After a difficult year, gym owners optimistic about 2021

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Getting in better shape is among the most common New Year's resolutions.

The pandemic, however, may reduce the number of new gym memberships in 2021.

"Usually we start seeing that rush coming in towards the end of December," said Vincent Jacinto, the owner of F.I.T. Lab Fitness. "And, unfortunately, the numbers were low. It was probably about half of what we usually get."

The number of new memberships varied by gym.

Daniel Ryan, the owner of Dr. Elite Gym, said the number of new memberships from Dec. 1 to Jan. 2 surpassed his expectations.

"Business has been amazing," Ryan said.

Ryan opened his gym just three weeks before the pandemic shutdown started.

"It was like all my dreams, all my hard work, everything going down the drain," Ryan said. "In front of my eyes."

Ryan shifted to online training to survive.

Jacinto said his gym — which has been in business for three years —experienced an approximately 25% drop after the pandemic started. The gym's core members, though, stayed.

"As a small business owner, we're all always counting our pennies, so with the shutdown it was very worrisome," Jacinto said.

Both Jacinto and Ryan said they're hopeful people will feel comfortable returning to gyms after the COVID-19 vaccine is widely available.

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