Meanwhile in Florida: Gym Protesters Pump Outside in Solidarity, Not Realizing They’re Getting the Same Workout Anyway

Of all the closures forced upon us by coronavirus, the shuttering of gyms is one of the most unfortunate, especially for people in colder climates who can’t just exercise outside. That wasn’t the case for a Florida man, however. Fitness enthusiast Travis LaBazzo, who could easily work up a sweat outside in his state’s notoriously glorious weather, organized a protest of about 30 people to pressure leaders to reopen gyms. They gathered outside the Pinellas County courthouse and proceeded to do push-ups and squats as a news chopper hovered overhead.

“This will be great,” a protester was heard saying in a Facebook livestream of the protest. “The fittest protest in America.”

It kind of missed the point though, didn’t it? Getting pumped outdoors on a beautiful day only proves that gyms really are non-essential in Florida in springtime. You can get just as good a workout outside, using your own body mass, while social distancing. A grimy, bodily fluid-sprinkled gym with equipment packed too close together and men grunting (never forget the grunting) really doesn’t compare, safety-wise, during a pandemic.

Not that the protesters were taking these precautions. Few were maintaining safe social distancing or wearing masks. If they can’t be trusted to keep each other safe during a protest, what likelihood is there that they’ll practice COVID-19-friendly workouts in a gym?

Video of the protest went viral, social media users quickly mocked the display of brute force, and LaBazzo later admitted the protest backfired. “I’m glad it got out there, but it completely lost the message,” he told BuzzFeed News. “People out there saying, ‘You just proved you don’t need the gym,’ but it’s not about that. It’s about thousands of employees that are out of work in Florida.”

Maybe it’s time for LaBazzo to use his brain as hard as he does his other muscles and find a new line of work.

Cover Photo: alexceban (Pixabay)

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