Covid-19 rule bans Korean gyms from playing fast songs


The South Korean government has enacted a new Covid-19 rule in a bid to reel the pandemic in – Korean gyms are no longer allowed to play fast-paced songs on their premises. Although this new rule sounds ridiculous, we suggest abiding by it to prevent the government from pushing for harsher ones.


The new rules are meant to curb the spread of Covid-19 via sweat


In response to the surge in Covid-19 cases in Korea, the government has decided to implement new rules to curb the spread of the virus. The rules are meant to prevent gym-goers from breathing too fast and sweating too much. From 13th July onwards, all gyms in the greater Seoul area will have to abide by the new measures.

All sports facilities must close by 10PM KST, and gyms are to follow these guidelines:

  • Treadmills are limited to a maximum of 6km/h when in use.
  • Music played in gyms must not exceed 120 BPM, including during Zumba, aerobics, and spin classes.
  • Use of the showers in the gym is not allowed.
  • A time limit of 2 hours will be given to those exercising in indoor sports facilities.

Korean government suggests types of music to be played


Many have raised questions with regards to the types of music that are allowed to be played. 

The Korean government then suggested a couple of songs that are allowed to be played in gyms. These songs include ballads such as Wildflower by Park Hyo-shin, and trot songs such as Brother Tes (테스형) by popular trot singer Na Hoon-a.

박효신(Park Hyo Shin) - 야생화(Wild Flower) Special Video
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박효신(Park Hyo Shin) - 야생화(Wild Flower) Special Video

Video credit: Jellyfishenter

BTS ARMYs in Seoul will be happy to know that they can still listen to Dynamite and Butter while exercising as these songs fall in between 110-115 BPM. 

Unfortunately, songs such as Gangnam Style by Psy, BOOMBAYAH by BLACKPINK, PTT by LOONA, and Kick It by NCT are all above 120 BPM. 


Netizens’ reactions


Netizens are baffled by the new rules and aren’t taking it too well. 

korean gyms covid - netizen 1
Image adapted from: @ahwan1221

Shortly after the press release last week, over 7,000 Twitter users resonated with this tweet from @ahwan1221.  It says, “What kind of nonsense is this – does this mean they’re going to take our earphones and check on the music we’re listening to? And tell us to turn it off if the rhythm is too fast?”

A couple more netizens expressed their dissatisfaction with the new rules.

korean gyms covid - netizen 2
Image adapted from: @TUyC0v03i0xe2dE

Twitter user @TUyC0v03i0xe2dE expressed disbelief by saying that the new rule to ban songs above 120 BPM in Korean gyms is a joke, and that this whole thing reminds them of a “zombie comedy”.

korean gyms covid - netizen 3
Image adapted from: @ill9neverdie

In response to the ballad song suggestions by one of the Korean government officials, Twitter user @ill9neverdie bemoans, “What the heck… We’re going to hear ballads in the gym…”


New Covid-19 rules in Korean gyms


While this new rule is a bummer, boxing to the dulcet tones of Park Hyo-shin’s Wildflower will give you a chuckle or two. Here’s to the day we can run on the treadmill while listening to BLACKPINK’s absolute bangers and jam to our favourite gym tunes again.

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Cover image adapted from: Kusmartsev Volodymyr

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