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

  • When businesses understand what matters, it makes a world of a difference and Lift Chicago understood that it’s not just about providing a place to workout, it’s about creating a... read more

    Tausif Khiani Avatar Tausif Khiani

    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

    Jessie Allen Avatar Jessie Allen

    These deserve more stars. Ive been rocking with these guys for years. Always fun and professional. They have help me achieve my body goals by coming 3 days a... read more

    Domique Bland Avatar Domique Bland
  • I've been training at LIFT since they opened and the trainers here are second to none. They are highly skilled, consummate professionals, and just all around nice guys. ... read more

    Chris Jamerson Avatar Chris Jamerson

    Its always been a great experience with a professional environment, high quality and well maintained machines. I'd definitely recommend this gym to anybody wanting to reach personal goals for themselves.

    Francisco King Avatar Francisco King

    I have been lifting here with Sam for a couple of months, and couldn’t say anything better about Lift! The gym is clean, equipment well maintained, and the staff is... read more

    Erik Swanson Avatar Erik Swanson
  • Lift Chicago is a fantastic full-service gym. The trainers are knowledgable and motivating, the facility is clean and bright, and they take all steps to insure health and safety. As... read more

    Margaret Berg Avatar Margaret Berg

    The whole staff there is great. You cannot go wrong training with any of them. Plus, it is super clean. I feel complete safe going there with COVID-19.

    Timothy McAlister Avatar Timothy McAlister

    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

    Kendra Chavin Avatar Kendra Chavin
  • I started attending the women’s lifting class and absolutely love it! It’s exciting, fun and welcoming for all different ability levels!

    Lainie Augensen Avatar Lainie Augensen

    I've been going to LIFT for over a year and a half and I cannot say enough positive things about this gym. The minute you walk in, you are personally... read more

    Stephanie Silverstein Avatar Stephanie Silverstein

    Love LIFT!!! What a kind, professional and motivational group of people! Thanks for making me feel so comfortable as I begin my strength training journey.

    Allie Hurwich Avatar Allie Hurwich
  • 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

    Gabriel Garcia Avatar Gabriel Garcia

    I’ve been training at Lift since it opened (and with Josh elsewhere for a few years prior). As a middle aged endurance athlete, I used to think I should strength... read more

    Dana Rothschild Avatar Dana Rothschild

    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

    Cara Avatar Cara
  • 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

    Maya Gorlicki Avatar Maya Gorlicki

    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

    Alison Avatar Alison

    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

    Jason Avatar Jason
  • Can't say enough good things about Lift! I started training with Abby after losing a substantial amount of weight and muscle tone and I can't thank her enough for her... read more

    Katie McCarthy Avatar Katie McCarthy

    Positive: Communication ,  Professionalism ,  Quality I’ve had such a great experience here, especially training with Coach Abby! The trainers here are very attentive and helpful, which... read more

    Linda Quizhpi Avatar Linda Quizhpi

    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

    Alexis Jawny Avatar Alexis Jawny
  • I have a very busy schedule, so my training sessions need to be very efficient, staying under an hour at all times. LIFT provides a highly “efficient” workout protocol—... read more

    Pete Wilkins Avatar Pete Wilkins

    This best place to work out in Chicago. Intelligent trainers with a great atmosphere. You can tell they love what they do and are passionate about creating the best gym/workout... read more

    Danielle Spellman Avatar Danielle Spellman

    I have been working out at Lift Chicago for over 10 years. I love that the trainers create a new personal workout every couple of months for members and on... read more

    Kenya Brockett Avatar Kenya Brockett