As gyms re-open in Milton Keynes tomorrow one club owner delivers verdict on what to expect when you go back
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Claire Banbury, owner of energie Fitness based in Kiln Farm, tells us how the gym industry has responded to ensure that fitness studios, gyms and clubs will ensure that they are clean, healthy and safe places and how they will ensure that members can still hit their fitness health and well being goals.
“As local gym owners, we treat the health and safety of both our staff and our members with the upmost importance. Energie Fitness, along with the other national gym brands, have been working closely with U.K. Active, the body that represents the fitness leisure industry, since the day the gyms were told to shut their doors," Claire told the MK Citizen.
"Taking advice from experts and leading scientists the industry has worked to ensure that we create a safe, clean and healthy environment where members can get back to fitness after months away from the gym.
"Although we are incredibly excited to be reopening our doors and we know that our members are itching to get back into our club, we can’t jump straight back into operating the way we did before Covid.
"To this end, customers should be very wary of how their gym plans to operate when the lock down is ended in two weeks time.
"I am very confident that all the mainstream gyms will absolutely comply with the direction given by government and U.K. Active, but as with every industry there will be some who won’t.
"If gym members are not completely confident that their club or studio is working to the highest standards they should consider changing their membership!
"Here at energie we have set up safe training systems and protocols to ensure that both our members and our own team are playing an equally important role in keeping the gym a safe place to work out.
"Indeed, as a club we have a more grown up and caring membership base, so we are very confident that our members will be great at playing their part in looking after each other.
"Firstly we will be asking members to self asses- if they’re not feeling 100% they will be asked not to attend. We will also be doing spot check temperatures of people as they come into the club- to help discourage anyone feeling less than well from attending that day. We reserve the right to prohibit entry to anyone who we are not completely satisfied they are fit and well.
"We will be asking members to book their training slots at the club and will be limiting access to ensure that everyone has plenty of space when they are working out.
"To help “Track and Trace” we will keep a 21 day record of everyone who has been to the club and at what time they were there- so we can play our part in limiting the spread of the virus.
"Throughout the club we have installed antibacterial hand cleaning stations and are providing antibacterial wipes. We are asking members to wipe down any kit and equipment they use thoroughly with the wipes provided.
"We also ask that members take the very basic steps and wash their hands thoroughly and regularly both before and during their visits. Our team will be conducting thorough cleans of the gym through out the day too and we have bought a fogger machine that provides a long lasting antibacterial surface through microscopic droplets. This will be used every 24 hours.
"We will ask members to maintain social distancing and to help with this we have moved equipment to create space between machines and have taped up the floor to ensure that members don’t encroach too close to one another. I’m afraid that “spotting” each other won’t be permitted for now, but I’m sure members will understand.
"Our classes will only be run out doors and we will continue to operate a full on line time table which has been so popular through out lock down.
"We will run small group PT sessions where only up to six members will be able to train together under the watchful eye and supervision of one of our expert team. This programming was started only a few weeks ago and has proved to be incredibly popular because our members get all the benefits of a structured programme with a dedicated instructor and tuition on using kit like kettle bells, bar bells and slam balls, whilst also getting the camaraderie of working with a small group of like minded people.
"Our programming also comes with a wealth of knowledge and information to help members transform their mind set as well as their bodies. We have drawn upon the experience and skills of Rob Francis who is an ex elite soldier and leader with experience in war zones and as an instructor developing Paratroopers and Marines, and Will Breslin, a GB athlete who has represented (and still does) his country at elite level gymnastics."
When gyms reopen, the best and most responsible clubs will be running these systems for the health and safety of their members and with these strict measures in place we are confident that our members and staff are safe and protected from the virus.
Claire added: "Our gym has always been noted for its cleanliness and high levels of customer service and care. But in our post Covid world, these are going to be attributes that are more critical than ever to create a safe, welcoming and fun environment.
"We know that getting the nation fit is one of the government’s aims to help reduce the risks that a potential second wave of infection might have."