REOPENING: 3 big West Seattle fitness centers

Thanks for the tips! Three large West Seattle fitness centers have announced they’re reopening tomorrow (Monday, August 10th) – West Seattle Health Club (2429 SW Andover), 24 Hour Fitness (Westwood Village), and LA Fitness (3900 SW Alaska).

Reopening comes with a long list of new rules at each center – WS Health Club, for example, has posted its new rules online, including “Masks Required – unless you are exercising vigorously”; the protocols for 24 Hour Fitness say, “Wear a mask in the club at all times”; LA Fitness (whose rules are in a message to members, sent to us by a reader) says, “Members are required to wear face coverings while in the club, except when they are exercising and are able to maintain a distance of at least 6 feet from others.” WSHC locker rooms will remain closed, as will those at LA Fitness.

The reopenings follow new state-issued guidance for fitness operations; you can read it here. Many smaller fitness businesses were able to reopen weeks ago.

41 Replies to "REOPENING: 3 big West Seattle fitness centers"

  • Rick August 9, 2020 (5:00 pm)

    Terrible idea. The only way to workout safely is alone or outside. It’s going to be a virus hurricane in those spaces. 

    • Stay fit August 9, 2020 (7:06 pm)

      I am a member of one of these gyms. I will be there tomorrow…to cancel my membership.

      • Me Too August 10, 2020 (7:19 am)

        I also agree that this is a terrible decision to reopen and I will also be canceling my membership. 

  • Curious August 9, 2020 (5:31 pm)

    So isn’t everyone there to exercise? And if exercising “vigorously” means breathing heavily…wait wouldn’t that be a good time to be wearing a mask? Seems like an odd set of guidelines…

  • susandennis August 9, 2020 (5:52 pm)

    I’m a member at LA Fitness but got no letter/email.  If you did, could you tell me if they mentioned the pool?  My guess it will remain closed like the locker rooms but I wonder if they said for sure.

    • HD August 9, 2020 (6:08 pm)

      Pool is closed as are the locker rooms. Make sure you come dressed to work out as RR are only for washing your hands and not showering or changing. 

    • WSB August 9, 2020 (6:08 pm)

      The email says “Kids Klub, saunas, pools, and steam rooms will be closed initially.”

    • HS August 9, 2020 (7:41 pm)

      Also water fountains are turned off. Bring a full water bottle, your own towel an your own workout mat (if needed). I’m surprised they’re opening and frankly not sure if I’m comfortable returning to the gym yet.

    • Jg August 9, 2020 (8:39 pm)

      I walked by on Saturday and peeked in the windows at the pool. Trust me, you wouldn’t want to swim in there if it were open. It was very dirty and I could see stuff floating in it from outside on the sidewalk.

  • psps August 9, 2020 (5:55 pm)

    “Masks Required – unless you are exercising vigorously.” Um, that’s when you’re spewing infection the most and a mask would offer the most benefit to those around you. A mask is to protect others, not yourself.

    And I presume they have upgraded their HVAC to include either HEPA or MERV 15 or better filters. Otherwise, the 6-foot rule is meaningless even with a mask.

    Do members have to sign a legal waiver?

    • Sunuva August 10, 2020 (8:15 am)

      I’m not sure about these gyms, but I’m still a member of the Y and they recently made all members sign a new legal waiver that prevents anyone from suing them over catching any sort of illness/virus, etc after using their facility. They still have not announced any new opening plans yet, but are already demanding new waivers. Oh, and they are still charging every month for something we cannot use. We’ve been seriously thinking about cancelling as this just isn’t making sense any more. Love the Y, but why?

      • Nick August 10, 2020 (11:29 am)

        I am also a member at Y as well and I recently went on their website and placed a hold on my account. The process is pretty easy and you can stop charges for up to three months. 

  • JW August 9, 2020 (6:38 pm)

    A terrible idea.

  • John G. August 9, 2020 (7:01 pm)

    mask required, except when you’re doing the most risky thing possible, then it’s optional.  That makes sense.

  • bolo August 9, 2020 (7:04 pm)

    Would love to find out how that (counterproductive to avoiding infection) loophole got put into the rules:
    “Masks Required – unless you are exercising vigorously.”

    Where is the logic in that? I almost presume it is a typo.

    Apparently it is from the governor’s office. Seems like he has been following the science pretty well until this?

    • Stay Fit August 9, 2020 (9:32 pm)

      The full statement is:

      “Members are required to wear face coverings while in the club, except when they are exercising AND are able to maintain a distance of at least 6 feet from others. Members who remove their masks to exercise must wear them immediately after exercising. We will be checking for masks at the door, so please bring your own mask and be prepared to wear it when appropriate.”

  • Greystreet August 9, 2020 (7:42 pm)

    I would LOVE to be able to go back to the gym but between waiting in line to go, because 25% capacity at LAF can’t be more than 20-30 people for the space; the likely poor adherence to wiping down equipment and maintaining distance it all just sounds like a logistical nightmare 

    • Stay Fit August 9, 2020 (9:17 pm)

      I think the state mandated each member have 300 square feet for indoor gyms. There was an article about it in the newspaper. I find hard to believe my gym will adhere to the distancing requirement.

  • Nico August 9, 2020 (7:49 pm)

    Absolute garbage, I’m showing up tomorrow first thing to cancel my membership. I’d better run by Alki.

  • NotGoingSwimmingly August 9, 2020 (8:01 pm)

    I just want to swim. It would be nice if I didn’t get my membership charged until the pool was reopened at LAF  ='(

  • Susan August 9, 2020 (8:09 pm)

    LA Fitness did a poor job  of keeping the place clean pre COVID. When COVID started, they took no precautions to clean more frequently (until just before they  were forced closed), nor mandate their members to clean after each use.  They pressured sick instructors to come in to help cover classes well into March. I cancelled my membership not long after they were forced shut, and I would definitely not use their facilities given their abominable track record. 

  • Joseph August 9, 2020 (8:11 pm)

    I’m glad I canceled my 24 Hour Fitness membership. Since they declared bankruptcy and permanently closed dozens of gyms, I’m surprised they’re still operating this one.

  • Wsresident August 9, 2020 (9:37 pm)

    I’ve been personal training at WSHC for two months now, and would like to let everyone who is concerned know- they have a zillion more employees sterilizing and sanitizing, they have hand sanitizer stations every two feet now, they are doing health screens at entry, machines are blocked off to ensure distance, the place is 56,000 square feet and I’ve been REALLY Impressed with their protocols and adherence, I know they’ve been in direct contact with L &I and local government to make sure all guidelines are followed. So I ask, what’s the difference between the guy running by me on the street, when I walk down the sidewalk, if I’m wearing a mask, and he’s not? And no, all workouts are not strenuous, like weights- can easily be done with a mask. Before you cancel, you may want to see what’s going on there. 

    • psps August 10, 2020 (12:12 am)

      “what’s the difference between the guy running by me on the street, when I walk down the sidewalk, if I’m wearing a mask, and he’s not?”

      It means you’re unprotected from his infectious emissions. Your mask can’t and isn’t intended to protect you, it’s to protect others around you if you are infected.

      A gym recirculates its air as well, in a likely lethal way without proper HVAC filters (must be HEPA or at least MERV 15.) Sanitizing surfaces and hands is of no help either.

      Then you bring it home and infect everyone there, and so on.

    • newnative August 10, 2020 (11:19 am)

      “So I ask, what’s the difference between the guy running by me on the street, when I walk down the sidewalk, if I’m wearing a mask, and he’s not? “Several things are different. For one, us runners should be keeping 6+ feet away and I do. I have a mask if that is somehow impossible. Virtually every runner I encounter either keeps 6+ away and/or wears a mask. Bicyclists and pedestrians, not so much. When outside and keeping one’s distance whatever is coming out of a runner’s body should be blowing away (reducing its numbers) or falling straight down to the ground.When indoors the aerolized particles float around and recirculate-how much depends on the circulation system. People aren’t moving too far indoors so they can walk into those floating particles. This is why indoor activities with people are dangerous.  Cleaning surfaces is great but the biggest method of spreading is through the air droplets-the harder someone is breathing , the further their stuff is flying out. Lastly, there is evidence that wearing a mask does protect the wearer, in that if they do get infected their illness will be less severe. growing-body-of-evidence-suggests-masks-protect-those-wearing-them-too

      • CAM August 10, 2020 (5:27 pm)

        A. Please wear masks. B. That being said, I’ve read that stuff that Dr. Gandhi is publishing and it is largely theoretical and there is not any citation listed in it that verifies that masks reduce the amount of virus a person inhales due to the mask they are personally wearing. She states repeatedly that there is evidence that if a person breaths in less virus that their infection will be less severe, but there is limited data to support this and most of it is related to other viruses. There is no data that she is citing that clearly demonstrates a link between personal mask use and reduced rates of infection. It’s all theoretical. I’m not saying she’s wrong, but she isn’t offering research evidence. 

      • Wsresident August 10, 2020 (9:38 pm)

        I understand how masks work, and wear one ALL the time. I had at least 4 people RUN by me on the sidewalk today, not giving distance, no mask and I was the one moving to the street. When I walk outside I walk to the street to avoid people on the sidewalk, not everyone does. The gym is requiring 300sq ft of space per member working out, and yes the guidelines have always been, if you are strenuously working out, inside or out, no make is required. I know WSHC has improved their circulation, they had techs in the other day installing new filtration systems, and seeing how much space is blocked off between machines- I’m probably safer there than say, the grocery store, true value or apparently walking down the street near my house. I’m a firm believer in the science. And Inslee has been watching 4 data points on how things will re-open, all of which are WELL below the requirement in all of Seattle (not all of King county) you can view the data points, view zip codes and local virus infection in our general area on King County Covid dashboard. I know they’ve been in direct contact with L&I and the government on how to exceed the guidelines not JUST reach them. I don’t imagine many people will be running back to the gym. I will go late morning, when there was already no one there, and late at night. I will wear a mask when weight training, and sanitize everything myself (although they’ve been amazing, people following behind to sanitize after people walk around.) Some of us with injuries, which need specific equipment to stay healthy. We can’t all just run outside or bike up hills, or hike. This pandemic has been really hard on some folks health. So what if we agree to disagree, and those who oppose, run outside or whatever fitness you can do easily without the gym; and those of us who need the PT and movement, utilize the gym on off hours and everyone can leave well enough alone. Inslee wouldn’t be allowing these openings if the data didn’t show safe. And lastly, I feel very good about WSHC response to covid, their protocols, rules, requirements, screening every member upon entry, closing off public areas for congregating. The place is 56,000 sq ft so surely this can work. 

    • bolo August 10, 2020 (1:19 pm)

      “what’s the difference between the guy running by me on the street, when I walk down the sidewalk, if I’m wearing a mask, and he’s not?”

      I think you were trying to compare a runner not wearing a mask passing you on the street with the conditions in your gym where a vigorous exerciser is not wearing a mask?

      We have learned that exposure time plays a large factor in the probability of infection. You were exposed to the passing runner’s breath for 2 seconds? 3 seconds? Vs. in the gym for several minutes?

    • Rick August 10, 2020 (5:55 pm)

      Hand sanitizing is great but does nothing for an airborne virus in an enclosed space with people breathing like smokestacks. Additionally, health screens are great, but do nothing for a virus that is often residing within asymptomatic hosts. This is a terrible idea. Period. 

  • Mj August 9, 2020 (10:39 pm)

    Any word on Anytime Fitness in Admiral?  It was open by appointment and just shut down again due to the Governor with a one size fits all mandate, it seemed that the users were keeping good spacing, sanitizing the equipment and using the readily available hand sterilizers and it has good ventilation and airspace. 

    Exercising is good for you and gyms need to be able to operate with reasonable standards.  No one is forced to go to a gym but please be respectfully of responsible other people who want the chance to work out in gym with appropriate precautions.

    • Duffy August 10, 2020 (9:18 am)

      Guess that depends on how you define “appropriate precautions”, because based on what I have read above, none of this seams appropriate. Sweating, breathing hard and coughing are all going to take place in these environments. They are not “safe” by any stretch of the imagination. If people would just suck it up, stay home or outside and wear masks, we would get over this quicker. But nope, Bruce needs to stack as many plates as possible because you know, we are right in the middle of swimsuit season.

  • BJK17 August 10, 2020 (6:58 am)

    LA Fitness couldn’t keep their gym clean during “normal” times. And, they expect us to trust them now??Our cancellation paperwork has been sent!

  • Duffy August 10, 2020 (9:15 am)

    Seems like a really dumb idea. People need to stay physically healthy at this time (and with the fall/winter looming) but come on, a gym?

  • Jay August 10, 2020 (10:44 am)

    I saw a few months ago that the State AG said you could quit the gym and get a refund for any unused time/sessions. Is that still the case?While I don’t trust LA Fitness’ cleaning, with the number of members I’ve seen working out there, at limited capacity I don’t see how I’d ever get to go even if I was comfortable doing so.

  • Mj August 10, 2020 (11:12 am)

    Duffy – no one else is forcing you to go to the gym.  As an adult I want to make my own choices.  Frankly, the gym I was going too limited the number of people using it and everyone was sanitizing the equipment and their hands frequently that reduced risk significantly.  

    • CAM August 10, 2020 (5:33 pm)

      Mj – unfortunately your behavior impacts everyone else in the community in this circumstance so the government has an interest in regulating it. As much as the government regulates people from using methamphetamines to prevent negative impacts to the community resulting from their use, we (the rest of West Seattle) rely upon the government to protect us from people who would not follow necessary precautions to prevent the spread of illness that will further harm the health and financial well-being of your neighbors. In other words, I am unconcerned with what you deem to be adult level decisions that should be within your purview. 

  • anonyme August 10, 2020 (4:09 pm)

    No wonder Covid infections are five million and counting in the good ol’ USA.  

  • Mj August 10, 2020 (5:58 pm)

    CAM – responsible people can safely work out at a gym with reasonable regulations.  This government over reach is a part of the problem that many people resent.

  • Suz August 25, 2020 (5:24 pm)

    I work out at West Seattle Fitness together where I have the whole workout studio to myself. It’s was a very affordable 1-on-1 training that now is popular because it’s the safe way to work out and train. I picked this gym because it was the cleanest in West Seattle before the pandemic. Now it’s gone from clean to amazingly sanitized between each session. Call them, ask for Bonnie and tell her Suz sent you for the $99 special. 

  • Stay Safe August 27, 2020 (6:46 am)

    A PSA to our neighbors who are members of 24 Hour Fitness: A positive case of COVID-19 — which was likely contracted while working out (with a mask) at the Westwood Village 24 Hour Fitness during one of three visits last week — was reported to 24 Hour Fitness immediately upon receiving a positive result on Tuesday (8/25).As 24 Hour Fitness has not, to my knowledge, alerted members, I hope this information helps to inform members of possible exposure.Testing options:King County

Sorry, comment time is over.