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Op/Ed

Take your ‘pod’ to the gym with this new model for safety in fitness

(OPINION / EDITORIAL) With new COVID restrictions and safety measures, business models have had to reinvent themselves, and this fitness startup is one of the latest examples.

Fitness woman holding purple dumbbells

The pandemic has completely reshaped the world around us. Our 9-to-5 work office life shifted to a work from home one, and most, if not all, our social gatherings turned virtual. Shops and restaurants that didn’t do so before started offering delivery or curbside pickup. Movie theaters got creative and started renting private theaters to small groups. And now, the pandemic has inspired one new business to bring fitness in a private gym straight to you.

BOLD is a fitness startup that offers Chicago residents “safe private modular gyms” they can reserve. These 320-square-foot shipping container gym pods are “outfitted with High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) equipment from premium manufacturers.” The pods are also equipped with two-way cameras which will allow customers to be coached by their trainer virtually. The pods are deep cleaned before and after each use using photocatalytic air filtration solutions with UV-A LED technology.

BOLD was founded by Jake Goldstein, a former Wall Street hedge fund investor and investment banker. Goldstein started the company to revolutionize fitness workouts. He wanted to fill in the gap between the “big box gyms” that the pandemic destroyed and offer more than what at-home “digital solutions” could.

“There’s a large pool of consumers who are growing tired of Zoom and Instagram Live workouts or being on their Peloton bikes,” Goldstein said. “People are tired of their lives existing within 2,000 square feet. They want to start rebuilding those other experiences outside their home in a safe and controlled way.”

BOLD is opening its first facility in Fulton Market, Chicago in January. There will be three pods in the initial rollout, which can be pre-booked now.

You can book appointments on the company’s mobile app, Train Bold. Each private session is 60 minutes long and can be booked by trainers, coaches, athletes, and gym-goers. Each session costs $35 per hour, and you can bring a plus one for $10 more.

According to the company’s website, BOLD is the “future of post-pandemic fitness.” Although a COVID-19 vaccine is already being distributed, the importance of cleanliness isn’t something that is leaving anytime soon. As a result, BOLD’s portable gym could potentially be a long-lasting one post-pandemic.

Veronica Garcia has a Bachelor of Journalism and Bachelor of Science in Radio/TV/Film from The University of Texas at Austin. When she’s not writing, she’s in the kitchen trying to attempt every Nailed It! dessert, or on the hunt trying to find the latest Funko Pop! to add to her collection.

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