Sterling Bay and BOLD bring modular fitness to Chicago
Chicago real estate development firm Sterling Bay has licensed space to local fitness startup, BOLD, to deliver the city’s first-ever modular training option at 1000 W. Carroll Avenue in Fulton Market. BOLD will offer Chicago residents the opportunity to reserve private, modular training pods outfitted with premium high-intensity-interval-training (HIIT) equipment and cleaned to commercial-grade standards between each use.
BOLD pods can be reserved by Chicago gym-goers, trainers and fitness professionals in 60-minute increments. Each pod features an extensive power rack system with plyometric attachments, kettlebell sets, medicine balls, HIIT fan bikes, indoor rowing machines and high-definition screens and audio for streaming guided workouts. All equipment is housed securely inside BOLD’s 320-square foot shipping container training pods.
“In looking at how the pandemic so quickly impacted the ability of traditional fitness studios to operate at full capacity, it became clear that BOLD’s model for small, private training facilities could help to fill a need for Chicago gym-goers,” said Andy Gloor, CEO of Sterling Bay. “We’re excited to deliver the city’s first-ever fitness pods in Fulton Market and are confident that BOLD will offer residents a new, safer outlet for healthy workouts.”
Founded by Jake Goldstein, former Wall Street hedge fund investor and investment banker, BOLD was created on the heels of COVID-19 as a means to eliminate all barriers to accessing fitness without compromising health, safety or convenience standards, while also bridging the growing divide between brick-and-mortar gyms and digital fitness solutions.
When rapid gym closures pushed furloughed coaches, trainers, fitness professionals and even gyms to turn to remote offerings, it led to the overnight rise of “at home” connected fitness tools like Peloton, Mirror and Tonal. Goldstein recognized an opportunity to arm everyday gym-goers and Chicago fitness professionals with a new, innovative solution that did not require Zoom workouts or swapping living room furniture for bulky, expensive equipment. This served as the inspiration for BOLD to develop private, clean, micro training pods where community members can feel safe and free to explore fitness once again.
“BOLD’s concept is centered around increasing public access to high-quality wellness facilities and fostering a culture of brand authenticity in the fitness industry,” said Goldstein. “Even when someone is working out alone inside our private BOLD pods, we’ve created a multi-sensory, digital in-pod experience that gives customers the ability to fully immerse themselves in their workouts. We see BOLD as the solution—especially in a post-pandemic world—for gym-goers, personal trainers, coaches and athletes who crave access to premium ‘big gym ‘equipment, but in a more private, safe and digitally-enhanced environment.”
To exceed CDC standards for COVID-19 surface disinfection, BOLD has partnered with AEX Technology Solutions, integrating their commercial-grade AiroDoctor filtration units, which use UV-A LED photocatalytic technology to disinfect BOLD’s training pods. In addition to deep cleans and continuous air purification, each pod also features its own isolated HVAC air filtration system, to ensure no risk of shared or recycled air between training pods. BOLD users are also required to complete standard COVID-19 risk and exposure questionnaires and pass normal body temperature scans before stepping inside for a workout.
BOLD has grabbed the attention of many in Chicago as a beacon for private sector innovation. “In the midst of fighting a pandemic, Chicago entrepreneurs and startups are marshalling ingenuity to develop novel, practical inventions that can transform,” said Andrea L. Zopp, president and CEO, World Business Chicago. “BOLD is figuratively and literally an idea that can transform, and we look forward to seeing this business thrive and grow in Chicago.”
BOLD’s training pods make landfall in Chicago in early January, with an anticipated launch date of January 18th. BOLD’s initial rollout includes three training pods in Fulton Market. Pre-booking for hours are on sale now. BOLD offers a commitment-free, membership-free, pay-as-you-go platform via the free TRAIN BOLDTM app that can be downloaded in the Apple and Google Play Android App Stores.