Paul Kostas is ready to train again.
He is the director of Personal Training at Brooklyn Athletic Club in Williamsburg, one of hundreds of gyms in the city getting ready to reopen to clients for the first time in nearly six months.
"They definitely want to exercise. They value their health. They want to be healthy and protect themselves," Kostas said.
Wednesday night, there was a short line - but a line nonetheless - outside Planet Fitness in Astoria as members waited patiently to return to the gym for the first time.
“I’ve been waiting for this for a while now,” said one member.
“It’s been a long time without the gyms, so we are excited to get back here,” said another.
The line outside was, in part, due to the steady stream of New Yorkers making their return gyms across the city. It was also the result of new safety protocols, which were listed right at the door.
Gyms statewide were ordered to shut their doors back in March as a precaution against the coronavirus. Now, they are one of the last businesses allowed to reopen.
Required precautions include limiting capacity to 33%, requiring everyone to wear masks, upgrading ventilation, checking temperatures at the door and social distancing.
One father accompanied his son to Planet Fitness to make sure protocols were being followed.
“I’m going to just check to see if it's safe and let him go on,” the father said.
At Brooklyn Athletic Club, they plan to follow the required precautions, and more.
"You're booking in advance, we spaced out the equipment. So we removed more than half of our cardio equipment, so we only have about six or eight pieces of cardio equipment upstairs now, 90 minute slots, and we put the capacity of 10 people on the first floor and 10 people on the second floor with 90 minute interval," said the gym's director Larry Betz.
They also plan to have 15 minute intervals between clients to clean the entire space. Deep cleaning will be done every afternoon and evening as well.
But even with all the new protocols, they’re not expecting a rush of people coming to sweat it out.
"Everybody has a different comfort level," Betz said. "So if you're comfortable coming back in, please we've done everything we can, if you're on the fence, schedule a tour and see what we've done."
And for those who are not gung-ho about wearing a mask while working out...
"We're professionals. We can help you augment your workouts so you're not exerting yourself so hard, while still getting results while wearing a mask," Kostas said.
Group fitness classes are still not allowed indoors in the city, Brooklyn Athletic Club here plans to continue holding outdoor classes in the meantime, but like many businesses, it hopes plans come into place for that next step.