Lockdown no stress for CrossFit community
CrossFit athletes across Port Elizabeth will not have to put their training on ice as gyms across Nelson Mandela Bay prepare to shut their doors during the national lockdown.
A number of boxes (Crossfit gyms) will close for the next three weeks as the country battles the global Covid-19 pandemic.
Leading the charge in the bid to help “flatten the curve”, CrossFit Algoa head coach and founder Dave Levey closed the gym on Monday, citing the need to ensure the safety of all its members and to help limit the spread of the virus.
“We had planned to shut down before the announcement of the national lockdown as this was part of our safety measures we had put in place at the box,” the multiple CrossFit Games competitor said.
“We took this decision due to our need to ensure the health and safety of our members and the last thing we want to do is jeopardise any of their health.
“Also we wanted to try to be in line with the national government’s directive of practising social distancing.
“We did have measures in place to deal with the new regulations, but as [the coronavirus] started spreading, we decided to stop, because we knew it would be here soon,” he said.
Levey said the box would post daily workouts — “a 15 to 20 minute video of the workout each day” — for members to follow on its website and social media channels.
“We [also] have scaling options for loaned-out equipment at zero rental [fee] for our members — some have bars, others have kettlebells.
“We will also have a workout each day using things you have around the house, so members can still continue their training whether [or not] they have equipment,” Levey said.
He said the box would also keep in regular contact with members and discuss how they can adapt their workouts to suit their specific health and fitness needs.
On athletes preparing for the 2020 CrossFit Games, Levey said there would not be too much disruption because the Open — a five-week international challenge — had already been completed and athletes also had the option of qualifying for the games online.
The CrossFit Games are scheduled to take place from July 29 to August 2 in Madison, Wisconsin, in the US.
“I think athletes might pick up some trouble if they are doing online qualifiers, because in most cases you need to have at least one other person as well as a certified CrossFit judge to be able to verify that everything is being done correctly, in addition to having the right equipment,” Levey said.
CrossFit Valley Road owner Jaco van der Vyfer said the facility, situated in the Baakens Valley, would close after its last class on Wednesday evening.
“We have been doing online workouts for the last two weeks now,” Van der Vyfer said.
“We have scaled down our classes to facilitate about 10 members per class since the first set of guidelines were issued by the national government.
“Most of our members will have some equipment at home, so they have been using the home workout plans we have created.
“We have not taken on any new members for the last two weeks, nor have we allowed any drop-ins from other places.”
Van der Vyfer said a lockdown that was limited in duration would be manageable for small operations, but it would have a major impact if it was extended to four or more weeks.