SHERIDAN — With physical distancing, closure of businesses and recommendations to stay home, daily routines like going to the gym have been interrupted. Gym members no longer executed their daily workout or attended fitness classes.
For the first week of adhering to the physical distancing recommendations, Lesley Thompson sat at home, unable to continue her normal routine or attend classes at PURENERGY Fitness.
When PURENERGY Fitness owner Caryn Moxey offered a barbell and weight to use while the gym was closed, Thompson immediately accepted the offer and has worked out every day since.
Thompson and other PURENERGY members received workouts online, either from the business’s Facebook page or following along in live workouts through Zoom or Facetime. Following a video posted of trainer Monique Golinvaux demonstrating a workout routine, Thompson is able to complete a workout with nearly the same intensity because of the equipment loaned to her.
“Being able to still do some of these things at home via the virtual videos that they’re putting on is almost like being in the gym. It has been amazing,” Thompson said.
The only difference is no direct connection between instructors and their class. Moxey said instructors demonstrate the proper form and participants need to follow the best they can.
PUREENERGY Fitness and Cloud Peak Crossfit owners loaned out equipment to members, allowing them to keep their workouts going.
The plan is once everything returns to normal, the equipment will be returned, Moxey said. RTX bands were also loaned to PURENERGY members, and Moxey posts videos for RTX classes.
Cloud Peak Crossfit owner Seth Larson said he allowed members to take basic equipment such as medicine balls, kettlebells and free weights home with them to continue workouts on their own.
Thompson said continuing with workouts has allowed some normalcy to return to her life during this time. Going to the gym has been her routine, along with other members she sees at the variety of classes she attends.
“When you get into the routine of working out, I think for mental health it is just as important as physical health,” Larson said.
Working out is a big part of his own mental health, and Larson works out multiple times a day to help maintain his sanity while he is away from the gym.
Working out provides healthy benefits, an outlet and form of meditation.
Victoria Gray attended yoga at PURENERGY taught by Asia Stockwell twice a week. The sessions allowed Gray to have peace, a clear mind and focus for the rest of the day. It was a period of internal reflection, Gray said.
She followed along a yoga class posted on YouTube, but Gray did not have the same personal relationship with the random instructor as she has with Stockwell. Gray said she enjoys the way Stockwell teaches her yoga classes.
Then, Stockwell posted one of her yoga classes to the PURENERGY Facebook page. Gray said it felt like a normal class.
Digital platforms have played a huge role in distributing and receiving information from gym members. Larson and Moxey both post workouts on their Facebook pages or websites.
Larson even receives workouts created by other members and will share them with everyone else.
Creating workouts is usually his job, and Larson looks forward to adding new varieties once everything returns to normal. Larson said he has helped adjust workouts to match the equipment available to different members at their own home.
Moxey said personal trainers have teletrained with clients, utilizing Zoom and Facetime to administer and adjust workouts.
Digital platforms help keep the gym community connected and accountability strong.
Larson said when someone posts about a workout, it can help motive other members to make sure they put their own work in for the day or possibly infuse guilt into those who thought about slacking off.
Larson said he feels part of the draw to Cloud Peak is that members know each other. Larson has made friendships through the gym and has seen people that would not normally cross paths interact.
Seeing posts online can help keep members accountable, especially those who need it, Moxey said.
The gyms may be empty, but health communities still work toward their fitness goals during an unprecedented time.