California Gym Unveils Individual Workout 'Pods' for People to Exercise Safely Without Masks
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.
"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.
RELATED VIDEO: Gaining Weight in Isolation? Bethany C. Meyers Says ‘Maybe Your Body Needs It'
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."
As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments. PEOPLE has partnered with GoFundMe to raise money for the COVID-19 Relief Fund, a GoFundMe.org fundraiser to support everything from frontline responders to families in need, as well as organizations helping communities. For more information or to donate, click here.