Neighborhood Club reopens with new safety measures

Patrick Koeppen '23, Web Editor

Infographic by Patrick Koeppen ’23.

After nearly five months, the Neighborhood Club has reopened its facility located on Waterloo Rd. The gym has officially reopened, with 25 percent capacity allowed inside. The gym has reopened with new rules and regulations to limit the exposure from COVID-19.

According to frequent gym users, they are happy with the reopening of the Neighborhood Club, however the strict rules provide some discomfort while lifting or running. Masks and wipe downs of equipment are strongly enforced by the trainers and staff at the gym. Neighborhood Club member Holden Novak ’21 gave some statements regarding the new rules.

“The trainers and the people who work there are really strict about wiping down equipment and also wearing masks,” Novak said.

While the masks are clearly mandated to protect those from getting COVID-19, masks have been quite tedious and troublesome when doing physical activities. Especially when doing cardiovascular exercises and workouts that require a lot of heavy breathing. Novak said several times he has tried to take his mask off to breathe, only to be told to put it back on.

“Masks have had an impact when trying to take deep breaths,” Novak said. “I’ve put it under my nose sometimes, and I’ve been told to put it over.”

Another aspect of the reopening is the cleansing of your equipment. Novak said it has made his workouts significantly longer because he has to thoroughly wipe down everything. This is also an obvious safety precaution, however, it can make gym goers workouts longer, increasing exposure rates around others.

“My workouts are definitely longer,” Novak said. “I have to wipe down everything I use, which takes a lot of time.”

Strong social distancing rules have also been put in place at the gyms. Treadmills next to each are spread out, along with the ellipticals and other lifting equipment. This allows for more space for limited exposure, but it also limits the availability of equipment. Some areas in the gym are completely shut down.

“Most things are open there,” Novak said. “But everything is really spread out, it can be hard to access the weights you want to use.”

Some masks can decrease your oxygen intake, according to The National Health Institute. The lack of oxygen can cause dizziness, a headache and a worse performance while working out. Novak thinks that the Neighborhood Club should be a little more flexible with the capacity and the mask rules. He said masks make it too hard to breath and take a lot of energy for a deeper breath. Novak suggests that some parts of the gym should be places where you don’t have to wear a mask.

“I feel if they section off parts of the gym it would be better ,” Novak said. “That will allow people to not wear masks in certain spots, so they can breathe easier.”