What to expect when you return to the gym…

Adapt to the ‘new normal’ as gyms gear up to reopen their doors.

You’ve all heard that good news; gyms can now reopen from 25th July. The living room has become most people’s gym for the past four months as Joe Wicks and other fitness instructors and influencers have navigated us through our home workouts. However, sometimes there’s just no substitute for the real thing!

With a number of new social distancing and cleanliness guidelines in place, gyms will undoubtedly be a little different. We spoke to leading UK gym chain Anytime Fitness about how they’ve been getting their gyms ready to keep everyone safe and what you can expect when you return:

Everything you need to know about returning to the gym….

Keep your distance…

To ensure we stick to social distancing rules, expect your gym to have moved equipment around or taken some machines out of action. Anytime Fitness are making things clear for its members with floor markers showing limited capacity areas and marking out the two metre social distancing guidelines.

Cleanliness is key

Anytime Fitness has installed a significant number of extra hygiene stations in its clubs housing hand sanitiser and antibacterial wipes. As we’d expect, we will need to wipe equipment down before and after use as well as washing our hands as we enter and leave the gym. Anytime Fitness staff will be on the floor to support the comprehensive cleaning regime, which includes a daily deep clean of gyms.

Gyms will also be supplied with fresh, clean air at all times with Anytime Fitness’ ventilation turned up to the maximum setting, ensuring no air will be recirculated.

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Smaller classes

To ensure social distancing, group exercise classes will be smaller than we’re used to. Anytime Fitness won’t be running back-to-back classes either to ensure an extended time for staff to thoroughly clean the room and all equipment. It will also be advisable that members bring their own mats.

You may have to book a timeslot

As part of the ‘new normal’, Anytime Fitness will be managing the capacity of its gyms, much like we’ve got used to at shops and supermarkets. Some of its gyms will be using a Gym Reservation System which will ask you to book the time that you’ll be visiting the gym.  The system will be managed by club management, as well as monitoring the number of members in a club at one time with its touch free key fob entry system.

These unique fobs also give Anytime Fitness the opportunity to deploy a track and trace system in the worst-case scenario that any members test positive for COVID-19.


Even though all this is in place, we know that some of you will still be worried about getting back to the gym. However, Anytime Fitness are confident that it can be done safely and have looked at everything in great detail.  

“We are comfortable that our clubs pose no further risk than that of retail or hospitality. We have given great thought to ensuring ventilation, equipment layouts, and hygiene products are fit for purpose in a Covid world and beyond.”  

Just like other public indoor places, gyms like Anytime Fitness are doing everything they can to make it as safe as possible for their members who want to work out there. The question is, will members be able to stick to the rules too? 

What to wear on your return to the gym?

If your activewear needs a little upgrade after lockdown, we got you covered. Take a look at our top picks below.

If you are still unsure about heading back to the gym, take a look at our favourite home workout ideas.