gyms canada

Gyms in Canada are starting to reopen and here's what it's like going for a workout

Gyms in British Columbia were given the green light to reopen on Tuesday, so if you've been dying to pick up a kettlebell for weeks, then there's good news ahead.

On May 6, B.C. Premier John Horgan announced that eligible gyms in the Fraser Health, Island Health, and Interior Health regions could reopen on May 19 as part of "phase two" of the province's restart plan.

Regions opening gyms include Vancouver Island, Burnaby, Coquitlam, Surrey, and Abbotsford.

The Vancouver Coastal Health region never formally asked gyms to close, although many voluntarily shut down and will begin reopening this week as well.

Gyms are doing more than just wiping down yoga mats, though; Interior Health is asking fitness facilities to use verified disinfectants, offer contactless payment, space out cardio machines, and limit locker room use where possible.

West Coast Iron in Port Coquitlam reopened its doors on Tuesday, with a number of new health protocols in place.

Co-owner Ron Partlow told NEWS 1130 that only about 40 people will be allowed in the gym at once, and gym-goers won't be able to work out with a partner, unless they share a household.

"There's red tape all over the floor and signs everywhere with hand sanitizers everywhere," he said. "We were fortunate that we have a lot of space to work with. We didn't have to modify it too much."

Griffins Boxing and Fitness in Vancouver is opting to open in stages, with its "soft opening" taking place on Wednesday.

The popular boxing studio says class sizes will remain small, rentals will be unavailable, and floor stickers will be placed around the gym to encourage social distancing.

The gym will also introduce sanitation stations.

Ride Cycle Club, a well-known indoor cycling studio in Vancouver, said that they saw so much demand upon reopening that they had to relocate to a warehouse to accomodate physical distancing, per CBC News.

"We sold out within five minutes in Vancouver for the first week," marketing manager Cristi Porta said, adding that the waitlist is "through the roof."

Some large gym chains such as Club 16 and GoodLife Fitness have opted not to open in B.C. just yet, although GoodLife says that it will release further details toward the end of May.

Fitness facilities in Manitoba are hoping to follow the lead of their B.C. counterparts and also reopen in the coming weeks, subject to government approval.

Lead photo by

Jesse Milns

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