Lifting Lockdown: Episode 7

Originally posted 20MAY2020

At Elite Iron, my friend and mentor Will Lumberjack Thacker Jr. gave me the nickname “Recon” because I had more or less become EI’s info nerd.

I’m fairly confident that I’ve been living up to the nickname given by the MSGT. Covering 4 states on the regular, multiple other states when warranted, covering roughly 6-8 gyms directly, and speaking with the owners of about 3 of them on a semi-regular basis.

So yeah….nationwide recon.

Anyway…..good evening.

Previously on Lifting Lockdown:
– Oregon’s Stay At Home order was given the Wisconsin treatment, and axed by a Supreme Court.
– Atilis Gym in New Jersey saw court summons handed out like ammonia tablets to staff and members.
– Texas opened up as the state enters the second phase of its reopening.
CORRECTION: “Just a correction… the Oregon Supreme Court struck down the lower court’s ruling.

So Oregon continues to remain in lockdown.” —- Matthew R. Lang


Tonight, we continue to check the legal fight with Atilis Gym, Ohio gyms are able to open with immediate effect, and a gym North Carolina is raided by police for violating the Governor’s orders. Plus, Illinois police stand against lockdown orders.

1.) Atilis Gym —- Ian Smith was apparently involved in a fatal 2007 drunk driving accident. He went into detail about it here. The comments on this post mirror my own, and it is here for the sake of completeness and not hiding anything. —- Moving on to things that HAVEN’T been “resurfaced” as a way of distraction from the main issue, here is the view on last night’s arrest outside the gym mentioned in Episode 6’s addendum. —- They aren’t going anywhere, and are apparently planning to challenge ALL of the citations in court. —- It has been interesting to watch the fight between the two. From this maneuver of pulling gym members over where cameras AREN’T….. —- to having their plumbing backflow shortly after the Governor threatening to use the DPH to shut them down.

2.) States Fights

Snap Fitness:
[H/T Mike Shaw] —- Moving on to this bizarre situation of a gym in North Carolina raided by police for being open. Because that’s the age we live in right now. —- The gym’s owner, Marine Raider Nick Koumalatsos, laid out the full story in an IGTV post earlier today. —- PA has decided that it was a bad idea to stop testing nursing homes. This accidental surge in logic came as a result of a Spotlight PA story calling out the fact that they stopped testing nursing homes just as this pandemic was getting warmed up.

I point this out to demonstrate that the people who are responsible for “making sure its safe” had to be forced to inspect the one type of facility packed to the brim with high-risk patients. — The Governor thinks we can only return to normal when people feel “perfectly safe.”

So good luck, PA.

Ohio Gyms: — [H/T Mike Newbern] —- The Ohio approach involved a two-pronged attack. The cominbation of testifying before the government while SUING the government has now come full circle. A judge put in a preliminary injunction that effectively opens gyms immediately. —- This as Ohio’s stay-at-home order expires.

Those of you in Western PA, I recommend a brief weekend for CBUS, and 614 Barbell.

Illinois: [H/T Aidan Littlefield] — Illinois state police are saying that they will neither arrest or jail people who defy the Governor’s lockdown.

Alright, that’s it for today. We are starting to see a really interesting (and really dirty) fight in Jersey, PwrBld’s reopening has gone quite well, Ohio’s reopening just got a nice shot in the arm, and many police are not bothering with trying to stop the lockdown from breaking.

4.) The future —- ABC News has this surprisingly solid look at the state of the gym/fitness center industry. Gyms are under a microscope (including from people who know about how gyms work, but mostly from people who don’t).

Also, for all the talk of how horrible small gyms are, it’s not the small gyms facing lawsuits for charging lockdown fees. As Dave Tate notes, it’s usually the smaller gyms that are checking in on how their members are doing. Small gyms tend to be a family of sorts. They look after the equipment, and each other.

For now, we will leave it there. We will continue to monitor Atilis, PA, Ohio, and Snap Fitness in North Carolina, and any other major lockdown stories as they develop.

But, as a final thought, consider the entirety of the last 7 episodes.

The lockdown is breaking. Whether the methods used to break the wall are through stay-at-home orders are expiring (Georgia) or because people don’t trust their government (PA), it is breaking nonetheless. It won’t last as [H/T Donna Marts] — With CDC reversing a lot of its guidance on how the virus spreads, and with most states seeing hospitalizations decrease, the argument for perpetual lockdown continues to degrade. —- [H/T Mike Newbern] —- That the promises of doom people put on Georgia and for Florida haven’t materialized only makes that case more evident.

The only thing keeping businesses closed is fear. Nothing more.

We will be here to cover when everything inevitably breaks, and everyone can get back to lifting…..without lockdown.

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