Have you visited a Grand Junction gym now that most have reopened to the public? What's changed since the outbreak?

As of a couple of weeks ago, most Grand Valley gyms have reopened to the public. The flood gates didn't open all at once. Some gyms opened the moment they were able to, others waited a while. For the most part, though, if you're a gym member, chances are you can now head back to the club.

Are they exactly as they were before the COVID-19 outbreak and subsequent facility closures? Not exactly. With most gyms, there are some very noticeable changes. I'll get to those in a moment. In the meantime, if you have an interest in exercising, even with the changes, you can still get in an excellent workout.

Since health clubs reopened, I've had the opportunity to visit about seven or eight times. Those visits were at three different Grand Junction facilities. Based on my observations, here's a short list of things unchanged since before the closures:

  • Lights are on
  • Air-conditioning is running
  • There are weights to lift
  • There are cardio machines to walk/climb/ride on
  • Restroom facilities are available
  • "Auxiliary" room is available where you can stretch, do abs, etc.
  • Staff is on hand to assist

For the most part, for someone like myself who has no real interest in group fitness classes, a visit to the gym is pretty much exactly like it was before. There are a few exceptions, though. Here's a list of very noticeable changes.

  • Most gyms require you to wear a mask, even while working out
  • Group fitness classes are not available at this time
  • Group fitness facilities are off-limits
  • While restrooms are available, locker rooms are still closed off
  • In some cases, shorter business hours
  • Much smaller crowds

I would say with each of my visits, the number of bodies in the gym at any given time is a fraction of what it used to be. One could safely say the number of people in the gym is well below 30% of normal.

In case you're wondering, doing a workout while wearing a mask is a bit awkward, but it can be done. Yes, it gets a little hot under the mask, and working out while breathing your own CO2 isn't exactly a walk on the beach. Nevertheless, while not exactly one's first choice, in my opinion, the mask does not interfere with your routine.

You'll also notice a higher degree of "cleanliness" on behalf of the patrons. Any gym I've ever known has been good about providing disinfectant and cleaning towels/rags for members to wipe down benches after use. Most members have typically been good about this. You'll notice people are now extremely good, if not obsessive, about cleaning benches after use.

If you've avoided heading back to the gym for fear it wouldn't be worth your time, I would ask you to reconsider. While gyms aren't offering all services and all facilities at this time, you'll still find plenty of equipment and space to perform an excellent workout, maybe even fully up to par.

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