Fitness Class Re-Opens, Using Social Distancing Workout 'Pods' To Keep Customers Safe from Coronavirus

Edward Cooper
Photo credit: FREDERIC J. BROWN - Getty Images

From Men's Health

While the UK waits for gyms and health centres to re-open (here's all the information you need on that), other gyms around the world are offering stark predictions as to what our workouts and training sessions will look like in the future.

Previously, we've seen gyms in Hong Kong re-open with new social distancing measures — from glass partitions to temperature checks on arrival — designed to keep customers safe from transmitting coronavirus. Last week, UK fitness chain PureGym gave Men's Health UK an exclusive insight into how the brand is planning to combat the virus once it re-opens. Measures included class capacity limits, prohibiting 'pair-training' and spotting and pre-booking allotted times to work out via the PureGym app.

Now, however, a gym in California has given the world another preview of what to expect once coronavirus safety measures are lifted and gyms or health centres are allowed to re-open. Inspire South Bay Fitness, a group training facility in California, has erected several workout 'pods' for customers and members to work out in, following its re-opening after weeks of lockdown.


Across nine closed-off pods, Inspire South Bay Fitness members stand six-feet apart from one another, with the 10ft-high pods containing a weight bench, foam rollers, dumbbells and hand wipes.

"Reopening our gym @inspiresouthbay is not an easy task. But we are prepared to increase the safety for all of our members against COVID-19," said Inspire's founder, Peet Sapsin, on Instagram. "It took us about 3 days to build our pods. We will have our sanitation and social distancing protocols in place when gyms are allowed to reopen."

The pods are made of shower curtains and pipes — a cheaper alternative to Perspex.

"It's been really tough, we weren't sure if we were gonna be able to reopen again," said Sapsin. "But because now that we've come up with this solution, it's a lot more affordable and, now, we can reopen back up a little more safer and healthier for our clients."

Photo credit: FREDERIC J. BROWN - Getty Images

The class is capped at nine members per session, each pre-booking through an app. Each member is instructed to use hand sanitiser upon entering the gym and must obey social distancing guidelines. For the trainers and the staff, each must wear face masks or PPE and stay six feet away from those training nearby. Members are also expected to wipe equipment before and after use, with gym staff cleaning machines, doorknobs, hand washing facilities, reception areas, lockers, toilets and showers.

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