What Gyms Will Look Like When They Reopen After Lockdown

What Gyms Will Look Like When They Reopen After Lockdown

The COVID-19 pandemic has laid down some challenges for the fitness industry as gyms and health clubs have had to shutdown as part of the lockdown. This has given rise to home gyms, virtual workouts and outdoor exercise with the government allowing for unlimited exercise.

However gyms and health clubs are hopeful of opening their doors up again pretty soon and as soon as July. This goes against reports a few months ago that gyms and leisure facilities wouldn’t open till autumn because scientists found gyms to he a “hotbed” for viruses and infections spreading.

UK Active have also revealed a 4 step reopening framework to ensure members that their gyms and leisure centres will be safe as well as convince the government and local authorities to give them the green light to open.

As a fitness instructor myself I thought it would make sense for me to discuss what gyms will look like once they return:

Increase In Cleaning And Use Of PPE

Cleaning and hygiene standards are going to be significantly higher and stricter than pre-covid. Expect wipe down of equipment and machines to be more frequent from staff. Hand sanitisers and wipes will most likely be available at cleaning stations for members to clean otherwise members will be encouraged to bring their own. Staff will probably have to do deep cleaning sessions more often after the gyms shut.

It’s possible that wearing a face mask may be a compulsory for gym members and staff for the foreseeable future. Although that could provide a challenge for members when working out as having a mask on would make breathing more difficult. Fitness instructors like myself and other staff may find ourselves doing more cleaning than instructing.

What Will Gyms Look Like When They Reopen After Lockdown
Image Credit: Unsplash

Fewer Equipment And Machines In Use

Much like it was in many gyms before lockdown, you can expect equipment and cardio machines like treadmills and exercise bikes to be reduced in availability. Some gyms will be doing some rearranging of their furniture. This will help gyms adhere to social distancing guidelines of keeping 2m from individuals

Pure Gym have revealed what their gyms will look like post lockdown, with marked training zones, social distancing floor markers. Images of the revised layout at their gym branch in Edinburgh is below:

Image Credit: Pure Gym

Pre-Booked Training Times + Reduced Opening Hours

Members may have to book time slots for their gym sessions. The number of people allowed in the gym at one time may be capped at a certain number much like you see in all shops and supermarkets. Opening hours will possibly be altered with gyms closing earlier or opening up later then usual. The gym I work at originally had the intention doing this but didn’t have the opportunity to do so as we went into lockdown. This could be in order to allow time for deep cleaning of gyms after closing and/or before opening.

It would also make sense with not many people expected to return and from a economical point of view having a gym open at times and having people would be bad for business. This is the last thing they need, especially franchise/budget gyms, knowing they’re in a state of recovery during what is a deep recession.

Changing Rooms, Toilet And Shower Facilities All Closed

Changing rooms, toilet and shower facilities may remain closed. They tend to be the places where the majority of viruses and bacteria linger so I don’t see them being opened up to the public straight away, especially. It would be the logical thing if training times are staggered because individuals can spend varying amounts of time in those facilities. Gyms that have opened abroad have engaged in this practice. Whether the UK follows suit we’ll just have to wait and see.

Limited Number Of Group Exercise Classes

Group classes may be drastically capped in numbers at the very least in order to adhere to social distancing guidelines. HIIT-style classes such as Bootcamp, Spin/Group Cycle and Circuits will be impacted the most. If any classes that are most certain to go ahead it’ll be the less intense, sweat-inducing ones such as Yoga and Pilates.

What Will Gyms Look Like When They Reopen After Lockdown
Image Credit: David Parry


What Will Gyms Look Like When They Reopen After Lockdown
Image Credit: Unsplash

So what will gyms look like after lockdown? Well Gym life as we knew it is going to be a completely different ball game. I think in some ways they’ll pick up where they left off right before lockdown: classes not running, fewer equipment available, greater emphasis on cleaning. They’ll definitely be much quieter as people may be willing to take a risk initially. Gyms will certainly be closely scrutinised by the government. They will be keeping a close eye to see if there’s a spike of COVID-19 cases in conjunction with gyms and leisure facilities as part of the predicted second wave.

I personally don’t expect a flurry of people to come rushing back into gyms. People would still be sceptical about the safety of as much as gyms can convince them otherwise. Some of these restrictions may be of an inconvenience to people and may put them off from visiting for a while. Besides with so many people enjoying home workouts and outdoor exercise, would the appeal of going to the gym be as much? People may also want to save their money they would otherwise have spent on a gym membership.

For the hardcore fitness freak however this will be a compromise they’re going to have to make if they want to come back into the gym. I personally can’t wait to get back into it and get working out with some familar equipment. It’s gonna be awesome seeing old faces again and catching up.

All of this is just a bit of knowledge and experience I have of the current situation along my personal thoughts. What are your thoughts on what gyms will look like when they reopen after lockdown? Are you looking forward to gyms reopening?

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below. Find me on Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest and make sure you hit that follow button!

Peace peeps!


Johnny is a 23-year old solo traveller and travel blogger with a craving to know the world better and make the small world bigger!


  1. June 18, 2020 / 12:42 pm

    Great post! I was wondering what they would be like so thank you for sharing this!

  2. June 22, 2020 / 1:53 pm

    Thats why I am glad I don’t belong to a gym I use Beachbody on Demand

    • Johnny
      June 25, 2020 / 8:58 am

      You must be loving it then 😂 How you finding the virtual workouts on there?

  3. June 22, 2020 / 2:04 pm

    I live in Houston and am happy to say that we haven’t had many of these things implemented! Seeing how the numbers are rising again, though, I’m a little nervous!

    • Johnny
      June 25, 2020 / 8:54 am

      That just seems a bit reckless considering how transmittable infections are within a gym environment. I’m shocked that the US took themselves out of lockdown as early as they did. From a health perspective you can’t justify it but I guess economically the country would crash if they were to close down forb
      a long period of time. The important thing is that you’re keeping safe 🙂

  4. June 24, 2020 / 12:21 pm

    Never thought I’d say I miss the gym but I really can’t wait to get back to my classes and swimming.

    The announcement yesterday doesn’t seem to bring any real news for us gym goers but it certainly sounds like they are doing a huge amount of preparation.

    Let’s hope the gym staff realise how much we miss them and appreciate their efforts!

  5. June 24, 2020 / 3:40 pm

    Is this the new-normal that we keep talking about? Gyms are now slowly reopening in our country although the cases are now rising more than ever. I hope people follow proper rules to keep themselves safe.

    • Johnny
      June 25, 2020 / 8:50 am

      Yeah I’m afraid so and I feel it’ll be like this in UK gyms for quite a while. I hope so too, especially knowing that gyms are expected to be scrutinised more than most other places because of how late they’re opening up

  6. June 25, 2020 / 9:50 am

    I think it is going to be such a strange environment when things start opening but they won’t be like before. I do have a gym membership, but I am thinking about just getting rid of it until things are a bit more normal I guess. I have actually been loving working out at home and running more! Plus the gym vibe I just don’t think will be the same either x

    • Johnny
      June 26, 2020 / 9:01 am

      I’m glad you have and thanks so much for sharing 🙂 Much appreciated!

  7. June 25, 2020 / 3:49 pm

    I haven’t been back. Put my membership on hold. I think you covered everything, though. There’s always a risk, just need to be smart. I think most gyms are doing everything they can to keep people safe. Getting gym time is essential for so many people’s mental health, so risk benefit needs to be weighed in.

  8. June 25, 2020 / 4:01 pm

    After 7 years of going to the same gym, I actually cancelled my membership! I never thought I would say that. However, between home workouts, running, and hiking, it’s plenty to keep you in shape!

  9. June 25, 2020 / 4:43 pm

    Really interesting to imagine. I’ve been a member of plenty of gyms that had way too many people for the equipment so after Lockdown I can’t begin to imagine what these will be like

  10. Amber Page
    June 25, 2020 / 7:51 pm

    I do miss the gym quite a bit but I don’t think I will be rushing back when they reopen. I think I will give it some time. As well, the weather is nice outside as its summer so it is easy to go for a walk and exercise outside.

    Amber – The Unpredicted Page

  11. June 25, 2020 / 11:28 pm

    The gym is a huge part of my life. They open in the next couple of weeks for us, so we will see what happens! Very nervous for all the rules!

    • Johnny
      June 26, 2020 / 9:02 am

      Likewise myself, it’ll get some getting used to at least but I’m sure we’ll come round to it faster than we initially expect. It’s gonna be great to have an outlet back again nonetheless 🙂

  12. June 29, 2020 / 12:53 pm

    Great post! I am DESPERATE to get back to the gym to shift this lockdown weight. I’ve done NO exercise whatsoever during lockdown so it will be good to get back into it whenever that may be, especially just for the peace of mind and as a stress reliever. I am a little apprehensive about how it will be though but I suppose I will just have to wait and see. Thanks for sharing.


    • Johnny
      June 29, 2020 / 9:45 pm

      You’re welcome! It’s only natural to feel anxious. There’s gonna be a lot of changes to get used at once but if we follow the rules and be mindful then we’ll be fine and be able to workout safely, which is the most important thing. I can’t wait any longer to get back in there either. In fact I’m more excited than ever!

  13. The Cheetah Buzz
    June 30, 2020 / 6:57 pm

    This is great post. I was wondering how other facilities were going to handle people going to the gym. Thank you for sharing xxx

  14. July 10, 2020 / 1:00 pm

    I am looking to the gyms reopening so I can continue to work on my basketball game. Also, Great post its very detailed and informative. Hope you are doing well.

    • Johnny
      July 13, 2020 / 7:27 am

      Thanks man! Yeah I’d imagine being able to do some more intense training would go some way to helping! I’m all good thanks, hope you’re well too 🙂

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