From the day we announced our long-anticipated reopening plans, there has been a lot of excitement among our membership community.  There has also been a fair amount of questions and some concerns.  Club Julian 24-Hour Fitness has always believed in a policy of open, honest and transparent two-way communication with its valued members, and the intention of this Channel J post is to address some of the more Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s) in one forum.

Why a phased reopening?

As a full-service fitness facility, Club Julian offers its members an array of different exercise options as part of their membership.  Our spaciousness and diversity of amenities and programming are among the main reasons why many choose CJ in the first place.  However, COVID-19 safety protocols are somewhat complex to effectively integrate into daily building-wide operations.  Management felt that it would be better, and potentially safer, to approach reopening incrementally starting with some of our core services.  This way we could constantly evaluate what is going well, and have the time, available resources, and ability to be nimble enough to make necessary adjustments without having our staff be overwhelmed and putting our membership at unnecessary risk.

How long will each phase last?

The short answer is 2-4 weeks.  Club Julian will continuously evaluate progress during each phase and monitor member feedback as well as the state of the COVID-19 pandemic in our area before moving on toward the loosening of restrictions and the reintroduction of different areas and amenities. EVERYTHING is about safety at this juncture.  All decisions in our reopening phases are driven solely with the safety of our members and staff in mind.

Do I have to wear a mask while working out?

By far, the most asked question during our pre-reopening period.  It is also one that has drawn a pretty even split in opinions.  After an extensive deliberation of factors, Club Julian’s leadership team thought it best to lean toward member safety and START THE PHASE ONE reopening period by requiring members to wear masks when they enter the Club – just as you would walking into Giant Eagle or your hair salon. Mask usage is required at all times when in Club Julian, except in the Group Fitness Area (Aerobic classes) where it is advised during classes. 

Fitness facilities were among the last to be given the green light to reopen for a reason.  Even with physical distancing protocol in place, there is an enhanced risk of spreading the coronavirus in this type of closed environment with a lot of physical exertion taking place affecting exhale rates and the communal sharing of equipment and resources.  There were however, no comprehensive industry reopening guidelines set forth by the State, which is why different gyms are taking different approaches to mask usage.  The COVID-19 curve has been flattened, but a credible threat of a resurgence remains.  That said, Club Julian will hold to its overarching policy of constantly evaluating all factors and feedback – meaning that the mask policy could be amended at any time.  Please be patient and understanding regarding this matter.  It was a tough decision.

Is it dangerous to wear a mask while working out?

We do not believe it is dangerous to individuals who do not have underlying respiratory conditions, and many prominent medical experts, including those at the renowned Cleveland Clinic, agree (see links below).  It is unquestionably more difficult to work out with a mask on, which is why we recommend taking it easy during your return – especially if you have been somewhat inactive in recent months.  If you have a respiratory condition or other ailment that would preclude you from safely exercising with a mask, please bring that to our attention and we will work to get you an exemption from the policy.  Cloth masks are recommended.  All Club Julian staff will be required to wear a mask at all times in the facility.

When will the Wet Area be open?

Club Julian plans to open this very popular area of the facility in Phase II on a limited basis to start.  Look for updates on this development, as well as guidelines for use in the near future.

Do I have to make an appointment to workout?

Nope, but be advised that there will be a 50% capacity cap at all times, and we will enforce 90-minute time limits per session.  And no guests (non-members) will be allowed in during Phase I.

Will hours of operation change?

Club Julian will maintain its normal hours of operation beginning at 6:00am on Monday June 15th.

What changes will be made to Group Exercise?

Mainly, the schedule has been amended temporarily to accommodate comprehensive cleaning measures that will take place after every class:

There will also be a limit of 20 participants for each class to maintain physical distancing requirements.  Lastly, members will need to register for classes starting 12 hours before the start of each class by phone at (412) 366-1931 to secure a spot.

What is the availability of lockers and showers?

Neither will be available until we move to Phase II due to health risks.  The only parts of the locker room area that will be open are the sinks and toilets.  We therefore advise members not to bring in loose personal items like purses, electronics, jewelry, valuables, jackets, etc. because there will be no place to store them during your workout (we cannot have them laying around the workout spaces).  In other words, come in dressed to workout and leave the same way!  Sorry, but remember this is TEMPORARY – and at least it’s summer!

Even though I cannot schedule with a trainer, can I use one if available?

According to wellness director Debby Petitta, our trainers will be spread pretty thin helping with cleaning, “social fitnessing” monitoring and other duties during Phase I.  However, if you need some advice, equipment assistance, or a demonstration of how to use equipment, they are permitted to help if available.  CJ trainers cannot be used to directly assist you with your workout however until Phase II.

What other areas of the Club will have restrictions?

The main area affected will be Cardio, where only every other piece of equipment will be available for use at any time to maintain physical distancing protocol.  Sign-up measures will remain in place.  The upstairs Circuit Training Area will be largely unaffected in terms of equipment availability as long as members adhere to physical distancing.  The same for the downstairs Strength & Conditioning Room.  

For additional information regarding Club Julian’s reopening, please refer to our guidelines on our website: