It's been more than a year since indoor group fitness classes have been allowed in the city, but Monday, eager New Yorkers, stood six feet apart at Barry’s Bootcamp in Chelsea, to sweat it out together once again.

What You Need To Know

  • Indoor fitness classes officially can resume in the city Monday

  • Among other safety precautions, capacity is capped at 33%

  • Barry's Bootcamp is one studio that reopened first thing Monday morning

“They couldn’t do more precautions, and it’s good to be back," said Greg Bokar on his way out of the first class of the day.

The workouts returned to this Chelsea gym on Monday with safety mandates issued by the state.

Studio capacity is capped at 33%, everyone has to a wear face covering and socially distance, along with other safety protocols. For those who came to sweat, a temperature check was required as was registering for contact tracing. 

It was all worth it to some who were ready to get out of their home workout routine.

"For me, working and sleeping, and eating, and working out all in the exact same small apartment in New York, it’s just not motivating for me. So coming back to a class like this is great," said Melissa Watt.

At Barry's, which offers classes that mix treadmill cardio and strength training, the safety precautions include no shared equipment and new choreography to avoid people moving around too much. The company, which has more than 75 locations across the world, has been offering at-home streaming options like many other studios, and even outdoor classes, but instructors said they’re glad to be back to what they’re known for.

“I think it does a lot not only for your health, physically, but it's also just mental, being open with someone else, being able to look someone in the eye and not a computer screen anymore and feed off the energy in the room," said eight-year employee Mike Espinosa.

Normally, the studio would be packed with 60 people, now though only 17 are allowed. The first classes all booked up immediately and there was a waitlist.

Even with all the precautions though, city health officials have expressed concerns about resuming these in person fitness classes, given the confined space and possible heavy breathing as worrisome COVID variants continue to spread.


Barry’s vice president of east coast operations, Dustin Martin, said a lot is taken into consideration.

“I understand the concerns," he said. "But I think we’ve also done a great job operating in other cities across the country successfully and safely.”