For what seemed an eternity for all the Personal Trainers, Gym Owners and Gym Goers, the government announced this week that gyms, pools and leisure centres can reopen on 25th July. This will hopefully be a positive step for all and will allow for all the continue their journey of self-improvement.
The guidance (which can be found in full here) will hopefully reassure the safety of those working and using the gym and leisure facilities whilst also allowing all to maximise the time spent on their favourite machines or being able to swim in a pool for the first time in a good while. In summary, the guidance sets out the following:
- Limited amount of people inside the venue at a given time
- Limited waiting time/crossing over of people within a given time
- Ensure people and equipment are socially distanced from the next person using equipment
- Enhanced cleanliness of the venue and provision of hand sanitisers
- If possible, continue to train outdoors, keeping in line with the public gatherings
With the gyms and leisure facilities reopening, it presents an ideal opportunity to apply the lessons and few positives from being in lockdown to improve the experience of all users of gym and leisure facilities. Below are a few examples of lessons/positives from the experiences over the past three months and ideas for the professional and the user to apply them:
Variety of classes available – The choice that health and fitness enthusiasts had whilst in lockdown to keep fit was outstanding, not just in terms of content but also how they could watch/listen to the information provided. This opened up either a new market of people, who had always felt that they “didn’t have the time to workout” as well as allowing those who missed the gym to carry on staying fit in some way, shape or form. There will be those who are apprehensive of stepping into a gym/leisure centre as soon as they open and it is important that their needs are listened to and not forgotten.
Ideas for Health and Fitness Users: Continue to search/use fitness content that works to your lifestyle and needs
Ideas for Health and Fitness Professionals: Offer of online programmes, Offer of ad hoc online sessions/content, live sessions carried out from the gym/leisure centres
Maintaining the community spirit – There was a sense of that “we were all in this together” whilst we were restricted in what we could do during the lockdown period. What this saw was the resilience and empathetic side of the Health and Fitness Community shine through, with people trying to support each other in any way possible.
Ideas for Health and Fitness Professionals: Continue/Look to share experiences of reopening, in terms of what worked well and what could be improved, with each other, to find the optimum service for users
Ideas for Health and Fitness Users: Share the experience of going back to the gym with others, promote the classes and availability of the Health and Fitness Professionals
Be kind to each other – A bi-product of the community spirit. The generosity and patience seen virtually could be seen through the fact that people were allowed to be honest about the up and downs that they were going through during the past three/four months. Whether that be feeling motivated and energetic or upset and frustrated, there seemed to be someone or something that would listen to what people were going through and offer time and space to support.
Ideas for Health and Fitness Professionals: Be patient with those you are working with, in terms of progress/ability and business; things will take time to adjust to the “new normal” within gyms and leisure centres. Also provide an encouraging and safe environment for the users, to relieve any anxiety that they may have.
Ideas for Health and Fitness Users: Be patient in terms of progress and waiting times, as well reassuring the Professionals by thanking them for their time and providing them feedback on the session
Establishing an online presence – Probably the toughest lesson to see was how those whose business was solely in a fixed location and not online were unable to generate the same level of service and income to those who had an online presence before the lockdown took place. The risk of the being a second wave and/or local lockdowns remain and by having an online presence, the impact of this risk would reduce significantly
Ideas for Health and Fitness Professionals: Maintain/Continue to grow your online presence, to further grow, or at least maintain your clientele
Ideas for Health and Fitness Users: Keep an open mindset about training online
Trainer Behaviour would be more than happy to support the Health and Fitness community to apply the above lessons and can do so be completing the following:
- Variety of classes available – providing a platform for live classes to take place via the Trainer Behaviour YouTube channel
- Maintaining the community spirit – sharing information and support with others in the community via our Instagram profile and website
- Be kind to each other – use of reviews on the Trainer Behaviour profile, left by clients
- Establishing an online presence – encourage as many professionals to create their own Trainer Behaviour profile
Here at Trainer Behaviour, we wish all the Health and Fitness Professional that are going back to work in gyms and leisure facilities the best of luck on their return back to the “office”. We hope that all stay healthy and safe and that we keep on looking after each other