Many people like to work out their frustrations at the gym, but right now the frustration lies inside.

What You Need To Know

  • Gyms and fitness studios are not included in the initial Phase 4 reopenings this week
  • Gov. Andrew Cuomo has said the state is still studying how to open those facilities safely
  • STA Sports Performance in Elma plans to join other gyms in the state in a class action lawsuit to reopen

"It's sad honestly at times, seeing what we've done for almost 10 years come to a halt," said Ben Woods, owner and operator of STA Sports Performance, a fitness studio in Elma.

Woods, a former UB football punter, has grown discouraged as gyms and fitness centers have not been included in Phase 4 reopening later this week as Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the state is continuing to study how to do so safely, including potential spread of coronavirus through air conditioning units. Woods isn't buying that, and says he's spoken to HVAC experts who also don't think that issue presents much of a risk.

He urges state and local leaders to talk with individual businesses about reopening plans.

"How many more months can we do this, this place sitting vacant behind me?" Woods asked.

Woods says he has teamed up with hundreds of other gym owners across the state who are planning a class action lawsuit against Gov. Cuomo so they can reopen.

"All we're really looking for his the governor to work with us, not against us to really try to find a solution just like he has all these other businesses in other phases," Woods said.

STA has trained many top-level athletes who play in the professional ranks, to local college and high school teams, and the average person who just wants to be shape and feel good.

"The physical training aspect ripples into many other aspects of your life in a very positive way," Woods said.

Woods says his staff has a detailed plan in place for their clients. Temperature checks and health screenings will be conducted before workouts. Groups will be limited to less than 10, and each person will have their own spray bottle to wipe down what they use.

Sessions will be spaced out by 15 minutes so staff can disinfect the equipment.

"We can take four or five people and very comfortably spread everybody out," Woods said. 

A heavy lift? Maybe so, but he says his crew and his clients are ready for the challenge with a green light from the governor.

"Still serve them but also keep their safety and well-being at the utmost importance," Woods said.