Getting back to gyms

The fitness industry was among the first to take a hit before the lockdown

By   |  Published: 5th Aug 2020  3:55 pm

New Delhi: Gyms and fitness centres geared up to open their doors after almost five months with managements busy fine-tuning operational details such as hourly sanitisation, spacing out equipment to ensure social distancing and minimising staff in accordance with government guidelines.

After the crippling losses and layoffs, the Ministry of Home Affairs’ July 30 notice allowing gymnasiums and yoga institutes to reopen from August 5 was a huge relief, said gym owners.

Aseem Rao, who owns Hype, a franchise of nearly 40 fitness centres across Delhi-NCR, said his outlets will follow all government-instructed protocols, including availability of sanitisers and oximeters, spaced out equipment and thermal screening of both staff and members.

“Most of my outlets are 6,000 square feet in area. To ensure social distancing during group classes, we have decided the space that was earlier occupied by as many as 60 people at a time will now house not more than 25 people,” he said.

The fitness industry was among the first to take a hit with gyms across States shutting down rapidly even before the nationwide lockdown began on March 25, leaving thousands of trainers and support staff unemployed.

“The fitness business will no longer be a volume game. Most estimates show that the footfall will probably reduce significantly to allow only 33-50 per cent member attendance, depending on the availability of space. The hybrid model will allow the gyms to up their game and offer the best of both the online and offline worlds to their members by giving them more freedom and flexibility to workout anytime, anywhere,” said Amaresh Ojha, founder and CEO of Gympik.