GROSSE POINTE PARK, Mich. – The owners of Metro Detroit gyms are creating free, daily home workouts for people while their facilities are shut down due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Hundreds of small, independent gyms across Michigan and the United States are closed, and that’s left the owners at risk of losing their livelihoods.
Fusion Integrated Training in Grosse Pointe Woods would usually be full of people using the workout equipment on a Wednesday afternoon, but these are different times.
A typical class has between 20 and 30 people and runs nine times per day, but Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer ordered gyms to close earlier this week.
“That’s settling in now, how this will all unfold, how we will bridge the gap,” owner P.J. Vlahantones said.
He and his brother, Nick, own Fusion Integrated Training. They said they knew there would be no way to replicate their customers’ experience at home because too much equipment is required. So they decided to create home workouts free of charge. They post them daily on Facebook and Instagram.
“Hopefully that gives something for people to do in the day,” Vlahantones said. “Not only is fitness for your physical -- it’s also for your mental health.”
Christy Wood owns Above the Barre X in Grosse Pointe Park. What did she do when she heard Whitmer’s announcement?
“I sent an immediate email (asking people not to) pause, financially, not pause and not get rid of their membership so they could support their local fitness instructor,” Wood said.
Instead of buying a national online package or fitness app, Wood told her clients to stick with her. Now she offers streaming classes that she leads from her home.
“It’s been actually really good to unify us,” Wood said.
Both gyms have received positive responses as everyone tries to navigate the new normal.