T Nation

I've Been Asked to Price Out a Gym


So in about 4 months I’ll be graduating HS. I’m not going to college, just going straight into the workforce. I’ll be working for my dad, and the other day we were talking about what my role would be in the business. He knows how badly the staff and I want a gym, and he put me to the task of pricing out, and eventually building, a gym. Don’t have a budget yet, but I’m assuming it would be around 10k. This is my list: appreciate any suggestions, ideas etc.

2 - Power Rack
3 - Barbells
1 - Bench
1 - GHD
2 - Deadlift Platform
1 - Adjustable bench
1 - Airdyne
1 - Rower
Bunch of storage for bars, dumbells, etc
A shit ton of plates
Dumbells 5 - 70

Comes out to about 8k ish, which is a rough estimate from Rogue, leaving room for a cable machine which will need to be in there.

If you guys had that budget, what would you get? Anything I’ve forgotten?


I would add:
pull up bar
dip bar
35lb, 55lb, 88lb Kettle Bells

Don’t forget about horse matts, mirrors and an American flag.


Where is it going to be?


Yesss i forgot about a Flag. It’s not a real gym without an American flag.


At the business. Plenty of space, but really high ceilings. Like 60 foot high.


Wut, no treadmill?


[quote=“jboy99, post:1, topic:226272, full:true”]
So in about 4 months I’ll be graduating HS. I’m not going to college, just going straight into the workforce. I’ll be working for my dad, and the other day we were talking about what my role would be in the business. [/quote]
cool, so your dad has a business that you will go work at to gain experience.

The staff of your dads current business wants to build a gym? What is the business that your dad currently runs?

Where will you build a gym? In the back of the current business?

why do you assume $10k? If that is the budget, then I automatically assume it will be used equipment or homemade equipment.

Think of marketing. Who is going to go to your gym? Why are they going to go to your gym? Again, location is a question you need to answer here, the neighborhood may determine the clientele and thus the style of the gym. You wouldn’t put a powerlifting gym in a retirement neighborhood would you?

The big time gyms spend…well, they spend a little more that $10k on their location, building, equipment, staff, supplies, electricity, and water bills. whats your plan to pay off those bills before you start raking in the millions?

Are you a powerlifter? Cross fitter? what is your background? Whatever makes your 18yr old self special is something you should try to leverage in the creation of your gym. Power lifters own powerlifting gyms for example. American ninja warriors own gyms that cater to the training necessary to what they do.

what climate are you in?

I personally would love to lift outside. Why not a location with a big area outside that could be used for lifting?

what are you going to charge clients? Whats your plan for advertising to get clients before you open?

As for equipment, I would suggest cheaper items, shit, imagine boulders as a FREE strongman apparatus. Ropes are cheap, right? why not get some of those? TRX bands (cheap) with a knowledgable staff (maybe TRX certified) that could loosely provide guidance to clients and this could provide you with an edge over other gyms. Your list isn’t awful, I just see a lack of creativity and a lot of stereotypical equipment that I see everywhere else. How about a punching bag? Those are cheap and fun and give your gym an edge.

Maybe your staff are just a bunch of gurus that provide free knowledge to members? I’m sure there would be an extra insurance waiver needed in case a member injures themselves while implementing a staff members advice.


Have you thought about leasing the equipment instead of outright buying it?


Did you factor in shipping costs? (It looks like Rogue ships for free if you buy certain racks).

You’ll need at least 5 barbells unless people are supposed to stand on the deadlift platforms and watch people use the bench and curl in the squat rack.

Are the people at your dad’s company big into lifting? How many people will use the gym at the same time (peak time)?

@carbiduis Unless I missed something, I think he just means a gym for the staff to use not for clients.


Did typing all this feel good? Did you climax before you finished? I hope so!

Because everything you said WOULD have made sense if you hadn’t blitzed right past the obvious…

Back to the OP:

I think usmc’s questions are key: how many people work at your dad’s company, how many of the staff guys do you think will need to use the gym, and what are their specific training interests. I’ve been kicking around what to buy for my (someday) home gym and I’ll basically be satisfied with just a couple quality barbells, 500 or so pounds of hi-temp bumper plates, and a good mid-level squat rack like the Monster Lite. So you may want to check in with the dudes who will use the gym and figure out what’s essential and what’s more of a luxury item (for example: you might be able to save a few bucks on dumbbells by going up in slightly larger increments, like just 5-10-15-20-30-40-50-60-70, if there aren’t many bodybuilder-types who will place a high value on having DB’s every 5 pounds between 30 and 70). So maybe get a rough count of how many staff will be using the space (is it 5-10 or 30-40 guys?), talk to them about what their top priorities would be, and maybe see if there’s a way to get them onboard with defraying some of the cost (i.e. maybe talk to your dad about the guys who want the gym agreeing to put up a few bucks towards it? Maybe that can even be some sort of tax benefit - @usmccds423 - if it’s withheld from their paycheck or something? Not sure what his relationship is like with the employees, but offering a gym is a pretty sweet perk so they might be willing to kick in a few bucks towards it to help defray some of the costs)

Also, again depending on how many people will be using the space, you might be able to get free-standing benches (without stands) that can be moved into full racks/rigs when needed. This could save a few bucks and save some space, but that’s contingent on not having a dozen people in the gym, some of whom are trying to squat and bench, at the same time.

Last thing…

That is correct; I also believe that all Rogue orders over $5K ship for free. Shipping should not be an issue if OP buys Rogue.


No tax benefit that I’m aware of :cry:

Providing $ for a gym membership or paying for equipment is considered a “fringe benefit” by the IRS and is include in Gross Income.


There might be a tax benefit to the business if you build an office gym, but I don’t know. At the very least if reduces EBIT.

There’s also the possibility that you could get a discount on health care premiums, which is something to look into. On the flip side, your insurance costs could very well go up.


Lol the butthurt is contagious!

He left quite a few dots unconnected in his statements, leaving a lot of questions. And forcing anyone who wants to provide advice to make a few assumptions.

Shame on me for the valid points I made.


Maybe add a farmer’s carry accessory bar?


LOL, it was pretty obvious from reading his first post that he’s referring to a gym at his business, for use by the business staff, in which case your “valid points” mostly did not apply. Things like “marketing” and “location” and “what are you going to charge clients” and “TRX bands with a knowledgeable staff” are all irrelevant if he’s just building a small setup for a dozen employees from his dad’s company to use on their lunch break.


Cool. Depending on interest, I’d have some climbing ropes. Safety can be a huge factor for this, so that is a major consideration. You don’t want some clown breaking his legs and turning a good thing into a bad thing.


Not to mention $10K isn’t even remotely close enough to start a for-profit gym. Fucking rent would be more than $10K/year.


That’s a great idea.


A friend of mine has a crazy nice home gym with an 18ft. ceiling. I could just steal all of his ideas for a gym and look like a genius.


Ya, my home gym probably has 18ft. ceilings too. I might have to add a climbing rope…


Honestly he should probably just offer to pay for employees’ gym membership and give them flex time to use it.

The liability this would expose your dad to is huge and the extra insurance premiums he’ll need to pay could easily top $10k/year.

If an employee sprains an ACL or tears a bicep in your makeshift gym then the could literally crush your dad with the right attorney.

Have him pay for a separate Gym membership to Golds or a local place. Or alternatively he could sublet that part of the business’s property to “Dad’s nonprofit health club”. He could charge the employees $1/year to be members and have them sign an indemnity clause against the health club and the business (written by lawyers of course).

Be careful.