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Georgia business selling dumbells, kettlebells like hot cakes

Shortage of exercise equipment linked to COVID-19 pandemic

(Credit: WLTZ/CNN Newsource)
(Credit: WLTZ/CNN Newsource) (CNN Newsource)

Americans have been forced to exercise some patience during what some have called the dumbbell and kettlebell shortage.

“There's no dumbbells,” said John Gensburger, Fort Benning senior platoon trainer. "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."

Sixty-five percent of exercise equipment in the United States ships from foundries in China, which has encouraged American companies, like Goldens' Foundry & Machine Company in Columbus, Georgia to get creative.

"We were seeing a similar thing in our cast iron barbecues, that a lot of our competitors bring their things in from China,” Goldens’ Foundry Vice President George Boyd, Jr. said. “So they were similarly affected, but that we currently weren't making kettlebells or dumbbells."

Goldens' Foundry, which was founded in 1882, had made kettlebells in the past, but could not compete with the big companies up north. Now during COVID-19, local foundries were needed to share the weight.

"These things come in as steel scrap, and we take that scrap and we melt it in our induction furnaces at very high temperatures, Boyd said. “We pour that iron in. It fills up that space to make that casting, so every kettlebell is really going to be unique."

Boyd hopes this kettlebell shortage encourages consumers in the future to choose American made products.

"It shows the importance of American made manufacturing and our ability to make things here,” Boyd said. “We've had a really big response to it, and because we're a nimble American manufacturer we were able to change our production over and start making them."

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