SANTA ANA (CBSLA) — Along with closing down gyms, the coronavirus pandemic has also caused a shortage of some fitness equipment.
Grant Broggi, a former Marine captain, was forced to close his gyms across Orange County months ago as COVID-19 cases first began appearing.
As safety precautions continue and officials have not relaxed warnings to avoid gatherings and close contact, Broggi said the changes don’t seem to be letting up.
“I think people are realizing now, this is a long term thing. There’s people putting gyms in their kitchens,” he said.
With this influx of people working out from home, there comes some new supply of gym equipment they’ll now need, which people all across the country have reported are hard to find.
Broggi said he first noticed the shortage when he tried to set up at-home gyms for his clients at home but many local and online stores were out of stock.
To keep his business afloat and offer a solution, Broggi started making his own racks in Orange County and sourced a foundry in Wisconsin to make the iron plates.
“All over the nation, we are selling this, in Canada we have already sold this, it’s gotta get boxed, labeled, sent out. It’s a big ordeal because it’s heavy items,” Broggi said.
Broggi’s company, The Strength Co., is one of the only companies in the country to sell weights and racks made in the U.S.
“If I get a few plates, I mean if I put them up on the site, it’s just gone instantly. People can’t find this anywhere,” he said.
Along with selling equipment, Broggi’s company also offers training through Zoom with clients from all over the world.
“Innovate, adapt, win. That’s what we can do as a country to get to the other side and let there be some hope,” Broggi said. “To say, we’re gonna make this work, we can do it. That just goes on to everything in life. It goes past the pandemic.”
Broggi said he expects his next big shipment of weights in the next couple of weeks. He’s planning to sell them out of a local Santa Ana warehouse and online. They’ll be available for sale by the end of August.