Birmingham fitness studios going virtual: How to stay fit during COVID-19


BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — During the COVID-19 pandemic a lot of people are exercising at home using online or live-streamed workouts. Local fitness studio owners are adapting to the demands, while looking for ways to generate income.

CBS 42’s Michelle Logan met with Gauntlet Fitness owner Paul Shunnarah to talk about his plan moving forward.

“We’ve had to adapt very quickly,” said Shunnarah. “There’s no book or guideline on what’s happened.”

His team is now using social media like never before. They’re offering interactive workouts with clients using Zoom.

“[We’re offering] a trainer-led workout using video conferencing,” said Shunnarah. “Each member is doing this workout at home, together, and everybody’s kind of speaking back and forth.”

Shunnarah demonstrates a modified push-up that can be performed on a bench, chair or couch at home.

The interactive platform is a way to help generate income during a time small businesses need all the help they can get.

RELATED: Birmingham City Council passes $1.2 million emergency fund for small businesses

Fitness studios all over Birmingham, Alabama are now maximizing their screen time. Three15 is using Instagram to live-stream workouts that anyone can access.

Three15 studio offers a free instructor-lead class via Instagram Live.

True40 Downtown Birmingham owner Kaitlyn Bentley posts free workouts to the studio’s website every weekday.

“Our online workouts are free,” said Bentley. “There’s an option for a small donation only if you feel led.” 

For those who want to go the extra mile to financially support local businesses like these, purchasing gift cards is an option while stores are closed.

The explosion in online workouts is about more than staying fit, it’s about uniting people through fitness in a time so many of us aren’t getting actual face time.

“I think our nation needs to come together,” said Shunnarah. “I think we all need to develop some ways of keeping the community and everybody staying active and healthy.”


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