T Nation

If You Owned a Gym

I’m a stones throw away from acquiring property for a gym I will open. What are some things that you guys would like to see in gyms, but they don’t have. Maybe some little things, like chalk,towels, etc. What would you include in a gym if you were to open one?

When you have the basic equipment, try to make an atmosphere by decorating the walls of the gym. My gym (the one I train in) has various posters, shelves with trophies that members have acquired, and every time a member of the gym gets in the newspaper for something (usually winning a championship) it’s cut out and framed. We have 3-4 1x1 meter frames.

Anyway, that’s what my gym has to decorate the walls - I think it’d lose a lot of it’s personality if someone took that down.

Chalk is a must if you’re remotely serious :wink:

Plenty of power cages
Chalk
Bands and chains
Deadlifting platforms and jack
Heavy dumbbells
Bumper plates and room for Oly lifting
A place for sled dragging
Sauna/steam room

Lots of power cages. Rubber mats everywhere. More barbell stuff than machines. Make it hardcore.

WHOOOOHOOO!!! Post # 1000
It’s official. I’m a loser. LOL

Some good dumbbells that go to 200+.

[quote]slimthugger wrote:
I’m a stones throw away from acquiring property for a gym I will open. What are some things that you guys would like to see in gyms, but they don’t have. Maybe some little things, like chalk,towels, etc. What would you include in a gym if you were to open one?[/quote]

What kind of gym?
a) Commercial/Weekend warrior
b) Powerlifting/O-lifting joint
c) Hardcore BBing
d) combination of b and c (if you manage to make that work lol)

From a bbing perspective:

1)Lots of power-racks,

2Flat and adjustable benches (preferably ones that aren’t skewed in some way… Since those really give you shoulder issues when benching heavy due to the uneven stress),

3)HS machines (would be cool to have some stuff to put under the lying bench-machines lever arms so that you don’t ruin your shoulders getting the weight up on the first few inches),

4)several straight and not counterweighted up/down smith machines mostly with benches under them for tricep and delt work.

4)DB’s up to 200 lbs… And of those which are often used there should be more than 4 rather than 2 around…

5)and a few custom handles for Kroc Rows and such so that you can go well past 200 lbs. <- please… This is a great and by now widely-used way of one-arm db rowing, and almost no gym has custom handles… Also some custom Bars like EZ/Curl bars (proper ones, not the cheap shit), maybe a trap bar or so. Though I guess bb’ers really don’t need too much of this custom stuff other than DB handles and the EZ bar.

  1. Nice cable/pulley towers with low and high pulleys and various attachments (wide-hammer-grip attachment for rows is great, also rope attachments for face pulls etc)

6)Mats so that it doesn’t matter so much when you do drop a DB…

7)Space so that you can do floor EZ extensions and all that kinda stuff without disturbing others.

8)BIG WEIGHT STACKS AND MACHINES THAT TAKE A LOT OF PLATES IF THEY’RE PLATE LOADED. <- Important point, most gyms fail due to this… At least for serious lifters.

  1. Yeah, chalk. A few spare straps in several sizes from APT for sale or so may come in handy too, but that’s just a nice bonus…

  2. This is kinda DC specific: Movable benches so that you can put one in front of a squat or power rack for rack-chins (stretch out the lats so much better than pull-ups/chins or pulldowns of any kind… If you do 'em properly).

  3. REVERSE-HYPER STATIONS! (yeah, even for bbing. Who doesn’t want the health benefit to the spine as well as a kick-ass hamstring exercise?)

Ok, lots of major and some minor stuff… Anything I forgot (for a bb gym) or is this not what you’re looking for?

Oh yeah, lots of plates. So that one big guy using some Leg Press machine or several big guys squatting/deadlifting won’t use up 98 percent of the weight available in the gym.

Everything that’s been said so far and a good Glute/Ham Raise.

Other than that, some good calf machines. Most of the ones I’ve seen in gyms either don’t go heavy enough or have a poorly angled foot plate so that it either digs into your foot or it makes it difficult to get into a fully contracted position.

main thing,if you own the gym make it a place where YOU would work out.
dont worry about anyone else and their wants or needs.
If you are happy then like minded people will also show up.

[quote]AngryVader wrote:
Everything that’s been said so far and a good Glute/Ham Raise.

Other than that, some good calf machines. Most of the ones I’ve seen in gyms either don’t go heavy enough or have a poorly angled foot plate so that it either digs into your foot or it makes it difficult to get into a fully contracted position.[/quote]

That reminds me, either proper pads on the standing calf machines or extra pads to put on your shoulders/traps… Because when you use serious weight on those, that can get real uncomfortable :slight_smile:
(at least on the crap machines we have over here… you’d think that there was no padding at all)

[quote]Cephalic_Carnage wrote:
AngryVader wrote:
Everything that’s been said so far and a good Glute/Ham Raise.

Other than that, some good calf machines. Most of the ones I’ve seen in gyms either don’t go heavy enough or have a poorly angled foot plate so that it either digs into your foot or it makes it difficult to get into a fully contracted position.

That reminds me, either proper pads on the standing calf machines or extra pads to put on your shoulders/traps… Because when you use serious weight on those, that can get real uncomfortable :slight_smile:
(at least on the crap machines we have over here… you’d think that there was no padding at all)[/quote]

Tell me about it. I’ve been bringing extra towels on my heavy calf days to try to give myself some extra padding on standing calf raises. It helps, but the pads still manage to dig in pretty deep.

[quote]AngryVader wrote:
Tell me about it. I’ve been bringing extra towels on my heavy calf days to try to give myself some extra padding on standing calf raises. It helps, but the pads still manage to dig in pretty deep.[/quote]

I always have towel-imprints on my shoulder/trap area which stay red for 2 or so days after training calves :wink:

since everyone said pretty much everything i wouldve suggested then here are some side stuff i thought of quickly

GOOD music…of course this is a personal preference so what i mean is dont play any crappy radio music…

belts

disinfecting spray with towels (im all for the hardcore gyms but that doesnt mean i dont worry about germs!)

a waterfountain if theres not one there already

a weight scale? idk if its really needed but some people might like it…just a thought…

Are you going to get any type of cardio equipment or is this simply going to be a weight lifting gym?

If its going to be a more hardcore style gym I think a record wall is imporant. To see the best inspires you to be the best.

Decent music.

[quote]mmclifter wrote:
If its going to be a more hardcore style gym I think a record wall is imporant. To see the best inspires you to be the best.[/quote]

I second the record wall. Divide by weight class, male and female. Pullups, Squats, Bench, Deads, maybe even design some crazy circuit that’s very difficult and get some record times on it up.

[quote]AngryVader wrote:
Cephalic_Carnage wrote:
AngryVader wrote:
Everything that’s been said so far and a good Glute/Ham Raise.

Other than that, some good calf machines. Most of the ones I’ve seen in gyms either don’t go heavy enough or have a poorly angled foot plate so that it either digs into your foot or it makes it difficult to get into a fully contracted position.

That reminds me, either proper pads on the standing calf machines or extra pads to put on your shoulders/traps… Because when you use serious weight on those, that can get real uncomfortable :slight_smile:
(at least on the crap machines we have over here… you’d think that there was no padding at all)

Tell me about it. I’ve been bringing extra towels on my heavy calf days to try to give myself some extra padding on standing calf raises. It helps, but the pads still manage to dig in pretty deep.[/quote]

Ours is well padded and I still get marks - sometimes even bruises - in the shape of my shirt seams and bra.

A lot of the above suggestions are great. I will second:

Power Racks
Heavy DBs
Good Music
HS Machines
Place for sled dragging/farmers walks
Trap bar

…as I wish my gym had these things. Also, I would love to add some strongman stuff into my training. So giant tires, sledgehammers, sandbags, etc. would be cool.

My suggestion is a little less specific as to equipment and more geared towards a business perspective. I strongly recommend you be very clear about the type of environment you wish your gym to have and what does and does not fit in this environment. DO NOT try to be everything to everyone - you will succeed only in mediocrity. Do everything you can to get the type of members you want and get their input on a regular basis. Let your core, ideal customer base help guide your business.

Lots of ellipticals
Bosu balls
Lunk alarm

[quote]Cephalic_Carnage wrote:
slimthugger wrote:
I’m a stones throw away from acquiring property for a gym I will open. What are some things that you guys would like to see in gyms, but they don’t have. Maybe some little things, like chalk,towels, etc. What would you include in a gym if you were to open one?

What kind of gym?
a) Commercial/Weekend warrior
b) Powerlifting/O-lifting joint
c) Hardcore BBing
d) combination of b and c (if you manage to make that work lol)

[/quote]

I’d actually like a combo of these. I think the average “health seeker” needs to be introduced to more than just machines and fad exercises.

Thank you all for your input thus far.