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  1. #1
    Registered User The_cannibal's Avatar
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    Ideas for equipment in a PL/OL/SM gym??

    Hi guys,

    I'm currently unemployed, and I do not really want to work anymore in the field I studied (computer programmer), so I'm thinking of opening a powerlifting/oly lifting/strongmen gym in my locality, a town with a population of about 500,000. I think there could be a potential for about 100-200 members.

    I'm not sure (yet) whether I will do it or not, as I am currently in the process of:
    - looking for a warehouse type location, looking for a low rent;
    - asking for quotes for equipment;
    - evaluating the market;
    - etc.

    My gym will be unique in its kind as far as other gym in the area are concerned. It will be for serious lifters, and therefore the main focus will be on squat, bench, deadlift, clean & jerk, snatch, and strongman stuff. I do not plan on buying machines, except for a few "hardcore" pieces of equipment like reverse hypers, etc.

    Here is the list of equipment I plan on buying, and I will need your input/ideas for further equipment, as I might be missing something important(?)... also, when I specify "undetermined number of <...>", your input for that number would be appreciated.

    PL'ing equipment:

    - 3 squat cages (safety racks)
    - 1 or 2 squat stands
    - 4 benches
    - 4 combo benches (lying/inclined/sitting)
    - 1 reverse hyper
    - 1-2 military press (?)

    - 2 Texas deadlift bars
    - 2 Texas squat bars
    - 8 regular power bars
    - an undetermined number of 100 lbs plates
    - about 60x45 lbs plates
    - 2x35 lbs plates per bench and squat cages/stands = 18 x35
    - 2x25 lbs plates per bench and squat cages/stands = 18 x25
    - an undetermined number of 10, 5, 2.5 lbs plates
    - dumbells (in order to limit the number of dumbells needed, I think I could buy "dumbell bars", so users could fill them with 10's as needed)

    OL'ing equipment:

    - 2 hardwood platforms
    - 2 olympic bars for olympic lifting, training quality (competition oly bars are very expensive, much more than PL'ing bars)
    - undetermined number of training bumper plates
    - possibility of adding one platform with a competition bar and competition color coded plates ($$$).

    Strongman equipment:
    - a log
    - a sled and a prowler(?)
    - farmers
    - Atlas stones (unlikely... don;t know where to get those)
    - a used tire of undetermined weight

    Thanks for your input.
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  2. #2
    STFU I'm busy. SPACECLOWN's Avatar
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    You can buy molds for the Atlas stones etc for strongman at slaterhardware.com
    Cannabis and synthetic supplements
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  3. #3
    Registered User tomahawk1984's Avatar
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    The bits of equipment that immediately jump out at me are a GHR, a yoke and somewhere for chins (maybe just do them in the racks though), a monolift would be good and could be something you have that other gyms don't.

    If you can get in touch with local strongmen you should be able to get some stones. Some strongmen mould their own stones.

    Then there are the little things like bands, chains, boards, possibly some sledgehammers.

    Best of luck mate.
    Last edited by tomahawk1984; 07-31-2008 at 05:11 PM.
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  4. #4
    Registered User The_cannibal's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by SPACECLOWN View Post
    You can buy molds for the Atlas stones etc for strongman at slaterhardware.com
    Thanks, I'll check it out.

    Originally Posted by tomahawk1984 View Post
    The three bits of equipment that immediately jump out at me are a GHR, a yoke and somewhere for chins (maybe just do them in the racks though)

    If you can get in touch with local strongmen you should be able to get some stones. Some strongmen mould their own stones.

    Then there are the little things like bands, chains, possibly some sledgehammers.

    Best of luck mate.
    True, I will need something for chins and dips. Can probably get a professional welder to do that.

    GHR, bands and chains are definitely a must. A yoke is also a good idea.

    As for the monolift, it will depend on the price. I could get Kabukirocks to make me one?

    Thanks.
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  5. #5
    Registered User tomahawk1984's Avatar
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    tomahawk1984 is offline
    Originally Posted by tomahawk1984 View Post
    The bits of equipment that immediately jump out at me are a GHR, a yoke and somewhere for chins (maybe just do them in the racks though), a monolift would be good and could be something you have that other gyms don't.
    You missed my ninja edit!

    Originally Posted by SPACECLOWN View Post
    You can buy molds for the Atlas stones etc for strongman at slaterhardware.com
    You could mould your own and sell them.
    Weak in the gym, weak in the kitchen.

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  6. #6
    Registered User The_cannibal's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by tomahawk1984 View Post
    You missed my ninja edit!

    You could mould your own and sell them.
    Yeah, I edited my post as soon as I saw your edit

    I'm gonna log out for tonight and tomorrow morning, I'll see if anyone else had more ideas... Next step will be about getting more quotes...

    Here's a few places I've identified so far. I'll have to get more details from them about shipping since I'm in Canada, and all those stores are in the States.

    www.samsonequipment.com
    www.werksanusa.com
    www.elitefts.com

    I'm sure there are a lot more. Feel free to post it if you know more websites from which I could get quotes.
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  7. #7
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    CANNIBAL

    start of simple and cheap. i own a gym in west virginia, usa.
    instead of giving specifics, ill list general and why.

    power rack- self spotting capability and rack work. dont worry about buying an expensive one with 1/2 inch settings, you can put a 1/2 piece of ply wood under your bench or feet.

    dumb bells up to 100. most people and even most athelets wont use more than 100's. dont buy more til you need more.

    good bars- you dont need a 700 mastodon squat bar, or a 455 dollar deadlift bar...buy some strong bars though. they are literally an investment. if you try to skimp on bars, youll have to replace them anyways.

    another note on bars is the strength of them, if you know youre not going to have more than 500 lbs on the bar by a few normal bars and a couple "good" bars. put a different color tape on the good ones and let everyone know what the colors mean.

    assume that you will need 200 pounds per member you would like to have. that is a good bit for the average gym, but assume your gym will be filled with strong people. 200 may not be enough depending on the type and size of lifters.

    dumb bell racks
    flat bench
    incline
    shoulder press rack

    leg press
    leg extension

    shell out some cash for some cardio **** too.

    as far as olympic or strongman, wait until you have enough lifters doing something to justify the cost of buying the equipment.
    do something
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  8. #8
    Registered User swolegantor's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by The_cannibal View Post
    Hi guys,

    I'm currently unemployed, and I do not really want to work anymore in the field I studied (computer programmer), so I'm thinking of opening a powerlifting/oly lifting/strongmen gym in my locality, a town with a population of about 500,000. I think there could be a potential for about 100-200 members.

    I'm not sure (yet) whether I will do it or not, as I am currently in the process of:
    - looking for a warehouse type location, looking for a low rent;
    - asking for quotes for equipment;
    - evaluating the market;
    - etc.

    My gym will be unique in its kind as far as other gym in the area are concerned. It will be for serious lifters, and therefore the main focus will be on squat, bench, deadlift, clean & jerk, snatch, and strongman stuff. I do not plan on buying machines, except for a few "hardcore" pieces of equipment like reverse hypers, etc.

    Here is the list of equipment I plan on buying, and I will need your input/ideas for further equipment, as I might be missing something important(?)... also, when I specify "undetermined number of <...>", your input for that number would be appreciated.

    PL'ing equipment:

    - 3 squat cages (safety racks)
    - 1 or 2 squat stands
    - 4 benches
    - 4 combo benches (lying/inclined/sitting)
    - 1 reverse hyper
    - 1-2 military press (?)

    - 2 Texas deadlift bars
    - 2 Texas squat bars
    - 8 regular power bars
    - an undetermined number of 100 lbs plates
    - about 60x45 lbs plates
    - 2x35 lbs plates per bench and squat cages/stands = 18 x35
    - 2x25 lbs plates per bench and squat cages/stands = 18 x25
    - an undetermined number of 10, 5, 2.5 lbs plates
    - dumbells (in order to limit the number of dumbells needed, I think I could buy "dumbell bars", so users could fill them with 10's as needed)

    OL'ing equipment:

    - 2 hardwood platforms
    - 2 olympic bars for olympic lifting, training quality (competition oly bars are very expensive, much more than PL'ing bars)
    - undetermined number of training bumper plates
    - possibility of adding one platform with a competition bar and competition color coded plates ($$$).

    Strongman equipment:
    - a log
    - a sled and a prowler(?)
    - farmers
    - Atlas stones (unlikely... don;t know where to get those)
    - a used tire of undetermined weight

    Thanks for your input.
    your best bet would be re-location to an area such as (top of my head) ajax ontario.
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  9. #9
    Mr. Gecko Kiknskreem's Avatar
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    You'll also want kegs, fat bars and a SSB, as well as a trap bar and other specialty bars would be good.
    http://youtube.com/user/Kiknskreem
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    Registered User swolegantor's Avatar
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    i wouldent buy a ****load of equipment off the get-go. I would probably start with 1 of everything and work up from there.

    check out the 24/7 concept. I know the gym I goto (anytime fitness they are all small gyms designed for low membership levels) thrives off the concept because its so much cheaper.
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    why cant a place like that open next to my house...

    a Pl gym probably wont bring a lot of money to your pocket
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    OP i suggest PMing ArnoldsPupil (or Arnold Pupil, some derivative of that) , he owns one in georgia

    i believe his son posts here too, not sure of his username though
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    you would also want to get chains, bands, and boxes/
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    where in canada are you? i can assure you first hand that there is not one place in all of canada where you can start a gym like the one you want that will make money.

    i would bet my bottom dollar that there are not more than 1000 card carrying and active powerlifter in the 30 million plus people that inhabit canada.

    like someone said above. start simple. you're going way over board.

    i would buy the following to start and worry about the rest of there is actually some interest:

    1 monolift - $3000
    1 power rack -$1200
    2 benches - $2100
    2 adjustable dumbell benches - $500
    dumbells + racks - $4000
    chains - $?
    two set of bands -$450
    two sets of boards - $?
    reverse hyper -$1500
    glute ham raise - $1000
    sled - $100
    five texas power bars - $1500
    ssb - $400
    cambered bar - $400
    buffalo bar - $400
    lat pulldown - $1500
    45* back raise - $400
    deadlift platform -$1000
    lots of plates + plate trees - $5000

    that's probably only half of the things that you will need to just start the place and that's about $22000 not including taxes or shipping. add another 50% to the price for those.

    do you have any idea how much warehouse space costs? around here it's $10/ square foot a month. so, 1500 sq/ft x 10 = $15000 a month just in rent. then add bills like water and electricity, maintenance, janitors, and staff. let's say about $20000 a month in overhead.

    that means, just to break even, you'd have to charge each of your 200 members a minimum of $100/ month.
    Last edited by f00t; 07-31-2008 at 07:34 PM.
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    CANNIBAL-
    dont throw out FOOT'S info...follow up on it

    call the president of the powerlifting, strongman, and olympic weightlifting feds in canada and ask for an approximation of their membership numbers.

    they will most likely be open with info.
    do something
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  16. #16
    Registered User swolegantor's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by f00t View Post
    where in canada are you? i can assure you first hand that there is not one place in all of canada where you can start a gym like the one you want that will make money.

    i would bet my bottom dollar that there are not more than 1000 card carrying and active powerlifter in the 30 million plus people that inhabit canada.
    where in canada are you from..... Im not to sure what your talking about to be honest. I can link you to 15 powerlifting clubs in ontario alone.
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  17. #17
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    and i bet that all those clubs have less than 10 members.
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  18. #18
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    get some ****ing tires
    mod raped.
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  19. #19
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    power racks, bumper plates (lots of them), bars (both standard and fat), platforms, benches, pulling blocks, GHR, reverse hyper, sandbags, sleds, tires, maybe a chin/dip stand, chalk stand, grip machine, work from there.
    'Prior to the Department of Education, there was no illiteracy'

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  20. #20
    Registered User Rob45's Avatar
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    Just get a bunch of power racks with adjustable benches in them, dumbells up to 100 pounds, a GH bench, a place to do dips and chins, a barbell for each rack, lots of weight for each bar, bumper plates, bands, chains, some strongman things like a log, tire and stones, and then just add things as you go along.
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    You also have to factor in how much it will cost to renovate the warehouse, bathroom definately, showers maybe.
    Paint, signs, flooring, furniture, office stuff, accounting and billing costs, and on and on and on.

    throwing some equipment in a big room isn't what makes a gym successful.
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    Thanks guys for all your input. These are all things I will think about over the next few days/weeks.

    I will still ask for quotes for equipment and rent, but if the price was to get way too high, I would just give up on the project. I am still at the stage of finding out all the costs involved.

    As for buying normal equipment for normal people, the traditional gym market is already over-saturated in the area, so this wouldn't work either. I know a few strongmen and powerlifters who told me they would be interested in a PL'ing/SM gym, because people like us are generally not welcome in traditionnal gyms (you know: stuff like no chalk, no noise, girly music, etc.). Some of these guys bench over 400-500+ lbs, squat 600+ lbs, db press 150+ lbs dumbells, db rows 200+ lbs dumbells, etc.

    The other option would be to get quite a few guys together, who would each provide a few pieces of equipment, then we would need one of those guys to have a big garage... This wouldn't make any money, but at least we'd be able to train "hardcore". Here's an example of a hardcore gym:
    www.jacksgym.net
    Last edited by The_cannibal; 08-01-2008 at 08:19 AM.
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    CANNIBAL-
    thats a good idea about multiple guys owning equipment...i did that. sometimes its a headache though...a HUGE headache.

    I will pass on waht louie simmons told me when i asked him about opening/owning my own gym.

    me- "lou, i got a friend back home who owns some good **** and ive got some good **** too, think we should partner up?"

    lou-"no."

    me-"well ****, why not?"

    lou- "**** that, you asked. im telling you. do it yourself so you can always do what ya want and dont have to ask. youll never have to argue about someone coming for free, equipment missing and so on. do it yourself, be the boss."

    i wish i would have listened honestly. there are times i show up at the gym and equipment is missing, the guy i own it with tells me he let his friend borrow it to do a strongman meet and etc.

    it gets old having to ask/talk over decisions with someone about EVERYTHING
    do something
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    as far as showers, you dont need all that **** off the bat...

    build your gym first...

    i dont mean the literal foundation, framing, etc...

    i mean get some equipment, and build the membership numbers.
    do something
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    Originally Posted by The_cannibal View Post
    Yeah, I edited my post as soon as I saw your edit

    I'm gonna log out for tonight and tomorrow morning, I'll see if anyone else had more ideas... Next step will be about getting more quotes...

    Here's a few places I've identified so far. I'll have to get more details from them about shipping since I'm in Canada, and all those stores are in the States.

    www.samsonequipment.com
    www.werksanusa.com
    www.elitefts.com

    I'm sure there are a lot more. Feel free to post it if you know more websites from which I could get quotes.
    Canadian places
    http://www.custommetal.50megs.com/index.html
    http://www.rheimer.ca/index.html
    Cannabis and synthetic supplements
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    Originally Posted by f00t View Post
    and i bet that all those clubs have less than 10 members.
    whether or not the cpu has 100000 members or not your disregarding a few things

    for every member of the cpu there are about 100 dudes who would just like to lift in an actual propely equipped GYM. Take into account bodybuilders who would (believe it or not) die for this kinda ****.

    That and quebec has a pretty goddamn ****ing awesome strongman scene last I checked.
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    Originally Posted by The_cannibal View Post
    Hi guys,

    I'm currently unemployed, and I do not really want to work anymore in the field I studied (computer programmer), so I'm thinking of opening a powerlifting/oly lifting/strongmen gym in my locality, a town with a population of about 500,000. I think there could be a potential for about 100-200 members.

    I'm not sure (yet) whether I will do it or not, as I am currently in the process of:
    - looking for a warehouse type location, looking for a low rent;
    - asking for quotes for equipment;
    - evaluating the market;
    - etc.

    My gym will be unique in its kind as far as other gym in the area are concerned. It will be for serious lifters, and therefore the main focus will be on squat, bench, deadlift, clean & jerk, snatch, and strongman stuff. I do not plan on buying machines, except for a few "hardcore" pieces of equipment like reverse hypers, etc.

    Here is the list of equipment I plan on buying, and I will need your input/ideas for further equipment, as I might be missing something important(?)... also, when I specify "undetermined number of <...>", your input for that number would be appreciated.

    PL'ing equipment:

    - 3 squat cages (safety racks)
    - 1 or 2 squat stands
    - 4 benches
    - 4 combo benches (lying/inclined/sitting)
    - 1 reverse hyper
    - 1-2 military press (?)

    - 2 Texas deadlift bars
    - 2 Texas squat bars
    - 8 regular power bars
    - an undetermined number of 100 lbs plates
    - about 60x45 lbs plates
    - 2x35 lbs plates per bench and squat cages/stands = 18 x35
    - 2x25 lbs plates per bench and squat cages/stands = 18 x25
    - an undetermined number of 10, 5, 2.5 lbs plates
    - dumbells (in order to limit the number of dumbells needed, I think I could buy "dumbell bars", so users could fill them with 10's as needed)

    OL'ing equipment:

    - 2 hardwood platforms
    - 2 olympic bars for olympic lifting, training quality (competition oly bars are very expensive, much more than PL'ing bars)
    - undetermined number of training bumper plates
    - possibility of adding one platform with a competition bar and competition color coded plates ($$$).

    Strongman equipment:
    - a log
    - a sled and a prowler(?)
    - farmers
    - Atlas stones (unlikely... don;t know where to get those)
    - a used tire of undetermined weight

    Thanks for your input.
    Sounds like a good time, where you at brah? 500,000 sounds like Winnipeg, but I could be gettin' my hopes up!
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    Originally Posted by J3SUS-CHR1ST View Post
    Sounds like a good time, where you at brah? 500,000 sounds like Winnipeg, but I could be gettin' my hopes up!
    Sorry, I am in Quebec city. 500,000 is the population in the "Greater Quebec" area.
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    Just a couple of things for you to consider. I am currently a partner in one gym, closed a gym I owned in December, was the GM of a Golds, and owned a consulting company where I did business plans and got other people money to open gyms. I currently sell commercial fitness equipment. I know I don't know everything, but here are some considerations:

    1 quick running the monthly numbers (estimates given our equipment list and some simple assumptions: , based on US $)
    rent 5000
    Equip Lease 700
    Utilities (inc phone) 1000
    Insurance 200
    Total montly fixed exp 6900
    Monthly dues 30
    Members required to b/e 230
    (Note there are some things missing and this doesn't include you getting paid)

    Most small gyms require 400-500 members to break even.

    Unless you know how to market and sell memberships, you will be lucky to hit 500 in two years. Many small gyms never do.

    Count on losing money for at least 6 months.

    Partnerships are ok when everything is good. If there are struggles it sours very fast.

    All of your friends will say they will join your gym, about 25% actually will.

    Most people will not drive more than 5 miles out of their way to train. The ones who will, will show up one day a week (or every other week)to train. You may have problems getting them on a monthly dues membership.

    Of the people on monthly dues, eventually 10% will go to collections or you will have to write it off.

    You will have less time to train as a gym owner than you would as a fry cook (not that you are a fry cook, but my kid is watching sponge bob).

    Most states in the US require a 10,000 bond be posted to open a gym if you intend to use membership contracts.

    If I can help PM me. Not trying to discourage, but the business is not what most people think it is.
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    Originally Posted by The_cannibal View Post
    Sorry, I am in Quebec city. 500,000 is the population in the "Greater Quebec" area.
    Darn. Back to the basement with me ):
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