The process of easing out of lockdown has begun, and with this comes thoughts about what our new world will look like. Over the last couple of months, we’ve had to keep our social circles smaller than we’d ever imagined. Who would have thought conversations with neighbour Maureen over the fence would be as exciting as Saturday night got? So, we don’t blame you for feeling a bit weird about entering a busy environment again. To help ease some of your worries, we wanted to address the questions our app users, and the broader training community might be contemplating with regards to gyms reopening.

When will gyms re-open?

Although varying predictions have been shared online, no official date has been given for the reopening of gyms. Some suggest they could be one of the last places to re-open as lockdown is eased, while the Shadow secretary said this week that July would be the earliest gyms might open. 

Whatever the date, our partner gyms are committed to opening in a way which is safe for staff and customers. UKActive have published a framework for the re-opening of gyms advising on measures to be put in place when gyms re-open, including two-metre social distancing between pieces of equipment, regular cleaning of touchpoints of equipment, extra signage reminding users of social distancing and providing hand sanitiser/wipes. Signposting will also be provided in changing areas, with sprays and cloths also available to customers for touchpoints.

 What does this mean for personal training sessions?

Fortunately for personal trainers, the gym isn’t the only place they can work with clients. Since the government guidelines gave the green light on multiple people meeting up outside (whilst observing social distancing), our trainers have been taking outdoor PT bookings. This can be in a clients’ garden or the park. 

The great thing about booking a PT session is, you’ll no longer be limited to cans of beans as a substitute for weights, your PT will bring all of the equipment you need. There are so many other benefits to using a PT while gyms are closed (see our last blog here), and with so many people finding solace in exercise during these tough months, we are looking forward to seeing how PT uptake changes over the next year. 

Will anyone want to go back into the gym?

Despite adapting, many are still missing the gym. For some people, going to the same gym at the same time every week, evokes a sense of community, especially when you’re meeting up with a trainer who’s so involved in your progress. 

 Although many have loved keeping fit from home during the lockdown, with nearly a third (31%) of Brits saying they’re doing more daily exercise now than before the start of lockdown (Nuffield Health research), access to equipment is an issue for many. Without the use of a well thought through gym layout, range of weights, resistance machines and studio space, it’s much harder to follow a full-body routine.

Because of this, we feel confident, people will be eager to enjoy the abundance of equipment and the social (albeit distanced) interaction side of the gym that we’ve been missing throughout the pandemic.

What if you’ve been enjoying your home workout set-up?

As more people are now partaking in a fitness routine, it appears lockdown has begun steering us towards a healthier way of living – hopefully for the long haul. Unexpectedly, it seems we will have more fitness fans at the end of lockdown than we had before. 

Our new found love for home fitness can work in tandem with gyms – together making a dream team. How many times have you had to skip the gym because of a meeting that has overrun? And after a hectic day the gym can feel like the last place you want to go. Even on weekends, many people have realised just how convenient it is to be able to facetime your PT, saving travel time and lowering the cost. 

With many improving their home workout set-up during lockdown and activity levels increasing, we are likely to see improved physical and mental results from consistency with exercise. The gym could then be seen as a more effective way of continuing new found fitness habits. A place to use the equipment you don’t have at home, either with a PT or friends, and a place to feel part of a community of like-minded people.