ALMOST two months from being away from the gyms, fitness lovers in Trinidad said they are now happy to be back and are hoping gyms remain open.
Many of them arrived at their respected gyms as early as 6 am on Monday waiting to enter.
On Saturday, at a covid19 media briefing, the Prime Minister gave the all-clear for gyms to resume operations but operate at 50 per cent capacity.
“We would open gyms at 50 per cent. We are recommending that you operate by appointment from 6 am to 10 pm.”
When Newsday visited the gyms near San Fernando such as Gulf View Health and Fitness at South Trunk Road in La Romaine, The Fitness Centre Ltd in South Park, and Central Athletic Club at C3 Centre, their doors were open as fitness lovers with their masks on were seen leaving while others arrived.
Palmiste resident Kyle Beckles said for the last three years he had started his fitness journey and has been heavily involved in weight lifting.
Beckles said when the gyms closed he had to find means and ways to continue lifting heavy.
He said he used old pieces of iron he found and concrete bricks, but he said nothing compares to being at the gym and using the equipment. “At the gym not only is there the right equipment, but you are motivated to continue. I am really happy the gym is open and all the necessary precautions are being followed.”
Sandra Bodoe, of San Fernando, said for the last two months she has been walking as a means of exercising. However, she said it was not the same as being in the gym.
“The gym creates that environment for you and (you) have the opportunity to meet trainers who assist you with exercises. I am really happy to be back,” Bodoe said while climbing on a treadmill.
“It is really quite refreshing,” said Shane San Tokhie of Fyzabad.
San Tokhie said he did not have access to weights and spent his recreational time fishing.
Princes Town resident Anthony Baksh said he was elated to get back on schedule with his workouts at the gyms. He said exercising and eating healthy have been a part of his lifestyle.
An employee at Gulf View Health and Fitness said they are only allowing 20 people inside the gym at once. She said the gym now operates by appointments which is working without any hiccups.
At Fitness Centre Ltd, one employee said there were people outside waiting to begin their workout from as early as 6 am. She said for the first day their phones rang non-stop. “People could not wait to return and of course, we are following all the protocols.”
An employee at the D Dial Fitness Club that operates gyms in Long Circular Mall, One Woodbrook Place and Arima, was elated to be back in business. “So far so good. It is not a big rush to come to the gym. It’s a slow consistent trickle,” she said on Tuesday.
All covid19 protocols are being followed. “Everybody is cautious, everybody is maintaining social distancing. They (are) following all protocols (such as) sanitizing machines before and after usage because everybody is cautious and they don’t want any incidents that cause the gyms to shut down again…this is where they come to be happy.”
At D Dial Fitness both the clients and employees clean the equipment regularly.
D Dial Fitness is not operating by appointment yet as the traffic at the branches has not been overwhelming, but that will change if people start rushing to the gym.
Many gyms in TT offer a range of classes such as spin and yoga. D Dial Fitness Club may resume classes next Monday.
The D Dial Fitness representative is grateful that employees can work again.
“It allows us to continue to be employed because it is very tough for us to be home…it has been tough for the past couple months because it is not that there are other jobs out there that we can go and seek employment.”
With reporting by