BROOKFIELD, WI — The pandemic has caused many businesses to think outside the box to meet the needs of their clients. For one Brookfield business owner, that has meant thinking outside the gym.
Anna Tiry, the owner of Anytime Fitness-Ruby Isle in Brookfield, located at 2205 North Calhoun Road, moved exercise equipment from inside the gym into tents in the parking lot.
“People are intrigued and say it is very cool,” Tiry said.
The outdoor gym is called “The Annex-Open Air Gym,” which includes equipment for cardio and a full-body resistance training workout. On Thursday, two members were using weights outside and working with a trainer.
Marcos Salgado, an Annex Attendant, said the staff wanted to do something different from other gyms. Salgado said the outdoor gym allows people to workout without having to wear a face mask.
“It is an alternative for people who have a hard time breathing or just don’t like working out with masks on,” Salgado said.
Both Tiry and Salgado have had many curious people drive by the Annex.
The inspiration behind the Annex was to meet the needs of people not going inside the gym as being out in the open might make people feel safer and less anxious. Tiry told Patch she has seen many regular gym members visit the Annex and then go inside to workout.
Sweating it out
As clients are returning, Tiry and staff have been hearing the stories of what people have been up to. She said a number of people admitted to not having a way to workout while the gym was shut down.
“Even though people had access to our virtual workouts. It was a matter of not having a place to go,” Tiry said.
The fitness enthusiast told Patch the fitness realm is interesting right now. She explains clients need a mental break as a form of coping with the pandemic. Working up a sweat is what the doctor ordered as people navigate through COVID-19.
“It is the biological endorphins release, the sense of actively doing something to take care of yourself,” she said.
Tiry has been with Anytime Fitness for seven years and said the reason she loves her job is “hands down it is the people.”
As a business owner, Tiry found herself “down in the dumps” with the constant changes from the total shutdown to the mask mandate.
“Now with the Annex, it has breathed new life into the team,” Tiry told Patch.
The outdoor facility is a specific way to make the situation better for everyone. Tiry added the Annex has allowed her team to pivot and take control of what is happening.
Tiry compared it to her apprehensive clients who now have an opportunity to release some of the stress associated with the pandemic through the Annex.
The Annex is available to Anytime Fitness Brookfield-Ruby Isle members. Members of the public can get a temporary club pass.
Day passes are $15, weekly passes are $30 and monthly passes are $60. A yearly membership is $24 bi-weekly.
The gym will be open until the end of the mask mandate which expires Sept. 28.
Hours of operation are weekdays from sunrise until 7 p.m. and Saturdays from sunrise to 2 p.m.
For more information visit the club’s Facebook page.