East Austin gym owner helping community be seen and keeping it healthy

Good afternoon everyone: raise your ATX

A small business gym owner does what he can to make sure his community is seen and stays healthy. Leslie Rangel from FOX 7 Austin spoke to the CEO / Founder of Lift ATX, Daniel Hinojosa.

At a time when roughly half of COVID cases, deaths, and hospitalizations are in the Austin / Travis County’s Hispanic community, a small business gym owner is doing everything possible to make sure his community is seen and stays healthy.

Daniel Hinojosa, CEO and founder of LIFT ATX, said he took the plunge into opening a gym in the middle of a pandemic when many other businesses were closing.

“We just grind, we work hard and sometimes when that means we need to take a risk in our dreams, and that’s exactly what I did,” says Hinojosa.

He’s documented his journey to fitness transformation on social media, posting everything from the time they received the keys to their Springdale warehouse and airport to the delivery of the equipment to their gym.


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“We were lucky, we made some smart decisions and we were lucky to open on September 1st,” recalls Hinojosa.

He calls it luck, but this has really been a work in the making for years.

“There was a lot of thinking, a lot of planning, a lot of long discussions about whether this would be the right thing for me …” said Hinojosa.

His passion for fitness arose from his own transformation and the need to help others.


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“I’ve struggled with my weight for the past 30 years,” says Hinojosa, the former middle school coach. “Health is everything and it’s all we have at the end of the day, it’s all we have.”

In a pandemic that sees 46% of COVID cases, 46.5% of COVID hospital stays, and 48% of deaths in the Austin / Travis County’s Hispanic community, he’s on a mission to create a place to hold his Community can be seen.

“So we might as well try to get in shape so we can fight some of these diseases and some of the diseases, especially COVID-19,” says Hinojosa.

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And they enjoy it, a way of creating a safe space for a group that he says has long been ignored.

“I wanted to create a place where Austinites who are left behind can call home and be proud because there aren’t many Austinites born and raised by OG and all of them have been evicted south or north,” Hinojosa describes the common outcomes of gentrification.

“There are old parts of town that are right between a house that was built in the 1960s and a multi-million dollar house,” says Hinojosa, driving through the neighborhood he has lived in for 20 years. “I think many of our members, many of our family members, are proud when they come to the gym. They are proud to be part of Lift ATX,” says Hinojosa, describing it as a place with Vibras y Cultura, good vibes and culture.

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“It’s definitely a place that I feel now, people feel seen and have a voice, which I think was one of the goals for me, you know?” Says Hinojosa.

According to Hinojosa, safety is a top priority. They have strict mask guidelines based on occupancy and exercise outdoors.

If you are interested in more information, please visit their website.

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