How are gyms being affected in the coronavirus crackdown?

Suffolk Strength Academy is committed to ensuring their members can do as much as they can during th

Suffolk Strength Academy is committed to ensuring their members can do as much as they can during the outbreak. Picture: SUFFOLK STRENGTH ACADEMY - Credit: Georgie Kerr

As the crackdown on coronavirus ramps up many people have been worrying about what the coming days and weeks will mean if gyms across Suffolk close.

Ben Gray owns the Suffolk Strength Academy in Ipswich. Picture: SUFFOLK STRENGTH ACADEMY

Ben Gray owns the Suffolk Strength Academy in Ipswich. Picture: SUFFOLK STRENGTH ACADEMY - Credit: Archant

While many gyms are still open, council buildings in the county have been closed including leisure centres and sports facilities.

Ben Gray, owner of the Suffolk Strength Academy, in Ipswich is determined that his members will still be supported when the Ransomes Industrial Estate facility closes and has written them all personalised home workout plans.

“We are expecting to close tomorrow,” he admitted. “Since the announcement there has been a change of mood and we are not sure that it feels right to stay open now.

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Suffolk Strength Academy is committed to ensuring their members can do as much as they can during th

Suffolk Strength Academy is committed to ensuring their members can do as much as they can during the outbreak. Picture: SUFFOLK STRENGTH ACADEMY - Credit: Georgie Kerr

“People are scared to come to the gym because they’re not sure of what to do whether they’re allowed to or not and we want to make sure they’re supported.”


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The 38-year-old has decided to generously loan out equipment – free of charge – to all of his members so that they can stay fit from their homes and is handing out kettle bells, barbells, weighted balls and more.

The gym will also be streaming live workouts on their Facebook page as well as educational content free to all members of the public.

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He explained: “We are going to use this time to be productive and produce more content, we’ll be covering nutrition, warm ups, cool downs, recovery, mentality, joint health, all of those subjects we can.

Suffolk Strength Academy is committed to ensuring their members can do as much as they can during th

Suffolk Strength Academy is committed to ensuring their members can do as much as they can during the outbreak. Picture: SUFFOLK STRENGTH ACADEMY - Credit: Georgie Kerr

“We’ll make all of this accessible to everyone because the time for ‘what about me’ is gone, it’s all about helping each other now.”

Other gyms in Suffolk are taking the incentive to post home workouts on their social media pages and ensure resources are available for their members to stay fit during isolation.

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The Functional Training Company gym in Ipswich is hoping to stay open for as long as they can and operations manager Helen Valentine-Gudge explained the measures they’ve taken.

“Our members are being asked to wipe down all machines and bring their own towel, they have to wash that towel each time they come and stay away if they have any symptoms,” she explained.

“There are also plans in the works to post home workouts for our members to do.”

The government is currently advising to avoid all but essential contact.

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