We’ve recently talked about me going back to training after a 7-month pause. A pause that was induced by the spring lockdown and then us living on the seaside for a while. If we’re going back to the gym, there’s a Covid19 training checklist we need to take into account for our own safety.
However, in some situations, it might not be safe at all to go back to the gym. Today we’ll talk about my take on all of this and the fact that I’m actually going to train at home for a while. Not that I’m lazy and would like to half-ass my training, but I just don’t feel safe at the gym.
Do you rerack your weights?
I’m actually serious about this question. From the few weeks during which I trained at the gym, I noticed that the people who do not rerack their weights are the same who don’t clean their equipment. I know that gyms are not the cleanest places out there, but now definitely isn’t the time to half-ass that part of the whole gym-experience.
You would say “Yeah, but almost nobody is cleaning their equipment, why would I?” or “Yeah, but this is the gym’s personnel’s job”. Neither of these is a valid point. Gyms are a place that could easily turn into a superspreader location. Cleaning your equipment and hands has to be part of your Covid19 training checklist.
Training with a mask?
I’ve noticed there are people over Instagram who share videos and posts of themselves training with masks. I’m definitely not against that. Would I say it should be mandatory for everyone? Probably not.
If you’re having a relatively normal bodybuilding day and you’re training with 80% of your 1RM across the board, then it probably wouldn’t be a problem. However, with metcons or other highly intensive workouts, wearing a mask might be uncomfortable. In reality, it wouldn’t impact your air intake, but you would feel like it does and that may impact your performance.
I personally don’t train with a mask, but I also train away from everyone and avoid group training. What I do, is just take an unused area in the gym and do my thing there. This way I’m away from others and not wearing a mask wouldn’t increase the risk to others.
What’s the situation in your country?
During the summer people almost forgot that we’re in the middle of a pandemic. Numbers of new cases somehow dropped, economies opened and life felt almost normal. With the autumn and the flu season coming, the infection rate increased once again in Europe. Now more and more economies are bringing back some restrictions.
Our own country just closed bars and night clubs, because the infection rate doubled (or even tripled) in the past couple of weeks. I would suggest that within the next few weeks we will start to hear about economies closing again. That would definitely impact gyms.
However, with the infection rate increasing, do you feel like it’s even safe to go to the gym? I’ve asked myself the same question early this week and the answer is that I don’t. Despite the fact that I train alone and in an unused area, I still don’t feel completely safe. That’s why I’m thinking about continuing to train at home until the infection rate drops.
Washing hands, clothes, cleaning your home
I would suggest some of us are a bit freaked out and cleaning our homes frequently and with extra effort. My partner and I were the same at the beginning, but now all of that kinda faded. Now we’re just coming home, carefully avoiding to touch any surfaces and directly going to the bathroom to wash our hands.
I think washing our hands is also part of the Covid19 training checklist. Entering the gym, using the hand sanitizer, cleaning our equipment, leaving the gym is the new normal. I sometimes feel like I want to wash my hands even though I didn’t touch anything since last time.
What about washing your clothes? Do you wash them right after training? All of them? Even the ones that were barely in contact with your skin or the outside environment? I personally wash everything after a workout. This way I feel safe for myself and others.
The Covid19 checklist
So, we talked about washing hands, equipment, our homes, and masks. Now, having all of these in front of ourselves, how much of this we’re actually doing every single time? Is it more like about 50% or more like about 80% of it?
Remember that if we somehow got infected but we’re still asymptomatic, we’re spreading the virus. If we skip cleaning a dumbbell, the next guy grabs it and touches his face before cleaning his hands, et voila. This is how we can turn our gym into a superspreader location. I know it’s ugly, but this is the world we live in nowadays.
If you don’t feel well, just avoid going to the gym. Actually, if you don’t feel well, avoid going anywhere. It’s absurd, but nowadays we can save lives by staying home. So, stay home and save a life.