This Is What Montreal Gyms Have To Say About Reopening

As gyms and fitness centres prepare to reopen across Quebec after getting the green light from the Legault government, Montreal gyms — and their owners — are responding in various ways.  

These are some of their reactions to the news that they can reopen in a limited capacity on March 26. 

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A gym owner's perspective

Clarence Emile, co-owner of Centre U Fit, told MTL Blog that he and his partner are "really excited." 

In November, Emile was left confused about what he could do in his gym due to ambiguous language surrounding government rules, resulting in multiple visits from the SPVM.

"Obviously it sucks because we've been away from our clients for so long [...]. It took a little too long since all other businesses like physical therapists were open — especially since we don't do [anything] hand-to-hand," he said.

Emile said his main concern with reopening is that the government will decide to shut down gyms again in the next few months.

"Every time we close and reopen there's a football team of clients that rush to the gym wanting personal training," he said, describing the state of flux as difficult for new businesses. 

In addition to personal training, Emile said he hopes small group classes will be allowed in Montreal soon like they are in orange zones

Centre U Fit's clients already use a platform to reserve spots in classes and book appointments so reopening while implementing public health rules, such as keeping a log and limiting the number of people at the gym, should be a smooth transition, according to Emile.

"We've been getting messages for the past couple of weeks since we started opening the stores and our clients are like, 'Do you know when they're gonna reopen the gyms? I've been inactive for so long,'" he said.

"My clients are going to be super excited. They're going to for sure rush to the gym. And we're gonna be as happy to see them." 

Gyms are posting plans on social media

Gyms across the city are posting on social media or on their websites to acknowledge the reopening. 

"Finally some good news! The gov authorities have authorized the reopening of training centers as of Friday, March 26th," wrote Gym St-Henri on Facebook. 

"Econofitness Members, rest assured that we will be ready to welcome you from this date in a clean, pleasant and safe environment," Econofitness posted

Econofitness also shared a blog post on "the three golden rules of going back to the gym for a quick, safe and fun individual workout."

Nautilus Plus has already posted some details on its website.

It says all Nautilus Plus centres located in the red zone (it provides a full list) are set to reopen as of March 26.

What going back to the gym could be like

The government stated that training in red zones will be limited to individuals, pairs or members of the same household bubble. 

Since gyms are already open in orange zones, it gives us a sense of what going back to the gym will look like.

Nautilus Plus has an FAQ section on its website with the COVID-19 measures in place, including wearing masks as you enter the gym, mandatory hand washing when you enter, mandatory use of a training towel, keeping a 2-metre distance and protective plexiglass at the reception. 

Econofitness describes its process for heading back to the gym on its website.

Before coming to the gym, you must book your visit online — you can reserve up to three gym visits over three days.

You must also arrive ready to work out rather than expecting change rooms to be available. 

Econofitness asks that you workout by yourself meaning "you can’t work out as a group or get together to chat with your friends" and that you try to limit your workout to 60 minutes. 

Gyms and fitness authorities will be announcing more details in the coming days.