T Nation

Starting My Own Gym


I just came back from a trip to my neighborhood cheesy commercial gym, this is the 3rd time in about 3 weeks that they've been closed for this remodeling project. The only reasons I like the place is that they have a cage, no contracts, and it's 5 minutes from home.

What would starting my own gym entail? Obviously I'd need a place and some equipment. How would I get a commercial property? How much cash would I need? Insurance?

I think a real weightlifting gym could succeed on the west side of Fort Worth but how could I get a better idea of the marketability? The nearest real gyms I know of are atleast 20 minutes away and this area is littered with cheesy commercial gyms that want big contracts, plus you need to hire a personal trainer if you actually want to use the equipment.

Anyone made a go of owning their own gym?


Before you start a gym, make sure you do you're research to see if there is an actual market for a 'real weightlifting gym' in fort worth. Check with other gyms around the area to see if they did the research for that, otherwise you'll have to start a marketing program to get the info.


Isn't the Dallas Metroplex already a hotbed of serious bodybuilding and powerlifting gyms? Bad Attitude, Metroflex, etc...?


Well yes, but consider the size of the "metroplex". It's 30 miles from downtown Ft Worth to downtown Dallas. Bad Attitude is in Carrolton, probably over an hour from this part of town, and could be worse with traffic, Metroflex is atleast 30 minutes away. I have a membership to Stroud's in Hurst but it's also atleast a 25 minute drive, and in-reality I rarely make it there during the week. I'm trying to figure out if there would still be a market over here for that type of gym.


If it were closer to the Lewisville/Grapevine/Southlake area I'd be interested. If it's further and it's worth the drive, I'd come in occasionally. By "worth the drive," I mean has a full range of implements (strongman stuff, big KBs, rings, sandbags, Oly sets and platforms, etc). I know several others that would love a hardcore gym in the area.


I'd like to have all that stuff. Where do you train? Have you tried Stroud's? Southlake training center?

Has anyone out there tried starting their own gym?


I haven't tried either place but I've been wanting to. Unfortunately I'm lifting at the Health and Athletic Center in Flower Mound. Not an awful gym (at least they have 2 power racks), but it leaves a lot to be desired.


Going through the same thing up in Chicago, downtown has a lot but I live the western suburbs and have thought about starting up myself, the marketability is terrible here, we had a hardcore gym a couple towns, this guys biggest users were the local football teams, cool right, NO, they left the place for commercial places because they had more machines, the gym folded, lifting here sucks! Any Ideas would be appreciated here as well.


I second this. I'm up in Denton. I'd definitely be willing to drive to Lewisville/Southlake/Grapevine area for access to a hardcore gym.


have you tried Martin's Hardcore
Barbell Company on Woodrow?

Anyone tried this place on North Beach in Ft Worth? http://www.dynamicbarbell.com/


Yes, I used to train at Martin's but it closed down a while back.


I'm biased, because I work there, but I contend that it's the best gym in Ft Worth.


Sounds like an amazing dream you have. How sweet it would be to have a job in a place you already love to be. Just be careful with it. In the city I live in we had ONE gym that was as close as it gets to what I think you would consider to be a real gym and it was recently closed down because a commercial gym called family fitness moved in about a 5 minute drive away. Obviously people would rather workout at a place with nice shiny equipment and metro sexual personal trainers than work out in a place with rusty equipment and hardwood floors. Not to mention that this gym was on the 3rd story for an old building and you had to walk up stairs as there was no elevator.

Whatever... stop acting so surprised that a regular gym goer would be to lazy to walk up stairs. Not only that but I think the fact that they were the only gym in my entire area that had a dead lifting platform. I think the dead lifting platform scared a lot of people off. Probably to do with the fact that your heart goes over 120 beats per minute when performing the exercise unlike the godly 1/2 ROM squat rack curls that everybody loves doing.

Anyways, my point is that simple things like this can screw you, I hope there are people in your area that are into hardcore workouts like yourself and other fellow T-Nation members. If not that you can kiss your clients good bye.



Hey do you guys know of any good gyms near McKinney?