'Social fitnessing' starts Wednesday at local fitness centers

Fitness centers, like Anytime Fitness, can reopen at 25% capacity on Wednesday, June 10. Different businesses are adapting various guidelines for the reopening. (Tribune file photo)

If your personal fitness took a break during the pandemic, or the hot weather is making your run outside a little too sweaty, you can transfer back to doing your workouts inside your favorite fitness center on Wednesday, June 10.

"We're very, very excited to begin to serve our members again," Peter Jacobson, the CEO of the Detroit Lakes Community and Cultural Center said in a phone interview on Monday, June 8.

Fitness centers like the DLCCC have been closed since March 17 under Gov. Tim Walz's executive order 20-04. On Friday, June 5, the governor announced that fitness centers could reopen at 25% capacity June 10.

Peter Jacobson has been the DLCCC CEO since October 2019, according to a previous Tribune article. (Courtesy photo)


Jacobson said that they don't plan to open everything at once at the DLCCC. Instead, after talking to different fitness businesses in other states, they made a plan to open in phases over the next few days and weeks.

"Our first phase ... we'll have some modification to our hours," he said. "Our services will be more limited to cardio and strength training exercise equipment in the facility." He added that the group exercise classes will continue to be outdoors for now.

The second phase, opening locker rooms and the pool, starts on Monday, June 15. The reopening of the backyard and kid zone is a later phase that doesn't have a date yet, Jacobson said.

For Wednesday, Jacobson explained that members will find spaced out equipment and additional cleaning supplies around the center. Free weights, mats, workout balls and similar equipment will all still be available.

"We expect people to wipe down equipment after they use it and then we will have staff that will be wiping down equipment on and off during the day," he said.

While Anytime Fitness is not opening in phases, instead opening right at 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday, the plan there is very similar to the DLCCC. Alicia Lokken, one of the owners, said that classes will continue to be held outdoors or virtually, extra cleaning supplies will be available and members will have full access to equipment.

"It's going to be a lot of personal responsibility from our members to clean equipment before and after," Lokken said in a phone interview on Monday, June 8.

Like the DLCCC, machines there are also spaced out and if someone is using a cardio machine, the one next to it cannot be used, Lokken said. Equipment also cannot be shared.


"If you're using one piece of equipment, you're using one piece of equipment," she said. "We're social fitnessing, that's what we're calling it."

Alicia Lokken, one of the owners of Anytime Fitness in Detroit Lakes, said that they will still accept new members at the business when it reopens on Wednesday, June 10. "It’s a great opportunity for people that had time to think about their health when everything was shut down," she said. (Tribune file photo)

CrossFit adjusts classes

Since the Detroit Lakes CrossFit facility runs on a class basis, owner Joe Lindgaard had to make adjustments that were a little different from the DLCCC and Anytime Fitness.

"We've kind of just changed operations to keep social distancing in mind," he said in a phone interview on Monday, June 8.

Instead of class participants sharing equipment and moving around the space together, Lindgaard created designated locations and pre-set equipment for each person.

"We've basically put 10 square boxes on the floor, so that's your box you stay in," he said, explaining that they will be sticking close to 10 total class participants. "We'll have equipment pre-set out for you."

After each class, all of the equipment will be sanitized. If there's a situation where equipment does need to be shared, it will also be cleaned between every use, Lindgaard said.


"We're excited to get back to a little bit of normal," he said.

"We’re excited to get back to a little bit of normal. Obviously normal doesn’t quite look the same," said Joe Lindgaard, owner of CrossFit Detroit Lakes. (Courtesy photo)

Operating at 25% capacity

While Lindgaard could have more than 10 people in the CrossFit classes, he plans to stay close to that number for now.

"Our big plan is to make sure that we have enough space," he said.

He'll listen to member feedback and if classes start to fill up, Lindgaard said he's willing to add more class times. They also offer one-on-one classes, which new members have to do anyways he said, so he plans to give his members options.

"We're just going to tiptoe into the waters," Lindgaard said. "There's not really a playbook for this one."

Due to the size of the DLCCC, Jacobson wasn't sure what the exact number was for 25% of the building's capacity.


"We're fortunate to have a very large fitness facility," he said. "I don't anticipate that it's (the capacity restriction) going to be an issue."

Since there are different areas in the building, Jacobson said that they are splitting the 25% capacity rule into those areas. For example, only 25% of the max amount of people can be in the pool and only 25% can be in the fitness area.

Anytime Fitness has the opposite problem: Only 21 people, members and employees combined, are allowed inside at once.

"There will be 21 slots on our blackboard and if there's a slot open, they can put their name in there and then they can go workout," Lokken said, explaining how she planned to organize the capacity. "It's (workout time) set at 90 minutes max."

As members leave, they'll wipe their name off the board so that another person can take their place. To keep as much space as possible open, Lokken said that they're asking members not to bring their kids or guest. She expects the board to be full during peak hours between 4-6 a.m. and 4-6 p.m.

"We’re super excited for everyone to be able to step foot into their gym again. We just ask that everyone have patience as we go through this new territory," Lokken said.

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