Since the government-mandated lockdown shuttered the country in March this year, numerous industries have struggled for survival.
In response to the pandemic’s blow on the local tourism and fitness sectors, the Ideas Cartel (IC) group is developing partitions of its four Cape Town locations, which will serve as bases for South Africa’s first COVID-19 compliant private ‘FitPods’.
A safe place to train
IC group founder and CEO, Schuyler Bruce Vorster conceptualised the idea of modifying co-working spaces in the IC portfolio’s Cartel House into 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.
“There couldn’t be a more critical time than now to prioritise your mental and physical wellbeing,” says Cartel Connect Online (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 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 app users and Cartel Fit members can book an hour session after registering on the app (available from the App Store and Google Play). FitPods can be booked from R149 per hour session. Club members and co-working tenants receive various discounts. Bookings are subject to availability between 5:00 and 19:00, seven days a week.
COVID-19 conscious era
According to Vorster, work and active environments are going to change rapidly as we transition into a COVID-19 conscious era.
“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,” he believes.
“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, be it to exercise, work, learn, sleep, eat or connect.”
Author: Pedro van Gaalen
When he’s not writing about sport or health and fitness, Pedro is probably out training for his next marathon or ultra-marathon. He’s worked as a fitness professional and as a marketing and comms expert. He now combines his passions in his role as managing editor at Fitness magazine.