Local gyms adapt to COVID-19

Owners reduce class sizes, require more sanitation of equipment to lessen spread



Pullman Crossfit manager Scott Parish said the changing state regulations have been the hardest part of keeping the business open during COVID-19.

JOEL KEMEGUE, Evergreen mint editor

Gyms are one of the many Pullman and Moscow businesses reopening as COVID-19 restrictions are drawn back, but with the ever-present worry about the virus, they’ve had to make changes to provide safe environments for fitness.

Snap Fitness in Moscow closed for six weeks in March to comply with COVID-19 guidelines. Before they reopened, manager Cody Lincoln said the gym had employees come in three days before to sanitize everything. Snap Fitness set increased cleaning procedures, as well as sanitizing stations and requiring all staff to wear masks.

Lincoln said the biggest change he’s seen is many gym-goers have become more health-conscious and clean up after themselves more.

On the other hand, Lincoln said about 10-15 percent of gym-goers have stopped coming in or canceled memberships due to health concerns, while others stopped coming because of the pressure to wear masks. Snap Fitness does not require its members to wear masks while working out.

Still, Lincoln said that Snap Fitness has adjusted to the situation, and they’ll continue to provide their services throughout COVID-19.

Pullman CrossFit also shut down in March, and after reopening in June, manager Scott Parrish said they’ve put all their efforts into making the environment as safe as possible for their clients.

“We’re taking it very seriously,” Parrish said. “We’re following all protocols, we got people outside, we’ve got people in masks…we want to make sure people know that they’re safe down here.”

Parrish said to reduce the risk of getting infected, Pullman CrossFit has lowered class sizes to a maximum of six people and moved them outside. He said they’ve also bought a sanitizing machine to spray the building with and set up hand-washing stations to keep everything clean and safe.

Parrish said the hardest part of staying open is adjusting to state requirements and making sure everything is in line with protocol when that can often change.

“It’s just adjusting on a week-to-week basis. It’s usually that we get a new protocol every two weeks that changes how you have to structure your class, set it out, that sort of deal,” Parrish said. “It’s not anything that nobody else has to deal with, it’s just a matter of what our facility can allow and what we’re able to do.” 

Pullman CrossFit plans to continue outside workouts. As winter comes, Parrish said they’ll have to reconsider their options. Parrish said regardless of what happens, Pullman CrossFit is committed to staying open.

“I don’t know. I’m just like anybody else,” Parrish said. “Whatever’s out there we don’t really know about. So we’ll listen and follow guidelines and we’re gonna start making some plans now that will hopefully help us remain open.”