Being hungover can never be an excuse to not hit the gym, at least not when we got 8 1/2 month pregnant women still working the weights. Lee-Ann Ellison, expectant mother of soon-to-be three children, doesn't use being pregnant as an excuse to be lazy and demand foods at an hour of the day. No, she just shrugs it all off and lifts her pregnant-self up to do some pull ups.
Set to give birth in two weeks, Ellison has continued her cross fit training despite words of concern from her physician. Intense physical exercise could harm her unborn child, given the intense amount of muscular strain she's placing on her body. On the other hand, have you ever seen such a fit pregnant women, ever?
Is Ellison's obsession with exercise harming her child? Is she actively dismantling the 'inactive pregnancy' stereotype? Voice your opinion in the comments below.
No matter where you work, Quebec's Act respecting labour standards, enforced by the Commission des normes, de l'équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (CNESST), lays out which days off you are entitled to take. Here are some of them.
The Quebec government specifies that employers must allow employees to be absent from work for the purpose of jury duty or to be a witness during a trial — so your employer cannot fire, suspend or discipline you for your absence.
Employers are not required to pay you if you are required to be absent for court. But prospective jurors and witnesses can claim an allowance or compensation for time spent in court.
If your employer penalizes you for a court absence, you can make a complaint with the Tribunal administratif du travail, in addition to taking any appropriate legal action.
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.
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.
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.
The new rules on fitness centres and sports in Quebec come into effect on March 26.
The exception is extracurricular activities in Quebec schools, which can resume in a "stable class group" as of March 15.
Can I work out without a mask on?
The government states that "participants must wear a mask or face covering that covers the mouth and nose when they enter indoor facilities" so you will have to wear it when you enter at the very least.
Generally speaking, public health rules include wearing masks in indoor spaces, maintaining a 2-metre distance from others and making sure gym machines are sanitized after use.
According to the Econofitness website, wearing a mask is mandatory in their gyms at all times except when using an Econofitness cardio machine.
If you're planning on taking an outdoor fitness class when the weather warms up, you are encouraged, but not required, to wear a mask — and you should maintain 2-metre distancing.
Will I have to make appointments to go to the gym?
It depends on your fitness centre of choice. Econofitness requires its members to make appointments ahead of going to the gym.
Nautilus Plus, however, will not require its members to make appointments at newly reopened centres in Quebec red zones.
Is the gym considered 'essential' and exempt from the curfew?
No. Gyms and other fitness centres are not considered essential by the Quebec government.
You can view the full list of curfew exemptions in Quebec red zones here.
How many people can work out at the same time?
All gyms and training centres, as well as indoor sports complexes, will have limited entry during their reopenings in Quebec red zones.
While the government has not publicly specified the exact number of Quebecers permitted in gyms at one time, we know that it depends on the square footage of the facility in order to ensure adequate social distancing.
You'll only be allowed to train alone or in pairs in an indoor fitness centre in Quebec as of March 26, or with members of your household — meaning "you can’t work out as a group or get together to chat with your friends," according to Econofitness.
Outdoor classes can be held with up to eight people in red zones.
What safety measures do gyms have to follow?
All gyms will be required to keep a registry of every client that comes through, Quebec education minister Isabelle Charest confirmed on March 12.
Machines will most likely have to be sanitized by users after every use, and masks will have to be worn indoors.
Gyms will also be required to rearrange their machines to allow for 2-metre social distancing.
All organized indoor sports activities need to have a designated "supervisor" who makes sure public health regulations are being followed.
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."
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.