It’s been a tumultuous few days for small gym owners in Vancouver but it never hurts to maintain a bit of perspective and I think that we can agree that there are bigger problems in the world than “Can I access a barbell of not?”

Allowing that this is not the most critical challenge faced by human beings in our lifetime, I will provide you this status update on where we are at with gym reopening:

1) We are aware that some gyms have converted all group class times to open gyms in order to continue providing members access to the gym and gym equipment.  We are willing to go this route if necessary but you and I both know that enforcing safety standards and member spacing is much better achieved in a coached group class setting than in an open gym format.
Last night Sprite covered my 5pm Zoom class so that I could spend the afternoon and evening fully attacking the question of reopening and here is my progress report to date:

2) Two of our intrepid medical professionals shared a reference from an internal memo that provided the email contact that businesses are supposed to submit their updated COVID-19 Safety Plans to in order to get approval to reopen.  Based on the existing guidelines for our industry I spent the afternoon redrafting our COVID-19 Safety Plan and submitted it to the address provided.  We have so far received no response.  Given that this email has not yet been publicly released, I am not surprised.

3) Two more of our medical professionals reached out to Dr. Patricia Daly our Local Health Authority who confirmed receipt of our email to her and also expressed dissatisfaction with Bonnie Henry’s weekend imposed guidelines.  Dr. Daly is aware of and sympathetic to our predicament.  She no doubt has a lot on her plate these days but our current plight is on her radar.

4) Last night I had a phone conversation with our MLA’s office and they will be following up on our concerns in the coming days.

5) In the midst of writing this blog I received a call from our Local Health Authority.  They are sympathetic to our situation and powerless under the circumstances as they are subject to the Provincial Health Authority guidelines just as we are.  They do not feel Vancouver Coastal Health Region is facing the same level of risk as neighboring regions but we are all subject to the same restrictions.  They have not yet finalized their updated COVID-19 Safety Plan approval process and it is not yet public so our application may be among the first they receive (they confirmed the email above to which our plan has already been submitted).  They are currently awaiting for the Fraser Health Authority to finalize their approval process at which time the process and guidelines will be made public.  In the Vancouver Coastal Health region small gyms have done a good job of limiting COVID-19 transmission.  The few cases they had which required gym shut downs (including a few CrossFit gyms) primarily occurred outside the gym when members were talking to one another before or after class.  Obviously this is a safety item we have and will be expected to address in our updated plan.

Thank you to everyone who has contacted their MLA on our behalf or emailed Doctors Daly and Henry in regards to this matter.  Every email sent puts us closer to reopening.  We will allow until the end of the week for matters to progress with hopes of resuming Group Classes with the Health Authority’s blessings by Monday.  If our updated safety plan has not received official approval by the close of the business day Friday, we will reopen Monday offering open gym only with no group classes.  Either way, we expect to see most of you back in the gym next week.

Here’s what we do know right now:

1) Our contractor will not be available for the rig reconfiguration until December so we will use the current gym layout for the remainder of November.

2) We will be facing more stringent occupancy restrictions.  We will be reduced to 7 stations (only 5 with pull up bar access) with no flexibility for accommodating wait listers inside the gym.  As ever, we will be happy to provide Zoom and outdoor workout alternatives for those unable to get into the class.  There will be a few stations that can accommodate 2-3 members of the same household and we hope that couples/families sharing will help a few more people access each class and provide valuable bonding time for people who’ve been locked into one another’s presence for  a good part of 2020:P

3) We will be imposing far stricter measures to reduce movement throughout the gym.  Stations will each be equipped with exercise equipment and members will not be allowed to wander the gym looking for other equipment.  We realize that not every station will be equipped with every desired item.  You will get what you get.  It will not be perfect and you may need to improvise or go a bit heavier or lighter than you sometimes would like to.  In some cases coaches will be able to bring you the equipment items you need but that will not always be the case. Adaptability will continue to be the theme of 2020.

The Touch and I spent some time this morning laying out and taping off the new stations and while we acknowledge they are not perfect, we generally prefer the layout.  We have lost one pull up station but have dramatically improved the spacing between stations and increased the safe, open travel space to access the stations.

This week has been frustrating and marked by uncertainty but there really are worse problems in the world.  Enjoy your week of Zoom, we hope to see you back in the gym on Monday and will send you the updated guidelines over the weekend.

Remembrance Day WOD
Today’s WOD begins and ends with 2 minutes of silence, in the spirit of this day, please be respectful in observing this.  You can use this moment of silence to remember those who have died in service to our country and consider your answer to the question of the day: Why are you thankful to be Canadian/live in Canada?

Equipment: Kettlebell or dumbbell or backpack, a timer for your 2 minute holds.

Warm Up
2 Rounds Yoga Flow

Plank Hold
Burpee or Reverse Burpee
Kettlebell Swing or Dumbbell Swing or Backpack Swing 
Push Up or V-Sit ups
Goblet Squat
Wall Sit

Hero WOD Bauer
2 minute Elbow Plank (in silence)
13 Burpees
18 Kettlebell Swings (50/35 lb)
31 Push-Ups
53 Goblet Squats (50/35 lb)
53 Burpees
31 Kettlebell Swings (50/35 lb)
18 Push-Ups
13 Goblet Squats (50/35 lb)
2 minute Wall Sit (in silence)

1) Kettlebells: You will not need much equipment for this one, for swings and goblet squats you can substitute with a dumbbell or a backpack or even a weight plate if it has a handle you can hold.  Please do not go overhead in the swings if your implement is not safe to do so or the ceiling height is too low.

2) Burpees: If you have a shoulder injury you may substitute reverse burpees

3) Push Ups: If push ups cause you shoulder pain you can substitute with V-Sit Ups

Cool Down
1 min Scap Rock
1 min Hands & Knees Rock
1 min Hamstring Rock
1 min Pigeon Rock