Gyms adapt to coronavirus pandemic

Mar 17, 2020

Several gyms in Wareham have closed their facilities to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus, and have adapted to find new ways to promote exercise and healthy habits to their members at home. 

The Pound Martial Arts Center, Straight Blast Gym East Coast, and Seaside CrossFit have all adapted by offering online instruction to members while they are kept away from the gym during the pandemic. 

Krystine Jones, owner of The Pound Martial Arts Center, said that her facility is now closed, but that a curriculum of instructional videos is available to her students, most of whom are children who are also being kept home from school. 

Jones said that The Pound is also using a video conference app, so that instructors can give students feedback as they train from home.

Jones said that scheduled belt promotion testing will continue next week, and that students may take their tests in private at the gym, or via the video conference app. She added that the gym will reassess the situation next week, to determine how to best go forward. 

When asked about her decision to close the gym, Jones said that “we want to be socially responsible,” by preventing the spread of the virus.

Stephen Whittier, Head Coach at Straight Blast Gym, said that his gym has taken a similar approach. 

Whittier’s gym is part of an international network of martial arts gyms, which Whittier said has been “a huge asset” in adapting to the pandemic. As his gym has closed to the public, members have been given access to an online curriculum that includes videos and resources from coaches from around the world. 

While there is no substitute for live training, Whittier said that he hopes to promote healthy exercise and eating habits to members, while they are away from the gym. 

Jenn Christopher, owner of Seaside CrossFit said that she decided to close her gym early on Tuesday morning, March 17, in light of the recent coronavirus diagnosis at Tobey Hospital. Prior to that, the gym was being bleached three times per week, and members were instructed to space themselves apart from each other during workouts. 

Christopher said that her gym will also offer online workout curriculums to members, and will have different workouts based on whether or not members have equipment available to them at home.

She added that Seaside CrossFit will split members into teams and hold a competition based on things like how much they workout, and their ability to follow other healthy habits while the gym is closed. 

Christopher said that her main goal now is to “keep some normalcy and health in our members’ lives.” 

On March 16, the Gleason Family YMCA announced that all YMCA Southcoast locations would be closed immediately. According to the post, the YMCA will continue to serve registered child care participants, but all other programs are closed.