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Gym Owner Gives All Equipment To Members So They Can Workout From Home

The small business owner is also keeping all staff on deck, ensuring that they remain employed and keep getting their paychecks even if the gym is closed.



(TMU) – As all too many of us are aware, it takes firm self-discipline to get in shape and stay that way. Indeed, while many of us may try to make it out to the gym or stick to a diet plan, obstacles ranging from our jobs, school, family responsibilities, relationships and social life can derail our exercise routines altogether.

And now, with gyms across the country closing due to statewide lockdowns, many people are seeing their fitness regimes simply melt away.

But Drew Whitted, the owner of the Be Strong Gym in Bloomington, Illinois, knew that it would be better that his equipment is put to use rather than languish in a shuttered gym. After all, why let the equipment simply collect dust, benefiting no one and certainly not his members who were working hard on their fitness goals before the public health crisis?

Be Strong Gym

In a spirit of generosity and trust to his gym’s members, Whitted decided to tell members that they were free to sign out over $40,000 worth of workout equipment that they could take home and use, free of charge, throughout the duration of the state’s physical distancing and stay-at-home orders.

Interview with Tish and Drew, Be Strong

When Gyms were deemed uneesential businesses in Illinois, Drew Whitted knew he wanted to continue to support the community he built through his gym, Be Strong. He lent out OVER $40,000 worth of equiptment to his members Free of Charge so they could continue their health and fitness journeys even while sheltering in place. Drew also committed at the very beginning to continue to pay his employees until the Shelter in Place order is lifted. To join the Be Strong Community you can reach out on Facebook, Instagram, or at Be Strong offers four virtual workout options daily. Whether you have zero gym equiptment or a full gym set up there is an option for you.The story of the generousity of Be Strong has captured national attention from huge news outlets like CNN, Daily News, and People. You can hear more of the story here: #blono #bloomingtonil #normalil #rhendywithremax

Posted by Rhendy Bradshaw,RE/MAX Rising on Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Whitted told members:

“We don’t want anything left in here. If our members can’t come in and train, we want you to take it home and keep training.”

After all, if there’s one thing that can help prevent the virus from spreading, it’s a healthy population that engages in routine exercises – and the last thing Whitted wanted to see was his members missing out on their workouts just because the studio had closed.

Roughly 80 members of Be Strong Gym accepted his offer, taking home barbells, weights, rowers, mats, and exercise bikes. Whitted described this as “awesome,” telling CNN that his members “cleared the gym out in under two hours” while his staff helped them find exactly what they’d need for the long stay home.

“I really encourage members to take things home that they loved, and they knew they were going to use every day,” he said.

Now, the gym is holding online training sessions every day, ensuring that the now-virtual gym can help members stay fit while at home.

Paulette Cocco – a member of the gym who borrowed a barbell, weights, and a heavy wall ball – was floored by Whitted’s generous act. She said:

“He had recently put a lot of money into getting new equipment  … I mean, his equipment is really beautiful, so it was a big sacrifice.”

The small business owner is also keeping all of his staff on deck, ensuring that they remain employed and keep getting their paychecks even if the physical gym is closed to the public. Whitted said:

“My staff will not miss a single dollar for their paycheck for as long as it takes.”

Stay Strong Be Strong Thank you for the support TV-10 News

Posted by Drew Whitted on Thursday, May 7, 2020

The online workouts they offer have also kept the community spirit alive for members like Cocco, who said:

“So you see people posting their pictures and their workouts and makes you feel … pressured, almost like ‘I gotta get my workout in because, you know, Judy got her workout in, I need to too.'”

Whitted is also proud of the fact that he’s helping bring families together during the collective ordeal being experienced across the world. He explained:

“Now I see a whole family, getting through this shelter in place, getting through this tough time doing these workouts together, bonding together, becoming healthier and happier together as a family unit.”

Whitted is also positive that every piece of equipment will make its way back to the gym once quarantine measures ease up enough to reopen because members will doubtlessly be excited to workout together as a community again.

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