RALEIGH, N.C. – Gyms and fitness centers were largely affected as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. As restrictions ease, these facilities have been able to increase capacity to 75%.

What You Need To Know

  • Gyms and fitness centers are allowed to operate at 75% capacity.

  • The Exercise Coach now has six locations in North Carolina.

  • A new location just opened in Raleigh.


However, some people are not quite ready to return to traditional gyms.

Debbie Andrews, a mother of two, is an avid runner and walker. She also enjoys yoga, which she continued throughout the pandemic shut down.

“When COVID hit, I no longer wanted to go into a gym and so you can tell a difference in your body when you’re not doing it, weight training,” said Debbie Andrews, a Raleigh native.

In March, nearly a year after gyms and fitness centers were ordered to close their doors, Andrews joined The Exercise Coach. The new facility that opened in Raleigh uses smart technology to track client’s progress.

“It’s a dual fold. As she is doing the workout, she is seeing the target areas she needs to stay in and at the end, she sees how well she has done compared to previous workouts,” said Elizabeth Girouard, Co-Owner of The Exercise Coach.

Elizabeth Girouard and her husband opened the facility in March 2021.

Only three members are allowed in to workout at a time, and they operate by appointments only. This allows for social distancing and easy cleaning after each use of the machines.

Andrews says the facility has helped her regain her strength that she was missing over the last year.

“With COVID, I missed a lot of that muscle building time, not going into a regular gym and I’m trying to make up for some lost time,” she aid.

Each client only needs two, 20-minute workouts each week. The machines use a database, so each member has their own user ID they use every visit. The computer tracks range of motion and effort in order to adjust the amount of force based on the client. It’s customized to each individual member, based on your weight training history and progress.

“I can tell I have more energy, I’m stronger, it’s a gradual thing but you can definitely feel it,” said Andrews.