COVID Weightroom Changes

Jun 22, 2022


I'm in the process of re-writing Designing Strength Training Programs and Facilities ( my 2005 book, available for free when you join). This is the part I added about COVID changes in the weight room.


COVID Changes

I am writing this book in probably the hardest time in the history of our country and, the history of fitness and strength and conditioning. The advent of an airborne flu-like virus is making space layout even more critical.

If you are currently planning a weightroom you should think about Pod style workouts and Powerblocks.

In our case each “row” in the weightroom is 14 feet wide. Each row is then divided into three 14x14 pods.

Pod 1 is Olympic Lifting or power exercises


Pod 2 is for dumbbell exercises done with Powerblocks


Pod 3 is the power rack.


Athletes are grouped based on number of “rows”.  In our case we have 8 racks so we have 8 rows.  3 “pods" per row means 24 pods.

24 pods means 24 athletes can be in the weightroom at any given moment.

We “waterfall” or stagger our groups every 15 minutes. They then get 12-15 minutes in each pod to get three sets of two different exercises done ( 1 pair of exercises).

At completion, they move forward in the same row to the next pod.

This allows us to process 32 athletes per hour.

The one downside is that the power rack is Pod 3 ( if I were to redesign for COVID, I'd have my racks in the middle of the pod). This means that for us we will do dumbbell rows before we get to the rack and bench press. As a strength coach, I hate this. As a person needing to get athletes through the facility, I accept it.

I'm not sure if any of this will be pertinent by the time this book is published but the need to create and maintain social distance, particularly in school and university weightrooms is currently an issue.

In our case, each linear row has:

  • Powerblocks
  • An adjustable bench
  • Clean blocks
  • Two sets of plates (one for Pod 1 and one for Pod 3)
  • A landmine
  • A mini-slide board
  • A set of rings mounted on the rack

Hope this gives you some design ideas!

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MBSC Pod Setup Power Exercise and Core in pod 1 DB exercises in pod 2 Racks are pod 3. Not ideal but, it’s working really well.

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