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How one Alabama-based gym is opening their ‘virtual doors’ during coronavirus pandemic

As many Alabama businesses close their doors or drastically alter their operations while the state works to slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), Iron Tribe Fitness, a gym founded in Birmingham 10 years ago, has decided to take their services completely online during the quarantine.

A release detailed that Iron Tribe coaches are now working around the clock via 24/7 social media access, streaming live workouts, video calls and daily text messages and emails to ensure their members still receive top-notch fitness and nutrition guidance.

Forrest Walden, founder and CEO of Iron Tribe, advised that now more than ever, it is important that members stick with their health and wellness plans.

“We created a private Facebook group for all 5 of our Birmingham locations that has been booming with live workouts, recipes and daily interactions between coaches and clients,” Walden said. “We also created a private membership site where we all of the videos, recipes and workouts live for easy access. Just because we can’t see our gym communities face to face doesn’t mean we can’t still deliver a premier service that allows members to see improvement in their overall health.”

Walden also took his plan one step further last week and temporarily opened each of his five Birmingham gyms so members could borrow workout equipment of their choice as long as coronavirus quarantine orders stay in place. Rowers, bikes, kettlebells, battle ropes and more have dispersed throughout the city and are now getting good use in local garages, basements and wherever else members can set up a makeshift gym.

“I am amazed at the stuff I’ve seen on this group page,” Stan Felton, a longtime member at the Homewood gym wrote in the Facebook group. “Hats off to every coach from basically every location doing all they can to help everyone at home like they should be. This is why we value this community so much.”

Amid rising fear and uncertainty, Walden added that establishing a consistent at-home workout regimen can produce considerable benefits. For those looking to stick to a daily routine and maintain — or improve — their current fitness level, Walden listed the following top recommendations:

  • Wake up at your usual time each day and try to workout when you normally would. This helps create a sense of normalcy and consistency.
  • Challenge yourself by using household items to add weight to your workouts. (Here’s a blog post that lists out common household goods that can be used as workout weights).
  • Find an accountability partner that will encourage you to complete your workouts each day. Call, text or communicate through social media to check in on each other.
  • Consider downloading a mobile app like MyFitnessPal to track your daily caloric intake.

As a way to open up all of their fitness resources, Iron Tribe created a Facebook group that anyone — even non-members — can join. There, Walden outlined, group members will get exclusive access to workouts, nutritional guidance, daily accountability and more.

“We’re so excited to roll this out and serve more people in the Birmingham area and beyond,” he concluded. “Though these are strange times, I’m confident we can make a positive impact on others through health and wellness. Our mission is ‘To Create Fitness Communities That Change Lives,’ and nothing — not even Coronavirus — will stop that.”

RELATED: Keep up with Alabama’s confirmed coronavirus cases, locations here

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

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