When Retro Fitness was closing, staff and members alike were devastated.
“The staff, the owners, the members; everyone was really beside themselves,” said Better Lifestyle Club manager Karen Sheehan.
Then at the eleventh hour, a Retro Fitness member stepped in with some investors to save the gym, with plans to rebrand and open a fitness center dedicated to both physical and mental wel-lbeing: Better Lifestyle Club.
“They really saved the day,” added Sheehan. “The member adored the gym and couldn’t bare to see it not be here ... but he knew it needed some TLC.”
They started rebranding, adding new equipment and remodeling and in January.
Then the pandemic hit.
Despite being unable to open, Better Lifestyle Club kept moving forward, adding a member lounge with seating and WiFi, a smoothie bar, functional training turf and new, sought-after equipment such as the Hammer Strength deadlifting platform and Maxxus Hack Squat.
The gym floor was also rearranged by an architect to create workout zones organizing equipment by body part.
Better Lifestyle Club opened Aug. 26 and is following all CDC guidelines. Each exercise machine has its own cleaning materials attached, six foot distancing is set up, merv 13 air filters have been installed, and sanitizer and masks are available.
In addition to gym equipment, the fitness center also offers personal training services and classes such as yoga, spin, and boot camp. It will soon be offering child care.
When members enter the gym, they have their temperatures checked, fill out a screening form, and a staff member explains how to use the gym during the new normal — reminding members to keep six-foot distances from one another, clean equipment before and after use, and to wear a mask at all times.
Members have been happy to comply with the new rules, including the requirement to wear a mask the entire time they’re working out.
“People are so excited to be back, they’re like: ‘I will do anything to keep this gym open,’” said Sheehan.