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Gold's Gym In Venice Reopens; Schwarzenegger Skips Workout Over Face Mask Policy

VENICE (CBSLA) - Gyms across Southern California are starting to reopen, but it looks like one of the most famous bodybuilders in the world is going to pass on at least one location.

Arnold Schwarzenegger stopped by Gold's Gym in Venice Tuesday after it reopened to members for the first time since the coronavirus shutdown began in March.

CBSLA's Tina Patel says the former governor of California made a visit to shoot a video for social media, but later said he wouldn't return to the gym because there's no face mask requirement.

Despite Schwarzenegger's stance, there were plenty of gym members who were enjoying their workout without a face mask, which experts have warned can sometimes cause respiratory and other health issues.

Safety measures in place including checking members' temperatures and limiting the gym to 50% capacity. Machines are also sanitized throughout the day and the gym will close for an hour each afternoon for a deep cleaning.

In addition, the gym also features a separate outdoor space for those who feel more comfortable working out in the fresh air.

While the Venice location has been closed for months, CEO Adam Zeitsiff says other Gold's Gym locations have slowly been reopening, offering a template for reopening.

"We have hundreds of gyms open around the country and the around the world, so we've learned from the best practices, what works, what's friction-less and how to keep them safe," Zeitsiff said.

Members said they've been staying in shape with home workouts and other improvised measures to keep fit since virtually all gyms closed when the pandemic struck.

Zeitsiff Thursday provided CBSLA with a statement in response to Schwarzenegger's decision not to work out:

"We love Arnold and completely respect his decision. We know that where to go and what to do as the country reopens is an important personal decision that everyone must make for themselves. For the safety of our members and team members who are comfortable returning to the gym, we've implemented a comprehensive, phased reopening plan with extensive sanitation, safety and physical distancing protocols in accordance with federal, state and local regulations. In accordance with Los Angeles County guidelines, at Gold's Gym Venice members are required to wear face masks when entering and existing the gym. All team members are required to wear gloves and face masks as part of these protocols, and while we don't require for members to wear face masks during their workout, we absolutely strongly encourage it."

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