T Nation

Hard Core Gym

I don’t know about you guys, but where I live there is no such thing as a “hard core” gym. There’s gold’s…nough said. Not knocking on Gold’s or anything but I was thinking of something different. Here’s the deal, when I get out of college I’m going to be trying for a CPA…okay, stop laughing now…anyway, I’ve decided that if I don’t like my job in a few years, I’m starting a hard core gym. I know I’m relatively new to the iron game, but I know that this is def. a great plan B. So, my question to you all is in all honesty what type of market is there for a hardcore gym. And by hardcore, I mean getting all the best equipment from Dave Tate’s sight and just allowing guys to get big without giving em a lot of shit. Oh, and I thought it was funny that Dave said in a recent article to outlaw spandex in your gym, but I digress. Yeah, so who thinks that a strictly hardcore gym located somewhere on the East Coast, probably Va, would be successful? Just tell it to me straight, also, what would you look for in this gym?

Not trying to discourage you or flame you, but do a search or just read through some old threads. This exact thread (pretty much) has been done many times before.

As to your location, guys in that area will have to respond, although it’s pretty hard to predict the market “when you get tired of your job”.

Lord knows I would love a hard-core gym, or at least one with db’s over 100lbs.

there’s nothing wrong with spandex, on the right butt.

The great thing about a hardcore gym is that the equipment is relatively cheap. You could buy Everything you could ever want for 50k. With this type of place you could get by with maybe 10 pieces of equipment and multiple types of quality bars. As far as the market goes-you create the market. This type of facility is more about the owner and the “core” group than the kind of equipment you buy.

Power Rack
Competition Bench
Adjustable bench
Glute Ham
Reverse Hyper
Adjustable Oly Dumbbells
Deadlift platform
Texas power bars
Tons of 45’s, 25’s, and 10’s
Plate racks

Almost all of this can and should be bought from Elite as they have the best and most recognized stuff. Start Very Small and maybe put on a bech contest to get word out-no weight classes or equipment, just best bench wins. Your hardcore lifters are very loyal once you create a haven for them to call their own.

The only problem with a hardcore gym is clients… it takes clients to pay the bills… The foo foo gyms pack in chicks for treadmill and aerobics work… It would be nice to have the weight lifting area nice and big with loud rock, but you can only expect so much… The gyms are foo foo for a reason, money talks.

gym rat…here is my honest reply…

The market is VERY small; those who desire “hardcore” gyms tend to be cheap; and on top of it all, they often will be hard on your equipment and facilities, while whining about paying for equipment they may break…

That’s the reality…

If you want to get together with a bunch of “hardcore” guys to lift with with no frills…cool…get together a few friends, rent a garage or space in an old building, share some used equipment cost and go at it…

However…as a buisness venture and/or for making it your livelihood, I would not advise it…

Good luck!


What I COULD see (and I’ve shared this with others whom have asked in the past)…is sort of a “hardcore area” in the basement of a more mainstream facility…

Quite honestly I would charge more for the “previlege”…and make sure that the rules are clear concerning damaged equipment…





I’ve noticed a lot of hardcore gyms tend to have either separate times or separate places for those not so hardcore to lift. This could be an option.

I’m a CPA (5 yr tax senior) and a powerlifter. Stick with the public accounting. The money’s good and you’ll leave work every day good 'n pissed off- ready to put up some weight. Oh yeah- and you ought to be able to make enough bread to buy all the gear to have a spankin garage gym without having to fret about collecting dues and paying rent for a commerical space.

Thanks funny!
Not so sure that I’m looking to leave work pissed off, but then again I’m going into auditing instead of tax. But thanks for the advice! What firm do you work for, if you don’t mind me asking?

Starting your own gym is a risk and maybe it its what you need to do if you read Chris Shugarts article on LUCK.

My honest opinionis, create your own garage gym while keeping your job. If you get a group of “hard core” lifters that you don’t mind using your equipment and would like to go-in alittle on your gym adventure might help to get your idea off the ground. This could also lead to more lifters and allow for expantion to something great or not. I guess what I’m saying is start off small-little risk to your lively hood.

Great idea!! I might have to use that idea later.

Another idea that might help. A compitent welder could make some things and would still look professional at maybe half the cost like dumbell racks and plate racks. Just use an epoxy coating to prevent rusting and your set. A local fabrication shot could put together a simple power rack I think for cheap. Just give lots of picture and the specs.

If there are some welders or metal fabricators on this site they me more atuned to costs

It would work & u would have a certain type of hard core gum people. It would be mainly guys who were serious about their training & a few women also. It would be good money especially if u sold your own supps & maybe had a bar that could make protein drinks & that sort of thing. It would not be as big as some other type of gyms that cater to the more softer gym goers. But would work & once again you would make money & love it. Also, u could keep your job & still own the hard core gym but make it a “Key Gym” where everybody had their own key & could workout anytime they wanted. I use to belong to a hardcore gym in Boca Raton, Fl. called the “Key Gym” where we all used such a system. It was really cool & it worked out really well. Good luck!

ALSO, to make MONEY it might be wise to just have both a hardcore section & a foo foo section that way your catering to both types! That would be best! The 1 thing I remember about the hardcore gym I use to belong to was that there were no babes working out! It sucked! Having babes around DOES make a difference! I know w/ myself I’ve always had my best workouts & made the most progress when their were babes around. I worked harder, kept better form & I’m sure my T-levels were much higher too! They should do a study on that! Plus you got get to meet the awesome babes who want to look their best & love to workout & are looking for real men that do the same.

So have both!

[quote]Tallman555 wrote:
I’m a CPA (5 yr tax senior) and a powerlifter. Stick with the public accounting. The money’s good and you’ll leave work every day good 'n pissed off- ready to put up some weight. Oh yeah- and you ought to be able to make enough bread to buy all the gear to have a spankin garage gym without having to fret about collecting dues and paying rent for a commerical space.[/quote]

Very true! I have my own kick ass gym @ home & love it, but kinda miss the hanging out w/ the guys & learning from some of the better ones who knew their shit. So maybe that’s what this guy is looking for. I know I don’t miss waiting for some equipment & some assholes would talk for like mins. between sets & screw up your workout. Awe shit! Just forget it what I said! I’ll stick to my own gym! Ha! Not worth it I guess!