Lansing, Mich. (WLNS)– The Capitol lawn filled up with people Saturday morning looking to get their workout in, as gyms in lower parts of the Michigan remain closed.
“Quarantining’s been pretty tough without a gym. We haven’t been doing much workouts so just a class kind of holds that accountability,” one participant Samantha Patton said.
Patton and her friend Yaritza Martinez decided to take advantage of the nice day and the opportunity to get in a free workout with a Crunch Fitness trainer.
“Before quarantine happened I was going Monday, Wednesday, Friday after work so I had a routine and it shut down and we were stuck at home,” Martinez said.
James Wiese, a Crunch Fitness Owner said the franchises have been hosting outdoor fitness classes since the Governor OKed it. He added that the response has been overwhelming.
“Our classes are completely full. We’re unfortunately turning down members when there’s a limitation to it. We’re having a lot of people request and ask if we can do more,” Wiese said.
Wiese said the fitness company has been offering 24/7 online classes, but for some people it isn’t the same. The goal of hosting classes at the Capitol, Wiese said, is to hopefully show the Governor that social distancing and other safety protocols can be used to keep people safe.
“There’s a lot of people that do want to come to the gym to get on their fitness journey and we want to give them the opportunity because right now we’re not giving anyone the opportunity to reach their goals,” Wiese said.
He added, his staff is willing to do what it takes to get people back in the gym.
“We’re definitely going to wait to see what the governor implements, but Crunch standards, we’re going to make sure that it’s six-foot social distancing, so if that means having a third of the members in the club or half so be it,” Wiese said.
Gyms are considered higher risk under the governor’s reopening plan, but she did lift restrictions on fitness facilities in northern parts of the state, allowing them to reopen on June 10. In the executive order, she wrote that public health data and ongoing costs of continued restrictions are both taken into account when making the decisions.
“Regions 6 and 8 have significantly fewer new cases per million each day than other regions in the state and have not shown an increase in viral activity in response to earlier relaxations of my orders,” Gov. Whitmer wrote in Executive Order 2020-115.
Wiese said while he understands why gyms were shut down, he feels his staff is now ready to get back to work.
“Our clubs have been sanitized, deep cleaned. We have a 40-page document that we’ve been training our staff on how to keep social distancing and the members safe as well as the staff members, so we’re more than ready to open now.”