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Here's What Your First Day Back At A Quebec Red-Zone Gym Will Actually Be Like

Some gyms require appointments while others show real-time occupancy online.
Here's What Your First Day Back At A Quebec Red-Zone Gym Will Actually Be Like

Tomorrow is the day fitness buffs across Quebec red zones have been waiting for — gyms are reopening

But with COVID-19 health protocols in effect, it won't be exactly the same as you remember it. We spoke to local fitness professionals and scoured the internet for information on what you can actually expect when you head back to gyms

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What do I have to do before I get to the gym?

Red-zone gyms can only let in a limited number of people at one time.

According to Gabriel Hardy, Quebec's provincial lead on the Fitness Industry Council Of Canada, gyms determine this number by dividing their square footage to see how many people could effectively social distance at once.

That's why many gyms, such as Econofitness, are requiring people to book time slots in advance.

On the other hand, you do not need to make an appointment to work out some gyms, such as Nautilus Plus. Instead, Nautilus shows occupancy rates — from 0-100% — in real-time on its website, so you'll want to check the page before you go. 

Hardy said most locker rooms are closed and you'll need to wear a mask when you enter and exit the gym — so get changed before you leave and don't forget to bring a mask.

In some gyms, the use of a training towel is now mandatory, so bring your own towel as well. 

Both Nautilus and Econofitness ask that you come with your water bottle already filled. 

What can I expect when I arrive at the gym?

As mentioned, you'll need to be wearing your mask when you enter. Some gyms, including Nautilus Plus, have installed protective plexiglass at the reception and made it mandatory to sanitize your hands when you arrive. 

Yaz Cissé, who owns Yaz Body Shop in NDG, told MTL Blog he'll also be using a non-contact thermometer to check clients' temperatures when they arrive.  

A staff member may ask you basic information about yourself when you arrive since fitness centres are required to keep a log of all the clients who pass through — much like restaurants do when they're open. 

But some gyms may use a digital system for this instead.

When you arrive, you might also notice that the equipment has been moved around to accommodate social distancing. 

You'll probably also notice signs and squares on the ground, showing you which direction to walk and how to maintain the required 2-metre distance from others, Hardy said. 

What should I keep in mind while I'm working out?

According to Hardy, you are not required to wear a mask when you're actually working out but you do need to wear one when you're walking around the gym.

Individual gyms may have their own policies, though. For instance, according to the Econofitness website, wearing a mask is mandatory in their gyms at all times except when using a cardio machine.

In the gym, you are required to keep a 2-metre distance from other people at all times.

You're allowed to work out alone, with one other person or with members of your household bubble, but you can't gather to chat with a group of your gym friends — as excited as you may be to see them.

You can also resume one-on-one personal training. 

There are no group classes going on in red zones at this time.