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Open again, here’s an early look at Malaysian gyms and workout studios in the Covid-19 era – Malay Mail

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Thursday, 18 Jun 2020 09:48 AM MYT
BY SOO WERN JUN

Gym goers work out while observing social distancing at the Hyper Gym & Fitness Centre in Kota Damansara June 15, 2020. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri
Gym goers work out while observing social distancing at the Hyper Gym & Fitness Centre in Kota Damansara June 15, 2020. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

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KUALA LUMPUR, June 18 — Hitting the gym before or after work used to be the norm for many working Malaysian urbanites who revelled in the adrenaline rush to power through the day or help them wind down.
Those who do so from now will need to prepare themselves to forego some past routines. Things like freshening up with a post-workout shower in-house, or recharging with a cold pressed juice while chatting with other gym kakis in the lounge are now prohibited under the sweeping social distancing guidelines set by the National Security Council (NSC) to curb the spread of Covid-19 that has infected over 8,500 people and killed more than 120 nationwide.
On lockdown since March 18, gyms, workout studios, indoor sports venues and snooker centres were allowed to resume operations last Monday so long as they follow strictly the NSC’s SOPs.
Malay Mail spoke to several gym owners and instructors in the Klang Valley to find out what patrons can expect of the new normal when they visit. Here’s what we found out:
More space but less workout time, and no more walk-ins
Like any other business operating indoors, there will be a maximum number of people allowed inside the studio space at any one time. These would largely depend on the physical size of the gym or studio.
Mazlan Abdul Manan, the founder of Hyper Gym Fitness Centre in Kota Damansara, said his gym could accommodate about 50 people before the coronavirus outbreak.
“But now, we have to reduce to half the number, otherwise we won’t be able to prevent people from crowding at the gym,” he said in a recent interview.
He also said Hyper Gym members are required to book their workout sessions prior to visiting and emphasised that walk-in users who want to try out a class are no longer encouraged.
He said such measures were necessary for the gym to keep its tight schedule as fewer people are allowed in, necessitating a shorter workout time per person.
“This helps us prevent overcrowding at the gym,” he explained.
Noel Chelliah of the Daily Muscle Lighthouse in Glomac Damansara said his gym has a membership count of 350 people and would now have to reduce the number of participants per class.
From 16 in a class, he said the new normal is to cap it at nine.
“Our advantage is being smaller than the large big box gyms (that can have 10,000 members and more) gives us the advantage to put more measures and protocols and have greater control over everything,” he said in a recent interview.
No sparring too
Samir Noury Mrabet, owner of Monarchy Mixed Martial Arts Gym in the city centre, said sparring has been prohibited for all sports categories for now.
“Pad works, paddles and shields are not allowed too.
“At this juncture, members are not allowed to work out on their own, and everything will be class-based,” he said.
Samir said returning members should look out for its colour codes to know which classes were in session. He said the colour marking was introduced to make training sessions more systematic. Red is for boxing, Muay Thai, strength and conditioning, and self-defence. Blue is for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and wrestling. Yellow is for personal training.
Smaller classes, higher prices
As studios are forced to trim the number of participants in each class, several operators indicated that fees are likely to go up in the next six months or up to a year to make up for lost revenue and still keep their staff employed.
Mazlan said Hyper Gym has also reduced the number of participants for its Zumba classes, resulting in revenue loss. To cover the loss and enable the salaries for its instructors, the gym has decided to raise the fees per participant.
“We have no choice but to increase prices of our Zumba classes, because otherwise we won’t have enough to pay the instructors.
“It’s not an increase by a lot because we managed to negotiate an affordable price so we don’t end up burdening our participants and members,” he added.
Moving classes online
During the three-month lockdown, enterprising trainers started offering Zoom classes to their regular clients. This trend looks likely to continue.
“Unlike restaurants, we can’t GrabDeliver a workout to your home, while for some, the situation at home is not conducive for a workout,” Noel of Daily Muscle said, adding that his team is considering making more classes available online.
Christian Lee, co-founder of Tribe Boxing Studio in Mont Kiara said its online classes introduced during the first phase of the movement control order proved to be quite a hit with its regulars.
“Over time, our online classes have gained quite a good feedback and we have decided to keep that class option permanent,” he said.
The bonus, Lee added, was being able to reach even audiences abroad.
The downside, yoga instructor Farhana Abdul Wahab told Malay Mail, is that virtual coaching places physical limitations, which erodes interest in the activity.
“The challenge is that I cannot correct the students’ form. I cannot really see anyone.
“I initially had quite good feedback during the start of MCO, but when RMCO (recovery MCO) came around, my students seem to have lost the passion for online classes, and at times I would have no students at all during my scheduled class,” she said.
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© 2021, Malay Mail, All Rights Reserved.

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The Difference Between Aerobic and Anaerobic Workouts For Swimmers – Swimming World Magazine

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The Difference Between Aerobic and Anaerobic Workouts For Swimmers
The correct management of aerobic and anaerobic sets within a swimmer’s training will influence performance. This balance includes sharpening cardiovascular endurance and sprint speed. For instance, sprinters are more anaerobic-oriented. On the other hand, distance swimmers rely on the benefits of aerobic sets. In analyzing these types of workouts, the primary difference between aerobic and anaerobic exercise is the workout’s intensity.
Swimmers increase their cardiovascular conditioning by maximizing the amount of oxygen in the blood. The goal is to build cardiovascular conditioning and improve the muscles’ oxidative capacity. For that reason, athletes should perform the sets at a moderately high intensity with minimum recovery between sets. However, since swimmers can consistently breathe and send oxygen through their bodies, aerobic workouts are categorized as “less stressful.” Subsequently, since oxygen is the main source of energy, swimmers should breathe faster and deeper when their heart rate is at rest. Subsequently, athletes can do aerobic workouts for longer periods.
Aerobic training is fundamental at the beginning of the season, approximately during the first eight to 12 weeks. Following this training approach will prepare athletes for high-intensity workouts and competitions that arise later in the season. Meanwhile, sme of the benefits of aerobic exercise include an increase in a swimmer’s stamina and a decrease in fatigue during exercising. Equally important, aerobic workouts also improve a swimmer’s ability to perform more efficient strokes with less energy.
The purpose of anaerobic exercise is to improve the muscles’ ability to lessen lactate. Lactate, also known as lactic acid, is a byproduct produced in the body after cells produce energy without oxygen around. Furthermore, during this process, the body grabs energy through glycogen. Glycogens are stored calories that the body uses when oxygen is not being pumped to the muscles to continue working out.
Anaerobic sets involve short-distance and high-intensity intervals. These strength-based workouts also include exerting a swimmer’s maximum effort. Since it is fundamental to reach maximum effort within the sets, anaerobic workouts can include long periods of rest. Then again, due to their high physical and mental demand, anaerobic sets sometimes are considered “more stressful.”
When done properly, anaerobic workouts benefit a swimmer’s muscle strength and mass, reduce soreness, and boost joint protection.
These sets occur when the athlete holds 1650 yards or 30 minutes (without stopping) pace. While doing so, the swimmer should tolerate the buildup of lactate. To sum up, a threshold set is a long workout in which the swimmer must speed through the set. For that reason, the required effort should be located between the aerobic and anaerobic zones.
Some of the benefits of doing thresholds include improving the swimmer’s stamina, the ability to process lactate, generating aerobic fitness and developing anaerobic explosiveness. Consequently, swimmers will be able to perform more repetitions of high intensity. The threshold set gives the swimmer a better idea of what the desired race pace feels like.
Usually, sprinters do not feel the need to perform aerobic sets. In the same way, long-distance swimmers may exclude anaerobic workouts. However, swimming has evolved and its training methods, too. Therefore, new training phases have emerged such as the threshold. It is best for coaches and swimmers to identify the correct balance between aerobic, anaerobic and threshold workouts. Additionally, it is fundamental that each swimmer keeps straight communication with his or her coach to avoid burnout, injuries and overtraining.
All commentaries are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Swimming World Magazine or its staff.
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