Lissette Mendoza | Signal Tribune
After over 80 days of being closed due to the Coronavirus pandemic, local gym Los Amigos Strength and Fitness has officially opened back up and wants to reassure the community that they are taking extra precautions amidst the coronavirus for their members.
Since Los Amigos Strength and Fitness is located in Signal Hill, they follow LA County guidelines rather than Long Beach’s.
To ensure social distancing, Los Amigos Strength and Fitness owners Sandy Bond and Carlos Cuevas have implemented the following:
• Everybody has to be at least six feet apart. While the gym used to be arranged in an “open turf” style, small cones will now mark a total of 8 individually marked workout spaces to ensure they are six feet apart.
• Those exercising don’t have to wear their masks but the coaches Sandy and Carlos will.
• Reservations must be made in advance to attend a class to make sure that there will be proper spacing. No more than eight people will be allowed to participate in a class at one time.
• No shared equipment. Every member will be provided their own sanitized equipment while in class.
• People will have to come in and go out one specific way, so people don’t cross each other’s paths, keeping social distancing in mind.
• Sanitizing of equipment between each class is being implemented.
Members are still able to have personal training sessions, they will just be scheduled so that they are separate from the group classes.
Prior to their sessions ending, the coaches also ask that members disinfect the equipment they used with a hospital-grade cleaning solution and towels that are provided to every participant separately in their own exercise “box”.
“Anything you touch, you need to clean,” Bond said.
They also sanitize after each class and once a week will do a “fogger” to sanitize their entire building when nobody is in it. Towels will be washed in hot water with a sanitizing solution as they previously have been.
“They still can get a great workout here, there’s nothing stopping them, they still have the equipment to use, they have the workout and they have a trainer to be able to show them what to do,” Bond said.
The group workouts consist of an overall body workout, focusing on both upper and lower body, some cardio, mobility stretches and a cooldown.
“We want them to relax and realize that they’re okay and that this will pass, we’re in this together,” Bond said.
Los Amigos had to completely adapt to a virtual system in order for their business to survive, since they couldn’t step foot into the gym due to strict public health guidelines that were put in place three months ago, forcing them to close on March 17.
“We never would have imagined that it would be this long,” Chavez said.
They held virtual classes over Zoom everyday for three months, however many of the gym’s members ended up dropping their membership due to the gym’s closure.
“Unfortunately we lost a lot of our members because they weren’t coming, you know, they didn’t feel it was fair to pay, which we understood.”
They had then intended to open the last week of May after Governor Newsom announced that gyms would be allowed to reopen with restrictions, but then the protests and eventual riots occurred, stalling the reopening of many businesses .
“It’s a scary time for gym owners especially because, except for the nail salons, we were the last ones to open up,” said Cuevas.
Estimated costs range from $100 to $165 per month. The exact amount depends on the type of membership and how many days in a week members are committed to coming in, which can go from twice a week to unlimited. There are month-to-month memberships available, as well as yearly memberships.
Although they may be more expensive than the monthly costs at bigger gyms like Crunch at 4280 Long Beach Blvd, which ranges monthly from $14.95 to $29.95, or LA Fitness which ranges from $19.99 to $32.99 with an additional initiation fee, Bond says, “you pay for what you get.”
While Los Amigos has implemented social distancing requirements like the ones listed previously, the Signal Tribune reached out to a representative from Crunch who listed their own guidelines which are less strict than those at Los Amigos:
• Requiring every member to walk in and walk out wearing a mask. Masks are optional during vigorous workouts.
• Cardio machines are marked off so that people can only use every other one.
• Sanitizing wipes are provided and people are encouraged to sanitize equipment and machines before and after they are used.
• Guests from the same household can workout together otherwise everyone is encouraged to maintain their social distance.
• Employees will be sanitizing the gym on an hourly basis.
One of the major differences between big, corporate gyms and smaller, locally owned gyms, is the connection the owners have with their members.
“You’re paying for the care that you’re going to get, not just a workout, we sit down with people to find out what’s going on, we treat them like our family, we want you to be safe,” Bond said.
“Big corporate gyms, they’re run by a large domain, they do not know what’s going on, this is our life here, we have a community,” added Cuevas.
Los Amigos Strength and Fitness Gym is located at 3299 E. Hill St. at Hathaway Business Park in Signal Hill. To contact Los Amigos Strength and Fitness call or visit them on their official Instagram @losamigostrengthandfitness.