Trying To Build A Powerlifting Gym

Discussion in 'Strength & Conditioning Discussion' started by Thunderkopf, Sep 26, 2012.

  1. Thunderkopf Free-spirited bastard

    Thunderkopf
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    I've been thinking about building my own small space powerlifting/oly friendly gym for awhile, especially since the gyms I attend tend to frown against PL movements/chalk use/are full of fratastic douchebags that piss me off to no end.

    The question is, what is a good size for such a gym in terms of square feet? I plan to purchase a squat cage, a bench, deadlift platform (or build it), two bars, weight plates, GHR machine, and a set of dumbbells.

    Oh, and I want to install a heavy bag and a thai bag, and probably a little mat space for rolling.

    Rent out here for warehouse space isn't that expensive, so I feel confident about this endeavor. Any advice will be great appreciated.

    THX!
     
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  2. matt0331 Yellow Belt

    matt0331
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    I went to a powerlifting gym years ago that was probably 50x50. I think it had three squat racks that sat on deadlift platforms, two or three benchpresses. It also had an assortment of old machines.
     
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  3. Thunderkopf Free-spirited bastard

    Thunderkopf
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    2500 sq. feet. That's a tad too much. I don't plan to turn this into a commercial enterprise...

    Or maybe I will, who knows? Supply and demand. Supply and demand.
     
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  4. Baconator69** Banned

    Baconator69**
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    My garage is 200sp/ft and its tight. I would say for 5 to be comfortable 1000 sq feet more if you want the heavey bag and rollign area
     
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  5. matt0331 Yellow Belt

    matt0331
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    I am kind of guessing at the size. My mom got me a membership to the gym when I was in the 7th grade. I am 38 now. If it was just me and a couple friends maybe 10x20. The space I lift in now is probably close to that and if I could get rid of the crap that co-workers want, and a couple new peices of equipment it would be awesome.
     
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  6. Lance Freimuth Blue Belt

    Lance Freimuth
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    Are you trying to make money? If so my advice is build a gym in your garage and invest your cash into BB grade bonds. There aren't no money in building a gym for hardcore athletes. There's very few of them, and they've probably also got their own garage gyms, making them much less likely to actually throw down cash to train with you.

    BUT if you're a glutton for punishment, try to work out a deal with either old warehouse space and/or the furthest space away from the entrance to the lot. For shipping/receiving operations, the extra 3-5 minutes it takes to drive to the back of the lot decreases value quite a bit. It throws a kink into the logistics network. For you, it shouldn't be so much of a concern.

    I'd strongly advise on using roll-up mats and slide away bags. The sq/ft they consume is not nearly proportional to the amount of revenue they'll generate. Pull them out when desired, keep them in the corner the rest of the time. Use the space to do things that will actually generate revenue, like cardio/circuit classes.

    The rule of thumb is to keep square lifting apparati along the further wall from the entry/exit doors, and power racks/lifting platforms/monolifts qualify. Realistically I'd say you could get away with one rack and one lifting platform with oly style box squat stands at a minimum. Maybe could throw in a few other cool devices along the wall, but realistically if you want reasonable width mat space at least SOME of it the time, it's going to take up a large chunk of the width of your gym.

    If you keep it under 1000-1200 sq/ft, depending on your market, you may be able to avoid losing money every single month. And at that size, there will be plenty of room for 10x40 dollarmur roll away mats, 2 power racks, a mono lift, and an oly platform or two down the opposite side of the wall, with a GHR and some accessories tucked in there somewhere for good measure.

    EDIT: and remember, if you do this NICE enough to attract non-hardcores and actually make monthly revenue, you're going to go 20-30K into the hole right away just in equipment. If you do it dirtbag style, you can probably get it done for half, but you'd better be a HELLUVA salesman to convince the soccer mom to come here to do a kettlebell class instead of 24 hour fitness. The gym business is tough.
     
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  7. Thunderkopf Free-spirited bastard

    Thunderkopf
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    WOW, Lance. That was a helluva response. I will read and re-read that til it becomes ingrained in my head. Much appreciated, good sir.

    I can't build a gym in my garage because I'm rooming with two other people.

    And YES, I am a glutton for punishment. Adrenaline junkie. High risk taker. Whatever, I just am. Been thinking about this idea for YEARS.

    EDIT:

    Oh, and I plan to retake my personal cert exam in a month. Once I get qualified, I want to start attracting clienteles to this gym. I'm a college student now, and I'm quite savvy with networking with people.
     
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    Last edited: Sep 26, 2012
  8. Lance Freimuth Blue Belt

    Lance Freimuth
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    No prob. If you have any questions, PM me. I've ran several gyms, started several shitty garage gym type things that didn't make a dime, and coached at top notch world class gyms. I've seen the spectrum, and I know it's tough out there.
     
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  9. WitchCraft Blue Belt

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    I know someone who dreams of doing this in the future as well. From what I've heard, it's very hard to make a profit having a niche gym like that. As Lance said, you're going to need to target a large crowd and may have to resort to doing anythings that you don't agree with or are not interested in. Like cheesy classes and such.

    I'd also recommend building a clientele before you start the gym. If there is enough interest and you have a team under your wing, you might feel more confident about throwing the money down to get started.

    Good luck!
     
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  10. Thunderkopf Free-spirited bastard

    Thunderkopf
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    Cool, cool. Thanks, guys. There's a powerlifting gym in my old neighborhood of El Segundo that I used to go to- Four Star Gym.

    It's not your ordinary gym with plenty of fancy equipments, or even a gym attendant present, but a straight-up, hardcore, no-nonsense PL/Oly friendly gym with a monolift, competition bench, RHE machine, etc. It's also got a bag area in the back.

    How the hell it managed and still manages to sustain itself, especially in that grand old area of Downtown El Segundo is beyond me, but damn, I would love model my gym after that.

    Yeah, and to add to the list of things to buy, I'm also going bring some kegs, sleds, sandbag, logs, and all that cool Strongman shit. If I could attract HS and College athletes like Joe DeFranco did/does, that would be TITS!
     
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  11. Fenderson Purple Belt

    Fenderson
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    Damn sounds cool. Good luck.
     
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  12. Twisted Elbow** Blue Belt

    Twisted Elbow**
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    U can always attach crossfit to the name. Sure you will generate money that way.
     
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  13. Thunderkopf Free-spirited bastard

    Thunderkopf
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    Yeah, I'll call it Thunderhead (Thunderkopf) Anti-Crossfit Gym
     
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  14. KotovSyndrome Blue Belt

    KotovSyndrome
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    [​IMG]
     
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  15. KnuckleSangwich Brown Belt

    KnuckleSangwich
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    Are you looking to make a space for you and a couple buddies to train or are you wanting to start a business and make money?

    Very very very different end goals.
     
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  16. NurseKnuckles My Mom's stronger than you belt

    NurseKnuckles
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    I plan on building a power rack in my basement. There would be no way I could start a gym in my town strictly for PLing or Oly Lifting. We have a CF gym here that attracts a lot of Soccer moms for keetle bell classes and psycho CF wod sessions. I could never compete with that! Like it was said before people who are serious athletes or people who want to lift like this are a dim a dozen and are likly paying another gym right now, or are at home themselves!
     
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  17. Thunderkopf Free-spirited bastard

    Thunderkopf
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    The former was what I had in mind for a long time. But I think for something like this to sustain itself, I'll need to broaden my clientele base other than my friends.

    I've got a bunch of money saved up. And working out is one of my biggest passions in life. If I can I share this passion to others and make a buck out of it, well, I can live with that!

    That's the thing, NurseKnuckles. I've got my way with words. I plan to get a PT cert soon, and do a little work on the side at a fitness gym (there's plenty around here) with a focus on the aforementioned soccer moms. I go to college, btw, and methinks my schedule will be as flexible as theirs.

    Once I've accumulated enough experience, perhaps I can develop a Crossfit-like, P90X-like, *insert-your-latest-fad*-like program for them and get them buns in motion!

    *In Richard Simmon's Voice*

    Yeah! Stretch those creamy hamstrings! I wanna see the sweat coming out of your pores!


    But in all seriousness, though. This will be first and foremost a PL/OLY/Strongman gym. I want guys to feel to comfortable and be able to lift/slam shit without being nagged by the annoying gym attendants.
     
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  18. Big Jack Green Belt

    Big Jack
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    Just to let you know TS I have a lot of respect for you. That's what you love and your working hard to share it. Awesome stuff, let us know how it goes and good luck.
     
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  19. Thunderkopf Free-spirited bastard

    Thunderkopf
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    Aww, shucks. *blushes* You shouldn't have, darlin'.

    Yeah, I don't know how long it'll take but goddamnit, it will happen.
     
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  20. Thunderkopf Free-spirited bastard

    Thunderkopf
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    There will be pics. I SWEAR!!!
     
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