The Time Has Come
We are very excited to be reopening after a long six month closure. This period of time has been challenging for so many in the AFS community. We thank everyone for their support along the way.
This page outlines the details regarding reopening under Governor Whitmer’s executive order of 9/3/2020, specifically how billing and scheduling will be handled in the months of September and October. For more information on AFS’ evidence-based COVID mitigation protocols, please go to: Covid-19 Client Experience Considerations.
It is important to point out that this situation is still incredibly fluid. Further executive orders issued will alter the way our business can operate (in terms of capacity and mask requirements). Additionally, we will be continually assessing our operations to ensure they allow for a safe, fun, and effective workout experience for all of our clients, while at the same time preserving the financial viability of AFS during this very precarious time. Indeed, the reopening of AFS doesn’t mean we’ve “made it;” how we navigate the next 12-18 months will determine the long-term viability of our business. It is important for clients to expect changes in the coming months as we adjust to the changing dynamics of all elements of this situation. As always, we will make all changes based on our mission, vision, and core values; while ensuring that we communicate with our community clearly and transparently along the way.
Welcome back, we’ve missed you!!!!
Billing for September & October
Due to the uncertainty associated with utilization in the first two months of reopening, we will not be running our first of the month autopay for memberships and sessions. We feel it is important to give clients time to feel comfortable with their decision to return to AFS; likewise we want to take time to ensure our systems, protocols, and infrastructure are refined enough to provide our community the highest quality experience possible.
We will, however, be offering FS & SS classes during this period of time (in addition to continuing our outdoor small group training workouts and pop-ups). Clients will be billed on a drop-in basis for all FS and SS classes used in September and October. FS classes will be billed at $10/session and SS classes will be billed at $25/session. We will sum the sessions used from 1st-15th of the month and bill those on the 16th of the month. Likewise, we will sum the session used on the 16th through the end of the month and bill those on the 1st of the following month.
Based on our observations in the next two months we will determine specifically how we will be billing for November (continue with the method outlined above or resume our standard 1st of the month autopay). We will communicate this by no later than 10/15/2020.
We encourage all clients to refrain from making any membership changes for the time being as we anticipate scheduling and other operational changes to take place in the coming months that will likely influence membership decisions. Delaying membership changes will allow clients to make a more informed decision on how to best engage with AFS, as well as limit the administrative burden on our team during a period of significantly reduced staff levels.
Finally, we still have our GoFundMe account available for clients wishing to donate to AFS for any out-of-facility services (virtual workouts, pop-ups, etc.) you find valuable. You can access our account at: AFSGoFundMe.com. Thank you for your support, this will be a challenging financial period for us, we are grateful for your assistance.
Based on the data we have collected from clients (as well as industry trends) we expect approximately 40-50% of our clients to return upon reopening. This number may ultimately be lower as a number of people within that 40-50% indicated not wanting to return if masks were required (see below for more on masks). As a result of anticipated low utilization, AFS will reopen on Friday 9/11/2020 with a four day per week class schedule. We will be opened Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday. Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday will be used for scheduling indoor or outdoor small group training and personal training. We will continually evaluate utilization and scale our schedule as appropriate to ensure we can accommodate demand. We will also still be offering our full schedule of virtual workouts as well.
To maintain reduced occupancy requirements by state mandate and to ensure accurate contact tracing when needed, all FS and SS classes will be sign-up based. Clients can sign-up for classes through the AFS Connect mobile app or by going to cms.4afsfit.com (if you are unsure of your login information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org). All classes will be available for sign-up 7 days in advance, cancellation of scheduled classes must be completed > 12 hours prior to the start of class time to avoid being charged. All classes will be available for sign-up starting 9/8/2020 at 12:01am.
FS classes will be entirely automated, and no instructor will be dedicated to a given room. We will have a floating instructor to assist clients when needed. Additionally, due to the mask requirement, classes will be structured to be less cardio-based and more strength-based to accommodate for any respiratory challenges of wearing a mask.
SS classes will be instructor-based and operate under similar conditions to pre-pandemic SS. Additional client considerations for both FS and SS can be found here: Covid-19 Client Experience Considerations.
Masks During Exercise
We are acutely aware of the many concerns around wearing masks while exercising. We understand the disappointment of many clients regarding this requirement per the executive order of 9/3/2020. It is AFS’ official position, based on existing scientific evidence, that masks during intense exercise are not unsafe for apparently healthy individuals (Kravitz et al, 2020). Individuals with preexisting pulmonary (lung) or cardiovascular conditions should be cautious when exercising with a mask on and adjust intensity as needed to prevent any adverse symptoms (Kravitz et al, 2020). Furthermore it is AFS’ position that mask utilization during intense exercise is not warranted based on the lack of consensus from the CDC (see the evidence-based guidelines from the Medical Fitness Association for details). Governor Whitmer’s executive order of 9/3/2020 allowing gyms to reopen does require masks at all times (even during exercise). AFS will adhere to those guidelines and be prepared to transition to a mask-optional policy when state guidance allows for that.
You can expect the first several workouts in a mask to be uncomfortable and different, however much like any stress during exercise your body will adapt and become accustomed to exercising in a mask. We respectfully ask all clients to try exercising in a mask for at least two weeks before passing judgement. This article from the American Council on Exercise provides good information on the Do’s and Don’t of Exercising with a Face Covering. This article from Men’s Health provides a list of several of the best masks to exercise in: The 20 Most Breathable Face Masks.
If you have any questions on the information presented above, please fill out the contact form below and we will follow-up within 48-72 hours.
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