Since government’s lockdown shut the country behind closed doors in March this year, numerous industries have been tied in a knot with the fitness industry being one of them.
During the week, gym employees and fitness enthusiasts held a silent protest around the country against the closure of gyms. They are calling on the government to consider reopening the facilities.
Having felt the pandemic’s blow on local tourism and fitness sectors, the Ideas Cartel (IC) group is developing partitions of its four Cape Town locations into bases for South Africa’s first Covid-19 compliant and private ‘FitPods’.
This will be a plus for many fitness enthusiasts who have been waiting for the return of the gym.
The founder and CEO, Schuyler Bruce Vorster, landed the idea of modifying the Cartel House leg of the IC portfolio’s co-working spaces to safe, singular pods.
Currently, the 5m2+ glass-sealed spaces are operational at the Loop Street setting while more are being developed at the inner-city Old Foundry and 71 Waterkant Hotels, and Casa Labia in Muizenberg.
The respective pods are fitted for indoor running, spinning, rowing, yoga, and boxing while all are kitted with equipment required for a full body workout.
According to Vorster, as we may be moving into a Covid-19 conscious era, work and active environments are going to change rapidly.
“The development of flexible yet private gym spaces mirrors the uptake of co-working hot desks and interactive spaces as opposed to commercial, ‘anchored’ offices. Pods are the future of gyms,” said Vorster.
“People – their creativity and productivity – are instantly influenced by the space that surrounds them and the opportunities that exist within those spaces.
“We want to start eliminating the limitations brought by the pandemic and give people the opportunity to move as freely as possible within a safe and hygienic environment, may it be to exercise, work, learn, sleep, eat and connect otherwise.”
“There couldn’t be a more critical time than now to prioritise your mental and physical wellbeing,” said CCO app boxing trainer and professional boxer, Stirling Shaw.
“With the closing of gyms and limited opportunities to exercise in a Covid-19 free zone, the FitPod is a great, innovative solution to help you take ownership of your fitness.”
Due to Covid-19, IC has taken significant steps to safeguard the health of its hotel guests, co-working tenants, FitPod users and staff.
This includes instituting hygiene and preventative measures based on WHO guidelines, government requirements, and its own creative initiatives to limit the transmission of Covid-19 in a safe exercise-friendly space.
From check-in and the walk-through to the FitPod, including on-site shower facilities, safety and hygienic checks and requirements are documented.
For guests checking in at the 34-room capacity Cape Town based collection, the use of the FitPod is included in their stay.
CCO and Cartel Fit members can book an hour session after registering on the Cartel app from the App Store and Google Play. FitPods can be booked from R149 per hour session.