WGN NEWS & A letter to the fitness community by: Josh Siroko

May 7, 2020

We are honored to be on WGN News to talk about reopening in a safe manner as curve continues to flatten. Want to read the full article? Click here! Below is a little letter from Co-owner, Josh Siroko.


To all my fellow Gym Owners, Gym Enthusiasts, and Average Joe’s-

What is normal now? Streaming services have replaced in person interaction. Zoom was once something just reserved for corporate settings and is now the go to happy hour destination. Where we as gym owners spent countless hours (and dollars) on setting our facilities apart through amenities and aesthetics, we are now streaming classes from our not so glamorous living rooms. There is an unfortunate truth to this new normal: motivation is most definitely lacking and attrition is at an all-time high. 

The last few months demonstrated the perfect storm of unexpected, underprepared, and overwhelmed families, friends, and businesses. Whether you are an avid gym goer or an industry professional, you know the Chicago Fitness Community is mighty. We are a ‘family’ of intermingling groups and individuals that exude friendship through exercise, fun, and progress. Just as real families have been quarantined apart, we yearn to be in each other’s presence once again. 

For those of us who have lost [anything] the uncertainty of the future is daunting. For those of us lucky enough to come out of this unscathed, the assault on our ‘normal lives’ will definitely leave scars. To be honest, the uncertainty of what is on the horizon may be more intimidating as it is unclear if we can confidently say we will ever return to normal. 

Through the fear and sadness shine hope and kindness. I witnessed streets blocked by lines of cars all waiting to honk and wish happiness on an unexpecting birthday girl. Her ear to ear smile would bring light to the darkest day and is a reminder of the power of community. I too received ‘drive-in’ birthday wishes at a time I began to assimilate into the emotional nothingness of our very own version of ‘Ground Hog Day’. Members of this community, many stricken by hardship, are continuing to offer their help with donations or continuing their dues, all to make sure their favorite places are there when doors open. Human positivity and kindness are powerful weapons; they can pierce through even the saddest situations. This, along with the hopeful reminder of [fingers crossed] ‘SummerTimeChi’ has us coasting along with anticipation that this is almost over.

We’ve seen long time pillars of the community shutter, and others look on, quivering at the thought they could be next. How long can this last?  As many display concern about if they will be able to weather the storm, others adapt and plan for the future. Our brick and mortar kingdoms have taken to the airwaves in the form of Podcasts, Live Classes, and Online Programming; we are evolving and we hope it is enough. As I spoke with a longtime friend and fellow gym owner, he reminded me that “being able to HAVE a business when the dust settles AND provide for your employees is a WIN”. Taking things for granted is often seen as a slight. But if you’ve worked very hard for something and that something is now a normal function of your life, it is very easy to have expectations that it will continue. In this sense, I long to get back to taking things for granted. 

To the outsider, the fitness community may seem invisible. But I assure you we are not. We are here. We are doing the best we can. We are growing and evolving the very definition of what a gym means. This letter is a reminder to all that the community exists. 

To quote a great chicagoan, Kanye, “Nothing is ever promised tomorrow today, but we will find a way.”


Josh Siroko

Founder, LIFT Chicago


What People Are Saying About Lift Chicago

  • Positive: Professionalism ,  Quality I started attending the women’s lifting class and absolutely love it! It’s exciting, fun and welcoming for all different ability levels!

    thumb Lainie Augensen

    I started training at Lift over a year ago, after my daughter recommended it. I typically work with the same trainers, but it varies occasionally, and all have been careful,... read more

    thumb karyn hurwich

    Lift Chicago is an incredible gym. Unbelievable equipment that you cannot find at big box gyms. I’ve been working with Pete for the past two years and he consistently challenges... read more

    thumb Jason
  • Doing the group workouts has been the exact motivation I needed. The small group let's the trainer give me personal adjustments and everyone else pushes me to get it done!... read more

    thumb Maya Gorlicki

    Lift is an amazing place! The trainers are knowledgeable and the workouts are tough. Being a runner, I was constantly getting injured. Lift has strengthened me overall and worked on... read more

    thumb Anne Scranton

    WOW!!! I cannot say enough great things about Lift Chicago! Truly a fantastic experience. First off, with all things COVID, I felt very safe and comfortable using the equipment. Every... read more

    thumb Alexis Jawny
  • I have been coming to LIFT since the day they opened and have been training with Josh for years now. Nothing compares to the workouts and knowledge you’ll get from... read more

    thumb Michelle Buckmaster

    It has been challenging for me to find the motivation to workout since the beginning of the pandemic. Lift has helped me to get back into a routine in a... read more

    thumb Stephanie Garcia

    I have always been a very active person but I have seen the biggest difference in both my strength and physique since working out at Lift. I’ve been to many... read more

    thumb Alison
  • Hands down the best gym and the best trainers in the city. The entire experience from start to finish is outstanding. The staff is friendly, the equipment is... read more

    thumb Kyle Portnoy

    I recently found Lift on Yelp like a month ago and I’m absolutely loving it. I workout with Sam, Isaac and Kyle and they’re amazing. I’m looking forward to continuing... read more

    thumb Mandy Jo Walker

    If you're looking to train with coaches in safe, and clean environment away from crowds this is it. These coaches have years of experience and bring their expertise to... read more

    thumb Lisa Richards
  • Lift is THE place to go to perfect your training, perfect your form, and have an incredible time while doing it. Josh and the other coaches are the smartest and... read more

    thumb Jake Morrissy

    I’ve been training at LIFT for 1.5 years. Each and every one of the trainers are knowledgeable, friendly, professional, and extremely efficient. It’s surprising how great of a workout you... read more

    thumb Kendra Chavin

    Great coaching in an excellent facility.

    thumb Rick Sudekum
  • I've been working with Abby 3 days a week since October 2021, and it's probably not too much of a stretch to say I'm in love with her.

    In all seriousness,... read more

    thumb Ryan Carter

    I highly recommend Lift Chicago. I have been training here for a little under a year and love it! All of the trainers are extremely knowledgeable, motivating and welcoming. Every... read more

    thumb Jessie Allen

    After working out at LIFT for a year now, I can't say enough good things about this place. My trainer, Isaac, is kind, knowledgeable, experienced, and careful, making sure... read more

    thumb Paula Hoste
  • Positive: Communication ,  Professionalism ,  Quality These deserve more stars. Ive been rocking with these guys for years. Always fun and professional. They have help me... read more

    thumb Domique Bland

    It’s always been difficult to get into a steady routine and stay motivated, until I started training at LIFT seven months ago with Coach Isaac. Not only do I... read more

    thumb Gabriel Garcia

    I have been coming to Lift for a few months now. Staff is incredibly knowledgeable, flexible with schedules, and are great people to train with. I have noticed a significant... read more

    thumb Matthew Brunstrum
  • Positive: Communication ,  Professionalism ,  Quality

    thumb The Wheelands

    I have loved working out at Lift since my first visit and now go twice a week. I particularly like the welcoming friendly atmosphere - everyone is welcome regardless... read more

    thumb Mary O'Broin

    I started training at LIFT over a year ago in prep for my wedding. I have never looked or felt better! I have worked with almost every coach, and they’re... read more

    thumb Cara j