Gym goer, owner, weigh in on new restrictions to take effect tomorrow

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Like restaurants and bars, gyms were struggling to survive before new restrictions were announced this week that go into effect Friday evening.

Sarah Friend says after hearing about the new gym restrictions, she tried to think of solutions, but fell short.

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“I don’t have control over this, so I’m going to have to make it work,” Friend says.

The restrictions will include reducing capacity to 33-percent, requiring masks at all times, and eliminating group workout classes.

“I hope we can all come together and figure out something that works because it’s not only important for us and our health and wellness, but it’s important for these owners.”

Friend says she values her gym, all three of them –  Aspire Fitness, CSS Wellness, and Orange Theory in Lexington, the latter she frequents often because it offers group classes.

She says the motivation she gets from group exercise is unmatched, and as a mother of two young girls, it’s a needed escape.

“I’m a competitive person, so that competition within group fitness, and really instructors knowing what I was capable of and pushing me to that next level,” Friend says.

Brian Leggett, owner of CSS Wellness, says he hears this often.

“Every day it seems like somebody is telling me how much they don’t like working out at home, and I completely understand, I get it,” Leggett says.

He made the decision to stop group classes when the pandemic first hit in March, opting instead for virtual sessions on YouTube.

“Home workouts are not ideal, but it at least gives people the opportunity to continue to go and have some kind of community feel.”

Leggett says only 10 people are allowed in the gym, by appointment only. He says he knows challenging days are ahead, especially requiring gym goers to keep their masks on, but he hopes for the best.

“Find a way, any way, to keep the community together,” Leggett says. “Everything is so divided, but we just have to keep doing what we need to do in order to move forward.”

Friend echoes that, saying we’re all in this together.

“We all need each other right now and we need to make this work.”

In an Instagram post, Orange Theory says it will make a slight shift in class structure.