VENICE, Calif. – After 85 long days, Logan Gelbrich couldn’t be more ready to reopen his Venice-based Deuce Gym and finally welcome back his clients. 

“It’s actually more exciting than when we first opened. We have folks that are excited about being here. It’s a massive part of their life,” Gelbrich said. 

What You Need To Know

  • Gyms in LA County were given green light to reopen last Friday

  • Stringent sanitary and social distancing measures required to reopen

  • Venice-based Deuce Gym among local businesses implementing changes for "new normal"

  • Small, independent gyms face different challenges than large fitness chains

When he had to close Deuce in March, Gelbrich quickly pivoted to offering remote training sessions and made it a priority to not only keep his full-time staff employed, but keep them busy. 

“It was a tough quarantine, but I’ll tell you what, the amount of communication and the amount of work that people did during this time would blow your mind,” Gelbrich said. 

To get the gym in tip-top shape for reopening, Gelbrich has been busy making adjustments to keep everyone healthy while they’re pumping iron. 

“That’s our focus right now. We wake up doing that and we go to bed doing that,” Gelbrich said. 

So what are the big changes clients will notice and have to adhere to?  

Equipment Sanitization

Gelbrich said his team has been practicing aggressive sanitizing reps. The gym staff will clean and sanitize all the equipment before workouts, but the clients will be asked to help as well. 

Social Distancing Squares

Gelbrich and his team created social distancing spaces on the gym floor using blue tape to section off areas for their strength and conditioning classes. 

Masked Trainers

Clients must wear masks coming in and leaving the facility, but during the fitness training only the trainer has to wear the mask.  Trainers will no longer be able to make physical adjustments through touch and will instead rely on their voices to guide clients through the movements. 

The changes come with challenges. Unlike major gym chains, where people sometimes pay just to access equipment, Gelbrich said his gym normally operates on a very hands-on approach.

“We say fitness is free more or less. We need to be able to communicate with people and be dynamic with them, we need to be able to interact with them,” Gelbrich said. 

The staff at Deuce Gym has actually been rehearsing training sessions to workout the new normal.

“I have to use my outside voice,” Gelbrich said while demonstrating one of the physically distanced-training sessions.  “The work is difficult enough already, so we want to make it as easy as possible for the clients once they come in.”