Gym Built For You

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    Gym Built For You


    I am currently writing a rough draft of the business plan for the gym I will open when I finish school. I have access to VA Loans already but I don't want this to be a "cookie cutter" corporate gym so I'm gathering opinions. What would you want to see or not see in a gym? Equipment, layout, services, paint scheme, you name it, I'll listen. Thanks a ton for any input!

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    There has to be atleast two benches and two squat racks.. Dumbells up to as high ad possible. Clips, you can never have enough clips.. basically the common sense stuff. I perfer hexagonal dumbells to round ones, they let me do a few more exercises!
    http://anabolicminds.com/forum/training-forum/198788-highschool-athlete-thread.html
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    I'm thinking 4 stations for each of the big lifts; bench, squat, dead lift/power clean, incline bench. I have friends in metal shops that can prolly build the racks and benches for me to cut costs. I've never tried the hexagonal dumbbells, thanks for bringing them up, I'm gonna look into that.
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    Kettlebells! Also if financially feasible you could get the benches/racks that have band attachments on the floor.

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    Like dis.
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    Quote Originally Posted by broda
    Kettlebells! Also if financially feasible you could get the benches/racks that have band attachments on the floor.

    <img src="http://anabolicminds.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=63 923"/>

    Like dis.
    Excellent idea! Since I'm having the racks built it'll be no problem having those added.
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    i always wished my gym had a monolift squat rack, i have never seen one in real life but they look effective
    http://anabolicminds.com/forum/training-forum/198788-highschool-athlete-thread.html
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    Definitely get a belt squat machine. A lot you can do on one. You'll thank me later.
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    4 power racks w/ pull up attachments
    Monolift
    4 flat benches
    4 incline benches
    12 bars
    2400 lbs plates
    3 sets db's up to 150
    Dip set up
    Some kind of universal machine for cable work
    Glute ham raise
    Bands and chains
    2 prowlers and space to use them
    Harnesses for the prowlers

    /thread
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    Yeah, I've given this some thought
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    Quote Originally Posted by benmayro
    i always wished my gym had a monolift squat rack, i have never seen one in real life but they look effective
    Those look pretty interesting, but they're pretty expensive. Might be able to replace a regular station with it tho.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mafesto31
    Definitely get a belt squat machine. A lot you can do on one. You'll thank me later.
    I've never seen one in person, looks awesome.
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    Quote Originally Posted by napalm
    Yeah, I've given this some thought
    Haha I can def tell you put some thought into it. Thanks. With the prowlers, do you think an outdoor or indoor area would be best? I've only used a sled in high school football and had no choice but to be in the Texas heat which sucked, but an indoor setup would be costly on space.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bomcgraw
    Might be able to replace a regular station with it tho.
    Nope
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    there are general things that should be in every gym. there are other items that only belong in certain type of gym, and by certain i mean powerlifting, strongman, crossfit, corporate, etc.

    what is the focus on your gym?
    you can call me "ozzie" for short.
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    As a business owner I gotta make sure to throw in that you need to know who your customers are. You can sink a LOT of money into equipment in a gym, but it's not going to get used if you don't have a very clear idea of who is going to be going to your gym and why.

    I don't think you're going to compete with corporate gyms on price or size, so you need to work a different angle. I've seen a successful model in my yuppie neighborhood using a "1 client 1 trainer" approach where they have a small gym and schedule individual sessions. I've also seen small square footage gyms that offer one on one personal training or individual use, but don't really have a staff to supervise the gym.

    I think the key here is to keep your rent and staff down to really minimize your overhead. One thing to remember is that unfortunately hardcore bodybuilders are a very small segment of the gym market. The majority of people who go to the gym probably aren't going to do it over the long haul and aren't incredible athletes. That being said, all the more power to the them if they buy a membership that they don't even use!

    Anyway, just some things to think about. I would really think hard about what area of down your gym is going to go in and who your clients are going to be. When you figure out the area, don't be afraid to even poll people in the neighborhood and find out what would appeal to them. You may find out that people want something entirely different than you anticipated.

    Good luck!
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    Quote Originally Posted by asooneyeonig
    there are general things that should be in every gym. there are other items that only belong in certain type of gym, and by certain i mean powerlifting, strongman, crossfit, corporate, etc.

    what is the focus on your gym?
    The main point, is for men and women to have a place to go to become whatever they want without having to pay out the ass for half ass service and equipment or a gym that's limited in capability. It will have a section with universal machines for people who may be intimidated by "hardcore" athletes, and then the majority of the facility will be for serious trainees in general. I believe bodybuilding/power lifting will be the largest focus tho, with a covered outdoor area for crossfit and some strongman equipment. I am planning all this in phases of expansion of course so body builders I think are my first step.
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    Quote Originally Posted by owlicks
    As a business owner I gotta make sure to throw in that you need to know who your customers are. You can sink a LOT of money into equipment in a gym, but it's not going to get used if you don't have a very clear idea of who is going to be going to your gym and why.

    I don't think you're going to compete with corporate gyms on price or size, so you need to work a different angle. I've seen a successful model in my yuppie neighborhood using a "1 client 1 trainer" approach where they have a small gym and schedule individual sessions. I've also seen small square footage gyms that offer one on one personal training or individual use, but don't really have a staff to supervise the gym.

    I think the key here is to keep your rent and staff down to really minimize your overhead. One thing to remember is that unfortunately hardcore bodybuilders are a very small segment of the gym market. The majority of people who go to the gym probably aren't going to do it over the long haul and aren't incredible athletes. That being said, all the more power to the them if they buy a membership that they don't even use!

    Anyway, just some things to think about. I would really think hard about what area of down your gym is going to go in and who your clients are going to be. When you figure out the area, don't be afraid to even poll people in the neighborhood and find out what would appeal to them. You may find out that people want something entirely different than you anticipated.

    Good luck!
    Agreed and thank you. My business idea is still very young and will continue to develop over the next year or two, but right now my plan is coming from the thousands of complaints I've heard from veterans and former athletes who want to train seriously again but can only afford a membership at a global chain gym that they hate. I'd like to focus on bodybuilding and powerlifting as far as equipment early on because it can be done with very simple equipment that anyone can use, so as not to scare a beginner away. I also hope to put in place a program that goes beyond what any other gyms do to keep clients motivated and coming back. And with a little luck, years down the road developing into a one stop shop for ALL things fitness. But, that's just day dreams for now.
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    Agreed with the previous post your market is what matters most. I run a small 24 hour gym and my members are those that feel intimidated by power/body builders. Your personal oppinion on your gym doesnt matter as others are the ones that will make you money i think the above mentioned possibly doing some type of voting and or poll for what others look for in a gym thats a good start. Just know ur market meatheads will work out anywhere with dumbbells and barbells but there are more single parents and overweight middle aged women that would rather have circuit training equipment, and from personal experiance they would draw more revenue with personal training in a comfortable sitting. Just think of the movie theatres and popcorn. The tickets arent to bad but the drinks and sodas and candies make the cash, think about ur potential clients/members its a business ur in it to make money plus an older membership base would value equipment more, which leads you to less money spent on upkeep and maintenance.
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    I'm wanting to open one in I get out of the army back home in Texas. Im hoping to train the high school and college athletes out by Houston for their career advancement and my gym model is based on DeFrancos gym
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    The previous advice is solid. You won't have the capacity to 'dictate' the market in which you set up the gym, the market shoud dictate on how you focus you money. If, for example, you lived in the middle of a desert and you decided to set up a surfing shop or snowboarding shop, the idea might be great but people will not buy it if its not what they need/want.

    Look up the average ages, income, family types etc. of the people you wish to reach and then work on what they want from a gym, not what you want them to want. You have to adapt to their needs rather than try make them adapt to yours.

    Im not sure about the USA, but in NZ McDonalds now largely sells weight watcher meals, loads of salads and healthy options. Why? Because the public decided that this is what they want, so McDonalds added in these options.

    Spend some money getting to know your potential clients and what they want from you. And remember, there are alot of gyms out there; so you have to think about what your gym will have that will make people pick your gym, and not another one futehr down the road because you dont have enough treadmills, bikes etc.
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    Quote Originally Posted by napalm View Post
    4 power racks w/ pull up attachments
    Monolift
    4 flat benches
    4 incline benches
    12 bars
    2400 lbs plates
    3 sets db's up to 150
    Dip set up
    Some kind of universal machine for cable work
    Glute ham raise
    Bands and chains
    2 prowlers and space to use them
    Harnesses for the prowlers

    /thread
    This post made me feel tingly in my pantaloons.
    Don't worry, man, someday I'ma be nobody too.
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    The short barbell rack that goes from like 20 pounds to 120, my current gym has two and I do a lot of training my wife, as with most average people that go to gyms that don't have strength and want to build a foundation and get started, say barbell thrusters and stiff legged deads for people like my wife or maybe older people that need to start out with less than the bar to build strength, and doing pyramid barbell curls and skull crushers or barbell raises ect make it really nice just going up and down the rack! Also we have a triceps pushdown machine that really helps get a nice pump
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    Hammer strength machines for everything
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    Quote Originally Posted by gregg1494
    Hammer strength machines for everything
    I agree... As I'm starting to pay more attention to them.
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    Quote Originally Posted by AaronJP1

    I agree... As I'm starting to pay more attention to them.
    Use them! They are very good!!
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    Quote Originally Posted by gregg1494

    Use them! They are very good!!
    Yeah I read about a lot of people on here using them.
    Hardcore Purus Labs {Rep}
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    Hammer Strength high row is one of my favorite exercises. If I had to choose one piece of HS equipment, it'd be that one.

    A stairmaster or two.
    Cable crossover machine + ropes & various bars for assistance exercises
    Safety squat bar
    Cambered squat bar
    EZ-curl bar
    Preacher/Spider Curl Station (not sure of actual name)
    Chains

    As far as non-weight related stuff goes, you'll probably want some big fans, a floor that can easily be cleaned, good lighting (as much natural lighting as possible) and a decent locker room.

    Good luck man. It's years away for me, but I'd like to open a gym someday as well.
    Go hard. Go heavy. Never stop.
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    Also, slim, brunette employees with well formed gluteals
    Go hard. Go heavy. Never stop.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doss
    Also, slim, brunette employees with well formed gluteals
    Haha naturally
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    My gym just got a smith machine that operates on an x-y axis... It is totally crazy and extremely awesome
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    Quote Originally Posted by bono1132 View Post
    My gym just got a smith machine that operates on an x-y axis... It is totally crazy and extremely awesome
    you know whats even better then that? weights that work on a x, y, z axis. those are crazy insane. i think they are called free weights, or something like that. :P
    you can call me "ozzie" for short.
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    Very true but Im a maintenance supervisor for a big new property and while we can have dumbells its hard to have barbells and such for insurance/liability reasons I didn't get to pick stuff out it just showed up and I've never really seen or used a machine like it just neat
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    Multiple EZ bars
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jiigzz
    The previous advice is solid. You won't have the capacity to 'dictate' the market in which you set up the gym, the market shoud dictate on how you focus you money. If, for example, you lived in the middle of a desert and you decided to set up a surfing shop or snowboarding shop, the idea might be great but people will not buy it if its not what they need/want.

    Look up the average ages, income, family types etc. of the people you wish to reach and then work on what they want from a gym, not what you want them to want. You have to adapt to their needs rather than try make them adapt to yours.

    Im not sure about the USA, but in NZ McDonalds now largely sells weight watcher meals, loads of salads and healthy options. Why? Because the public decided that this is what they want, so McDonalds added in these options.

    Spend some money getting to know your potential clients and what they want from you. And remember, there are alot of gyms out there; so you have to think about what your gym will have that will make people pick your gym, and not another one futehr down the road because you dont have enough treadmills, bikes etc.
    ^^This... Demographics...

    JD
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    I don't want to steer you in the wrong direction by any means, but I am providing some food for thought.

    As a preface, I live in a town with lots of very physically active individuals. It is often voted as a top city in the state (possibly country) for bike riders; the University in town has been ranked top 10 fittest campuses in the country; and the city has a very expansive outdoors community.

    Now that that's said, there are lots of gyms around, and almost all of them are the same type of gym - 24 hour whatever gyms, a Gold's, a Crossfit gym, a couple of small group gyms that focus on pilates and cycling and other possibly dumb shít. There are also a few specialty gyms around - not many, but a few. I think there might be around 12+ gyms in my area. So basically, there is tons of competition out there for anyone trying to get into the gym business. Honestly, here, setting up a new gym would be a rather poor business venture.

    However, as I alluded to earlier there are some specialty gyms around. There's a rock climbing gym that also has a barebones free weight area set up with barbells, racks, a couple benches, and some lighter dumbbells. It's small, but that gym does very well.

    There's also a place called Total Performance. It competes with Golds. It is a 24 hour access, has tons of equipment, has chalk, bands, prowlers, GHR, battle ropes, boxes, rings, and caters not just to your average Joe but also to athletes. They also have an entire division of the gym devoted to training up-and-coming baseball players. This is their moneymaker. High schools use these guys to train their players, and so far there has been a lot of success as reported by local newspapers.

    Finally, there's the gym I go to. With small exceptions, everyone there trains with the conjugate method, whether they're powerlifters, athletes, or mom. The gym is the size of a medium garage, but it has everything - racks, mono, reverse hyper, belt squat, GHR, cable machines, sleds, bench, DBs, adjustable DBs, EVERY barbell imaginable, bands, chains, etc. They do lack a seated military press bench and a dip stand, but that's it. What's really interesting about this place is how regular people train at this gym. The trainers have small group sessions, and they use the conjugate method even for their beginner clients no matter what walk of life they're from. This gym is doing fairly well, constantly buying new stuff and looking for a new home to expand to.

    I think what I'm trying to get at in a long-winded way is that you should take stock of the population that's there, their interests, and the competition. I think you'll succeed by finding a niche for your gym that's relevant to your potential clientelle, and putting the word out there of what your gym is and why they should go there instead of any run-of-the-mill Snap Fitness or whatever.
    Check your form: http://anabolicminds.com/forum/exercise-science/190675-proper-techniques.html
    Log: http://anabolicminds.com/forum/workout-logs/235436-tossing-weight-torobestia.html
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doss View Post
    Hammer Strength high row is one of my favorite exercises. If I had to choose one piece of HS equipment, it'd be that one.
    Definitely my favorite hammer strength machine as well.
    Check your form: http://anabolicminds.com/forum/exercise-science/190675-proper-techniques.html
    Log: http://anabolicminds.com/forum/workout-logs/235436-tossing-weight-torobestia.html
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    I am going to do a demographic study and take polls locally and everything else I can do to know as much about my clientele as possible. But, as I am still years away from even applying for the loan, right now I am just getting opinions from different types of athletes and people in general. There are many aspects of training that cross over between different sports and groups and many that clash. If I don't get the opinion of every group then I won't know anything but what the single group I specifically target want. This thread is just to get an idea of the people who use sites like this an what they like. I am doin this same thing in other places.
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    I would join a gym in my area if they had
    1. Pull over machine-Like a Nautilus pull over machine
    2. Hack squat-Hip Sled machine
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