A new gym has opened after the owners had to go “back to the drawing board” near the start of the pandemic to build their new gym in a “futureproof” Covid-secure setting.

Club owners Birju and Tanya Ladhani have launched the new Anytime Fitness branch in Bushey, as the first new health club in Watford since the coronavirus pandemic.

The brand-new 24-hour health club should have opened around June this year, but as lockdown emerged the fitness enthusiastic and entrepreneurial couple thought it was best to scrap their existing plans and build the new gym around “the new normal”.

It finally opened on October 19, and features modern but appropriately spaced out workout equipment, private bathrooms opposed to communal wet rooms, and instructor-led fitness classes.

Watford Observer:

An inside look at the new gym

In fact, despite opening later than intended and some public uncertainty due to the pandemic, 70 per cent of clients were quick to rush in and attend within the first two days of opening.

Mr Ladhani said: “We think Covid is going to be around a little while longer. And even once Covid disappears, the new way of working and going to the gym is probably going to change for the foreseeable future.”

As a result, the new gym is spaciously filled with just 65 per cent of capacity for equipment, placed at a minimum of 1.5 metres away. There are also over 30 sanitation stations around the club, with Covid-safety measures “designed on paper opposed to retrospective,” explains the owner.

Watford Observer:

Anytime Fitness Bushey was already popular on its opening days

Plans for communal wet rooms were replaced with private bathrooms, which would allow for less contact and would be cleaned regularly after use.

Its location is right at the heart of Bushey, and the gym has teamed up with various local businesses including Harris & Hoole, Cedars Hair & Beauty Salon, Bushey Dry Cleaners and more to promote other independent and local businesses.

Mr Ladhani explained: “There’s a number of local businesses suffering as a result of the pandemic, so there’s no harm in partnering up with them and making sure businesses stay afloat at this time.”

Watford Observer:

Tanya Ladhani (left) and Birju Ladhani (right)

Mrs Ladhani believes that many are eager to return to the gym and those reluctant due to coronavirus will feel safe once they see the layout.

She explained that over the summer, members that were eagerly waiting for the Bushey branch were treated with free outdoor sessions in Oxhey Park to keep them active and to build a rapport.

“Fitness has been a big thing for us – we’ve always had an active gym membership and always actually gone. During last year we had two major losses in our life,” she explained talking on the loss of their mothers, “they were really active and healthy women.”

She added: “I think it almost became a driver, we turned that energy into wanting to do something into this, this is something they would be very proud of.”

Her husband concluded: “With winter approaching, it lessens the ability to exercise outdoor. I thought we should open our facility to make it available to the community during what will probably be a tough winter for everyone. That’s when they’ll need it the most.”

Anytime Fitness Bushey can be joined for £42.99 a month, which provides 24 hour access, access to workout equipment, unlimited group fitness classes (both live and virtual), access to other clubs and member-only discounts to both local high street businesses and national brands.

Visit anytimefitness.co.uk/bushey for more information.