Wondering if it’s safe to go back to the gym? This local training centre is making damn sure of it.

Wondering if it’s safe to go back to the gym? This local training centre is making damn sure of it.

Gyms and fitness studios were some of the first businesses to close their doors when the COVID-19 pandemic struck, and now they have finally been allowed to reopen following months of uncertainty under strict physical distancing and sanitation protocols.

Given the green light from 11.59pm on June 21, indoor physical recreation venues, including gyms, could reopen open with a limit of up to 20 people allowed per space, subject to the much-touted four square metre rule. As for fitness classes, up to ten people are allowed per group or class at any one time. Alongside these measure, all gyms were required adhere to health recommendations upon opening including physical distancing, hygiene, contract tracing, illness and employers duty of care.

While many of us may have emerged from isolation carrying extra coronavirus kilos and are keen to get straight back on the treadmill, heading out to a sweaty, people-filled gym might be a bit daunting for others. Well fear not, because we’ve found one local gym taking sanitation protocols to the next level.

Meet Elite Training Centre.

When the shutdown began back in March, Elite Training Centre were quick to adapt. The training centre, which has become a top spot for general training, boxing classes, boot camps, Muay Thai training, and kickboxing, were one of the first to adjust their offerings during lockdowns, providing online classes with guest trainers, allowing members to hire out gym equipment for home workouts, and even offering live cooking classes, leading the way for local businesses affected by the pandemic.

To alleviate any concerns for his clients returning to the gym once restrictions eased last month, Elite Training Centre founder Johnny Bourke went above and beyond in introducing additional precautions against coronavirus infection in his facility.

This meant improving sanitation, teaching staff, implementing new policies to limit the spread of the virus and other germs, and investing in a fog machine from overseas, which sprays disinfectant onto equipment.

“I just did a heap of research on what others were doing overseas,” Johnny explains of the fog machine.

“I didn’t want to do the bare minimum, I wanted to build on and gain the trust of our clients. I thought a permanent solution was needed as I see this becoming the new normal. I looked at several other options as well, like UV lights that kill bacteria.”

Developed as a specialised fogging treatment for infection control and sanitation, the machine is one that has been employed around Wuhan, and is more effective than wiping with rags or sponges which can actually contribute to cross-contamination by spreading germs from surface to surface. Here, the fogging disinfectant does not need to be wiped off after treatment like traditional toxic disinfectants, as it safely breaks down on its own.

Alongside the fog machine, Johnny has also installed a new gate that operates via facial recognition, checking for temperatures above 37.5°C, with the normal body temperature being between about 36 and 37°C. The gate will automatically open for anyone whose temperature falls below 37.5°C.

“I thought that if we were to survive as a business everyone would need confidence in the measures we are taking. So far, the response has been amazing. The great thing about the gate is its protection against anyone with a fever, not just Covid-19,” says the Muay Thai champion.

“We also had tailgating cameras installed. Basically, if one person tags in but two people enter we are alerted via our phones and we can check the footage. This stops people sneaking in, but more importantly, ensures our records are 100% accurate at all times.”

In line with the six-foot social distancing measures, Elite Training Centre has altered its equipment set-up and capacity limitations so members can stay six feet away from others as much as possible. The gym has several zones, and through their booking system via the App, gym-goers pick a zone they wish to train in.

“Each zone will have a limit of 20 people for 45min blocks. Everyone can book a single block then book a second if there is room available.”

The gym is currently open everyday with boxings classes, HIIT sessions, and Muay Thai classes for beginners. Unfortunately the gym are not accepting casual sessions at the moment, but they are still accepting new members. You can find out more via the website.

Head to their Facebook page to see what they’re all about, and even if you’re not keen to work out, you’d be mad not to suss their healthy recipes posted to the page.

Elite Training Centre is located at 1/560 Latrobe Blvd, Newtown.