Home Life Personal trainers, NSW residents reveal what it’s like to be back at the gym

Personal trainers, NSW residents reveal what it’s like to be back at the gym

by Mary Sewell

After 106 long days away from indoor exercise, residents and personal trainers have revealed their inside secrets to the first day back. On Monday, residents in Sydney and beyond returned to the gym with slight hesitation as stay-at-home orders lifted up for the first time in 106 days to fully vaccinate residents.

Even before NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet had a chance to drink a schooner of craft beer and sit down for a haircut in front of the media early on Monday morning, several Sydney residents had already rediscovered another newfound freedom: Indoor exercise. On Monday, Fitness Australia CEO Barrie Elvish said it had been “incredibly hard mentally for some of our members”, citing the financial hardship of lockdowns on small businesses and franchises.

“The vast majority of people just want to get back in a gym.”

And that they did. From as early as 12.01am, from Wollongong to Woolloomooloo, personal trainers and trainees told news.com.au it felt “surreal” to be back indoors. At the same time, one inner Sydney resident expressed her devastation because her gym classes were fully booked out before her botox appointment.

Another was so excited, he went twice.

“It felt surreal after being in lockdown for so long,” JIM Training’s Jimmy Moran, a prominent personal trainer in Sydney’s east, told news.com.au. “It was exciting seeing everyone, the other trainers, my clients, and the other members that I hadn’t seen in over 100 days. Just walking into the gym, I felt that awesome community vibe that we had all been missing. I was smiling, chatting, and saying hello to everyone.”

While most of Mr. Moran’s clients “have been keen to head back”, he said, “one or two” were more cautious.

Meanwhile, another personal trainer based in Sydney’s Kings Cross said the gym was “not as busy as I expected”, citing a combination of double vaccination requirements and wet weather.

Inclusive Fitness Realness’ Dr. Mark Burgess told news.com.au the “last couple of weeks” had been challenging outdoors due to erratic wet weather and that he “really enjoyed” his first day back at the gym.

“The biggest lesson is that people are actually quite resilient despite all the disruptions we experience in our lives,” he said.

He agreed some clients “have a bit of hesitation with gyms and reopening”; however, “I have zero concerns about going back as the majority of the population are double vaccinated”.

Sport and exercise options are significantly more significant for people who are fully vaccinated.

Under the new rules, people who are fully vaccinated can participate in an outdoor sport and exercise gathering of up to 20 people. If you are not fully vaccinated, you can join in a meeting for sport or exercise with one other person or your household. Gyms and indoor recreation facilities can open, such as a squash court, table tennis center, health studio, bowling alley, and ice rink.

If you are not fully vaccinated, you cannot visit a gym or indoor recreation facility.

Unvaccinated children aged 15 years and under may participate in outdoor sport and exercise.

All premises will operate at 1 person per 4 square meters indoors and 1 person per 2 square meters outdoors.

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