First, there was a pause in social media activity. Then came murmurings in small circles. And on February 29th at 9:30am EST, MuscleDriver USA officially announced a company shutdown through a quote from owner Brad Hess.
The Fort Mill, SC-based equipment manufacturer and elite team sponsor is now selling off their remaining stockpiles of lifting equipment, along with furniture, manufacturing supplies, and other business property.
The shutdown has sparked intense speculation as to the business’ internal operations, with many customers and fans taking to Reddit to express a mix of condolences and uncertainty regarding the future of MDUSA equipment warranties. Mixed into the Reddit threads are plenty of speculation as to the exact reasons behind the company’s downfall, the details of Chapter 11 versus Chapter 7 bankruptcy, and what it could mean for their competitors. It’s worth noting many of these comments are still based on speculation and have not been confirmed by this publication or any other sources.
Travis Mash’s The Barbell Life podcast recently discussed the closing in their 91st episode, which can be found for free in its entirety their Spreaker page. Joining Mash are former MDUSA coach Don McCauley, Wilkes Weightlifting coach Chris Wilkes, and USA World Team Member/former MDUSA lifter Caine Wilkes.
If you’re interested in learning more about the dynamics of elite weightlifting teams – and why they can be so challenging to assemble and run but also rewarding to lifters – we definitely recommend giving the episode a listen. McCauley and the Wilkes duo give a peak under the hood at what training at MDUSA was like, including the impact of Glenn Pendlay’s health-related hiatus and the overall atmosphere in the gym.
Mash also outlines his ambitions for the future and discusses the impact he hopes to create for weightlifters in the United States and beyond.
Image screenshot from MuscleDriver USA’s Instagram account.