Newport Beach training club transforms rooftop to outdoor gym amid ongoing pandemic

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. (KABC) -- On the top of a Newport Beach parking garage is CAZ Training Club, the COVID-adapted gym that members now call "the penthouse."

"Our landlord was gracious enough to let us use the outside. We have a parking structure that wasn't being used, so we took that, laid down some turf and converted it into the rooftop," said Zac Walker, who is one of three co-founders who just opened the circuit training gym a year ago.

It was inside, on the first floor of the building.

"We were open for four months and then COVID came around. We shut down four months to the day, which was a little scary at the beginning. Didn't quite know what we were going to do, how we were gonna handle it," said Walker.

They were closed for a few months before re-opening their indoor operation in June, only to be shut down again when the second wave hit. Gym members were bummed.

"I'm thinking, I just started working out daily, I'm in my routine, I'm screwed. I'm going back on the couch," said Newport Beach resident Brad Barnes.

But this time around, the state allowed gyms to operate outside, so the owners quickly found a solution that has survived the back and forth in guidelines.

"Within two days, we pulled all of our equipment up here, rolled turf, and basically took our gym that was downstairs and moved it upstairs," Walker said.

"Sunshine, fresh air, I mean, I love it up here," Barnes said.

About half of their rooftop space is covered, which they say has helped when the weather isn't so favorable.

"We had hail up here a couple weeks ago, and we're like, oh my gosh, we're gonna have to cancel class, what are we going do, and our members just bundled up and embraced it, started cheering. It was really fun," said Walker.

The change also helps the club continue it's mission of giving back to a health-related charity each month.

"You might be having a hard day, but when they come on and say we're fighting for the nurses and we're fighting for kids with cancer, whatever it is, you push a littler harder," said Barnes.

Membership costs a few hundred dollars a month, but they also offer individual classes or packages.
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