The Reopening Checklist

When you reopen your gym, it won’t look the same as it did on March 1. You might be wearing masks. You’ll probably have limited class sizes. You’re going to be a full-time cleaner. You might have to enforce rules you didn’t have to enforce before.

For those reasons, many gym owners are waiting a little longer to open. But most of us can’t wait to throw open the doors and start fresh. So I asked all Two-Brain gym owners who have reopened for their reopening checklists—and what they’d do differently.
Below, you’ll find their answers.


Before Reopening


Make sure you have these supplies:

-An infrared no-touch thermometer.

-Painters tape to grid your gym floor.

-Terry towels to use to clean equipment.

-Multipurpose cleaner.

-Hand sanitizer.

-Paper towels and toilet paper.

-Disinfectant wipes.

-Rubber gloves to wear while cleaning the gym.


-Send out a detailed email about your cleaning protocol and what you expect from members upon returning. Ask if they’re ready to return. Here’s a sample email from Ric Thompson at CrossFit PTC: Click here.

-Ask your coaches if they’re ready to return yet. If they’re not, don’t force them to.

-Freshen up your gym. Get the HVAC on.

-Clean the toilets.

-Post needed signage. Over-communicate the new rules.

-Write your new cleaning standard operating procedures for your staff.

-Stock up on masks and cleaning supplies.

-Leave time to take client and coach temperatures before classes.

-Be prepared for some backlash from other businesses and the community (and maybe your gym members) for opening.

-Are you going to have your members sign up online? If so, have they done it in the past? Do they know how to do it? Make sure everyone knows and can navigate your procedures.

-Call your cleaning company and see how soon it can come back to clean the gym.

-Did you loan out equipment? If so, start asking for it back or figure what you have to use for the workout in the gym. Some imagined it all coming back at one time and didn’t think of it coming back in phases. Some people are going to come back later in the month, so plan for that.

-Budget some time to do maintenance on returned equipment because it might need some care and cleaning.

-Don’t forget to restock your merchandise.

-Consider your programming—most people haven’t been using a barbell or doing pull-ups.

-Do a full boot up of all systems (check updates).

-Update your membership system to reflect new RSVP policies and class sizes.

-Restock all retail.

-Advise members again of the new requirements before they arrive.

-Remind coaches why you’re taking these precautions.

-Get your game face on. You’re going to have to work harder to make this fun!


Reopening Day

-Mark out spaces for clients to use in advance. Place equipment in each space before they arrive to avoid crowding at racks. Send a printout of the workout in advance to avoid meetings at the whiteboard.

-Add at least 30 minutes between classes to minimize cross-contamination and give you time for cleaning and setup.

-Close your bathrooms and showers.

-You will have to clean every piece of equipment after every use, and clients can’t share equipment.

-Take away the communal chalk bucket.

-Eliminate movements where it’s hard to distance people.

-Make a huge show of cleaning before, during and after classes. Even if you were sparkling clean before, perception is everything. Make sure people see you cleaning.


Reopening: After Class

-Post pictures that clearly demonstrate safe distancing and clean use. Share only on “insider” channels, not publicly.

-Avoid arguments with people who don’t think you should be open yet. You can’t win arguments online, but you can lose them.

-Clean everything from top to bottom. Not your normal “flick off the sweat drops and tidy the dumbbells.”

-Clean everything like your mom and dad will be checking your work later.

-Get ready for the next class.


Reopening: After Day 1

-At the end of your first day, sit down with your new standard operating procedures and update them for the following day. What went well? What could be improved? Consider this a quick after-action report, and send it to your staff in shorthand.

-Finally, check in with all members who attended. Did they like it? Will they continue to attend in person or would they rather wait?
The best “reopening” won’t come down to government decision or even science.

It will all come down to public opinion. True leadership won’t be measured by how quickly a gym closed but by how carefully it reopens.


One more thing!

Did you know gym owners can earn $100,000 a year with no more than 150 clients? We wrote a guide showing you exactly how.