T Nation

Setting up Your own Commercial Gym?

Basically I’ve thought about doing this after I leave university and gain some business experience.

Hard core style. Aimed at strength athletes and people who want to succeed.

The “USP” bit.

Some sort of clause in the contract that states, if you dont make sufficient progress or we think your half assing it, u get thrown out. To stop retards using the gym.

But if you do everything we tell you to and dont make progress, you get your membership back (this might not work as we cant control variables such as what the people actually eat and what they say they eat)

Most session will be PT one on ones with the option of about 2-4 people to one PT if goals are similar. Probably have to charge more than most gyms but i think most people would pay it, especially people ive spoken to.
And you must leave your ego and pride at the door

Thats the basic idea at the minute.

What costs and other things would i have to think about apart from:
Building Costs
Actual equipment costs
PT Salaries
Dieticion Salary
Physio Salary
Insurance
Heating, lighting, phone, internet
Marketing

Thanks
Scott

You can’t have a hardcore commercial gym.
That’s an oxymoron.

[quote]blazindave wrote:
You can’t have a hardcore commercial gym.
That’s an oxymoron.[/quote]

point taken.

i mean a gym that will at least breakeven. when i said commercial i was talking monetarily.

Scott

While the idea sounds good, its not really viable imo. How many hardcore lifters are within a 30min radius of the gym’s location. It depends alot on the demographics but I know over here it would be very few

Business is all about profit, and while it would be good to have no retards, they help pay the bills.

Still, this idea has worked for some people. And yea, get some business experience. A bodybuilding forum is probably not the best place to ask for business cost. Try get hold of a Profit&Loss statement for a gym, or possibly an Annual report - these can tell you alot.

I don’t own a business though, I used to be in management but its still alot different.

Not gonna work. You could, however, open a viable “hard core” gym. Just don’t expect to be in the black if your denying service to people with shaky motivation.

To be honest, I would WANT those people at my gym. They pay, don’t show up often, and they are have the potential to be more dedicated.

i was just thinking the same thing. it would be nice to have a gym that’s not full of pussies.
but, i was thinking, instead of telling newbs they can’t join, make them not want to. make the gym look intimidating to someone that doesn’t fit in. i mean:

  • no shitty machines like a bench machine and things like that that have a good freeweight counterpart

  • play metal music, not pop. stuff you can lift to

  • maybe as a requirement to join they have to enter some kind of in-house competition. like, the biggest loser or a powerlifting meet held in the gym for members only.

  • hang up pics of bodybuilders or strongman competitors instead of fitness model pretty boys spreading the ghey

    basically give it a go hard or go home atmosphere. semi-annual competitions will force people to be serious or leave to avoid embarrassment. a lack of sissy equipment will intimidate sissies and they won’t want to join.

    what i’m saying is let the wastes of time and new years resolutioners weed themselves out instead of giving your gym a bad image by telling them they’re not welcome.

[quote]NickRageSkursky wrote:
i was just thinking the same thing. it would be nice to have a gym that’s not full of pussies.

but, i was thinking, instead of telling newbs they can’t join, make them not want to. make the gym look intimidating to someone that doesn’t fit in. i mean:

  • no shitty machines like a bench machine and things like that that have a good freeweight counterpart

  • play metal music, not pop. stuff you can lift to

  • maybe as a requirement to join they have to enter some kind of in-house competition. like, the biggest loser or a powerlifting meet held in the gym for members only.

  • hang up pics of bodybuilders or strongman competitors instead of fitness model pretty boys spreading the ghey

    basically give it a go hard or go home atmosphere. semi-annual competitions will force people to be serious or leave to avoid embarrassment. a lack of sissy equipment will intimidate sissies and they won’t want to join.

    what i’m saying is let the wastes of time and new years resolutioners weed themselves out instead of giving your gym a bad image by telling them they’re not welcome.[/quote]

that was the intial plan anyway. loud pumped up music. Chalk stands, no ghey rules like " no dropping weights" etc etc. shouting and grunting is encouraged etc.

was chatting to friend about half an hour ago and he said my original idea may be semi illegal as it is discrimatory. so id just have to hope wankers didnt join.

[quote]thosebananas wrote:
NickRageSkursky wrote:
i was just thinking the same thing. it would be nice to have a gym that’s not full of pussies.

but, i was thinking, instead of telling newbs they can’t join, make them not want to. make the gym look intimidating to someone that doesn’t fit in. i mean:

  • no shitty machines like a bench machine and things like that that have a good freeweight counterpart

  • play metal music, not pop. stuff you can lift to

  • maybe as a requirement to join they have to enter some kind of in-house competition. like, the biggest loser or a powerlifting meet held in the gym for members only.

  • hang up pics of bodybuilders or strongman competitors instead of fitness model pretty boys spreading the ghey

    basically give it a go hard or go home atmosphere. semi-annual competitions will force people to be serious or leave to avoid embarrassment. a lack of sissy equipment will intimidate sissies and they won’t want to join.

    what i’m saying is let the wastes of time and new years resolutioners weed themselves out instead of giving your gym a bad image by telling them they’re not welcome.

that was the intial plan anyway. loud pumped up music. Chalk stands, no ghey rules like " no dropping weights" etc etc. shouting and grunting is encouraged etc.

was chatting to friend about half an hour ago and he said my original idea may be semi illegal as it is discrimatory. so id just have to hope wankers didnt join.[/quote]

it very well may be illegal now that i think about it.

one big thing i’d say if you want serious lifters is to have bumper plates and platforms. so many gyms don’t even allow deadlifting let alone olympic lifts. that’s one thing that really grinds my gears.

i was thinking, for my gym, having an indoor track and shotput and discus throwing areas (netted off of course). i don’t know how much you know about throwing, but there is literally no way to train over the offseason besides throwing in your backyard. i think serious throwers would flock to a place that had this setup.

Basically from your attitude I would say there is no way you could run a financially profitable business. If people get shit from their gym owner then they are just going to go somewhere else.

The point in a business is to provide a service to the public that they will pay for, not to build your ultimate fantasy gym room.

“Hard core” gyms rarely make money. It’s worth a shot but don’t ever, ever judge your customers and tell them they’re not working hard enough. You’ll be out of business in a month if you act like that. But if you go in there wanting to help, educate, and grow along WITH people, than at least you’re off to an OK start.

i do not know if it would be illegal, you could probably work around that. You would be in a very large city to make it work, and would need a fair amount of capital sunk in. Would be a nice side project i think though

[quote]NickRageSkursky wrote:
i was just thinking the same thing. it would be nice to have a gym that’s not full of pussies.
but, i was thinking, instead of telling newbs they can’t join, make them not want to. make the gym look intimidating to someone that doesn’t fit in. i mean:

  • no shitty machines like a bench machine and things like that that have a good freeweight counterpart

  • play metal music, not pop. stuff you can lift to

  • maybe as a requirement to join they have to enter some kind of in-house competition. like, the biggest loser or a powerlifting meet held in the gym for members only.

  • hang up pics of bodybuilders or strongman competitors instead of fitness model pretty boys spreading the ghey

    basically give it a go hard or go home atmosphere. semi-annual competitions will force people to be serious or leave to avoid embarrassment. a lack of sissy equipment will intimidate sissies and they won’t want to join.

    what i’m saying is let the wastes of time and new years resolutioners weed themselves out instead of giving your gym a bad image by telling them they’re not welcome.[/quote]

-I like the incline bench machine and I’ve seen a lot of big guys using the bench machines.

-I lift to Pink Floyd. what

-That one is just ridiculous. It “weeds out” both non-serious lifters and most lifters that are already competing. Why would somebody who’s competing in prestigious meets want to compete in one held by a gym that’s probably going to go bankrupt?

=I’d rather not look at pictures of anybody when lifting. Maybe hang up some playboy?

Why not open a gym that strikes a happy medium? Look at most bodybuilding training videos. The gyms are rarely filled with big guys.

[quote]Artem wrote:

=I’d rather not look at pictures of anybody when lifting. Maybe hang up some playboy?
[/quote]

Great idea…but chances are you’d be sued to high heaven by the first woman who walks into the gym.

This is what id do since i too want to open a hardcore gym one day.
Establish the rules and let people be.
You can grunt, etc…but dont shy anyone away.
You were a newbie and a weakling before you started lifting.
You were probably unsure about many things.
Being kicked out the door by a hard ass doesnt help.
A good business will reel and keep customers.
From there you can guide them.

You want the pink padded dumbell segment.

Those are the stupid motherfuckers who will pay for a one year membership up front every January as a part of their “New Year Resolution” - then never show up after February.

You NEED that kind of free money. It will more than likely be your entire profit margin.

Make the gym rules YOUR rules, but know that catering to a very small minority of the public will not pay for very much.

To be successful you would need something really unique that would appeal to lots of hardcore lifters, its seems like you would only be seeking lifters with at least some experience, most people that are new to the iron game wont know how to lift with intensity as it is still new to the and they are afraid.
to appeal to that demographic you would need to get them results as most people go for the ‘instant gratification’ thing.

[quote]thosebananas wrote:

that was the intial plan anyway. loud pumped up music. Chalk stands, no ghey rules like " no dropping weights" etc etc. shouting and grunting is encouraged etc.

was chatting to friend about half an hour ago and he said my original idea may be semi illegal as it is discrimatory. so id just have to hope wankers didnt join.[/quote]

I happen to know for a fact whether this is legal. I’m not going to spoil the surprise, but all I have to say is: you might not want to base your legal advice on what your friend thinks.

I blieve the way to the gold bag for this idea is through young athletes.

When i started training i knew nothing, i did the usual 3x10 circuit of the machines with some curls and thought that would make me better at rugby, 4 years down the road and ive learnt some stuff that i really really really wish i knew back then. i simply didnt know becasue there was no where for me to go. And when my parents actually had money i believe they would have sent me somewhere like the gym im thinking about.

Also i would try to get contracts set up sports teams in the area to educate and train their athletes.

The whole idea would be a side project. I wouldnt be trying to live of it entirly at the start.

And i know my description of my “ideal” gym makes it sound intimadating etc. but it would also be friendly. I know this is hard to explain. but i train in glasgow in a commercial gym, but there are about 10 powerlifters that train monday,wed and friday. they train hard, they scream, grunt, smash weights about the place, chalk everywhere… but they will still lend time and advice to anybody in the gym who asks for it. there really nice guys and i always try to get in and train when there there, simply for the atmosphere. thats pretty much what id try to capture for this gym.

I would defo be having an indoor track, hadnt thought about indoor throwing. Why cant you throw outside in the off season?

[quote]rainjack wrote:
You want the pink padded dumbell segment.

Those are the stupid motherfuckers who will pay for a one year membership up front every January as a part of their “New Year Resolution” - then never show up after February.

You NEED that kind of free money. It will more than likely be your entire profit margin.

Make the gym rules YOUR rules, but know that catering to a very small minority of the public will not pay for very much. [/quote]

Speaking of which. How much are you going to charge a year?

[quote]blazindave wrote:
rainjack wrote:
You want the pink padded dumbell segment.

Those are the stupid motherfuckers who will pay for a one year membership up front every January as a part of their “New Year Resolution” - then never show up after February.

You NEED that kind of free money. It will more than likely be your entire profit margin.

Make the gym rules YOUR rules, but know that catering to a very small minority of the public will not pay for very much.

Speaking of which. How much are you going to charge a year?[/quote]

No idea.

This is all in the head stuff at the minute, but:

Most gyms here charge about £30-40 a month, some charging something like £200 for the year (special January packages).

~Id probably look at something like £45-60 a month for just using the facility… and something like £20 per person for a 1 hour session… with the price being less if you train in a group or take out a lot of sessions.

also another idea is to “pay” for a physique clinic very similiar to what happens on here. all the training, nutrition and supps sorted for you with most sessions being taken by a PT. 12 weeks. no idea what id charge for that thou…

Scott

Havent read through the whole thread but…

the gym i go to has changing rooms etc on the ground floor, then machines and treadmills etc upstairs and then in like the basement is all of the freeweights…seems to work out well as the gym has a capped membership, only a maximum of 200 members can sign up.

Anyway, my point is that a set up like this has allowed for the gym to take two sets of clients as people wanting to lift heavy weights are downstairs and others upstairs…best of both worlds.