Wow! Our beautiful Empower studio has been officially closed for almost 6 months. If you had asked us back in March, when we thought this might be a 2 week to 2 month ordeal, if we could weather a 6 month shut down—I think we would have been skeptical. But here we are, weary but also wiser. We have all learned so much (and will continue to do so) about grit, determination, how to pivot, how to support one another, how to listen, how to be more flexible and open to change, how to pull together as a community, and maybe how to prepare for a new and uncertain future.
We are grateful beyond measure that so many of you trusted us enough and prioritized your health enough to stick with your training program by whatever means necessary during this time. We are impressed and proud of how our team that has stuck together and tackled each challenge with a whatever-it-takes attitude. Thank you Nestor, Blaine, Amanda, Chris (we miss you already), Patty, Kelly, Iman, Chuck, Telese, Judy, and Raham. You guys ROCK!
While we are still very much in the middle of this pandemic–how we are navigating life through it is always changing. Governor Cooper’s recent announcement about moving into Phase 2.5 brings yet another change, as gyms and fitness centers can open at 30% normal capacity (or at a limit of 7 people per 1000 square ft.).
So that brings us to a question we have been asked a lot since this order was announced:
What is Empower going to do?
Trust us, this is something we have been thinking about and preparing for since June, and we feel as though we have a thoughtful and thorough plan to ensure the safest environment possible for clients ready to come back into the studio. Let us explain a few of the details . . . and we will send a “take a virtual tour of our safe-space Studio” video with all the details soon.
We have divided our almost 6000 square foot studio into 5 private areas or “workout pods” – that can either be sectioned off by closing doors or will be divided by big moveable screens. We will invite 1 private or 2-3 semi-private clients in to train with their trainer in one of these 5 areas at a time. This will mean that you will have your own space and your own equipment for the whole appointment. In between appointments, all equipment and surfaces will be completely disinfected for the next client/s entering this area.
We will enforce the following protocol and procedures:
1. WE WILL EXCEED PRECAUTIONS Recommended by the Interim Guidance for Indoor Fitness Centers and Gyms Settings – For example under this order our studio could have 40 people inside and we will keep capacity numbers below ½ of that mark.
2. SYMPTOM CHECK FORM – We ask that you thoroughly read and agree to the following protocols that state if you have any of these symptoms or exposure risks that you will not come to the studio. Please see form here.
3. ARRIVAL – We ask that you do not enter the studio until it is time for your appointment. We will leave warm up instructions on a whiteboard and equipment, like bands and foam rollers, outside each door so you can do a dynamic warm up ahead of time if you wish. If you need to change or use the bathroom, you can come in (with a mask on) to change then please return to your car or outside to warm up until your trainer comes to get you for your appt. If there is inclement weather, please wait in your car and your trainer will help you warm up at the beginning of your appointment. Please wash your hands upon entering the studio.
4. MASKS – Masks are required to enter and leave the studio and anytime you are outside of your dedicated workout “pod.” We strongly recommend that you wear a mask or face covering the entire time, however we understand that wearing a mask while performing strenuous exercise is uncomfortable – therefore, you may remove your mask temporarily during this part of your workout. All trainers and staff will wear masks at all times.
5. BATHROOM/SHOWER AREA – Our bathrooms and shower will be open, but only for 1 person at a time. We ask that if you use the restroom for any purpose that you use the provided disinfecting wipes to wipe down any surface you touch before leaving.
6. DEPARTURE – We ask that you leave the studio pretty promptly after your appointment (with a face covering) so that your trainer can have time to prepare for the next client. We ask that you take care of appointment scheduling and payment transactions virtually – so that there is no congestion at our entrance. Please wash your hands or use hand sanitizer prior to leaving the studio.
Our team has had several meetings both virtual and in-person at the studio to review and train on all of our new policies and procedures. With all of this in place, Empower will be re-opening in this manner starting Wednesday, Sept. 9th!
We completely understand that we all have different comfort levels with returning to our “normal” activities, and we are ready and willing to meet you where you are. If you are ready to come back in to the studio under the guidelines we have described above – great! If you prefer to meet your trainer outside while the fall weather allows – great! If you are still most comfortable keeping your appointments virtual – great! We also offer concierge in-home training for the ultimate in convenience and personal attention.
With that said, please be aware that our team is going to be as flexible as possible, but with so many moving targets they may or may not be able to accommodate every schedule request. They will do the best they can and if you are having a hard time making things work with your current trainer, maybe another trainer on our team can help. Please communicate with me and Ronda about your scheduling needs – we are here to help!
As we all know, things are changing daily and we will continue to monitor local Covid numbers and adapt and adjust as necessary, but for now we are happy to see some of you in person and excited for fall fitness!