The Fitness Zone reopened Sept. 8 with new rules in place to account for the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The gym is currently open for walk-ins weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. for community members and is now free for students who paid the student activity fee as part of their tuition. Students only have to bring their student card and sign up for a membership in order to use the gym.
“While entering the weight room, members are asked to sanitize their hands, grab a clean spray bottle and rag, and are explained the rules for the weight room,” said Cassandra Jones St-Onges, a fitness and wellness coordinator at the Fitness Zone.
“Members are required by the college to wear a mask or face covering at all times while inside the building. This includes while in the gym. Members will be allowed to remove their mask only while on a cardio machine or while drinking water.”
The gym has been rearranged to allow for more room to social distance and keep members safe. Staff clean equipment and surfaces regularly and ask members to sanitize equipment themselves after using it.
Despite being asked to wear masks, bring their own towels, and social distance, gym-goers are glad to be back at the campus gym.
“Wearing a mask isn’t too big of a deal for me,” said Zane Kassotis, a first-year medical radiation technology student. “It can sometimes suck when doing specific leg movements. I’d rather do that, than not workout at all. I also have to wear a mask for hours during my clinical and labs, so a couple of hours isn’t too strenuous.”
Kassotis has been going to the Fitness Zone five times a week since it reopened and finds that it helps him clear his head. “I personally use the gym as a way to relax and destress from school and everyday life, so usually I feel good but focused,” said Kassotis.
While the Fitness Zone understands any nervousness gym-goers may feel, they want to do their best to help them feel safe while they work out. “I think for everyone, if it’s your first time coming in, they’re a bit uncertain,” said Jones St-Onges. “But after they see how things are done and the processes in place, they relax and feel safe.”
While gym-goers may not be able to interact as they used to, the Fitness Zone still wants to create a sense of community for its members.
“There are definitely less people that come to the Fitness Zone nowadays,” said Kassotis. “And people tend to socialize less than before the pandemic. Other than that, the gym atmosphere is still the same”
“Before you used to give each other high fives and cheer each other on and spot each other and everything, but now it’s just from afar,” said Jones St-Onges. “That’s kind of our biggest goal right now, to just maintain that sense of community and everything that we had before as best we can.”