Home gym interest explodes during coronavirus, but equipment becoming scarce

Traditional gyms remain closed but people still want to get a good workout. Many are doing it at home even though the equipment is pricey because the demand for it is going up.

Before heading to Lansing and shaping legislation, Michigan Sen. Adam Hollier puts in work in his basement in the home gym space he built.

 "I'm a commissioned officer in the Army Reserve and as a state legislator, I don't have enough time to go to a gym and haven't in years, and so I started acquiring equipment," Hollier said.

All of this was about three years in the making. Home and garage gyms are becoming more popular as fitness enthusiasts find a way to survive the 'swolepocalypse.'

The COVID-19 shutdown forced commercial gyms to close back in March. A court of appeals decision Wednesday kept them from reopening.

"It was crazy, a number of my friends were teasing me about how last year it was silly or crazy to have a home gym space but now people are recognizing it," Hollier said.

David Liepman from One More Rep Fitness, buys and resells fitness equipment and says he's blown through a lot of inventory as demand has gone through the roof - and now supply everywhere is running low.

"Primarily people are just looking to get equipment that they can use to maintain during the gym closures," he said. 

David Liepman from One More Rep Fitness

From barbells and dumbbells to Olympic weight plates.

"And squat racks. a lot of squat racks and benches," he added. "A number of people have said that now they have access to equipment at home, they may just forgo the gym membership all together."

Some local gyms have closed permanently - 24 Hour Fitness is filing bankruptcy and shuttering more than a 100 locations because of the pandemic.

While COVID-19 is giving commercial gyms a run for their money, Liepman is not convinced the future of fitness will reside in people's homes.

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"What you're really relying on with fitness, is accountability," he said. "And accountability is something a lot of people find in a group atmosphere or going to the gym and seeing the people around them exercising."

For those interested in building a home gym on the cheap, Hollier suggests starting with whatever you can get your hands on: whether it be a jump rope sand bags dumbbells or kettlebells.

State Sen. Adam Hollier

"Let me just say how much of a blessing and how privileged I am to have a space like this," said Hollier. "But you don't need all of this and you certainly don't start with all this. But I would trade all of this to go back to being around people. 

"And the only way we are going to be able to do that, is if people make decisions to be safe, and to be safe around other people. "