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'Relay for Relief,' the world's largest virtual workout relay to feature SLO gym

Posted at 12:51 PM, May 14, 2020

A worldwide 24 hours of virtual workouts will turn the spotlight on a gym here in San Luis Obispo.

"Relay for Relief" is a partnership between Men's Health and Women's Health fitness magazines, Degree, and Mindbody to create the world's largest virtual workout relay.

Top fitness trainers will help you stay fit and that includes the owners from McAlister Training.

"I was blown away. Seeing all the names that are on here and being apart of that list is mind-blowing. The opportunity is huge not only for McAlister Training but our town in general," co-owner Michael McAlister said. "I'm so unbelievably grateful for this opportunity."

McAlister opened in August 2017 by Michael and his wife and co-owner Lauren McAlister.

Michael will host a 30 minute workout session Friday evening aptly named "HIIT Happens" from 7:30 to 8 p.m.

The workout will be designed to use your own body weight so no gym equipment is needed.

"My goal for this opportunity really is to provide a short moment in their day to get away from this craziness and work out with me, have a smile on their face and get a good sweat going," Michael said.

Anyone can sign up and each class during the 24 hour relays costs $10. Proceeds will directly benefit COVID-19 relief efforts supporting studios and trainers dealing with the financial loss from closures.

After switching to virtual workouts since the pandemic began, the gym worked to figure out how to best serve members remotely.

"We asked our clients, what is it about the live workouts that you really enjoy and what they said is just the level of accountability," Lauren said. "I think working out at home is really, really hard to stay motivated and so being able to see each other [on video chat] and working out all together really keeps them motivated when our studio isn't open."

Workout videos are recorded and put on the gym's YouTube channel. Friday's workout will also be available after the class for anyone who paid the $10.

"One person at a time, one client at a time, one class at a time. We're big on hustle but we're bigger on heart. And the heart is what we're always going to focus on," Michael said.

Lauren said it is likely McAlister Training will keep virtual workouts going even as life resumes a new normal.

"I think for us as we reopen, with different guidelines that will be put in place, we will probably have more of a hybrid model so we'll have our in person classes as well as virtual offerings for people who maybe aren't ready to come back to the studio yet."

"I've enjoyed the challenge," Michael said, pointing out the work on trying to get creative with workouts with the items people have available to them. Not everyone has trx straps set up for suspension training. "So we've been using fun things like broom sticks, laundry detergent, beach towels, chairs, all sorts of different things that all people have at home. There's no excuse."

You can learn more and sign up for the workout by clicking here.