Large group of exercise machines in an empty gym.

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Fitness fanatics will have to pump iron at home for at least one more day before being let back through the doors of some of the country’s most popular gyms.

Les Mills will open tomorrow, while City Fitness opens on Monday and gym-goers can expect physical distancing, possible queues to get in or booking-only attendance, as in City Fitness’ case, along with a strict bring your own towel policy.

“No towel = no workout. This will be strictly policed,” Les Mills said on its website.

“At level 2, we will be following the 2m distance rule in our clubs. When it comes to studios for instance, that means you’ll have 4m2 to yourself.”

Les Mills gym-goers can also bring their own masks if they choose. A personal trainer is allowed within 1m of a customer if both are wearing masks.

There will also be fewer people allowed inside the gyms at a time.

This means that Les Mills customers will still be allowed to drop in without giving notice but may be asked to queue.

They can also still bring guests, but the guests will have to sign in to help with contact tracing.

Les Mills – which boasted 60,000 members in March last year – earlier emailed customers saying the Covid-19 lockdown had been “the biggest hurdle” facing the club in its 52-year history.

City Fitness, meanwhile, opens next Monday but not to all customers. Those wishing to go will need to “opt in” by letting the chain know that they wish to come back.

Customers who don’t opt in will continue paying no membership fees until the gym chains’ outlets do a full reopening on June 1.

All members wanting to work out need to pre-book using the City Fitness app to ensure outlets have no more than 75 people in them at any one time.

Access to the gym floor can only be booked in 1 hour and 15 minute increments.

There will also be 15-minute gaps between booked times to prevent members gathering at the gym doors.

Premium members who had previously shared key tags with family can no longer do so.

City Fitness also has a no towel no access policy, while both it and Les Mills will keep their changerooms open.

But both urges customers to use them as little as possible.

Les Mills will shut off its fans, saunas and water fountains.

Les Mills will still have foam mats available for use but City Fitness is taking them away.

All Les Mills membership fees will restart from tomorrow and those who had been notified of an increase in fees before the lockdown can expect that to now go ahead.

Both chain outlets asked members to take responsibility for their personal hygiene and to respect the space of others.

“That means washing/sanitising hands, covering coughs and sneezes, keeping 2m from the nearest person, bringing your own towel and using it, and bringing your own filled drink bottle/yoga mat/boxing gloves, and not sharing or touching anything that you don’t have to,” Les Mills said.

Those who are sick are also asked not to come into the gyms.


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