Charlotte Grainger

What to Expect from London Gyms Reopening

gym reopenings in london covid

Hitting the gym tops the list of activities Brits are most looking forward to when lockdown restrictions ease. 87% of gym members say that they will be resuming their membership when facilities reopen, according to a recent survey. Now that the date is finally here, what can you expect from your gym and how will things be different? Let’s take a quick look.

WHAT GYMS ARE REOPENING AND WHEN?

Gyms are officially allowed to reopen their doors on 25th July! On that date, 1Rebel, Barry's, Core Collective, Psycle in Clapham and Westbourne, FLEX Chelsea, Barrecore and BLOK in Clapton will be opening. (Note that BLOK has put both boxing and sparring classes on hold.)

A couple of days later, on 26th July Psycle on Mortimer Street is set to open. Frame will be opening both their Shoreditch and Kings Cross locations on 1st August. On 3rd August, Psycle in Shoreditch will be reopening. And finally, BLOK in Shoreditch will reopen on 8th August with no boxing or sparring classes. For more information, see individual websites.

HOW WILL THINGS BE DIFFERENT?

Gyms may be reopening, but you can bet that things will look different. As we all adjust to the ‘new normal’, these facilities will need to adhere to a new set of guidelines from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. Here’s a breakdown of the changes: 

  • Timed bookings to limit class sizes 
  • Increased breaks between class sessions 
  • Improved cleaning and hand sanitiser in venues
  • Enhanced ventilation systems
  • One-way systems and special queue processes
  • Encouraged outdoor activities, when possible 
  • Staff members encouraged to shower and change at home 
  • Social distancing marks on the flooring

Needless to say, all venues will need to follow the above rules. The measures are there to ensure that all members are as safe as possible when working out. 

safety guidelines for gyms london

WHAT SAFETY PROTOCOLS WILL BE IN PLACE?

Aside from the official government guidelines, many of the leading London studios have also published their own set of safety measures. If you’re planning to hit the gym after this weekend, here’s everything that you can expect: 

1Rebel

When the no-contract fitness studios reopen across London, there will be some notable changes in place. There’s a dedicated COVID secure page on the 1Rebel website that details how the company will be putting the safety of its customers first. 

Studios in the city will be open at a reduced capacity, with social distancing at all times. To further protect your safety, each of the ride bikes will be fitted with a protective perspex screen and there will be separating curtains between treadmills. 

You won’t be able to share equipment (for obvious reasons!) and it will be sterilised with antiviral fog dispensers. Aside from that, there will be fresh air ventilation around the studios and non-touch temperature tests for employees and members when they come in. 

As you workout, you can decide whether you want to wear a mask or face covering. Finally, there will be hand sanitisation when entering or leaving rumble sessions. 

how will gyms reopen covid

Core Collective 

The team at Core Collective has made significant changes to keep members safe. The receptions will now be behind a perspex screen while all staff and members will have non-contact temperature checks too. There will be no shower towels available and the team suggests that you shower and change at home whenever possible. 

What’s more, every 7-10 minutes the air within the studios is extracted and replaced with fresh air. You can expect reduced class sizes with social distancing in place alongside antiviral disinfectant wipes available in all studios. Classes have been scheduled so that no equipment is shared during workouts and your instructor will provide extra details. 

The Core Collective gyms will be deep-cleaned each night, using antiviral products that have a 99.999% germ kill rate. Staff will be regularly disinfecting areas. The team encourages members to bring their own mats if they would like to and to arrive. Arrive no more than 15 minutes and no less than five minutes before your class starts.

Psycle

If you’re ready to ride, Psycle has also released COVID safety guidelines. The staff will be carrying out non-touch temperature tests as members enter the studios and you will need to give verbal confirmation that you do not have symptoms and are not living with anyone who is self-isolating. You will also notice that there are large acrylic screens in place.

The team asks that you arrive no more than 15 minutes and no fewer than five minutes before sessions to avoid crowds. When you hit the studios, there will be top-grade hygiene products available and ride shoes will be disinfected. There is also a no-contact policy at all times, which means that you shouldn’t be high-fiving or shaking hands!

FLEX Chelsea

West London locals have been eagerly awaiting the reopening of this loved studio. When fitness enthusiasts reenter the glass doors of this studio, they can be assured every health and safety precaution is being taken by the team to help everyone thrive. 

Expect social distancing within classes, staggered check-in times, tailored classes with no shared equipment, and increased cleaning throughout the building. After a class, clients are welcome to stay in the open area downstairs to catch up with friendly faces that have been kept separated by Zoom screens for so long. 

gyms and studios reopening in london

Barrecore 

Ahead of Barrecore reopening this weekend, the staff have shared their COVID safety plans online. Classes will now be operated by teachers only, which means that there will be fewer people in each studio. You need to book in advance and arrive on time as the doors open 10 minutes before each class and close one minute before it begins. 

The lockers and changing rooms will be available for limited use. However, there will not be showers available and you will need to go home to change. Similarly, water dispensers won’t be available, which means that you should bring your own bottle or buy water. 

Within each class, the number of people will be limited and you will need to social distance at all times. You will also notice that there is a limited amount of props you can use during sessions. The staff ask that you wipe down any equipment you use at the end of sessions. 

Barry’s

The health and safety measures that Barry’s is taking are clearly marked on the main page. As the red rooms reopen, the team is working alongside a council of health care experts and also using focus groups to ensure the studios are safe to use. 

Before you attend classes, you can expect non-contact temperature checks when you enter the premises. On top of that, shield guards will be in place at the front desk and Fuel Bar. Clients and staff will be required to wear a face covering at all times when in communal areas, apart from the Red Room. Masks will be on sale for convenience. 

There will be fewer people in each session, no equipment can be shared and classes have been scheduled to limit the amount of crossover. While usual lockers and shower amenities will be accessible, Barry's kindly ask all clients to bring their own towels as they will not be provided. There is also a ‘cash free’ policy. The team are only processing contactless and Barry's account holder payments.

blok london studio opens july

BLOK

When you first walk through the doors of BLOK, you will notice a few changes. There will be useful sanitising stations throughout as well as shield guards at receptions. The team has staggered the class to limit crossover and you will need to social distance at all times. You can choose whether you wear a mask, but they are ‘welcomed’ by staff members. 

Showers and water fountains will be unavailable. The studios will have a new layout to ensure a safer environment for all. It doesn’t end there. There will also be no sharing of equipment and no physical assists or adjustments. Of course, the equipment will be cleaned before and after class. Each night, there will also be deep cleaning, where staff will use EN76 compliant disinfectants which are 99.9% effective against germs.

OUTDOOR WORKOUTS

Feel more comfortable exercising in the great outdoors? You’re in luck. Some venues around London are also offering classes outside. Here’s what you need to know. 

Core Collective Outdoors 

Want to get your sweat on in the great outdoors? Core Collective Outdoors is the answer. The company has a variety of sessions that take place outside at the Kensington location. From circuit training to cycling, there are plenty of ways to get active. 

outdoor fitness classes in london

Frame Alfresco 

Frame will be holding Alfresco classes at both the Shoreditch and Kings Cross locations next month. A brand new timetable, which will include these events, will be available on 20th August. Check the website after that to get the information you need.  

LIVE STREAM AND ONLINE CLASSES

Whether you’re self-isolating or simply want to workout at home, there are some live streaming and online class options instead. Here are some of your choices: 

Ride Live with 1Rebel 

Experience 1Rebel Rides without heading to the studio. To do the Ride Live classes from the comfort of your own home, you will need to buy the bike first and then pay a £39 a month subscription. You can follow both live or prerecorded sessions. 

online fitness classes from gym studios

CCTV Digital Studio 

CCTV is Core Collective’s digital studio, meaning you can workout at home. Each session is two-way streamed live via Zoom, meaning you can see the trainers and they can see you. You can book onto strength classes, pilates, power yoga, and more. 

Frame Online 

Want to experience Frame workouts without leaving the house? Check out the Frame Online schedule and book a session that suits you. From yoga sessions to dance cardio, there’s something for every mood. To get started, you will need to become a member. 

FLEX Live

FLEX Chelsea offer an online schedule of 3 classes each day. It's a two-way set up to allow for as much interaction as virtual fitness can offer, and ensures the instructor and spot postural alignment and class motivation. These sessions are available from just £5 per class, through the FLEX Chelsea website or app. These sessions will continue even after doors open.

Barrecore Online

Barrecore has a variety of live online class options, depending on your goals and fitness level. You may choose the On Demand, which gives you access to a variety of online classes with fans including Pippa Middleton and Rita Ora. Aside from that, you can also book Live Group Sessions and even Live Private Sessions! The choice is yours. 

Ten Live Classes

Ten Health & Fitness is now offering live classes with an introductory offer of two classes for £10. The small group, Zoom-based classes are perfect for people of all fitness and skill levels. You can book via the timetable online or using the Ten dedicated app. Classes include pilates, HIIT training, yoga and strength workouts. Take your pick. 

BLOKtv

BLOKtv live stream classes and on demand workouts will continue to be available after the locations reopen. You can book signature sessions, including BLOKparty, BLOKflex, BLOKfit and BLOKbreathe online. The classes are streamed to whatever device you use.  

Classpass Home Workouts

If you’re a Classpass member, you will have access to more than 4000 pre-recorded sessions online. You can also transfer your subscription credits to use on booking virtual studio classes. Until 4th August, 100% of livestream class purchases go to the company’s partners. Choose from a variety of disciplines that suit your personal workout style. 

GET ACTIVE AND STAY SAFE!

Ready to get active? The new measures taken by gyms are there to keep you and other members safe at all times. However you choose to work out and look after yourself, make sure you put the comfort and hygiene of yourself and those around you first!