Dear Balboas,

Below you can find all relevant information about our COVID-19 Safety Protocol that is implemented at both our locations Am Schanzengraben and Im Viadukt.



Below are the most important 10 principles at Balboa during the pandemic:

1) General health: anyone who isn’t feeling well or is unsure about their state of health, out of respect to staff members and fellow athletes, but mostly towards themselves, should stay home until fully recovered.

2) Group size: we train in groups of max. 14. (excl. the coach).

3) Mask: wearing a mask is mandatory everywhere inside our locations. Exceptions: 1) while showering, 2) while training in the individual training zone during workouts that are exempted from wearing a mask (see „Workout Matrix“ below).

4) Outdoor: during outdoor trainings wearing a mask is optional. However, 1.5 meters distance to other participants has to be maintained at all time.

5) Individual training zone: in order to keep a safety distance of 1.5 meters, each athlete will be allocated an individual training zone of min. 4m². Participants stick to these training zones. If you leave your training zone, keep 1.5 meters distance to others and wear your mask.

6) Duration: classes will run for a period of 55 minutes, during which there will be a five-minute break for the rooms to be emptied and aired (outdoor classes remain at 60 minutes).

7) Occupancy: changing rooms including showers have a maximum capacity for 8 persons at Schanzengraben and 4 at Im Viadukt.

8) Preparation: to avoid the flow of people during a training session, participants will prepare the equipment they will need at the start of the class under instruction of the coach.

9) Disinfection: participants disinfect hands before and after the workout and any used materials.

10) Groups: participants stick closely with their training group during get-ins and get-outs so groups don’t mix.



We do care a lot for the health of our members and want to provide them the best possible training experience. That’s why we dig deeper and conduct further research into training with masks and acceptable respiratory rates during different intensity zones of training*. This led us to introduce the “Embrace the Mask” protocol based on the following principles:

  • We provide Covid-compliant AND generally healthy training conditions for our visitors and staff.
  • We develop and implement an evidence-based training concept.
  • We use compulsory masks where necessary and reasonable.
  • We offer mask-free trainings where possible and reasonable.

Based on these principles we developed and already started to implement measures to put the “Embrace the Mask” concept into practice. At this point we want to give you an overview of the interventions:

  • We classify all workouts according to their intensity levels (see Workout Matrix below).
  • Coaches adapt their workouts in accordance with optimal heart rate-zones (see Workout Matrix below).
  • We integrate the use of masks into our training schedule by assigning each workout to Mask/No-Mask and Indoor/Outdoor (see Workout Matrix).
  • We provide an “Embrace the mask” toolkit (see Toolkit below).



The matrix informs you in which trainings a mask is mandatory and where it’s optional. IMPORTANT: workouts that are exempted from wearing a mask, wearing one is still mandatory until arriving in your individual training zone, and whenever leaving it.

Mask Matrix




  1. Balboa Training Classification (see Workout Matrix)
  2. Mask recommendation:
    • Best option for training situations and oxygen flow: surgical mask
    • Environmentally conscious option: reusable/washable community mask treated with HeiQ Viroblock
  3. What is your personal maximum heart rate? Use this easy calculation as a good indicator:  220 minus your age (example 47 years old: 220 – 47 = 173 maximum heart rate)
  4. What to do if you feel shortness of breath?
    • Take a rest to reduce your heart rate
    • Go outside if necessary and remove your mask
    • Change the mask during the training or when it becomes moist (wet masks are less efficient at ventilation)

*Email us if you are interested in the full study, conducted by Ian.