US gym unveils new "pods" for customers to physically distance (VIDEOS)

Jun 22 2020, 3:24 pm

As businesses are proceeding to reopen in certain parts of the world, hesitation from governments remains around gym facilities and the difficulties associated with regulating safety procedures — such as physical distancing.

Inspire South Bay gym in Redondo, California, has come up with a creative solution to ensure that patrons can get their workout sweat on while remaining safe in their own space.

“How can we provide quality group fitness while social distancing and prevent the spread of COVID-19, plus providing a fun yet challenging workouts?” the establishment posted on its Instagram.

 

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This led to the creation of the “Inspire Gainz Pod,” an enclosed structure that allows individuals to exercise while still being able to physically distance from one another.

“Yes, this seems like a strange idea at first. But after building one prototype, we felt a bit better about our clients working out near each other,” the gym explained in a separate post. “It’s either we come up with this, or we shut our business down.”

The pods are comprised of plastic curtains held in place by PVC pipes to shield customers from other patrons while they work out. According to the owner, Peet Sapsin, they took three days to construct.

 

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Social media users were quick to question the makeshift solution, explicitly targeting potential issues regarding sanitization and ventilation. Still, the facility’s owners were quick to shut down any neigh-sayers.

“It’s ridiculous to think that a gym won’t clean up after each class during the pandemic. What kinds of gym have you been to?” the venue posted on Instagram. “We super sanitize our pods after each use. If you think you are going into a musty locker room, you are dead wrong. Our disinfected solution not only kills 99.9% germs/virus, and it also deodorizes the pods.⁣”

Customers are required to use the towels and disinfectant spray provided in each pod to wipe down all equipment when they are finished with their workout. Additionally, staff use disinfectant wipes and re-sanitize all equipment at each station and use a disinfectant steam cleaner to sterilize the plastic curtains, the facility said.

 

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In terms of ventilation, the company explains that its establishment has 15-foot high ceilings and that it keeps its doors open while fitness classes are in session to promote airflow.

On top of keeping the doors open, there are also fans running above the pods, which are constructed in “L” and “U” shapes to adhere to the gym’s layout. Thus, customers are not in an enclosed space, and there is space between the pods that allow for eight to 10 feet between individuals.

 

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“You are NOT confined into a four-wall box,” the post continues. “Our facility is well ventilated, so even if you are sweating your butt off… Your pod will not condensate and build moisture on the curtain.”

Before using the pods, clients must come five minutes before a class and maintain six feet of physical distance between one another while checking in. The gym also provides masks upon entry, hand sanitizing stations, as well as touchless temperature check-in.

Inspire South Bay is also providing fitness classes via Zoom for those who are not yet comfortable returning to the gym.