Now that Toronto has entered Stage 3 of reopening, many local gyms are opening their doors. But what you see.
Now that Toronto has entered Stage 3 of reopening, many local gyms are opening their doors. But what you see inside will look a little different.
All the Toronto branches of GoodLife – Canada’s largest fitness chain – are limiting the number of patrons in the gym at any time. Another chain, Hone Fitness, is limiting the maximum number of patrons to 50, as per Toronto bylaws.
At GoodLife, workouts are divided into hour-long prescheduled slots, and you can reserve one slot per day. (You can reserve up to 7 days in advance per slot.) If you haven’t reserved a slot, or have already used up your hour for the day, you can drop by, and if there is any room for that slot you’ll be let in.
Warning: if you book and don’t show up for a block more than twice in a two-week period, you will be unable to book for seven days. But you can still try the walk-in method.
Hone Fitness is working on a first-come, first-served basis.
At GoodLife, fitness classes and personal training sessions will go on, but with some differences. The studios for live classes have been modified to ensure physical distancing is possible. Patrons are asked to bring their own mats, straps or blocks, as needed. There will be specific rules about how to exit rooms after classes to avoid bottlenecks.
For personal training sessions, there will be no physical contact unless it’s needed to ensure safety and prevent injury. All trainers will wear masks when with clients. Clients will handle weights and equipment on their own, and there will be no spotting.
Despite the fact that the GoodLife Toronto gyms are reopening, there are still virtual training sessions and group classes available. Many other gyms in the city offer virtual training as well.
After each hour-long block, the gym does a complete clean to reset it for the next hour-long block 30 minutes later.
As per provincial regulations, masks are mandatory in all public spaces, except while exercising. Public spaces include entrances and exits, change rooms, washrooms and waiting for classes. Gymgoers are expected to keep their mask with them at all times.
Locker rooms will have reduced capacity, with several lockers secured so they can’t be used. Closed lockers have been cleaned. When you’re finished with a locker you’re supposed to leave it ajar, to indicate that it needs cleaning.
So far GoodLife’s Toronto-area clubs will have no towels or shower facilities.
Patrons are encouraged to bring their own water bottles. The club’s water fountains will be equipped with bottle fillers. But clients are not allowed to drink directly from the fountain.
If GoodLife members still don’t feel comfortable working out, they’re allowed to defer their membership until October – at no cost. Many clubs don’t offer this free deferral. L.A. Fitness, for instance, is charging $11 per month to pause memberships.