Tiny Pod-Style Gyms are the Latest Trend to Take Over Beijing

By Justine Lopez, August 16, 2017

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Shared sleeping pods, folding chairs, colorful bikes… sometimes it feels like everything is a QR code scan away. Now in Beijing you can even access what might be the world’s tiniest gym with a quick scan of a QR code.

Mini-gyms started popping up around the capital earlier this month. Each gym measures five square meters and contains a treadmill, AC unit, fan, air purifier and a TV.

All you have to do is download an app called “Mipao,” put down a (refundable) deposit of RMB99 (USD15) and make an appointment through the app. Once you reach your mini-gym of choice, just scan the QR code and you’re good to go. The fee for Beijing’s new mini-gyms is RMB1 for five minutes. The gyms are open round the clock.

These tiny gyms were thought up by a Beijing-based startup called Misspao. And according to founder Bi Zhen, the company aims to open 1,000 mini-gyms in Beijing by the end of the year. There are currently only a handful scattered around the capital.

Given how pricey gym memberships are in Beijing, this option is definitely a lot cheaper and potentially more convenient. Plus, running in an air-purified box sure beats breathing in all that smog. But only time will tell whether or not the whole treadmill-in-a-box idea will take off among Beijingers.

[Images via Weibo]

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