The rise from lockdown
The closure of fitness facilities around the world brought troubling times for gym owners and managers, but the light is now glimmering at the end of the COVID tunnel. Lockdown has put life on hold, but it has also given us the time to reflect on our fitness ventures. Thankfully, we have still been permitted to take regular exercise outdoors to protect our physical and mental wellbeing, and we have had access to a wealth of amazing online workouts and advice on how to stay fit and healthy. Many of us have rekindled our relationship with outdoor exercise, such as walking, running and cycling, and taken to the parks for some HIIT al fresco.
At Boutique gyms, we have seen how creativity and determination, with innovative, compact kit and the smallest of spaces, have given rise to impressive home gyms for PTs and fitness enthusiasts to keep training. Though it has been challenging, we have continued to advise and distribute supplies to keep the fitness wheel turning. As we ease out of lockdown, and back into commercial facilities, we are all wondering what post-pandemic communal fitness will be like, and how we will meet stringent government guidelines. It is an anxious time to prepare ourselves and our clients for the return to the gym. To allay some of those concerns, we have compiled a list of practical pointers that we hope you’ll find useful:
- Reassure and communicate frequently with your clients to let them know their safety is paramount
- Make the most of this time to research and consult with staff and colleagues regularly to share ideas and ensure everyone feels involved and safe.
- Prioritise your cleaning and maintenance regime and provide comprehensive training, making hygiene compliance accessible for everyone
- Make your layout conducive to social distancing, whilst still providing a pleasurable, sociable experience
- Utilise technology and apps to rebuild your fitness community and engage members.
- Revise capacity numbers, schedules and devise an effective booking system for classes and training time
- Set up your one-way system. Seek out support materials and create attractive new signage, markers and wall and equipment visuals to give clear guidance on the new gym conduct
- Revise your marketing strategy. Competition could be strong as the public will be researching the best packages and looking for a new experience.
- Re-position equipment, cover the control panels of machines you don’t wish to have in use and set time limits
- Strive for collective nurturing so that everyone feels responsible and reassured, as opposed to restricted, in their new environment