T Nation

Any Gym Owners Here?

This is good information. I’ve tossed around some ideas in my head. I’m no where near close to opening my own but we can dream right? Has anyone split their gym in half or maybe into thirds? One third a powerlifting dungeon, one third a classroom for the zumba and trx money makers, and the other third a more open athletic area for athletics and mma? I know of a local gym that has this setup in an old car dealer. Place is huge but I never see it populated much.

Larry H, that would be ideal, just looked at a factory for sale today, 12000sqft, enough room to do both, seletorized equip and cardio up front, and tire flipping and shit out back, can’t believe I’m even thinking about, or in the position to buy such a building, life’s a buzz somtimes, but I’m sick of paying rent, if I manage to pull it off, and build what I want, I’ll have pics all over.

Considering 10yrs ago I was dealing with an addiction, and now I’m turning dreams into realitys, I recomend anyone thinking somthing to start doing somthing, I had to beg and plead to get financing on first gym, now people are calling me, asking me if they can get involved with this one, weird shit, alot of what i’ve done and do, is right off this site, it’s crazzy sometimes you have to pinch yourself.

I have said before, the same things that work in the gym, work in buisiness; slow steady consitant progressive hard work. It worked for me, a woreout old biker highschool dropout, in and out of jail, turned my life around, I speak in youth centers to troubled kids now! Believe it-- Achieve it

[quote]AnytimeJake wrote:
Larry H, that would be ideal, just looked at a factory for sale today, 12000sqft, enough room to do both, seletorized equip and cardio up front, and tire flipping and shit out back, can’t believe I’m even thinking about, or in the position to buy such a building, life’s a buzz somtimes, but I’m sick of paying rent, if I manage to pull it off, and build what I want, I’ll have pics all over.

Considering 10yrs ago I was dealing with an addiction, and now I’m turning dreams into realitys, I recomend anyone thinking somthing to start doing somthing, I had to beg and plead to get financing on first gym, now people are calling me, asking me if they can get involved with this one, weird shit, alot of what i’ve done and do, is right off this site, it’s crazzy sometimes you have to pinch yourself.

I have said before, the same things that work in the gym, work in buisiness; slow steady consitant progressive hard work. It worked for me, a woreout old biker highschool dropout, in and out of jail, turned my life around, I speak in youth centers to troubled kids now! Believe it-- Achieve it[/quote]

Sounds incredible.

My facility is coming up on it’s 3rd year in November. I’m the opposite of Jake, not commercial, and I don’t have a business loan - I’ve paid for everything out of pocket as I grew and own everything. I’ve grown with my clientele and have some crazy shit ahead. I wrote about this because I was getting emails asking how I built a pretty large clientele I a town I moved to only 2.5 years ago. Jake’s story is pretty cool though.

http://danblewett.com/2013/04/building-a-training-business/

[quote]Dan Blewett wrote:
My facility is coming up on it’s 3rd year in November.[/quote]

Your place is awesome. That’s exactly what I want to have except my focus will be more on developing fighters and hopefully high school football players.

Did you build new or start up in an existing place? From the pics, it looks like your place is a sheetmetal type buidling?

Sorry guys, just had a couple real awesome days, didn’t mean to sound all high and mighty, but the juice is worth the squeeze,if your sitting on the fence, I say pull the trigger, on what ever your dream is you won’t regret it,
That looks awesome Dan, I’m jelous, you must have a big market, I’m in a town of 15000,only gym, can’t catter to just athletes, wish I could, worken towards the back half of my gym lookin just like yours, and the front paying the bills. Goodluck

I started with 1000 sq.ft in the back of a baseball facility; they’re a franchise and pay their royalty based on square footage, so they didnt want to use the whole building, leaving 2400 in the back that they wanted to sublet. I started with 1000 then quickly outgrew and it engulfed the rest of that space. Starting small was key, and it’s allowed me to purchase everything I need as my bank account strengthens. Just received my belt squat machine today…cost $450. Being the world’s greatest used equipment buyer is the reason I’m so well-equipped. I often buy large lots of equipment I don’t need and resell some of it at a profit to subsidize what I do want to keep.

Some day, I’ll drop 40K on new Sorinex equipment and Ivanko barbells. Until then, start small and remember that old iron is still heavy iron.

What would you recommend the first steps be? Find a decent space? I’m 19 btw and am still in Uni so money is a little tight, but I’m going for an internship soon and will start generating some income.

thats the problem with franchises, as good as they treat me, I don’t think I can post a link, but if you were to put my name with Port hope ON, you could see pics of first place, and me without a gotee 5yrs ago, the outside pic is uptodate location, just haven’t put new inside pics up yet, same equipment anyway. Opening new location in a bigger city hour away,should be able to do more to my taste, now that I have money and backing. It’s been awesome 5yrs, made good bucks and franchise treats me good, can’t complain, but still jelous Dan lol

First step needs to be getting experience as a trainer, since you’re 19. Jumping into it with few clients and limited experience, and no real niche, will be a failure. I had great internships (2 years under Nick Tumminello was the big one), 5 years learning from my D-1 strength coach and a few years training, plus my D-1 and pro baseball experience - it was a no brainer for baseball players to want to work with me - no other coach anywhere compares. That was what has vaulted me more than anything.

A small space with a rack, barbells and bands will get you pretty far, but you have to get people in. I was a baseball guy (with a website for people to reference me with years of writing) in a baseball facility - that’s how I took off. If you don’t have all of that stuff, you need to build a client base at a commercial gym first and then move them over to your private space once your income and savings can sustain your new facility.

What Jake said about market is right - my town isn’t big, 140,000 people, but it’s big enough because baseball and softball are prevalent and people are willing to spend on their kids. You need to have a niche and know the market. I don’t need every athlete in town, nor do I want all of them. I’m expecting around 120 enrolled this fall and we’ll probably cap at 150-200 in a few years. No moms, a few Dads, no personal training or any of that. But, it’s all because I have the right niche.

Do you have regular members Dan, or just clients that train at your place with you or one of your trainers?
I spend my days working with young hockey players, not much money at the age I get them, but a couple have gone on to better things and remembered me, got three guys that drive 2hrs, twice a week in the summer to train with me, it takes longer to build training buisness, than gym buisness it seems, lol, anyway thks for the info

Nope - only clients. I’m only open 330-830, and I’d never be able to write programs for everyone and maintain a life if I trained or was open during the day. Athletes require much more planning and program writing, which is much more consuming than actual training. Updating 70 programs every 5 weeks was tough this year, so who knows how I’m going to get 100+ done this fall.

I’ve been a one-man show until just now I took on a business partner/trainer who is learning my methodology in both my strength training and pitching/throwing velocity program.

[quote]Dan Blewett wrote:
First step needs to be getting experience as a trainer, since you’re 19. Jumping into it with few clients and limited experience, and no real niche, will be a failure. I had great internships (2 years under Nick Tumminello was the big one), 5 years learning from my D-1 strength coach and a few years training, plus my D-1 and pro baseball experience - it was a no brainer for baseball players to want to work with me - no other coach anywhere compares. That was what has vaulted me more than anything.

A small space with a rack, barbells and bands will get you pretty far, but you have to get people in. I was a baseball guy (with a website for people to reference me with years of writing) in a baseball facility - that’s how I took off. If you don’t have all of that stuff, you need to build a client base at a commercial gym first and then move them over to your private space once your income and savings can sustain your new facility.

What Jake said about market is right - my town isn’t big, 140,000 people, but it’s big enough because baseball and softball are prevalent and people are willing to spend on their kids. You need to have a niche and know the market. I don’t need every athlete in town, nor do I want all of them. I’m expecting around 120 enrolled this fall and we’ll probably cap at 150-200 in a few years. No moms, a few Dads, no personal training or any of that. But, it’s all because I have the right niche. [/quote]

Thank you very much for the information.

Funny enough, I’ve just started to get a couple clients. I’m only writing out programs for them (my internship is overseas so I can’t physically see them) but it’s a start nonetheless. Also, I’m trying to talk to people as much as I can now to staff and people there, which is weird since I’ve been to the same gym for 2-3 years and never said a word to anyone there. Again, not much, but its something.