Reopening New Jersey: Hoboken gyms allowed to hold outdoor workout classes next week

HOBOKEN, New Jersey (WABC) -- Gyms aren't cleared to open yet in New Jersey, but starting next week, Hoboken gyms are allowed to hold outdoor workout classes.

At Hudson River Athletics, they are trying to figure out what the gym will look like when they can finally reopen again. One idea is using socially distanced boxes.

"In each square everyone will have their own trash can, their own little Lysol wipes, and all the equipment will stay in there so, there's less chance of cross-contaminating from class to class," gym owner Jay Wein said.

But what about all the things your sweaty hands grip? Like weights, medicine balls, ropes, rings -- that's a lot of touching and a lot of sweat.

"Normally we have hour-long classes, we're gonna probably shorten those to about 40-45 minutes and create a bigger time window in between classes which will give us time to disinfect everything after each class," Wein said.

But will it be enough to bring back fitness buffs?

Wein doesn't have to answer that just yet, because as of now, gyms in Hoboken have no idea when they can reopen.

But starting next week he'll be able to use outdoor spaces, including almost half of the Sinatra Soccer Field.

Classes will be capped at 15 students, socially distanced. It will be a little bit different, like everything else these days, but at least they'll have something to look at.

"At the times that we got selected for which is about 5-6:30 during that sunset time, I think it's gonna be wonderful," Wein said.

That is one of two park spaces the gym has been permitted to use starting Monday after Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla signed an executive order.

"Allocating space for outdoor classes provides an added option for safe and socially distanced workouts that makes the best possible use of our public space," Bhalla said.

It's a move Wein is grateful for.

So is this the future of working out? Small groups outside and less people inside with designated spaces?

"I think that anyone that tells you that they know is, they're just taking a guess at it," Wein said. "I mean I know a lot of mentors that I work with think it's gonna stay virtual. I think it depends on where you are. I think it might be a little hybrid of a virtual, maybe smaller group classes. But I think it depends on your community and your demographic and your location."

He's just anxious for the day he can open up these doors again and try to figure it out.


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