We speak to a Liverpool gym owner about new measures ahead of reopening on the 25th
3 years ago
Gyms can re-open on July 25 and, according to Connor O’Brien, people can’t wait to get back – for the sake of their physical AND mental health.
Connor, director of Absolute Body Solutions which has centres in Speke, Liverpool City Centre and Manchester, says most of his clients have already booked in for training as soon as ABS is allowed to be back in business, and adds he has a waiting list of people ready to start – and new enquiries too.
He says: “Our clients can’t wait to get back in and training – even clients who are still going to be working from home have decided to travel further to the gym for their sessions.
“The gym plays a huge part in people’s mental health, an aspect that is overlooked. Especially with personal training, it gives you two or three hours a week of time spent solely focused on you, giving you the chance to release stress and also talk through anything you need as you train.”
And he adds: “I think it will play a huge role in lifting people’s mood after being in lockdown for so long.
“As good as some of the home training content has been, you can’t replace the facilities and service. Just seeing people you like again will have a positive impact mentally, and being able to train properly and achieve goals in the gym will help people to be fit, active and as healthy as possible.”
Connor is confident, too, that gyms will be safe.
He and his teams are following government guidelines governing the reopening of gyms and leisure centres, with rules about social distancing, numbers of people allowed in gyms and exercise classes, and regular sanitising and cleaning.
And he says UK active, a not-for-profit industry association promoting the interests of commercial fitness gyms and community leisure centres, has also released guidelines having worked with the government to enable the reopening of gyms.
Connor has detailed the provision put in place at ABS which people may also find at their gym.
Although he adds: “A lot of the guidelines we were already following prior to lockdown so it is only small changes we have had to make to follow the new guidelines.
“All of our sessions have always been by appointment only so this will remain the same. Our cleaning protocols are always extremely stringent, and this will continue, aiming for a higher level again.
“We have also amended our staff rotas to limit session numbers within the facility and enable social distancing throughout all our sessions.”
How it will work in practice:
- We’ve installed sanitising stations, both at the entrance and spread around the gym.
- We have daily visitor and staff temperature checks upon arrival.
- All staff will have the correct PPE provisions including masks, face shields, and gloves. These are all available for clients too but not required.
- Cleaning regimes throughout the facilities have been increased, and there’s the addition of readily-available equipment disinfectant sprays.
- After every session, all equipment used will be completely sanitised by our trainers.
- Changing room and kitchen facilities will be closed and we recommend clients come in training clothes with a bottle of water.
- Trainers will practice social-distancing and eliminate any physical contact during sessions.
What we expect from clients:
- That they stay home if are sick, have a fever, a cough, shortness of breath or even just feel a little run down. ‘Don’t take a chance—stay home’.
- If any members of their household are experiencing any Covid-19 symptoms they should cancel their session.
- Limit personal belongings brought into the facility.
- Only enter facility a maximum of two minutes before scheduled appointment time. If travelling by car, they should wait in their car until the appointment start time.
- They will be required to wash their hands before a session.
Connor continues: “We have provided education for all of our team on coronavirus, cleaning protocol and coaching while maintaining social distancing.
“We have also scheduled weekly fog cleaning of each facility.”
Connor says: “We’re delighted to be able to open again and have a date to work towards. We have already started outdoor sessions, and even the most worried clients have been fine to train with us because they see the level of detail we are putting in to keep our sessions safe.
“Now more than ever, it is important that as a nation we stay as fit, healthy and active as possible.”