T Nation

Designing The Perfect Gym


I'm looking to open my own gym in a year or so and I would like to get advice and ideas from all you guys and gals. Whats your idea of a perfect gym, what do you look for in a gym as far as equipment, atmosphere, programs....on the other side what do you not like in a gym? Thanks


Look up these gyms:

Metroflex Plano
West Side

Emulate, copy, succeed.


My ideal gym would look like this....

-An immense abandonned warehouse smelling of sweat and tears...

-4 or 5 deadlift platforms, 6 power racks, chin and pull up bars, 2 or 3 pieces of cardio equipment, a few benches, an unlimited amount of dumbbells and barbells, a minimal amount of isolation machines,

-Tires, sleds, prowler, sledgehammers, ropes, chains, bands, and maybe TRX...

-Metal rock or old school hip hop blaring out the speakers,

-Men and women grunting as if they were having an orgy....

-Women's showers as open space instead of seperate cubicles, 'cos I like to check out other girls' booties and boobs, especially when they rub the soap all over...



Roger that Ninja....I like the way your fuckin' brain works! I'll check out those other gyms ssc thanks!


I'd would love a gym with absolutely no music.

No muscular pit bulls on the gym's T shirt.


For the record, a lot of what the other poster said holds true for the gyms I listed, kind of.

As a BB'er, here's some things that are appealing to me:

Multiple Benches with different angles
Multiple Power racks
Hammer Strength machines (more variety = better, but expensive)
Conventional cardio stuff (Plenty, no one likes waiting to do cardio, haha.)
"Alternative" cardio equipment as well ---> Tires, sleds, prowlers

Some other good things for other types of athletes,

Olympic Platform + Bumper plates
PL-oriented things... cambered bars, reverse GHR machines

As far as a hardcore vibe goes, that's a tricky situation and ultimately your call. It seems like if you're opening up a gym in a less-populous area you're probably going to want to make it a little more marketable towards the masses (though not discouraging good work ethic and "hardcore" attitudes, as you'd have it.)

But if you're in like LA, Miami, NY or something like that... make that shit as dungeon-y and primal as possible. If you build it, they will come.


This is kind of a valid point. Alright, I get that some people like Godsmack and Disturbed and shit blasting over the radio, because THEY think it's awesome... but there's nothing more annoying than trying to listen to what I want to and constantly hearing "GET UP GET UP COME ON GET DOWN WITH THE SICKNESS" even though I have my earbuds cranked up as loud as they'll go.

Just food for thought.


I checked out that Armbrust gym. That's pretty appealing. If I end up opening one up it will be in North Dakota. That is a very blue collar area. I was thinking dungeony though. I wouldn't want some corporate looking hobnobby type of place. Thanks


Keep in mind those hardcore gyms are few and far between because they generally don't make any money. If you're opening a gym with the intent of making money you should think long and hard about this. If you're opening a gym because you think it'd be cool and don't mind operating a potentially money losing business than more power to you for going the hardcore route.


^^ Yeah, if you're going dungeony, that's good...it just needs space.
Ever see Dorian Yate's Temple Gym? I don't know how a guy like him walked around in there. He likely bought it just so he'd not have to share it with anyone!


just googled temple gym... they have live cameras to see how "crowded" it is in the gym... i think that'd be a unique and cheap feature to have... a few webcams set up around the gym just so people at home know how busy it is...


lots of bumper plates AND regular plates. none of that hex bullshit either


Keep it coming everyone, I appreciate all of this. It's along the lines of what I was thinking too. I have ideas of how I will pitch this to the public but I would love to read everyones input on how to sell it too. Thanks.....There aren't any "hardcore" gyms in the city I'm thinking of doing it either so....


Wow,that is small.


Any gym that isn't above the first floor, has only one row of treadmills and cardio machine, has heavy DBS and heavy duty equipment ( and Oly bars ), is fine by me.

I've trained in so many shitty gyms that my standards are set permanently low.


Don't close early, any days of the week


This, definitely...

...and especially this.


I agree with the suggestions so far and would like to add the very cheap suggestion "thick rope hanging from the ceiling". Great grip work and very cheap.

And if you don't buy DBs to 200+ pounds, buy an adjustable olympic DB handle. A long one.


Yeah...one of the smallest underground gyms I ever seen. But it seems to have the essential equipment if you fancy a fairly good workout. Provided it's not busy...


Yeah, definitely thick climbing ropes... I like when my burning forearms beg me for mercy after multiple rounds of rope climbing.