District of Munich: This is how this gym manager prepares for the restart

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Of: Laura Forster


Training in the private room: shower curtain separates the equipment in Ingrid Röhrl’s fitness center. © Laura Forster

Where sweat usually flows in streams, there has been a yawning emptiness for weeks. It is enough. Gyms may reopen on Monday. A visit before restart.

district – The dumbbells lie untouched on the floor, the treadmills stand still, the Lifestyle gym in Altperlach is deserted – and has been for weeks. Only owner Ingrid Röhrl sits on a bar stool behind the transparent plexiglass pane in the entrance area. A piece of paper with the inscription “Please keep your distance” covers her face. The 52-year-old expects no customers that day. Bayern’s fitness studios are only allowed to reopen on Monday – of course under strict guidelines. And then Röhrl spends the still training-free time for the final preparations. In the evening, she explains to the second team of her 20 employees the three-page self-developed hygiene concept that will apply in her studio for the next few weeks.

“Conditions start at the entrance,” Röhrl says. Every customer must complete a data protection declaration before visiting the fitness club so that the contact persons can be determined in the event of a corona case. He hands this in together with the membership card at the reception. “We have to keep the note for six weeks,” says Röhrl, who lives in Brunnthal. Masks are mandatory up to the entrance area, after which members can take off their face masks. The routine walk from the check-in area to the changing rooms is taboo. “They are closed,” says the owner. Members can use the lockers for jewelry and valuables, but they must be replaced at home.

One-way traffic control in the studio

Instead, the ladies’ cabin now serves another purpose. With quick steps, Röhrl crosses the room, which is equipped with showers, sinks, toilets and benches. Her blonde curls sway to the rhythm. “Here’s the temporary exit,” she says, pointing to a staircase leading outside. In front, out behind – one-way street regulation aims to avoid unnecessary contact between the students.

On the way back to the foyer, Röhrl turns right. The air is steamy and smells of essential oils. She points to a glass door – the entrance to the Finnish sauna. “We still have to put barricades down here,” she says. The sweat rooms remain closed, as do the solarium, fog shower and massage area.

The members of Ingrid Röhrl must adhere to these new rules when training.

The members, many of them from Ottobrunn and Unterhaching, cannot use this part of the 1600 square meter fitness center. Another part only limited. In the cardio room, approximately every other crosstrainer is locked. High-intensity classes like Zumba will not take place. For cycling training, customers must carry their bikes a few meters outside on the covered patio. Leg presses, back extensions or rowing machines can be used as usual, but members must disinfect them before and after use. The most noticeable change in the studio: shower curtains separate the units from each other. For the first few days, the teachers will be busy checking compliance with the hygiene rules and answering questions. They must also clean and ventilate all equipment every hour. “Customers need to feel safe but still comfortable,” says Röhrl, who has run the gym with her ex-husband for 28 years.

Do not be afraid of mass rush after opening

50 members are allowed in the studio at the same time; five percent of the approximately 1,000 customers. But Röhrl does not expect a major rush after the reopening. “During peak times, 50 to 60 customers come,” she says. However, members can pre-register on the website. The online courses that the coaches took during the forced break are also still available there.

“The employees are really happy that we can reopen,” says Röhrl. And customers have apparently already put out their sports equipment. Emails and calls arrive at the office every day asking when and how things will continue. “Now the last distance stickers are being put on,” says the gym owner, “and then it can start on Monday.” Treadmills and dumbbells are already waiting.

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