JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KMIZ)
A Jefferson City fitness studio reopened along with many other Cole County businesses Monday, as restrictions for the state and county lessened.
Erin Bidlack, owner of Studio 573, said the COVID-19 pandemic has been a challenging time for her studio because her business involves physically being close to others.
Bidlack said clients work out and sweat, so using medical-grade cleaning supplies has been a big priority.
“It's definitely a learning curve for us,” Bidlack said. "But it's just like anything in life you have to kind of transition and adapt.”
Bidlack said Studio 573 created a Facebook group that was strictly for members, people on class passes and those who were active at the studio while the studio was closed.
Bidlack said with the Facebook group trainers and clients were able to communicate with one another and post daily workouts.
“We would either film them here (in the studio) or film them at off-site locations,” Bidlack said. “So they could tune in either live, or they could actually just watch the replay, too.”
Now that Studio 573 is able to provide in-person class workouts, Bidlack said the how robust business will be is still unknown.
“We don't know if there are people who are still concerned,” Bidlack said. “And we don't want to take that risk where people come in here not to feel safe. So, although the regulations aren't as strict. I still think it's important for us to be respectful of people's space.”
Bidlack said she told her clients that this is a week-by-week transition, as no one knows what next week will hold.
Studio 573 has not resumed child care at the moment as Bidlack said she doesn't feel comfortable with it.
However, Bidlack said about half of the classes will be filmed for those not wanting to attend in person.
Some classes with be offered both virtually and in-person, but it depends on the schedule of classes and which class it is.
“We obviously don't have as many classes on the schedule as we did before,” Bidlack said. “But I would hate to jump back into all of this and have regrets.”
Studio 573 is takinng extra cleaning precautions as some classes have stations involved where there could be shared equipment.
Bidlack said one big thing that she is trying to do is make sure that there's no cross between clients or shared equipment if the classes do involve stations.
“We’ll take a second to disinfect the station before somebody else gets on or vice versa,” Bidlack said. “That's one big thing is just making sure we're keeping our space and people aren't using the same equipment in the workouts.”
Bidlack said that with changes comes reevaluating the class structure.
Studio 573 offers a class with a bar involved. Bidlack said clients are usually all around the bar, so now half of the clients may go in the middle of the room while the other half space themselves out along the bar.
“I think all of them (classes) are doable,” Bidlack said. “We just have to get kind of creative with our stations and how we format our class structures.”
Bidlack said she feels confident that her studio will be able to stay open and follow the guidelines, but it may be a learning experience for everyone.
“It's all trial and error at this point,” Bidlack said. “I'm just making sure that we're being safe as we can.”
Studio 573’s clients have given Bidlack mostly postitive feedback, she said.
Bidlack said there’s many people who are excited to get back in the studio and others who don't feel ready just yet.
Studio 573 hosted multiple classes Monday, in-person and virtually.
Bidlack said Studio 573 is using common sense and is being respectful of others to keep everyone healthy and doing what’s best for all.
Bidlack said providing more virtual classes may be an option moving forward, but right now she plans to wait and see what our clients want.
“If you don't feel comfortable, or you don't feel that it's in your best interest, don't,” Bidlack said. “I just would hate to force somebody into a situation .... I say you just have to do what's best for you. At the end of the day, just keep working out, whatever that is, if it's at home, here, there -- either way.”