Although not an easy feat, many gym owners in the Santa Clarita Valley successfully hurdled through the first wave of coronavirus shutdowns and quickly adapted to the second round that has prohibited indoor operations.
On July 13, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that California would toggle back on its path toward reopening the economy amid a surge in COVID-19 cases by halting indoor services for some businesses such as hair salons and barbershops, malls and places of worship.
Fitness centers also fell under that order, a tough hit many owners and their workers faced as they had only just set up for safe reopenings that included reservations, sanitizing stations, designated workout gear and cherry-picking the classes they deemed safe to continue offering.
Like many, the ever-changing orders have not been easy to adjust to but necessary to get creative to stay afloat, said Larry Nolan, founder of Hardcore Fitness, which has locations in Santa Clarita and across the southern region.
“We were just digging and scratching and clawing and trying to find ways to make it work,” he said. “We finally pulled it off and got all of our locations approved for outdoor workouts.”
‘Can’t stop, won’t stop’
After a wavering quarantine period that included placing customer memberships on hold and offering virtual sessions, Nolan said he knew Hardcore Fitness had to think outside the box.
“We thought, how do we provide the best experience possible and really go above and beyond?” he said. “Consumers are just irritated and tired of being told you can, you can’t come, you have to wear a mask or you only have to wear the mask when you workout outside or inside. We needed to make it so that these members said, ‘Wow.’”
Hardcore isn’t only in their name. The Santa Clarita team has doubled down on an outdoor setup in their parking lot that includes personal shaded canopies so that customers can workout despite the hot weather conditions. For that extra cooling effect, the canopies also have misters that go off periodically, all while trainers help members push through their workouts.
To comply with safety measures needed, clients are each designated a parking slot to workout from to keep everyone at a distance. Each member has their own set of weights and equipment for their workout and is then sanitized by staff members for the next customer to use, according to Nolan.
Outdoor operations have been successful, he said, adding that classes get filled quickly as the word has spread among members who had not returned to Hardcore Fitness since the initial shutdown.
“One of our members posted on (social media) that it was one of the best workouts in a long time, and that has helped get others to come by,” he said.
Hardcore Fitness Santa Clarita is located on 20715 Centre Pointe Parkway. For more information, visit hardcorefitnessinc.com.
Not all gyms have the appropriate space to move operations just outside their doors to a patio or parking lot, but that hasn’t stopped many from bringing their customers a place to continue their goals, including Results Fitness.
“The order to shut down a second time took us by surprise. Our parking lot is not ideal. It’s sloped and we have the trash cans there, so it’s not the best. So, we looked at our options and thankfully the city (of Santa Clarita) let us have our workouts at Newhall Park because we didn’t have any other option,” said owner Rachel Cosgrove.
Clients are only a short walk away from the Results Fitness facility and to the park, where they can pick up a protein shake from the gym’s all-natural shake cafe.
Despite a limitation on equipment, Results Fitness specializes in bodyweight and functional training, which is a mix of cardiovascular and strength workouts that include using equipment such as kettlebells and sandbags — easy items to transfer to and from the park.
“We give progressions and regressions, so it’s really built for all levels so that we can give a hard version or an easy version. Don’t be intimidated if you’re not a workout person,” said Cosgrove.
The business currently offers three workouts daily at the park, where clients can partake while under a tent, as well as sufficient space to practice physical distancing from one another. Each member will also be designated their own piece of equipment that is disinfected per use, said Cosgrove, who added that while outdoor services have been successful she’s “hoping we can get back in our gym soon.”
“Our job is more important than ever right now, regardless of indoors or outdoors and even though it’s become more and more difficult to do,” she said. “If our clients are healthier and their immune systems are better, they’re going to end up getting through this pandemic healthier.”
Besides outdoor sessions, Results Fitness also offers virtual classes and an app for those opting for an at-home workout session.
Results Fitness is located on 24420 Walnut St. For more information visit results-fitness.com.
Other gyms across the SCV, including the Santa Clarita Athletic Club and The Paseo Club, have adjusted to the current climate with the resources in hand, offering members outside classes in cycling, yoga, pilates and Zumba while keeping online alternatives for those who prefer to break a sweat from home.