For our clients who have experience working out in fitness centers pre-pandemic, they will likely see modifications since the pandemic. Trainers can assist clients with navigating through these new changes. During the pandemic, most gyms closed temporarily or, unfortunately for many, permanently. As the doors have started opening on those who had temporary closings, things look different. Hours might be reduced and some classes may no longer be on the schedule. We can move through this limbo stage and make it work by adhering to the new protocols. Whether your clients are beginners or experienced, training sessions held in a gym make an ideal setting to plant seeds so clients will feel comfortable even if you aren’t with them. Here is a gym modification rundown to prepare clients for what to expect. 

Gym Modification 1: Sanitizing

Avoiding germs has never been more emphasized. Sanitizing is a high priority. New procedures may be in place calling for deep cleanings after hours.

Your gym-going clients can assist in this effort by being responsible and cleaning the equipment they use. Look for disposable wipes and spray bottles for wiping down equipment prior to and following an exercise. Reusable sanitizing towels are likely to be an artifact in today’s climate.

Air purifiers may have been installed to circulate air through a filtration system, hopefully killing viruses and bacteria in the air. 

Gym Modification 2: Reduced Staffing

Many gyms suffered dips in membership and staffing. Signing up for classes ahead of time controls the numbers in classes. Apps and online sign-ups might be required to take a class. Check to see if walk-ins are allowed before opting to just show up. In classrooms, there might be designated spacers to keep participants and/or mats separated from one another.

Not re-racking weights has always been a thorn in the gym goer’s (and management’s) side, but it’s even more important now. Other equipment needs to be returned to where it belongs. Since many gyms have cut their staff numbers, there are fewer helpers to do the extra work.

Gym Modification 3: Equipment and Class Changes

Certain pieces of equipment are likely to be absent. In an effort to keep things sanitized, porous equipment like mats, cloth straps, and yoga blocks, may have been discarded. Gym towels may also be unavailable for now. If clients want to utilize these, they should plan to bring their own.

Classes that were held outside during the pandemic may still be held outside. Check for class locations before assuming the classes are in their pre-pandemic location.

Virtual classes are likely still an option for those not yet comfortable returning to in-person offerings. 

Some gyms also set up outside workout areas, so clients may see outside gym settings. 

Modified Gym Rules

Honor the new gym rules and respect the staff. The gyms want to stay in business and are following protocols to keep the doors open.

  • Cardio equipment might be spaced apart with some marked unusable, allowing separating between participants.

  • Masks are probably optional, but may be requested in certain settings.

  • Adhere to number limitations in classes, saunas, and locker rooms. 

  • Cooperate and appreciate! The staff members have likely had a tough time following guidelines and also enforcing them. Be considerate. 

We had an established norm before 2019. Then a new norm was introduced and adapted to during the pandemic. Now fitness enthusiasts have to readjust to yet another new phase. As we transition through it, everyone can do their part to be patient and understanding so everyone can have a more efficient and fulfilling experience.

Kim Becknell Williams

Kim Becknell Williams is a freelance writer with more than ten years of personal training experience. Certified through NFPT, she is a Functional Training Specialist and holds a Master Trainer level certificate for resistance, endurance and sports nutrition. Kim has written two books including Gym Etiquette 101. She enjoys writing a variety of lifestyle articles and fitness blogs.