The gyms are closed. The pieces of equipment are stationary. The locker rooms are silent. The saunas are empty and the showers are dry. It has not been an easy time for fitness centers and healthy lifestyle training professionals across the island.
But one of these, ABC Fitness Studios, like several others, is finding ways to ensure its members keep in shape at a time when the facilities are closed and hardly any revenue is being generated because of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Managing director of ABC Fitness Studios, Kenny Griffith, said this current situation where businesses were closed and the country was on a national curfew was having a huge financial impact on his business.
However, the fitness guru who has worked with some of Barbados’ top sporting personalities over the years including national bodybuilders told Barbados TODAY that despite the circumstances he has had to be creative and that included online Zoom sessions.
“It has had a huge financial impact. I have trainers who work with me at the gym and they are also affected in a big way. They cannot train their clients as they would want to, they cannot teach their classes as they would want, they cannot reach out and offer training programmes to their members like they want to.
“In most cases, they have to resort to the online concept of training to be able to try and maintain some sort of income. But it is a huge impact on the gym because the gym isn’t earning from the training and the membership point of view. And for me that is a huge financial loss, “ Griffith said.
With a membership that numbers around 150 at its Wildey, St. Michael location, Griffith added: “It is not only me that I am concerned about, it is the team of trainers that work along with me who are currently not working.”
ABC gym grew out of a programme years ago called Adrenaline Boot Camp and has worked with some of Barbados’ best, including national body fitness queen Ramona Morgan. The latest two that became professionals last year and are products of ABC Fitness Studios are Lynette Thompson and Gina Jules.
According to Griffith, most of the athletes who are actually working out or training are doing so based on the programmes that the Studio wrote and sent to them. He also explained that the online Zoom session was used to keep in touch with members and help motivate them, especially those that may feel discouraged during this time.
“It is challenging for many of the athletes because they do not have access to the type of gym equipment that they are accustomed to using. So in most cases they have to improvise, create home base exercise equipment like with cans, bottles and so forth. But what we have actually done at the gym is we did a rental programme with some dumbbells and weights, so that some of the athletes can have some type of equipment similar to what they would have normally worked out with.
“Of course they wouldn’t have access to the machines at the gym environment but they do still have a bit of the equipment that they can work out with. But the challenge really is to get the intensity during training that they would have normally gotten at the gym. So, it is all about improvising, trying to do a bit more with a little less,” he said.
With this being a global pandemic with no clear end game so far currently in sight, Griffith said the discipline of the athletes would determine whether they continue to keep in shape.
“The truth is the discipline of the athlete will keep them training. Granted they don’t have the gym environment they are accustomed to but they [still] want to maintain some semblance of fitness and shape. Of course, they wouldn’t be in tip-top shape like if they were at the gym because they don’t have access.
“Most of what they can do is done at home but they just want to maintain some level of fitness, so that by the time this is all done they can actually then move back to some semblance of normalcy, meaning they can get back into the gym and into the intense training programme, “ Griffith explained.
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