WORKING out at the gym has become a daily routine for thousands of Trinbagonians, but their exercise regime has been forced to change as some gyms closed its doors because of the novel coronavirus, covid19, while other gyms have specific guidelines to cope with the virus.
When Newsday visited the D’Dial Fitness Club Ltd (Long Circular Mall Gym) at midday on Tuesday the doors were closed.
A statement on the door left by the D’Dial Fitness management read, “Due to the current situation with the outbreak of the covid19 aka coronavirus, we at D’Dial Fitness Club will be closing our doors for the next 14 days as of midnight tonight (16/3/2020). This measure is taken to ensure the continued safety of our D’Dial Fitness Club members. We thank you for your faithful patronage and understanding.”
The Central Athletic Club has decided to clean more regularly and stop all classes. The gym has branches in West Mall, San Fernando and Chaguanas.
A statement on the club’s Facebook page on Monday said, “As we ramp up our cleaning schedules, provide hand sanitizer throughout our gyms, keep our bathrooms stocked with soap and disposable paper towels, warn anyone ill to please not visit us, we have decided to take the extra precaution of suspending all group classes until further notice. This is, of course, to contain the spread of covid19. We continue to monitor the situation so that we may provide to the best of our abilities both fitness services and protective measures for the public and our staff.”
When Newsday visited the Central Athletic Club’s West Mall branch at 1 pm on Tuesday, facility manager Adana Craig said a meeting was scheduled to take place later that day. “Currently we are planning on having a board meeting today (Tuesday), so that we can discuss whether or not we will be continuing business as usual.”
Craig also confirmed that the gym is taking all the precautionary measures to keep its customers safe. “In terms of sanitization, we have increased our cleaners. We have them wiping everything that people touch in terms of door handles, bathroom handles, weights, handles on the gym floor, we have them sanitizing everything.”
Fitness Centre Ltd, that operates gyms in Starlite Shopping Plaza, Diego Martin and Maraval, has stopped classes for two weeks including zumba and spin sessions. An official said the gym only has a handful of people at a time and said it is not necessary to close.
Popular south gym Raw Fitness Health Club in Gasparillo has also been affected. “All classes cancelled until further notice. We apologize for any inconvenience caused,” the club’s Facebook page read.
Speaking to a Raw Fitness official at 5.45 pm, a peak time for most gyms, the crowd was smaller than normal. “It is not our usual crowd, but there are persons still coming in,” the official said.
Group sessions that have more than 25 people have been stopped. “Classes would be aerobics, zumba and yoga. Normally we have more than 25 people attending a class at a time, so in light of yesterday’s live stream we have cancelled all of our cardio as well as any other classes we would have conducted.”
In a post-Cabinet meeting on Monday, the Prime Minister asked for people to avoid gatherings of more than 25 people. Efforts are being made to keep Raw Fitness clean with measures such as more hand sanitizer units being installed.
Grand Bazaar-based gym The Bar by ‘The Beast’ has come up with a system to keep its customers fit while paying attention to the dangers of the virus. The gym’s Facebook page said because of the virus, “We have been forced for the first time in our operating life to temporarily suspend our 24-hour operation, and additionally, to implement a booking system for training within the facility.”
From Monday to Friday, the system will only allow 15 people to use the gym for sessions lasting one hour and 15 minutes between 5 am and 10 am and between 4 pm and 9 pm for the next two weeks. On weekends the same system will take place between 9 am and 2 pm, which will include four one hour and 15-minute sessions.
Ricardo Joseph, who has been going to The Bar by ‘The Beast’ for the past year, has decided to stop going soon. Joseph said, “In light of the recent coronavirus pandemic, as a precaution, I’ve decided to avoid the gym as well as other public places. I’ve decided to wait until the situation improves and adhere to the guidelines put in place by the Ministry of Health as there are new confirmed cases as the days go by.”
Joseph, 33, said the gym has become a routine for him. “I’ve been frequenting the gym for the past year and it has now become a part of my lifestyle.”
Fitness groups are also adjusting, as Precision Fitness TT has included a new way for their clients to stay active. The group’s Facebook page said, “From all accounts, disruption to our routine as a result of this pandemic is expected to persist for a period that might last up to a month. Bearing this in mind, we do not want you to lose momentum.
At Precision Fitness TT, the first phase (of) our programme does not require any specialised equipment. In light of this, we have introduced a new platform for online fitness sessions for clients to access our workouts.”