California Gym Uses Personal Pods for Classes After Coronavirus

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Some gyms around the country have reopened from extended closure due to the coronavirus pandemic and little has changed beyond a new dedication to cleanliness and policies to reduce crowd capacity. For others, totally new procedures are in place—or will be, as not all states have passed the public health requirements for reopening just yet—like temperature checks at the door, compulsory mask policies, and strict social distancing practices. Then, there’s Inspire South Bay Fitness in Redondo Beach, California.

The fitness club made headlines with local station KTLA5 after debuting its solution for community training in the age of COVID-19: individual training pods—which gym owner Peet Sapsin dubbed “Gainz Pods” on Instagram—for clients to use to participate in group workout classes while remaining isolated.

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10 L.A.-based, Black-owned fitness businesses with virtual classes

Liz Polk, from left, Angela Davis, Keya Nkonoki and Keith Thompson have all amped up online and virtual workouts since the pandemic. <span class="copyright">(Los Angeles Times illustration; photographs from Speir Pilates, from left, Aarmy, Courtney Lindberg, KTX Fitness)</span>
Liz Polk, from left, Angela Davis, Keya Nkonoki and Keith Thompson have all amped up online and virtual workouts since the pandemic. (Los Angeles Times illustration; photographs from Speir Pilates, from left, Aarmy, Courtney Lindberg, KTX Fitness)

Former USA Track & Field star Angela Davis led group cycle classes for the likes of Beyoncé and Jay-Z before she founded Aarmy with former tennis pro Akin Akman. She wanted to expand her reach by owning her own global fitness brand.

Aarmy opened its doors in January with cycling and boot-camp classes offered through a sports training approach. When the pandemic hit soon after and the studio was forced to shut down, it pivoted quickly to offer free online classes on Instagram. Despite the challenge early in her journey as a business owner, Davis said she is not deterred and considers it a privilege to have ownership in the fitness industry.

“I

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