I went back to the gym this week and I have to say the new experience there is one I am really liking.
Before the gym reopened, every member was asked to download an app on their phone that allows them to book appointments. Only a certain number of people are allowed in the gym during any given 90-minute slot. There is a half-hour between each 90-minute slot for cleaning.
When you book your appointment you can see exactly how many other people have booked appointments during that time slot. If the number is too large for your comfort you can choose a different time slot with fewer people booked.
So far having an appointment has made me more conscientious about showing up and not postponing going to the gym. Also, the app sends me two text messages to remind me about my booking and keeps track of how many times I visit the gym so I have a record. I guess this would also come in handy should there be a COVID-19 case amongst the gym members. It would be very easy to track who had been at the gym with that person.
We can use the elevators, one person at a time to go to the fourth floor of the building where the gym is located but are encouraged to use the wide spacious staircases instead. I have been doing that and it adds another little kick of aerobic exercise to the beginning and end of my workout.
They aren’t as fussy about street shoes as they used to be since they want you to come dressed to work out. You can use the lockers but only every third locker is open so it is not crowded in the dressing room spaces.
My gym is spacious, relatively new and has huge windows for sunlight to pour in. Its huge size makes it possible to space all the workout equipment far apart so you are not close to anyone else. I like this sense of privacy for my workout. Because there are a lot fewer people in the gym you never have to wait to use any of the machines.
You need to check out small weights and other accessories at the front desk so they can be sanitized after every client uses them. In the past, we were always encouraged to wipe down the machines after we used them, but people weren’t always very diligent about that. Now they are! I wipe down the machines before I use them too just to be extra safe.
Because there are fewer people in the gym and our photos are included with the app we needed to download the staff remembers each of our names. They come around to encourage us by name during our workout and to give us a reminder when the time slot we have booked is coming to an end. It makes things more personal.
They also put lots of workouts online during COVID which you can still access at home if you aren’t comfortable going to the gym. You can join some of the virtual classes which they continue to run on Zoom and there are some classes I believe being held outdoors in parks. There are lots of options for exercise.
I really think the effect of the COVID-19 threat has improved the gym experience. I wonder if we might not find that in other areas as well.
Of course, I know that operating the gym with limits on the number of members allowed on-site means my gym may close because it isn’t financially feasible for it to stay open. With COVID it seems there is always a price to pay.