You heard about Atilis. That's the gym in Bellmawr that has consistently defied emergency executive orders regarding the spread of novel coronavirus. The owners refused to stay closed, they took their case to court, they refused to go along with the court's decision and were charged with obstruction, and most recently broke through the plywood the government used to shutter their business.

Then there's OVOX in Marlboro. This gym is doing everything it can to stay in business but also keep people safe. If you haven't heard as much about them, it's because owner Stu Rosenstein didn't seek cameras or attention, just a solution to a problem. He put his 35 years experience to work and took a long look at his adjacent parking lot.

"I looked at the parking lot like I look at a gym floor," he told the Asbury Park Press. He put up a giant open air canopy to accommodate outdoor workouts which is perfectly within the rules. He methodically selected the right equipment to give people a full body workout with the kind of resistance equipment to work body parts not that easy to work at home. People were lined up before 8 am Friday for the chance to workout for the first time since March.

Gym users are given a wristband to show that their temperature was checked. No one with a temperature above 100.4 is allowed. Masks are required at all times except for while exercising. And they're strict about it. If you're lifting for example, you can keep the mask off your mouth and nose but even in the short rest periods in between you're required to put it back on. Each guest is given a COVID-19-killing disinfectant and is required to use it to wipe everything down after use. Then staff even disinfects the bottles of disinfectant. Even though it's all open air beneath a canopy, Rosenstein has also put in plexiglass barriers in between treadmills and ellipticals.

It's nice to see gym owners thinking outside the box and figuring out ways to be successful during this once in a lifetime pandemic. This is one gym I hope remains profitable.

For more info on OVOX gym check out their website here.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminski. Any opinions expressed are Jeff Deminski's own.


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