An Albury gym owner says clients left in tears Monday morning, while another has questioned the Federal Government's shutdown of non-essential services on an historic day for the industry.
Gyms joined a stream of groups, including pubs, clubs and cinemas, which were forced to close at midday as part of the government's drastic new measures to limit the spread of coronavirus.
The tough new laws come after Australians ignored social distancing rules.
"I suppose the confusion is what are non-essential and essential services, obviously (gyms) falling into the non-essential bracket, depending on where you are going with mental health and people in general just need to come to the gym for rehab and whatever else," Plus Fitness 24/7 Thurgoona co-owner Simon Hodgson said.
Adrenaline Boxing and Conditioning co-owner Kade Brown says it was an emotional day.
"I think I'm a little bit numb," he admitted.
"We had people today (Monday) that were crying as they were coming out the door."
We had people today (Monday) that were crying as they were coming out the door.Adrenaline's Kade Brown
Prime Minister Scott Morrison says the new measures are just 'stage one' of the government response and will be reviewed monthly, but he warned Australians to expect them for six months.
Brown and wife Carly have owned the Albury business for five years with 1500 people attending a week.
"Our model has always been to not lock people into anything, so that's probably a great thing for people, but it's bad for business when all of a sudden the cash flow stops," he said.
"We're pausing memberships, it's pretty dramatic."
Adrenaline employs eight people.
"They're very special to us because they built the business for me," Brown said.
"The full-timers are in a spot where they haven't taken a lot of leave over the last period of time, so they'll have a bit of annual leave up their sleeves.
"I've encouraged them to start to look what the options are post-leave."
Plus Fitness has five staff and Hodgson is banking on the Federal Government's coronavirus stimulus packages helping his employees.
"Hopefully with the government saying there will be some sort of help there, that can be a guaranteed source of income that way," he said.
"I'm a pretty positive sort of a person, I'm disappointed for the members and they're disappointed that they can't come and train."
But another outlet is taking the gym to members.
"You can choose three pieces of equipment to hire and you can take that home, we program our workout of the day and with minimal equipment," CrossFit TMA co-owner Zak Rogers said.
"Mental health is extremely important to us and with people being cooped up in the home for the next six months, they need something to do.
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"They need a community to engage with and our number one goal is to give people a community to engage with throughout this and share that experience."
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