As our world slowly gets back to a ‘new normal’, fitness clubs across the country have either returned to operations or are in the final stages of preparing to reopen.
Throughout this pandemic, many club operators and fitness professionals have developed creative and innovative solutions to stay connected with their members and clients, providing much needed supports for the physical and mental wellbeing of Canadians.
Now, as members return to their facilities, health and safety remains the top priority.
FitBizweekly reached out to several club operators from coast to coast to see what changes were in place and how they’ve adapted their facilities and protocols:
Tsawwassen Springs Fitness
At Tsawwassen Springs Fitness, a private training facility located within the sunny Tsawwassen Springs Golf Course, extensive precautions have been implemented to ensure member safety.
Our first step was working with A1 Signway to design and construct moveable partitions placed sporadically throughout the facility. This provided added protection and privacy to members. We have also applied ZeroBlast throughout the gym, an advanced disinfectant spray that can provide up to 90-day surface protection against bacteria and viruses such as COVID-19.
Prior to entering the gym, members complete an online personal waiver. Check-in is contact free, and members will have their temperature taken. They are also asked to bring their own towels and water.
Disinfectant wipes are provided throughout the facility and all equipment is to be wiped down after use. Stations are set up so members and trainers are able to maintain two metre social distancing while working out. Trainers will also wear gloves and masks at all times.
Throughout the facility we have a combination of floor decals and signage reminding all clients to maintain social distancing in addition to multiple cleaning stations.
Showers will remain closed and all high-touch amenities have been removed.
Tsawwassen Springs Fitness owners and staff are extremely excited to be back and confident that these measures will ensure our clients are safe while getting back into shape.
Body & Soul
In preparation for our re-opening, we installed plexiglass barriers, hand sanitizing stations, and a tabletop dishwasher for water bottles.
To assist with physical distancing, we limited the number of clients on the training floor and distanced large pieces of equipment from each other. In addition to hand washing and facial coverings, the training floor has been divided into zones to further promote physical distancing.
With continual communication, the administrative, training, and custodial staff have been working together to clean equipment during and between sessions, and further review protocols for the safety of staff and clients.
Club 16 Trevor Linden Fitness and She’s Fit!
Club 16 Trevor Linden Fitness and She’s Fit! reopened our doors to members on June 1st, focusing our attention on a restructured health and safety program. We have worked to achieve member distancing, increased hygiene and protection to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Our equipment was repositioned to maintain two metre distancing, or was closed off where this was not achievable. We also limited our capacity to 30% of what local health authorities suggested. This was accomplished by requiring members to book their workouts in advance, ensuring we can remain at a safe capacity through our booking and tracking system.
We increased our education on hygiene and cleaning by bringing in a certified cleaning professional to work with our leadership group and staff. We increased our equipment wipe stations and added hand sanitizers at the entrances and exits, as well as throughout the facilities. We brought in certified cleaning porters to work onsite during operating hours to clean high traffic touch points. Our staff also all wear masks and have their temperatures taken prior to their shift.
Above all, education was a key component of our reopening process. Beyond the signage, decaling and pre-screening, we needed to ensure that staff were informed and comfortable with our restructured health and safety program. We accomplished this by holding multiple online conference sessions, followed by onsite training and role playing. This contributed to a higher level of trust and belief from staff that we could reopen in a safe and healthy way, while also instilling a high level of confidence from our members.
Like many clubs, the safety of our team and members is our number one priority.
We have integrated our member guidelines into the check-in process and also posted accessible QR Codes throughout the club to act as a reference point for our staff when interacting with members. This has been a great success to ensure everyone is doing their part in creating a safe and healthy environment.
As a small boutique fitness studio offering many mat based fitness classes such as Yoga, Pilates and core conditioning, we are accustomed to large group exercise classes.
With new social distancing guidelines, we have had to make adjustments. Our group exercise room is now limited to nine students plus one instructor. To make it easy for clients we encourage online signups in advance to reserve their space.
GYMVMT has posted extensive signage throughout the facility and provided detailed reopening guidelines on the GYMVMT website.
Floor decals have been placed throughout the gym as a guide for traffic flow. Members are advised to maintain two metre social distancing and all cardio equipment is spaced three metres apart. All fans have been turned off or removed to reduce the spread of germs, as have all porous foam or fabric material items.
Select lockers are unavailable to maintain physical distancing and all showers, steam rooms and saunas are temporarily closed. Towel service is also temporarily discontinued.
We’ve upgraded to certainty disinfectant wipes, which kills 99.9% of germs, viruses, and fungi from all hard, non-porous surfaces, and all of our clubs have been disinfected with AEGIS MICROBE SHIELD – allowing all treated surfaces to protect themselves against the contamination of microbes such as coronavirus.
Members do not need to wear a mask while in the gym, but masks and gloves are recommended when entering and exiting the facility.
We’ve also created a new GYMVMT GO membership to provide both in-club and at home, remote workouts options, providing the best of both worlds. Members can also book a workout through our GYMVMT app.
At the Columbus Centre we are particularly cognizant of the health risk to our large population of mature and very active member base. As such we have adopted some unique methods designed to protect our members.
Each piece of equipment in our facility is equipped with a sign denoting its availability for use. GREEN for clean and ready, RED for requires cleaning. A RED sign signals our cleaning staff to provide a thorough sanitization in preparation for the next member. Additionally, each piece has an image of the machine itself indicating areas in need of specific attention for cleaning. We hope with these methods and many others we can demonstrate the efforts we have gone to as a community to protect our members and staff.
This unique pop-up workout experience is open only from June 19th through the end of August, and is a collaboration of a handful of Toronto fitness studios. Held at the new 10XTO in the heart of the exhibition grounds, class spots seemed to almost immediately sell out. This pop-up was developed as a response to COVID-19 social distancing rules, where each participant is in their own exercise dome, with cleaning measures implemented in between each class, and you must bring your own mat.
Participants love the energy and inspiration that comes from a group class, but I would describe this as an “experience” to try out, rather than a regular go-to class. The classes range from mediation and yin style yoga, to more demanding sculpt and toning Pilates style workouts.
While I can’t say for sure what temperature the inside of the domes reached, I can say it made the outside 30 degree day suddenly feel cold! If you aren’t someone who enjoys extreme heat, consider trying the early morning or candlelight evening classes for a more comfortable dome experience.
Overall, really cool experience to try out while so many restrictions are in place!