A Trying Time for Fitness

Mike Stanlaw

The fitness lifestyle has faced both its biggest challenge and biggest opportunity this year.

Yes, there are bigger issues and problems in the world today but I do my best to stay in my lane and talk about what I know best: getting people results through weight training.

After an awesome 30 minute run this morning (wrote this on Sunday), I got to thinking about how fitness may never be the same again.

Whether this is good or bad all depends on who you're asking, but there have certainly been more than a few challenges. There are no signs of gyms being allowed to open up any time soon, and there are still restrictions on Personal Training/Group Exercise Studios. While home workouts, park workouts, and online workouts are great and can definitely get the job done, there is absolutely nothing like being in the gym or a training studio lifting (relatively) heavy ass weight. However even when gyms and studios reopen, it is almost certain that Membership will not be what it was before and neither will the atmosphere.

I realized today that big box gyms will never be the same, and I sometimes wonder if they're a dying breed. I would certainly hope this is not the case. Some of my best personal memories and accomplishments of my life have taken place in the big box gyms. Training for bodybuilding competitions at the old Mid City Gym and then years later again when it became Retro Fitness here in town. Having my brothers Rob and Nick present when I bench pressed 300 pounds at Bally Total Fitness on Staten Island. Getting trained (or more like destroyed) by my bodybuilding idol 6-Time Mr. Olympia Dorian Yates at Apollon Gym in Edison, New Jersey. Countless great workouts at New York Sports Clubs and The Forum here in town, and never missing a training day at Panzer Gym at Montclair State University for 4 years. The list goes on for me, and there have been so many great memories and workouts that make me who I am today at Stanlaw Fitness.

While I enjoy the nostalgia, I know that all of these memories helped me shape our weight rooms at Stanlaw Fitness. While they still need some work (and mirrors!), I realized that the weight room has been a staple of my life and is now the same staple for many Members of Stanlaw Fitness. It's unfortunate that many cannot experience a gym environment at the moment, but I do believe there are new opportunities that have come about this year in fitness.

There are countless park workouts that we offer, as do other Training Studios here in town. There are online programs, both from local businesses like us and from companies like Peloton and Echelon. There is the opportunity to find out what you're really made of my going through what I think is one of the toughest workouts: a bodyweight home workout (pull-ups, push-ups, sit-ups, free squats....all that good stuff). Finally, one on one Personal Training is allowed by the state. No, it's not cheap. However, those who have made the investment, cut a few costs in other areas of their lives (coffee, alcohol, eating out, unnecessary clothing), and gave 100% focus to their 1:1 training, nutrition, and cardio........have absolutely changed their lives.

This is a new time for fitness. Personally, of course I loved the big gyms, but I also see so many new opportunities today. The one thing I've found about those who really want results is that they will find a way to achieve success regardless of circumstances. This goes for the gym and this goes for life. Those who don't really want it will find an excuse.

If you’ve been a gym rat your whole life like myself, my best advice is to always keep those times in the front of your mind and never lose that side of you. For those who may just be starting off on a fitness journey, just know that there are so many ways you can get results now, and it’s an exciting time with many new fitness opportunities!

Make this week awesome and reach out if you need any help. Get your 30 every day!