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Covid-19 empties gyms

The entrance to Castleton’s fitness center.

As you enter the doors of Castleton Fitness Center, you expect to hear the chattering and yelling of students and athletes, the clanking of metal to metal as someone re-racks their weights, and the grunting coming from that heavy lifter trying to squeeze in one last rep.

But ever since the novel coronavirus swept across our nation the sounds and scenery of this once bustling fitness center is very different.

But just how different really is it?

“Things are certainly not their usual,” said Matia Gioeli, a sophomore at Castleton University and employee at the Castleton Fitness Center. “Before coming to the Fitness Center you should know we do have a 17 maximum occupancy and people are required to check in upon entering the gym as well as grab a towel to disinfect equipment after use.”

Students are not required to wear masks while working out, but several older individuals who are SHAPE members are choosing to wear one, according to Gioeli.

Spencer Koslak, a member of the Castleton football team and an avid gym goer, said he “feels confident” working out at the University and said he “is not bothered by the restrictions put in place.”

As a student athlete, Koslak was working out throughout the whole pandemic back home in Massachusetts. While gyms were not open in Massachusetts and many other states across the country, this didn’t stop him from completing daily workouts. In fact the strength and conditioning coach at CU sent out weekly workouts to be completed at home.

“Monday’s workouts would focus on squats and a lot of supplement leg work, Tuesday’s would be sprints 10 yards, 20 yards, and 30 yards 4 times, Wednesday’s would be chest focused, incorporating workouts such as bench and pushups, Thursday’s would be a mile run and 20 yard sprints every 45 seconds, and Friday’s would be focused on hang cleans with a circuit incorporated,” he said.

While many gym goers found themselves stuck at home with no gym, motivation, or equipment, Koslak had a structured workout routine to keep him in shape for the football season.

Even though many gyms have re-opened across the country with restrictions put in place, some people simply don’t feel comfortable coming back them because they are seen as a breeding ground for the coronavirus.

Julie Spanton, a senior at Castleton University, decided to not return to campus for the fall semester and is doing classes from home in Pennsylvania. Her gym back home, Hemlock Farms Community Gym in Lords Valley, Pennsylvania, has reopened their doors but Spanton is not sure the gym is the place to be.

Spanton went to the gym several times when it first reopened but was not comfortable with the environment and decided to return to working out in the comfort of her home.

Shortly after she made this decision, the doors of the gym she attended were shut for a second time after a person had become infected.

“After I heard of their closing for a second time, I knew for the safety of myself and my family that the gym was not the place to be right now,” she said.