PARSIPPANY, NJ—There are workouts, and then there’s CrossFit. There are gyms, and then there’s Parsippany’s Crossfit Clan, a group of dedicated people who have refused to allow the global pandemic to get in the way of their fitness goals.
When gyms and other nonessential businesses shut down last March, Axel Sanchez, Director of Operations at CrossFit Clan, knew his clients weren’t going to just sit around and wait. Sanchez, who has been in the fitness industry for more than 12 years, knew his CrossFit community would need workouts.
The studio tried what most other gyms and trainers tried—they started holding classes online via Zoom. It worked for some gyms, but not CrossFit Clan.
“At CrossFit, when you look to your left and your right when you’re working out,” said Sanchez, “the person next to you is motivating you to get through the workout. So on Zoom, the energy isn’t really the same. It’s hard translating that energy through a screen.”
When clients found the Zoom energy lacking and the weather warming, Sanchez had an idea: Outdoor workouts in CrossFit Clan’s parking lot. The clients flocked to the sessions.
In the interim, Sanchez prepared the inside part of the business for the eventual return of indoor workouts. It turned to be more time-consuming and costly than expected.
“We marked social-distance spaces on the floors,” Sanchez said, “we have to wipe down everything anyone touches, and we have even more rigid cleaning standards than we had before. It was an adjustment.”
Sanchez said the studio does temperature checks and clients must fill out a digital health questionnaire before coming to work out. Classes are capped at 15 people. He added that clients seem to enjoy working out outdoors, but that could change when the weather gets colder.
“When the weather is off,” he said, “we can come in use the space in the inside to do pull-ups and things like that. We make sure we divide it into heats and make sure everybody kind of has their own spot to do their own work. When we’re done, we spray everything down.”
Sanchez said the studio has excellent air flow from two overhead door that can open, and that he’s not overly anxious about contracting coronavirus. There is one worry he does have, though.
“I would perceive myself to be like in a healthy individual and I work out and stuff like that,” he said. “My major concern would be, because covid will sometimes lay dormant, exposing someone else.”
Sanchez said the studio has lost some members, but most have come back, and there have even been some new faces. He thinks he knows why his clientele are so loyal.
“Even people that were still nervous to come back kind of felt like they were still missing being around this environment,” he said. “I think people were really missing that piece of their day.”
This article originally appeared on the Parsippany Patch