07:25PM, Thursday 09 July 2020
The government has announced that gyms can reopen from Saturday, July 25, reporter Georgina Bishop spoke to two gyms earlier this week which are gearing up for members to return.
Castle Royle Golf and Country Club in Bath Road, Knowl Hill, welcomed golfers back from May 13 and opened its clubhouse for food and drinks on Saturday, but many of its club facilities remain closed.
Theresa May MP visited the club’s gym on Monday to see how social distancing will be maintained and members kept safe when it does eventually reopen.
Measures include limiting the numbers of people in the gym to 33, with members booking in advance hour-long gym sessions, or 30-minute slots to use the wet facilities, including swimming pool, family pool, hydro pool, sauna and steam room.
As well as increased access to sanitiser gel for hands, and sprays for members and staff to wipe down equipment, a deep clean will also be carried out every night.
According to the club’s general manager, Glenn Rayner, members are eager to get back to the gym.
“People have managed to keep some exercise up but it’s not quite the same as when you’ve got a well-qualified instructor who’s helping you get through your routines and helping optimise the impact of your exercise,” he said.
“They really miss being in the club.”
Greg Mikolap owns Icon Gym, a small group personal training gym in Grenfell Road where ordinarily members can book via an app to be trained by a coach, on the hour, in groups of four.
To be ready for when lockdown restrictions were imposed Greg let members take gym equipment home so they could continue to train with coaches online from 7am-6pm six days a week, with yoga on a Sunday.
This still continues but for the last four weeks Greg has also been utilising the car park outside the gym to train five members in line with Government guidelines.
Greg said: “Every member has their own gazebo, with a cardio kit, barbells and plates, and with sanitiser and blue roll so they can clean their equipment afterwards.”
With 2,700 square feet Greg says ‘Icon, at full capacity, was a socially distanced gym anyway’ and that ‘it doesn’t make sense for small gyms like mine to stay closed’.
When Icon Gym reopens Greg is reducing the frequency of the sessions to every 90 minutes and the length of the sessions from an hour to 45 minutes so each coaching station can be sanitised in between use.
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