve been doing remote coaching for hundreds of athletes around the world and we’ve been doing that for nearly five years now.  Our programming has always been delivered through a digital platform with a coach changing it to fit the athlete’s needs in real-time.

“We are extremely fortunate to have an understanding and supportive gym family who has supported us every step of the way.  It hurts to not be able to see them on a daily basis, but we keep in constant contact and know they are sticking to our motto of ‘get 1% better everyday.'”

— Chris McNamara, owner of Evolution Athletics

“Anticipating our reopening this weekend, we set a maximum capacity for our clubs. We implemented a no-handshake zone, eliminated group fitness classes, limited the number of participants for group training, required staff to conduct health screenings prior to their work day, posted copious COVID safety policies around the facilities, invested in purchasing and requiring masks for all staff to wear, provided more sanitizing stations throughout, and removed the use of water fountains (water bottle filler only available), among many other safety protocols.

“Lumping gyms into a category considered ‘entertainment’ is ludicrous. What can reduce your risk of having worsened COVID-19 symptoms? Being healthy. How can you improve this? Working out at the gym. Honestly his decision boggles us.”

— Tristan & Hannah Ambrozewski, owners of Anytime Fitness in Southern Pines and Pinehurst

And here’s how they are handling business moving forward:

Burn Boot Camp: The gym will be doing multiple parking lot pop-up classes a day, with a limited number of participants, as well as classes via Zoom. New members can also sign up for a two-week trial. Info here.

CrossFit Baile: This Whispering Pines gym will be moving forward with outdoor workouts. See the schedule here.

Evolution Athletics: The West End facility is exploring options for outdoor classes. Follow them here.

FirstHealth Fitness: The community can continue to access “healthy at home” workouts from its staff for free. Find everything from kettleball flows to cardio burn here.

FORTE Fitness: Beginning Tuesday, May 26, the gym will begin holding small-size outdoor classes, in addition to continuing live-streaming options. Watch for updates on social media and on the MINDBODY app.

Hot Asana: The studio will continue to offer 56 live streaming classes a week, and has issued a 30-day yoga challenge, beginning May 28, that will take the studio to a hopeful opening day of June 26. Anyone who practices 30 times in 30 days will receive a special Hot Asana shirt — a 30 classes in 30 days pack is $180 ($6 a class). Schedule here.

Indigo Yoga: Offering streaming classes on Facebook live.

SP Crossfit: The gym is reviewing new guidelines closely to see what might be allowed. “Bottom line is we are going to be as creative as possible and as proactive as possible within the government guidelines.”

Orange Theory: Zoom classes will continue for members. Info here.

Pure Barre: The studio is brainstorming and “working on a plan to mix things up.” An Instagram post hinted that the studio might explore the option of outdoor workouts.

Workhorse Fitness and Yoga: Workhorse is moving classes outside, including cycling, strength conditioning and more. Info via Instagram and Facebook.

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