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CrossFitters in China Getting Back On Their Feet

April 10, 2020 by
Photo credit: Getty Images
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While it was only two and a half months, it feels like a lifetime ago when we first reported gyms were closing amid the coronavirus outbreak in China.

In a follow-up story a few days later we reported on members of CrossFit Tianfu using chairs and household items for thrusters, never thinking in a few short months, we’d all be doing the same.

But as the rest of the world deals with the peak of the pandemic, things in China are slowly getting back to normal. We caught up with Max Ma, director of the Asia CrossFit Championship, to see how he and his members are adjusting.

  • “The current situation is pretty stable here in Shanghai,” Max Ma, told the Morning Chalk Up.

What it looks like when cities reopen: In China, businesses are no longer under government-mandated operational closures, including gyms. While people are out and about again, most are still wearing masks. Max said many gyms have implemented ongoing health and safety measures including temperature checks on arrival.

  • “We ask everyone to sanitize their hands once they’re in the gym and we clean the gym every hour.”

Thankfully, business is better than better, Max said, and he is otherwise optimistic.

Photo credit: Getty Images

Advice for struggling affiliate owners: “For business owners, I would say do all the little things to generate cash flow,” Max said.  

  • “Just need to be very honest with your financial situation and take all necessary precautions,” he added.

Max suggests a few steps that were taken by Chinese affiliate owners including:

  • Talking to your landlord about a rent-free period, which is also being offered by several government agencies globally. We created an extensive list of what is available to gym owners.
  • For those who don’t have a big cash reserve, Max recommends taking advantage of interest-free loans to see out the period.
  • We’ve also provided an extensive checklist to assist gym owners in navigating through their temporary gym closures as a result of COVID-19 pandemic.

The latest on the Asia CrossFit Championship: The ACC is currently postponed until July, but like many other Sanctioned events, Max said organizers are monitoring the situation daily.

China still has travel bans in place, which will make it difficult for the ACC to go ahead, not to mention the cancelation of other sporting events, like the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, which Max fears could be the writing on the wall.

  • “I’m a little worried that the [CrossFit] Games will not take place this year with the current situation in the US and the Olympic Games have already moved to next year… it would be hard for us to run an international event now. We will see if things get better soon,” Max said.

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