24 Hour Fitness starting to re-open their doors - reserve your workout time window now

24 Hour Fitness, which is the second largest fitness chain in the U.S. behind LA Fitness, will begin opening select gyms in the Dallas-Fort Worth area starting May 18th:

Of course, the openings will be highly capacity-controlled to maintain social distancing.  They should also change their name from 24 Hour Fitness to 16 Hour Fitness since they'll only be open between the hours of 5 am and 9 pm, and closed for cleaning during the evenings:

Changes to Our Club Hours and Operations

Our clubs will re-open with these temporary changes in place:

  • Club hours will be from 5am to 9pm daily to allow for overnight cleaning
  • Some equipment may be powered off or moved to provide ample space to work out safely
  • Courts will be repurposed as extra workout space; no ball sports will be allowed
  • Classes will meet at modified times and locations to support social distancing
  • All Kids’ Clubs, wet areas and drinking fountains will remain closed for now; please bring your own water bottle
  • Dedicated hours will be available at some locations for seniors only

They have yet to announce when senior hours will be, but if senior store hours are any indicator, it'll likely be during the early morning times.  Also, you really can't fault them for shutting down the drinking fountains and Kids' Clubs as they can definitely be cesspools for pathogens.  No surprise to see the closure of the courts, which will be repurposed into workout space as one can imagine that the workout space will be far more limited with social distancing.  And to enable social distancing, clubs will now have a reservation system in place:

Introducing Workout Reservations

To uphold new social distancing standards, we can only grant access to a certain number of people at a time. 24 Hour Fitness members can reserve up to one workout per day, starting one calendar day in advance, using the 24GO® app.

To reserve your workout:

  • Download our free 24GO® app from the App Store or Google Play.
  • Tap the “Reserve a Workout” button within one calendar day of your desired workout time to find clubs and time slots that are available near you.

Note: If you can’t make it, please cancel at least one hour in advance. Need help? See our FAQ.

It's going to be interesting to see how this will be enforced.  For example, if the gym is relatively empty and you don't have a reservation, can you enter?  And what if you're late to your reservation or don't cancel at least one hour in advance?  Needless to say, the popular times of 12-1 pm and 4-6 pm will definitely be in high demand, and would likely require a reservation the first thing the calendar day before before being filled up.  And for those of us crazy diehards who like to go twice a day, well, we'll be out of luck since we'll only be able to reserve one workout per day.  And it looks like the reservations will be a on a strict schedule followed by 30-minute cleaning sessions:

Clean Environments, Proactive Communication

Now more than ever, 24 Hour Fitness is focused on club cleanliness and sanitation. For your peace of mind, we’ve added 30-minute cleanings before and after each workout reservation, and we are closing overnight to allow plenty of time for thorough cleaning and disinfecting of club surfaces and equipment. Throughout the day, our team members wipe club surfaces with disinfectant to help diminish the spread of germs. Paper towels and cleaning solution continue to be available in each club, and we encourage members to wipe down fitness equipment before and after their workouts.

So if they're adding 30-minute cleanings before and after each workout reservation, does this mean that a workout reservation is a timed slot limit where you have to leave after a given amount of time?  Nonetheless, it's evident that capacity and membership will be significantly reduced, with many members potentially canceling or discontinuing their memberships.

How our workouts will change

Gone will be the days where we could socialize with our gym bros and spot them on the bench press.  Workout space and benches will definitely be limited, and all equipment will need to be wiped down after use, which may require more personnel.  Treadmills, ellipicals, and stationary bikes, which are typically placed nearly adjacent to one another, will need to be moved at least 6 feet apart, so we'll be seeing a substantial decrease in cardio machines.  But that's all the reason more to do some HIIT and calisthenics instead of boring steady-state cardio.

Do HIIT with a mask on instead of stead-state cardio

What this means

24 Hour Fitness is definitely taking the appropriate steps towards re-opening their clubs, as they are desperate for the revenue and we are desperate to lift again.  Many of the changes, while dramatic, are appropriate given the need for social distancing and sanitation.  It'll actually be really interesting how their reservation system is formally implemented, and whether or not it'll apply to all clubs.  Also, as many diehards are literally dying to return to the gym, will they also limit the number of new members?  This will definitely be a challenge for the company as they will likely need to hire more cleaning personnel whereas losing more members.  Like the travel industry, the fitness club industry has taken a tough beating from the COVID-19 pandemic.  Let's hope that they can recover, and that our muscles can be back in shape and size.

From all of us at Flying for Fitness, please stay healthy during this trying time.  We hope you enjoyed this post.  Please consider visiting one of our sponsors by clicking on the advertisements.  Our sponsors pay us for customer visits and help us to keep the lights on.  Thanks!


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