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Infectious Diseases

Updated 26 June 2020

US gym installs isolation cubes to enforce physical distancing while working out

Could this be the future of gyms?

  • Californian gym Inspire South Bay built plastic cubes for their clients to work out in
  • This US state has been slowly reopening businesses amidst the pandemic, including gyms
  • Gyms in South Africa remain closed under lockdown level 3 despite the easing of restrictions for businesses like hairdressers, cinemas and casinos


While gyms are still closed in South Africa under lockdown level 3, despite the recent easing of restrictions, a California gym has developed an interesting new layout that could mark the future for the industry.

The Inspire South Bay fitness centre in Redondo set up clear "Inspire Pods" with shower curtains and PVC pipes so that their clients can work out separately and safely without masks.

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//INSPIRE GAINZ POD ??? ? 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 ?? ? 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. (no official date yet)? ? We will also continue to host ZOOM classes until we have a vaccination ?? This effort is to accommodate our members who prefer to stay at home but still get a good workout if they are not ready to come back in person ??? ? Our class capacity will be limited but we will get creative with our program. No matter what, we've got your back. ?? ?? #groupfitnessclasses #coreworkouts #hiit #igfitness #motivationalquote #TEAMINSPIRE #Inspiresouthbayfitness #hardwork #champion #redondobeach #manhattanbeach #hermosabeach #homeworkouts #correctmovements

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Having to exercise with masks has become a common complaint about coronavirus preventative measures, as it impedes breathing and makes routines generally uncomfortable. 

READ: Running with a mask – what you should know, and how to choose the right one

“All we wanted to do was to provide quality service for our clients,” says the gym on their Instagram page.  

“We have the most amazing clients [and] we will do anything to keep them safe.?”

“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.

“It's either we come up with this or we shut our business down.”

ALSO READ: Working out while staying safe during the coronavirus outbreak

This is how they build them:

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Thinking inside the box ????? ? How can we provide quality group fitness while social distancing & prevent the spread of COVID-19 plus providing a fun yet challenging workouts ??? ? We have to think about everything: our workout program has to flow nicely, the music has to bring energy ?, the instructor has to motivate, educate AND entertain! ??? ? How will your experience be inside the INSPIRE POD?? ?? From the moment you walk in, we want you to feel welcome and safe to the moment you walk out feeling like a fun euphoric tornado just HIIT you ?? ??? ? Don't believe the hype? Come try us out. Check out our special promo for new clients ??? ? Link in the bio. Let's go!!!!? ??PATENT PENDING?? ? #groupfitnessclasses #coreworkouts #hiit #igfitness #motivationalquote #TEAMINSPIRE #Inspiresouthbayfitness #hardwork #champion #redondobeach #manhattanbeach #hermosabeach #homeworkouts #workoutpods #inspirepods #futurepods #covidcreation

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It took them only three days to build all the pods, and beyond these, they also have sanitation and physical distancing protocols in place. 

This includes taking temperatures, disinfecting wipes in the pods and limiting class capacity to nine people.

The co-owner Peet Sapsin – who runs the gym with his wife – told CNN that the studios are cleaned daily and that they ensure there’s good air circulation. 

Clients also don’t have to move around the gym to do different exercises. All the equipment they need is placed in each pod. 

Many gyms, like Virgin Active, have moved their workouts online to provide a resource for clients to stay fit while in lockdown, but as restrictions ease they might just have to start thinking about their own Inspire Pods. 

SEE: Why gyms are fertile grounds for germs

Image credit: Peet Fit, via Instagram