Providence gym reopens, adopts new practices amid pandemic

Business News

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) ─ After nearly three months, CrossFit Providence is once again holding in-person classes.

The gym on Washington Street opened Monday as part of Phase 2 of Gov. Gina Raimondo’s plan to reopen the state’s economy.

Throughout Phase 2, gyms and fitness centers are allowed to reopen with a new set of guidelines in place.

Reopening RI: What’s new for Phase 2? »

Although classes at his gym look a lot different than the last time they were there, Crossfit Providence owner Tanner Baldauf said, “It’s really good to be back here and have some normalcy of life. A big part of CrossFit is community, so being here with everyone again is a lot of fun.”

Baldauf said he and his staff have made several changes in order to reopen. If someone wants to take a class, they will have to make a reservation first.

While doing so, Baldauf said they will be asked to not come to the gym if they are feeling sick. If they do participate in class, Baldauf said they will be required to wear a mask. 

“We’re going to wear masks when we work out,” he said. “We have these awesome garage doors here, so when people feel like they’re short on breath, they can sit their barbell down, hop off the rower, and walk outside and take their mask off.”

Before the spread of COVID-19, 20 people could participate in each class at CrossFit Providence and 48 classes were held every week.

Now, Baldauf said classes will be capped at 10 people and there will only be 21 classes a week. For his members that are still nervous about coming back to the gym, Baldauf said he will continue offering virtual classes.

In addition to smaller and limited classes, Baldauf said every member will have their hands sanitized upon entering the gym. They will then be directed to their own station, where they will be asked to remain in a taped-off section for the duration of the workout.

After it’s complete, they will be directed to their own bucket of cleaning supplies they will use to wipe down their area and equipment.

“When our members are done with their class, they will wipe down all of their equipment. They will put some of the small things away – wiped down,” he explained. “When they’re done [cleaning], I’ll come in and wipe down the buckets. So I wipe down the spray bottle they just used with their hands to clean up. I come in with my gloves and clean up their buckets so they’re good to go.”

Baldauf said while they adjust to their new normal, only one bathroom will be open at his gym. The locker rooms will remain closed.

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