Gym owners remain hopeful as fitness enthusiasts slowly return

Gym operators hope to see more people sweating it out at their fitness centres, adding they provide a safer environment than grocery shopping.

Bodybuilder R. Kumareswarren, who runs Body Factory Gym & Fitness Centre in Petaling Jaya, admits many are still shying away from gyms for fear of a Covid-19 breakout.

The government allowed gyms, indoor courts, sports complexes and snooker centres to resume operations on June 15 after imposing a partial lockdown on March 18. Children and the elderly, however, are not allowed to enter such indoor facilities.

“Many tend to forget that we disinfect our equipment every other hour. We also strictly adhere to physical distancing, among many other things,” said Kumareswarren.

“If you go to a hypermarket or even market, people stand so close to each other especially when they are buying vegetables or picking up something off the shelves.”

Kumareswarren remains hopeful business will pick up in the coming weeks.

“Perhaps some are still afraid. I would like to encourage gym enthusiasts to return to their active lifestyle. I’m staying positive and hopeful.”

Twentytwo13, had on May 5, published Kumareswarren’s predicament as he and other indoor sports facility operators suffered losses throughout the Movement Control Order.

Lekir Fitness and Mixed Martial Arts Academy’s owner Muhd Munzir Mustapha said he has to limit the number of patrons at his Shah Alam gym as per the standard operating procedure set by the National Security Council and Youth and Sports Ministry.

“I can’t complain as we are finally open. It’s been barely a week and I’ve just been having one class a day at the moment to gauge if people are willing to work out at the gym,” said Munzir.

“I feel sorry for some of the private coaches who still cannot conduct grappling and mixed martial arts classes as that requires body contact.”

“Right now, I disinfect and clean my gym before, during our break and after every session. Better safe than sorry.”

Munzir hopes the authorities will allow training sessions involving pad work.

“We can disinfect the pads before and after every session. People would want to do pad work. Personal training is not just about doing jumping jacks or lunges. You can watch YouTube videos for that,” he added.