Fitness facilities are once again adjusting to restrictions as the province deals with its third wave of COVID-19.
Last Friday, spin classes at RYDE RD, moved outdoors into its parking lot so an instructor could lead nine clients while maintaining the required social distance.
“I think everyone is trying to adapt to whatever way works best for them. I’m just grateful for anything that we can do at this point. It’s something,” said owner Alex Wood who moved her facility from downtown Red Deer to a warehouse in Gasoline Alley last summer.
Fitness facilities are currently only allowed to offer one-on-one instruction indoors. Wood worked out the details with Alberta Health Services to run small outdoor classes.
She said clients were excited to sweat and move together, albeit from a distance.
“I don’t see us being open in our downtown location for quite some time (due to limited space and social distancing restrictions). But you never know. We can’t really predict what’s going to happen. We haven’t been able to predict what’s going to happen since last March.”
RYDE RD will reach its fifth anniversary in 2021, but during the last 13 months, the facility has only been open for five months, from June to November.
She said spinning isn’t the same if people can’t participate together so the focus will remain on outdoor classes. Hopefully bad weather won’t cancel too many classes.
“We don’t have a choice. We just have to run with what we’ve got. We’re excited we’re able to do something,” Wood said.
Jason MacDonald owner of Pure Fitness Crossfit, said only some of his classes can be moved outdoors when the weather allows.
“I have equipment that’s fixed to the floor, and I have equipment that doesn’t do well when it’s in the dust and moisture, so moving my business model outside is very difficult,” MacDonald said.
He said one of his most popular classes has been at 5:45 a.m. and regardless of the weather, that’s never a pleasant time of day to be working out outside.
“It’s really frustrating to be one of the targeted businesses,” he said about the current COVID-19 restrictions.
He said people are allowed to visit malls and big box stores where nobody is cleaning every product that customers pick up and put back down. Meanwhile at his fitness facility, each client had clean and dedicated equipment in their separate workout spaces.
“It just doesn’t make sense to most people in the fitness industry. All of a sudden you’re safer having a personal trainer stand in front of you,” MacDonald said.
“Hopefully the vaccines kick in and this is all in our rear-view mirror in the future.”