As events have unfolded over the past few weeks across the world, it is clear that we are all facing an unprecedented challenge in combating COVID-19.
A shortage of exercise equipment, like dumbbells and kettlebells, has resulted from more and more people across the world turning to home workouts
“There’s no dumbbells. Like weights are hard to come by right now. Because when all of the gyms shut down, everyone kind of made a rush to the stores, and I was a little late on that one,” says John Gensburger, Fort Benning Senor Platoon Trainer.
When the coronavirus forced Americans indoors — out of offices, away from grocery stores and off public transit — gyms under went an economy-rattling shift.
Suddenly fitness enthusiasts were forced to reimagine not only where they could work out, but how. People snapped up benches, resistance bands, dumbbells and kettlebells. In New York, the demand led to a citywide shortage of workout equipment.
“People are kind of freaking out,” said Jahkeen Washington, co-owner of JTW Fit, a boutique gym in Central Harlem. “They feel like all of the hard work they’ve been putting in for so long is at risk of going to waste.”
And while all kinds of equipment has been hard to come by, the most difficult item to find, in New York or elsewhere, is a kettlebell.
On the Dick’s Sporting Goods website in May, kettlebells — iron, weighted balls with handles attached — were not available within 100 miles of New York City. For months, the Gym Source website has stated that kettlebells are “currently unavailable due to high demand.”
Kettlebells — which are valued for their versatility and used in endurance, cardiovascular and weight training — are so hard to come by some New Yorkers have paid mysterious vendors nearly $400 for one set, more than four times what the average kettlebell cost two months ago.
GQ Magazine has coined the current equipment epoch “The Great Kettlebell Shortage of 2020.”
Like most of American fitness equipment, kettlebells have for decades been forged in Chinese factories; most of which have been shut down as a result of the coronavirus.
The shutdown overseas created a bottleneck in the kettlebell supply chain. The shortage is a problem,
Consumer goods like kettlebells have become the domain of China foundries that are able to mass- produce goods at a cheaper price.
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