The owner of Inspire South Bay Fitness said the social distancing pods have been "well received"

By Benjamin VanHoose
June 17, 2020 12:27 PM
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Peet Sapsin leads a class at Inspire South Bay Fitness with students behind plastic sheets in their workout pods while observing social distancing on Monday in Redondo Beach, California.
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While many gyms are struggling to reopen under new social-distancing guidelines, one club has found a creative solution for people who don't want to give up their workouts.

Inspire South Bay Fitness in Redondo Beach, California, introduced individual exercise pods this week, allowing gym-goers to work out separated by plastic sheets.

The see-through dividers — an alternative to plexiglass partitions — are held up by piping, creating box enclosures that meet public safety guidelines for fitness centers amid the ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

"When we built the dividers, we were like, 'Okay, what can we do so that our clients don’t have to wear a mask?' " owner Peet Sapsin told Today.

Sapsin added that the installations have been "well received," with customers seeming "super excited." The gym was even "maxed out" on Monday, he said.

To comply with best practices for businesses reopening during the outbreak, Inspire has limited its capacity and uses open doors to circulate air.

FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images

"If you stand in the middle of the pods, you’re at least 10 feet apart," said Sapsin. "We turn off the AC the entire time and open up all our doors and have fans that push the air out."

Inspire shared glimpses of the new setup on Instagram, walking followers through the space during a class as clients exercised inside the enclosures.

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Gyms across the country are set to begin reopening after months of closed doors. The chain Planet Fitness told Today that, among its new precautions are regular temperature checks for employees. Staffers will also undergo "extensive" sanitization training.

A spokesperson added that part of its "thorough cleaning" measures will be "walk-arounds every 20 minutes by our team to continually clean and sanitize high-touch areas."

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