COLUMBUS,Ga. (WRBL) —The famous Oates Gym in Columbus, Georgia from the early 1980s to the early 2000s is back bigger and better.

Jerry Oates former wrestling icon reopens his wrestling Gym during a pandemic after being closed for 18 years.

In the early 1980s, the Oates brothers and their father worked in a warehouse fixing cars. The Oates family decided to build their own gym inside the warehouse and that’s where it all started. Jackson Oates, grandson of the icon admires his grandpa’s legacy and hard work.

“My granddad told me the story a lot growing up. He said they built the gym in the car shop for just my uncle and him to work out with. Customers started coming up to him and asking how much it was to work out at his shop and he jokingly said ten bucks and the people started to come” said Jackson.

The Gym stayed open for roughly 20 years and closed up in 2002.

“When my granddad told me, he was planning on opening the gym back up this year I was excited and couldn’t wait to get in there.

Jimmy Oates planned on reopening the gym towards the end of February 2020, when the government ordered gyms to close.

“I was interested to see how the gym would succeed during times like these. We opened up on April 24, 2020, and since then we have signed up over 350 members,” Jackson said.

Jerry Oates was successful at wrestling winning matches all over the world and country. He knew he would not be wrestling his whole life, but he believed in staying in shape.

“I opened the gym then and again today to make sure I help people reach their daily goals. Rather than be to gain or lose weight. If members want to get in here and work hard, they’ll see great results,” said Jerry.

COVID-19 has left people stuck in the house making individuals feeling trapped mentally. Mental health is just as important as physical health.

A proper diet and 30 minutes of exercise daily can create endorphins that make individuals feel good.

“We know that people work on different schedules and have priorities. This is why our gym is a 24-hour gym 7 days a week,” said Jerry.

If you would like to join the gym but are worried about social distancing don’t worry. The staff requires equipment to be thoroughly cleaned by each user after usage and a mandatory cleaning every 20 minutes.