Coronavirus – What to Do When Gyms Close for Weeks

Coronavirus -All gyms in many areas of the country are closed for an undetermined amount of time. Here’s the solution I’m going with.

I, as well as countless other people, were informed yesterday that my gym would be closing for an undetermined amount of time. This was in response to the current epidemic… or non-epidemic, depending on how you feel about the issue. Regardless, my gym and every other gym around me… is closed. And there’s no indication of when it will reopen; a week, two weeks, a month, they’re even talking into August… who knows? And if you’re like me… I don’t have a personal stash of weightlifting equipment sitting around the house… I do what most people do… I have a gym membership.


The problem here is when a lot of us aren’t on a regimented exercise program, we start to backslide. It begins with changing our eating habits. We no longer make good food choices because we lose the motivation to do so. If you bust your ass in the gym for an hour, you’re less apt to eat that donut. You have a reason to eat right. When you’re not exercising, you lose a lot of your willpower. That’s just the way it goes. And as the days go on, we become more and more sedentary. Eventually, eating clean and exercising is something we “used to do”. So let’s not even go there. Let’s fix the problem before it even starts…


Now I’m sure you’ll find countless videos out there explaining how to use all kinds of household objects as a substitute for an actual gym. Personally, stretch bands and a medicine ball don’t do it for me. I need weights. Period. Weight lifting, at least for me, is therapeutic… I actually like it. In fact, I’d venture to say I might even feel a bit depressed without it. And with summer coming up, do you really want to be running around with toothpick arms because you couldn’t go to the gym for a month or two? I don’t think so…


So here’s the question… how do you preserve all of that muscle you’ve worked months, if not years, to build? And how do you keep your weekly weightlifting routine and diet on schedule until everything returns to normal?


Let’s start off by listing the requirements I have when it comes to a Home Gym Solution:


  1. I need something that will allow me to do a full-body workout. To each his own, but if you’re not working your legs… you look stupid. Guys that have well built upper bodies and skinny little stick legs… look terrible. At least that’s my opinion… and if we’re being honest, it’s the opinion of almost everybody else too. So I need something that works both the upper and lower body.
  2. I need a variety of exercises. I want to work lats, traps, chest, tri’s, bi’s, abs, quads, hamstrings, calves… the whole body.
  3. I don’t like lifting free weights because I’m old. My tendons and ligaments are far more susceptible to rips and tears than when I was in my 20’s and 30’s. And free weights increase the probability of an injury. I like lifting on machines and I want to continue to do so.
  4. I need dumbbells for certain exercises. I understand this contradicts my last bullet point, but for hammer curls, lateral shoulder raises, some tricep extensions, maybe lat pulls… I will grab the dumbbells from time to time. Therefore, I need a dumbbell solution with multiple weight options.
  5. I don’t want to take up an entire room with a bunch of weight lifting equipment. I have a room in my basement with a decent amount of space available, but I don’t really want to use it all.
  6. I want the equipment to be well made, but I also want it to be reasonably priced. And yes, I understand the word “reasonable” is subjective.
  7. It needs to be quick and easy to switch between lifts. I don’t want to spend half of my workout changing cables or modifying machine configurations.


So I started thinking, I started researching, and I started comparing. And when I felt like I had done my homework, I placed my order this morning for the Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE Home Gym. So let’s go over the reasons why I chose this piece of equipment.


  1. It comes standard with 210 pounds of resistance. I did the $99 upgrade and added an extra 100 pounds. This brings the total resistance up to 310. You can even add an additional 100 pounds on top of that, maxing the thing out at 410 pounds. More than enough weight for the average person.
  2. It has a No Change Pully System, which allows you to switch between lifts without having to spend half of your workout changing the equipment around.
  3. It has the ability to do over 70 different exercises; both upper and lower body.
  4. It will arrive at my house in about 6 days. I’m on a schedule here. I don’t have a month or more to wait before the equipment shows up on my doorstep.
  5. I suck at putting shit together. I’m seriously bad at it… just ask my wife. And Bowflex has an option where somebody will come to your house, move the equipment to a room of your choice, put it all together, make sure it’s all working properly, and remove all of the packaging materials on their way out. Done. I don’t have any desire to carry this thing downstairs and put it all together by myself.
  6. I like companies that stand behind their products. And I think this thing has a 7 year warranty.
  7. I find it to be reasonably priced for what you get… the cost of the unit is $1,499 and, if you need it, there’s a financing option for $84 a month. They’re also running a special right now where shipping is free.


Okay, so far so good, but we haven’t solved the dumbbell requirement. Fortunately, Bowflex has a solution for this as well. Their 560 dumbbell product allows you to select between 5 and 60 pounds simply by turning the handle. A digital display shows you the amount of weight you’ve selected. It even bluetooths to your phone and records the weight you’re using as well as the number of reps. I’m a geek… I like that shit. These are $549, but it replaces an entire rack of dumbbells in one compact device. There’s also a special being run right now where you get an extra bench with the dumbbells for an additional $100 and some change… saving $200 had you purchased them individually. You also have the option of financing these for $31 a month.


Now I will admit this would be an impulse buy if you only used it from now until the gym reopened. But I don’t think that’s going to be the case. There are many days I’m either pressed for time or simply don’t want to go all of the way to the gym just to work out… Saturday and Sunday for instance. I’d love the option of going downstairs, getting my workout in, and being done with it all. Besides, everybody in my family can use it too… my wife, three daughters… so for me, I find it to be a practical purchase.


I don’t have a coupon code and I don’t make any money if you buy a Bowflex. I just wanted to address the issue most of us are facing with the recent gym closures, I wanted to research some options, and I wanted to provide a solution for those that are as dedicated to working out as I am. You don’t have to purchase a Bowflex. There are many other options out there that could work just as well. I’m merely suggesting you think about purchasing a Home Gym, especially given the existing circumstances.


So buy a Bowflex, or don’t buy a Bowflex… but regardless of what you do, always remember, “You are Never Too Old to Live Like A Viking”.

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