Gyms are finally re-opening, but there are still a few big no-no’s to avoid – including one banned habit many will struggle to avoid.
Gyms are finally re-opening, but there are still a few big no-no’s to avoid – including one banned habit many will struggle to avoid.

What to expect when your gym re-opens

The big day is finally here, but while we're all excited to get back into the gym after almost three months of sitting on the couch, it's worth pointing out that things aren't fully back to "normal".

In order to open today, fitness centres need to adhere to strict government guidelines on hygiene and social distancing and have created individual COVID safe plans.

Because of this, different gyms all have different rules and practices in place - though they're all along similar veins.

Here's what you can expect to look a little different during your workout.

Workouts will now look like this, with lots of space around you. Picture: Fitness First
Workouts will now look like this, with lots of space around you. Picture: Fitness First

FACILITIES MAY BE SHUT

While all gyms will only be able to allow up to 100 people inside the venue, some are also closing off showers, lockers and even "non-essential" areas such as cafes, smoothie bars and kids play areas.

Fitness First Australia told news.com.au all 60 clubs will be operating without the above, as well as closing its water bubblers, the spa and members lounges.

"At Fitness First, the safety of our members and staff is our number one priority," the spokesoerson said, adding "we have put an extensive range of protective measures in place".

Other membership offerings that are still off limits include the swim and dance schools, "HYPOXI" pods and steam and sauna rooms.

Cult celebrity training program, Barry's Bootcamp, has also closed off its facilities while opening its doors to half-size classes.

"To avoid congestion and minimise contact in studio spaces, al lockers will be closed," a post on the brand's Instagram read. "Fuel bar and showers are also temporarily closed".

Keen fitness lovers have expressed concern over lack of showering facilities at most gyms, describing it as "worrying".

Barry's responded to the concerns on Instagram, stating "as soon as these lift, they will reopen".

Some gym users have asked whether toilets would be open following the government decision to keep showers shut, the answer thankfully is yes.

NO FIST PUMPS OR HIGH-FIVES

Another common action in gyms is high fives and fist pumps, but on the tails of Scott Morrison's "no handshake" rule - these have also been ruled out by some gyms.

Cycology Club, a boutique spin-style workout to the rhythm of music, in Sydney's Surry Hills outlined the gesture would be on the new no-no list.

"As tempting as it is to give high fives and fist pumps during class, we ask that you express your emotions through your best whoo-hoos only!" an email sent to members said.

David Finnimore, Founder and Director of Cycology Club, told news.com.au it had taken great measures to make "Cycology Club one of the safest places to train in Sydney even safer".

Gyms have also banned high-fives and fist pumps under government direction. Picture: Supplied / Cycology Club
Gyms have also banned high-fives and fist pumps under government direction. Picture: Supplied / Cycology Club

"We are very confident that we are able to protect our clients against the risk of COVID," he said, explaining face masks were required in all areas except the studio when working out and they had even introduced a one-way flow system.

"All patrons enter the club through one way and exit through another way to ensure no face-to-face contact," he said.

BYO ITEMS

Another method being used that's definitely different to normal, is BYO items. Some gyms are calling on members to bring their own mats, water bottles, face masks and even workout equipment in Western Australia.

"For your safety we will no longer provide filtered water," Cycology told members when explaining what had changed under Step 2.

However if you do forget (we're all human) you can purchase bottled water - but stress people should consider your single use plastics use.

Yoga mats are another item many have introduced a BYO policy on, with the spongy material being notorious as a breeding ground for germs and bacteria.

Fitness lovers in Victoria can go back from June 22 while in ACT doors opened last weekend. Picture: Instagram
Fitness lovers in Victoria can go back from June 22 while in ACT doors opened last weekend. Picture: Instagram

THINGS YOU'LL NOTICE EVERYWHERE

There are many changes you'll spot in every gym, such as reduced class sizes and sanitation stations everywhere. Here are new procedures you can expect no matter where you workout.

  • Increased cleaning
  • No shared equipment unless disinfected between uses
  • Safety Measures
  • Hygiene stations
  • Our staff have undertaken Australian Government training modules on COVID-19
  • Cash free purchases
  • 1.5m distance between workout stations
  • More signs
  • Additional time between classes
  • Temperature checks
  • Booking systems as turning up ad hoc could cause overcrowding

Originally published as Gym habit that's still banned in Stage 2

David Finnimore, Founder and Director of Cycology Club said face masks would be needed inside his gym. Picture: Supplied
David Finnimore, Founder and Director of Cycology Club said face masks would be needed inside his gym. Picture: Supplied

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