Well – the last eight weeks has been a trip, hasn’t it? The forced… adjustment… over the last little while afforded us a chance to learn, adjust, and incorporate some new elements to our memberships, both short and long term.
As a result of what we think will be the “new normal” going forward, we have made changes to our membership packages. These are:
- Only 2 (two) memberships to choose from
- Goal-Based: $49/mos for a subscription (including the True North Training Manual as well as access to both our online coaching library and “Members-Only” Facebook group)
- Customized: $99/mos for everything included in the goal-based, but with program customization (including increased accountability through weekly scheduled sessions) and up to 60mins of coaching by email, phone, or web-conference (Skype, Zoom or Facetime)
- Semi-Private: $199/mos for unlimited weekly semi-private sessions including 1 (one) Master Time, with two upgrade options: $25 for a customized program and $25 for a second Master Time (booking outside of your Master Times will continue to be a maximum of 7 days in advance)
- We will no longer offer “Kettlebell” as a separate class, rather it will be a program option
- Conditioning Class is just another session available on the schedule, rather than a unique membership
- No more “Open Gym” (it is unnecessary since you have unlimited access to the semi-private sessions)
All the above aside, there has been an exciting turn of events as of yesterday. Although we had closed down voluntarily as of March 9th (with other responsible facility owners either preceding us or following within the week), on April 20th we received a class order from the Fraser Health Authority instructing us to close the doors indefinitely. We were listening very closely as the Phased Reopening Structure was announced, and they were clearly stating that “gyms and rec centers” were not going to be allowed to open until Phase 3 (sometime between June and September). We continued to advocate for consistent application of the standards for an opening rather than an “industry-based” method, and thus we were working with the optimistic perspective that we would be allowed to open as of June 1st – as such, we placed our orders for the necessary upgrades on cleaning supplies (many of these, as you would expect, being on backorder) and laying out the modified systems and protocols for this date. So you can imagine our surprise when, at noon on Friday the 15th (the afternoon prior to a long weekend), suddenly we receive notice that we can open as of May 19th!
Nevertheless, although we can legally open on Tuesday – we’re not going to rush it and risk missing something. What we WILL do, though, is push everything that we were going to do the last week of May up to next week and open the facility on May 25th. However, in an effort to mirror the advice and example being set by the health and medical professionals globally, we are going to proceed with this opening in a controlled, cautious, and staged manner – which will mean some very noticeable changes (particularly in this first stage).
First and foremost, here is the link to the guidelines we’ll be working with. They go much more into detail, but our short-term policies and protocols are meant to address three things:
- Maintenance of social distancing
- Rigorous cleaning standards (disinfectant spray: Oxivir, and floor/turf/carpet disinfectant: ProGienics, both of which are specifically listed for use with CoVID-19)
- Accessibility to the facility
Keeping these things in mind, here is the format of our first stage – and please note, these are written with our current understanding, and some of them may change or be adjusted, some may be dropped and some others may be added.
Stage One – Initial Re-Opening (May 25th)
- May 17th to 24th, exclusive first access to Master Times offered to those who have maintained a membership with us throughout the lockdown (available times are M/T/W from 6-10 am and 4-8 pm, and Th/F from 7-11 am and 3-6 pm)
- Waving the fee for a 2nd Master Time – during this Stage only, the $199 monthly fee will give access to 2 (two) Master Times
- Sessions start at the top of the hour ONLY, and mandatory completion at 45mins to allow us 15mins to clean prior to starting of next session
- 4 separate training “pods” (A1, A2, B1, and B2) that will be completely self-contained including a small box to store shoes and keys, a mat, a spray bottle, an unused microfiber to wipe down equipment, and access to all the specific equipment necessary for that session
- When in the pods that are immediately next to another one, please ensure you are staggered at opposite ends AS WELL as in the middle to maintain the minimum 6ft of distance
- Further to the above – please make sure that you are facing the mirrors or the back wall at all times during your session, and not to the sides of your pod.
- Minimize the number of times you leave the pod to collect equipment – try to get what you need at the start, and only put it away at the end. Ensure you have sterilized the equipment BEFORE you pick it up, and do so again AFTER it is been replaced. Wear a mask when you get it, and when you are putting it away.
- Wear a mask at all times – UNLESS you are in your pod, aligned in the middle, and facing the correct directions (see above). Although you are allowed to remove the mask to train (assuming you are meeting this criterium), Fraser Health strongly recommends wearing them during the training session as well.
- Members are asked to have separate, “gym-only” footwear
- Please utilize the hand sanitizing station at the front door, prior to entering and at the back door, prior to leaving
- Follow the arrows on arrival and go straight into the gym and to your training pod – maintaining 6 feet of distance from anyone in front or behind
- Storage shelves and showers are unavailable
- Washrooms are for emergency only, will require a key (available from the coaches), and may not be used as a change room
- Enter only through the front, exit only through the back
- Equipment will receive an additional cleaning, the floor will be mopped, and touchpoints (ie. door handles) will be wiped down between EVERY session by the coaches
- There will be no equipment sharing during sessions – we have enough available for everyone to have their own
- Programs will utilize the rigs, TRXs, Sandbags (we have upgraded with 4 brand new, higher quality ones from Gopher Sport), dumbbells, benches, kettlebells, and bodyweight
- Assault bikes, rowers, sleds, barbells, large medicine balls, turf, and pulley systems are all unavailable (there are a variety of reasons, depending on the equipment – if you are curious about why please feel free to ask!)
- Conditioning Class will continue to be online-only, Saturdays at 8 am
- Since there are individual training pods, masks (thankfully) appear to be unnecessary – but in order for us to maintain OUR social distance, we will be coaching from the turf and therefore utilizing a hands-free microphone so that we can be heard
- Finally, and most importantly, please remember:
- If you have any of the following symptoms
- Cough or worsening of chronic cough
- Shortness of breath
- Sore throat
- Runny nose
- Loss of sense of smell or taste
- Loss of appetite
- Nausea and vomiting
- Muscle aches
- Stuffy nose
- Conjunctivitis (pink eye)
- Dizziness, confusion
- Abdominal pain
- Skin rashes or discoloration of fingers or toes
- Have been in contact with a confirmed case
- Or have been tested and awaiting results
Please DO NOT come in to train as doing so puts all the other members at risk.
So what are YOUR next steps?
Firstly, let us know which membership you would like going forward (ASAP!!) and fill out the updated paperwork (“Waiver” and “Terms and Conditions”). All members that have maintained an active membership through the lockdown will have the “right-to-first refusal” for all the Master Times they held prior to the closure. In other words, if you had a Master Time at 5 pm on Wednesdays, you still have it; if your Master time falls in an hour that we no longer offer (3 pm on M/T) then we will put you into the 4 pm slot; and if your Master time was in a class, then you have a Master Time in the semi-private at the same time or the closest available time slot. Then, as of May 25th, we will begin to open up the Master Times and memberships to those who are returning after a break, and/or new members.
We recognize that these represent a significant change from the past, and if you are uncomfortable with following them and do not feel ready to come back, we completely understand – but they are designed to meet or exceed the standards put forward by the health authorities and we consider them essential in balancing both access to the facility and public health and safety.
Further stages and easing/changing of these will be based on the directives put forth by our municipal, provincial, and federal governments and we will keep you updated on them as soon as we possibly can.
Thanks, everyone – let’s continue to Stay Safe and Stay Healthy while we “get back at ‘er”!
~ Guy and Sasha