San Francisco gymnasium creates safe space for customers amid omicron surge

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SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — Gym-goers in San Francisco are required to wear masks indoors, regardless of their vaccination status.

The rule change happened the last week of December, just as The Yard in Pacific Heights was opening for the first time.

The gym owner has adjusted to create a socially distanced gym experience for members.

New Year’s resolutions usually mean increased membership at fitness centers and gyms.

It’s difficult with the new COVID regulations.

However, a San Francisco gym has created a pod system to accommodate the new rules – at least six feet apart.

And one member at a time, The Yard’s eight workout pods in San Francisco were a big draw for member Trigg Hutchinson.

Hutchinson tried to make the most of home workouts during the pandemic but was never happy with his progress.

“When COVID hit I started looking for gear for my apartment, but there’s little space for ropes or obviously a tire to flip,” he said.

He didn’t want to be in a crowded public gymnasium during the wave of omicron cases.

Hutchinson checked into The Yard three weeks ago, feeling comfortable with the limited number of people inside.

“I’ve been very conscious about public health, and it’s kept me from going to the gym for a good chunk of the last two years, so finding a place that cares about that is really important to me.” he declared.

Hutchinson trains with trainer Elliot Quinones who rents pod space the same way some barbers rent their chair spaces.

There’s no shared gear between pods and no doubt if things were wiped down after use.

“Own dumbbells, own dumbbells, you have your own squat rack and that kind of brings a sense of security to most of my clients,” Quinones said.

Owner Joe Cicero opened the gym in mid-December when omicron cases were starting to spike.

But with a pod system already in place to prevent the spread – socially distanced and sanitized between each use.

“To reserve a pod, you have exclusive access to this area for one hour. We ask our members and trainers to wipe everything down after using it,” Cicero said.

Precautions like that attracted members like Hutchinson who wanted to train with gym equipment but without the gym crowds.

“I feel a lot safer in this place,” Hutchinson said.

Cicero says The Yard currently has around 50 members and 10 coaches, with room for more.

You can sign up and try working out at The Yard by heading to their website here.

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