CORONAVIRUS

Coronavirus US: What measures will be in place at gyms when they reopen?

As some states in the US prepare for phase one of Opening Up America Again, here's how gyms are preparing to keep people safe as they work out.

Coronavirus US: What to expect at gyms when they reopen
Ina Fassbender AFP

Gyms to reopen as US states prepare phase one of Trump plan

Some states in the US are now preparing to implement phase one of president Donald Trump’s plan for reopening America. For example, Georgia governor Brian Kemp has announced his intention to restart the state’s economy by this Friday, with gyms among the business slated to get going again.

Joined by similar plans in states such as Tennessee and South Carolina, Georgia’s move to relax restrictions aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus comes despite opposition from figures including Trump, who told reporters this week that it was too early. “I disagree with him on what he’s doing,” the president said.

At the time of writing, Covid-19 had registered nearly 850,000 cases and claimed almost 50,000 lives in the US, the country worst affected by the global pandemic.

So what will gyms in the US look like after reopening?

According to Trump’s three-step plan, named Opening Up America Again, gyms will be allowed to unlock their doors in phase one “if they adhere to strict physical distancing and sanitation protocols”.

Three-step plan at Gold’s Gym, BI told

In an interview in the media outlet Business Insider, the CEO of Gold’s Gym, which has around 700 locations across the US and internationally, has outlined the company’s own three-stage process.

Phase one:

Gold's chief Adam Zetisiff says the gym will begin by reopening the strength and cardio areas at a limited capacity to ensure proper social distancing is maintained, potentially only making every second machine available for use. A strict cleaning schedule wil also be put in place to preserve the highest standards of hygiene.

Phase two:

Step two will see group fitness classes start up again, but only at 50% of their usual size - or, if social distancing still cannot be guaranteed, a percentage even lower than that.

Phase three:

The third step, Zetisiff revealed to Business Insider, will see the gym get back to running at full capacity. However, he cautions that this will be “some time down the road”.

Crunch CEO: gym to follow “comprehensive” reopening measures

Speaking to NBC News on Saturday, meanwhile, the CEO of Crunch gyms, Jim Rowley, said: “We've spent the last three weeks working on a comprehensive plan for reemerging - we have a 37-page manual for our clubs that covers everything from social distancing measures to sanitation and disinfection guidance."

Rowley says there will be arrows on the floor to direct the flow of workout traffic, machines will be a minimum of six feet apart, and boxes will be marked out on the floor in group classes as a way of ensuring people remain in their own area.

Live coverage of the coronavirus pandemic

You can stay up-to-date with the latest developments in the coronavirus crisis by following our daily live blog. We also have dedicated rolling feeds for the United States, India and Africa.