Regina fitness store sees 'bittersweet' business boom as pandemic keeps people indoors, closes gyms

Brad Provick says the sheer amount of sales, inquiries and customers through the door is part of a "bittersweet" boom in business at Flaman Fitness in Regina.

A global pandemic of COVID-19, a novel coronavirus, has resulted in wide-sweeping societal changes, including the banning of large gatherings and closing of spaces like libraries, schools and gyms.

"The phone's literally ringing every two minutes," Provick said Thursday. "Everyone wants fitness for their home. Obviously, no gyms are open so everyone is looking inward, how they can train at home."

Provick admits it's not a great reason to be busy, but the company is fulfilling orders as they come in.

The City of Regina issued its own state of emergency on Friday, two days after the Saskatchewan government declared a provincial state of emergency on Wednesday.

Social distancing and self-isolation are being heralded as the way to "reduce the curve," minimizing stress on the province's health care system by keeping people home and reserving the hospital beds for those in need.

Provick said people often wonder about the logistics of training in a small space, but that a lot is possible with very little equipment.

Take it easy on training too

Provick, a former strong man competitor, said he will be training from his basement. He said lifters could benefit from a more relaxed lifting schedule, as it's impossible to know just how long the pandemic will continue to affect life.

"Some of these hardcore lifters, they maybe need a little bit of a break, honestly," he said. "Just do a few things at home and not beat themselves up too hard."

Matt Howard/CBC

Provick's advice is to think of your usual gym routine and then consider what sort of equipment needed in your own personal spaces.

He pointed out that some people might continue working out at home once the pandemic restrictions are lifted.

"I hope the gym industry doesn't suffer from this," he said.