top of page
  • Mitchell Rothbardt

Hello Again: The Pandemic and Gyms


How are you doing?

I know I haven’t written lately…well for the last 8 months or so.

Honestly, this past year and a half has kicked my butt more than just a little bit and I’ve spent a lot of time just trying to figure out how Castro Valley Fitness and I fit into all this.

It’s been tough on all of us.

The good news, though, is that I’m back. I don’t know what I can commit to as far as writing, but I hope to be in touch at least 2-3 times each month.

I’ll be giving you hints on:

  1. How to get the most out of your workouts

  2. How to improve your chronic pain

  3. Nutrition tips

But most importantly:

How to make fitness work for you! 

So, what inspired me to start writing again?

Well, in my opinion, the fitness industry’s reaction to the pandemic has been…well…disappointing.

Another way to put it would be self-serving.

Still another would be toxic.

See where I’m coming from?

Frankly, my relationship with much of the fitness industry isn’t great. I don’t believe an industry that makes over $800,000,000,000 (that’s billion) a year making people feel bad about themselves is an industry I want to be part of.

Not in that way, in any case.

I was hoping that the pandemic would cause some people to re-think their approach. 

Maybe realize that the relentless focus on weight loss doesn’t work.

Maybe stop telling women their main value to society lies in being as small as possible.

Maybe realize that most of what the fitness industry talks about isn’t really healthy at all.

At the beginning of the pandemic there was one question on everyone’s minds, “Are gyms essential businesses?”

My answer was a surprise to many people in the industry.


They’re not.

Health is essential.

Fitness is essential.

Good sustainable nutrition is essential.

Pre-pandemic, the fitness industry as a whole, espoused none of those things.

What did it focus on?

Making people feel terrible about themselves so they could sell more stuff.

Sure, they SAID they focused on essential things, but in reality…not so much.

It’s no wonder that when people asked if gyms were essential, they didn’t know the answer.

And the fact they didn’t know the answer? That was all the answer we really needed.

After all, no one needs to ask if food is essential.

Maybe, if the fitness industry ACTUALLY focused on health instead of the inessential garbage it focused on, the answer would have been different.

But after decades of…

“Lose 40 pounds this month!”

“Don’t ever eat carbs again!”

“Use this trick to get 6-pack abs next week!”

People know this industry is full of s**t.

The best part was when the industry started telling everyone how gyms needed to be open for everyone’s mental health after being one of the main drivers of women’s poor mental health for years. 

“Forget everything you’ve ever accomplished in your life, if you gained 5 pounds over the last decade YOU ARE A FAILURE! No cookies for you…EVER AGAIN!!!”

After everything we’ve gone through over the past 18 months it seems like the fitness industry would have learned something, but no. We’re now inundated with gyms trying to inspire people to lose their “Covid 19”. It would be pathetic if it weren’t so predictable.

This is what I’ve been fighting against for years in an industry I want to be proud of.

Fitness is for everybody. Every. Body. 

That is the belief I’ve built my gym on. You shouldn’t have to feel like you need to be in shape to get in better shape.

There are lots of ways that every single person can feel good.

There are a lot more goals than “losing weight”.

And for most people there are a lot impactful, empowering, helpful, and healthy goals than “losing weight”, too.

I’m here to help.


Have a great day!

Mitch Rothbardt

Castro Valley Fitness


0 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page