Gym Owner's Guide to Re-Opening After COVID-19

“Should I keep running my Zoom classes when my physical location opens back up?” 

“How many members should I allow per class?”

“What kind of workouts should I program for the first few weeks back?”

If you’re a gym owner and you’ve been asking yourself any of these questions, this blog post is for you. There’s an overwhelming amount of information being put out right now about how to re-open fitness businesses and one thing seems clear - there is no “right answer”. No one has gone through this before and every gym is in a unique situation (location, member base, facility size, etc.). 

That said, there are a few common challenges that it seems (almost) every gym owner is facing right now:

  1. How to manage class sizes & reservations 
  2. What kind of workouts to program
  3. How to maintain a profitable business through all these changes

While some of this advice is tactical ‘how-to’ for gym owners using Wodify Core, we hope that everyone can find value in the tips & resources shared below, regardless of the software you’re using.

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How to Manage Class Sizes, Reservations, and Waitlists

Let’s start with the most exciting topic - configuring your membership management system to accommodate new class sizes! Even if you have a large facility and have never had to cap classes before, you’re likely going to be implementing restrictions on the number of members that can join each class. 

With Wodify, we make it easy to limit class sizes and provide flexible options for reservation settings. Here’s how:

Class Attendance Limits

In your Wodify Core admin, head over to Classes > List > Recurring to view a list of your recurring classes templates. 

Within each template, update the ‘class limit’ next to the days of the week the class is offered. Here, you can also determine if you’ll allow drop-ins and free trials to attend these classes. Note: drop-ins and free trials also count against your class limit. 

Letting people reserve their spot ahead of time

Wodify Reservation Settings
Reservation window settings

Once you’ve added class limits, you’ll have the option to configure the class’s reservation hours under the ‘Reservations’ section of the recurring class template -  when do reservations open and close, along with what is considered a ‘late cancellation’. 

Waitlists for classes

Since you’ll likely be limiting your class attendance, it's a best practice to enable waitlists to ensure you end up with full classes if some members have to cancel! This option allows athletes without a reservation for a full class to be notified if a spot opens up or to be automatically added. You can learn more about the 2 waitlist options Wodify offers here.

Click here for full step-by-step instructions on managing your class attendance limits, reservations hours and waitlists.

Daily Reservation Limit

To limit the number of reservations members are able to have in one day for each program and location, be sure to set a ‘Daily Reservation Limit’.

More tips on setting up your classes:

  • Consider offering 45 or 30 minute classes to allow for more time to clean equipment and maximize the total number of people who can come to clases in a day.
  • Make sure your members are still logging their workout results and interacting with each other through the digital whiteboard - it’s a great way to keep your community engaged!

Programming workouts for a safe return to fitness 

Another important consideration while getting ready to open your doors again is what your programming will look like. Here are some resources to guide you in how to offer the kind of workouts your members missed, while keeping them safe and slowly getting back to the highest intensity workouts. 


The team at The NCFIT Collective are no strangers to programming. This free one week sample of progressions is designed to take athletes from LOW INTENSITY, LIGHTER LOADS, and SLOW TEMPOS back to HIGH INTENSITY, HEAVIER LOADS, and FASTER TEMPOS.

Download here -> NCFIT REBUILD 1 Week Sample

Active Life Return to CrossFit 

The coaches at Active Life are experts are helping people recover from injuries, so they naturally have excellent advice on programming for people coming back to the gym. Check out their strategies and sample workouts below.

Download here -> Active Life Return to CrossFit 

Keeping Your Business Profitable (and additional resources)

After you’ve made changes to your classes & programming and communicated that to all of your members; you’re next challenge is to plan for the future and make sure your business continues to maintain and grow revenue & profits. 

As a first step, you should assess the current state of your key business metrics. Wodify users, a good place to start is the Business Health Dashboard, which shows you many of the most important indicators of your business at a glance. You'll want to have a solid understanding of your new monthly revenue, costs, active members, and what your financial outlook is for the rest of 2020. 

From there, consider where you should be investing your time & money to grow your business. This might mean:

  • New member acquisition - This is a great opportunity to educate people on the benefits of small group training in a safe environment.

  • Increasing your average revenue per member - Offer 1-on-1 personal training and/or nutrition coaching. Wodify users, you can set this up seamlessly with Appointments.

  • Continue to grow your virtual programming - Did you find success with virtual programming when your gym was closed? Keep it going! And check out our guide on 4 Ways to Market Your Gym’s Virtual Services.

BONUS: Check out this detailed breakdown of a reopening plan & timeline from our friends at The HAM Plan: Back to Business Guide

We hope you found this guide helpful! If you have anything to add or want to share with others, please tag us on social media @wodify! 

Ready to put what you’ve learned into practice?
Download a free PDF handbook with many of NCFIT’s gym management procedures and philosophies that you can implement in your gym today.
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