There is a lot of fear and a lot of misunderstanding still surrounding Coronavirus. I’m asked frequently about the safety of training in the gym. But why believe me? Thursday Dr. Bonnie Henry said that the Provincial Health Authority is not seeing transmission events occurring in gyms since the implementation of the current operating restrictions.
Did you know that at Empower we continue to exceed all the safety standards laid out for fitness facilities by the Provincial Health Authority:
- The standards linked above recommend a max occupancy of 19 people in a 2000sqft fitness facility. Though our space is 1850sqft we have voluntarily set our max capacity at a 7 person occupancy limit (pre-COVID we capped our classes at 12), well below the recommended occupancy for a gym our size.
- Whereas other gyms operate in an enclosed environment, we have opted to keep our south facing window wall fully open throughout the winter season as well as opening the double doors at the centre of our unit to maximize airflow.
- We continuously monitor air quality with a CO2 sensor situated in the corner farthest from the open doors and windows. CO2 exhalation rate is a known risk proxy for Coronavirus transmission. Though no safety limit has yet been agreed upon, it is generally believed that CO2 concentration below 1000 parts per million is safe and a 2019 study saw transmission rates drop to 0 at 600 ppm. Our monitored levels never exceed 560 ppm (averaging 480-550ppm when the gym is occupied) and our sensor is set to sound an alarm if it reaches 1000ppm.
- As per the Provincial Health Authority guidelines, our attending members do not currently engage in high intensity exercise while in the gym.
- Though the Health Authority has said masks are not required when training at your station, we have requested the wearing of masks at all times inside the gym since November 2020.
- We have laid out stations so that we can maintain or exceed the recommended 6 to 9 feet separation between attendees and we do not allow members to travel between stations.
- Of course we continue to health screen members, hand wash, sanitize stations between classes and practice good COVID safety habits.
In these and many other measures we continue to provide a safe training environment for members by exceeding the standards laid out by the Provincial Health Authority. As a result of these standards, and because gym goers, trainers and owners have been diligent in complying, there have been no transmission events at Empower or other gyms in Vancouver. It might reassure you to know that all of our Empower medical professionals have been training in the gym. But if you are still concerned, we will continue to offer Zoom classes so you can stay fit from the safety of your own home!
Equipment: Dumbbells or alternative
1 min Full Body Rocks
1 min Cross Crawl Squats
1 min DB Swings
1 min DB Goblet Thrusters
21 Alt DB Snatches
12 DB Thrusters