Want to Open a CrossFit Gym? 5 Things to Think About
Want to open a crossfit gym?
Here are some things to think about:
1) What do you want from it? You might have different goals when it comes to running a crossfit gym.
You could just like the idea of doing something new or you may even be looking for a way to supplement your income while still maintaining your health. Whatever the case, there are many options available if you decide that running a crossfit gym is what you really want.
2) Do you need any experience? If you don’t have any previous experience with running a gym, then it’s probably best to not go ahead with this endeavor.
However, if you’re willing to learn and willing to put in the time, then maybe you’ll get better results than someone who hasn’t done anything before. If so, great! But if not…you’ve come at a good point in your life where you want to start a new venture.
3) How much money do you have to spend? The amount of money you need to invest into your own gym will depend on several factors such as the size of your gym, whether you want to rent space out, and other expenses.
For example, if you’re going to be renting space out for $500/month, then it would cost around $15k (5k x 12 months). To buy equipment for various exercises, you’re going to need at least $30k.
4) Where are you going to get the equipment? Buying used equipment is one of the best places to get what you need because it will save you a lot of money.
Ebay is a great place to look, so start your search there and go from there. Also check out local ads in newspapers and magazines. Don’t forget to also check out Amazon, Craigslist, and other online resources.
5) What is your target market? This is a very important step in the process.
It’s good to determine this before you even start out.
For example, do you want to market towards children, teenagers, young adults, or adults?
Maybe you want to specialize in teaching only seniors or people with special needs. Maybe you want to go all out and market towards everyone. In any case, it’s important to pick out your specific target audience so you know how to attract them to your crossfit gym.
There are many more things to think about when opening up your very own crossfit gym and these are just a few of them. But if you follow these steps, then you should be well on your way to becoming a successful owner of a thriving business.
Some Helpful Pointers
– CrossFit has become a major craze and fad over the past few years. It consists of constantly varied functional movements done at high intensity. This constant variation means you’re never doing the same thing twice which is good because you’ll avoid plateaus and it also helps keep you interested in the sport. You want to make sure that a person’s motivation stays high and one of the best ways to do this is to never let them get bored.
– In order to do this, it’s going to require some specialized equipment. Luckily, you’ll be able to buy used equipment for a lot cheaper than if you were to buy new. What you need to look for is good condition with few flaws. This can usually be found at garage sales, on online sales sites, or in the newspaper.
– Another option is to find a cheap space to rent out. If you’re not going to have a dedicated space for your gym, then you shouldn’t be paying for a large amount of rent each month. The cheaper the better because you’ll be able to use that money towards buying equipment.
– It’s good to have friends who are into fitness and share the same interests as you do. This will help motivate you and keep you on target. If you’re able, consider hiring a personal trainer to come with you. Together, the pair of you should be able to keep each other motivated and inspired.
– Make sure to market yourself. Whether that means putting up fliers, handing out pamphlets, or starting your own website. The more exposure you get, the better your chances are of becoming popular and profitable.
– Be sure to keep up on maintenance and repairs as you go. If something breaks down or goes wrong, you don’t want to keep putting it off. Get it fixed immediately before it gets worse and costs you a lot more money.
– Try to keep your overhead low. One of the reasons CrossFit gyms are so successful is because they keep their costs low while getting a lot of people through the doors. This is usually done by having group classes instead of individual lessons. If at all possible, try to get a few friends to help teach the classes.
Not only will this help cut down on costs it’ll also help keep you motivated since you’ll be able to work out and coach at the same time.
– Try to get sponsors. A lot of companies are eager to jump on the latest fitness bandwaggon so finding one shouldn’t be too hard. All you have to do is ask. The money they give you can go towards updating your equipment or even paying for your rent.
– Consider getting a job at a fitness oriented business. Not only will this help pay the bills, it’ll give you first hand experience on what your customers might need or want. You could even give recommendations to your customers on where they should buy clothes or eat when they’re in the area. The more people you can direct to other nearby businesses, the more likely they are to come back.
-Have a pricing scheme that’s fair for everyone. You don’t want people to think they’re going to get ripped off while they’re at your gym but you also don’t want to undervalue yourself and your services. Try starting with what everyone else is doing in your area and then adjust accordingly.
– Finally, make sure to keep things fun. Fitness should be enjoyable. If it stops being fun for you or your members, then you might want to re-think your goals.
Here are some of the benefits of hiring a professional when it comes to starting a gym:
– They have industry connections that they can use to promote your gym.
– They can help you get financing so you don’t have to worry about saving up the money yourself.
– They know what they’re doing so you can focus on the more important things.
– You won’t have to worry about getting sued if someone gets injured on your watch and sues you.
– You won’t have to worry about figuring out how much equipment to order or even what kind of gear to buy.
– They know the legalities in running a gym, which changes depending on the city your location in.
– They can provide you with a ready made clientele due to them being well established.
– They can give you a list of equipment that they would recommend to make your gym better.
– You’ll be able to take advantage of their advertising.
Nowadays, many professionals are choosing to own their own gyms as a secondary income source. This is something to take into consideration as the demand for such businesses is only going to grow.
Some of the lowest costs you’ll have to pay for are things like your rent (which can sometimes be covered), staff, and equipment. Equipment is the main thing you need to think about regarding costs since things like treadmills and weight machines all need to be replaced every few years due to wear and tear. It might be a good idea to consider going with more expensive but longer lasting items if you’re going to be investing a lot of money into your business up front.
Part Two: The Fitness
So you have an idea for a business and you have an idea of what you want it to look like.
But how are you going to make it appealing?
This is where the fun really begins since now you get to play with your favorite toys all day (or at least part of the day). This section will go over some of the things you’ll need to think about when planning out your gym.
First and foremost you’re going to need equipment for your gym. This is going to be one of your biggest expenses so it’s good that you planned ahead for this. There are a lot of things you’re going to want to think about when ordering your equipment so we’ll go over all of that now.
Types of equipment
There are three main types of exercise equipment that people use in a gym: cardio, strength, and miscellaneous items.
Cardio equipment is anything that helps you warm up and get your heart pumping. This could be anything from a treadmill to an elliptical trainer to a stair-stepper.
Strength training equipment includes all the items you typically see in a gym that has free weights such as barbells, dumbbells, weight machines, yoga mats, and stretching bands.
Miscellaneous items are anything that doesn’t fit into the above two categories such as workout videos, books, towels, headphones, and storage lockers. Most modern gyms have a wide assortment of items in this category since they’re trying to cater to a large audience.
Deciding on what you want in your gym is going to depend on a few factors such as your budget and the area you’re located in. For example, if you’re trying to save money on rent then it might be a good idea to build up instead of out and add more storage lockers since that’s usually a cheap option. If you’re in a busy area then you’re probably going to want more equipment that handles the heavier loads such as more barbells and squat racks.
It’s also important to remember to keep your eyes open for new types of equipment that could enhance your gym. One of the best additions I’ve made to my own small gym was a set of battling ropes. Not many people use them but they’re great for increasing anaerobic endurance, strength, and providing a great cardio workout.
I’ve also heard of a few gyms that have started using machines that apply suction to your body to help you lift heavier weights. They sound pretty awesome but they’re really expensive so I haven’t made the investment yet.
Now that you know what types of equipment you want in your gym, it’s time to pick out some actual items to put in there. This is going to include everything from free weights to TVs.
The cornerstone of any gym is, of course, free weights. These are the items that any self-respecting bodybuilder is going to be using on a regular basis. For this reason you want to make sure you have a lot of different types so that no matter who comes into your gym they’re going to be able to find exactly what they need to get the job done.
Barbells: Barbells are going to be one of the primary items that you’re going to want in your gym. Most people are going to be using these on a regular basis so you’ll want to have a large selection of different sizes.
Dumbbells: Dumbbells are another big item that you’re going to want plenty of in your gym. Most people are going to be using these for their arm workouts so you’ll want to make sure you have a good amount of different sizes.
Trap Bars: Trap bars, or otherwise known as hexagon bars, are a great addition to any gym mainly because they can be used for any type of lifting such as squatting, overhead press, or deadlifting. Most people don’t have trap bars so they’re a great item to have in your gym to draw people in.
Adjustable Dumbbells: This is another great item that can draw people in due to the versatility. Most adjustable dumbbells go up to 50lbs which is plenty for most people but if you’re really looking to draw a crowd you could get models that go up to 100lbs or more.
Kettlebells: Kettlebells are another great item to have in your gym. They’re mainly used for training the arms and shoulders but can be utilized for a wide range of exercises. You don’t need very many kettlebells since most people will primarily be using them for singles but it’s still best to have a few different sizes available.
Chains: Chains are one of my favorite items to have in a gym mainly because of how easy they are to use. Most people buy chains with the intention of using them on barbells for things like deadlifts and squats but you can use them for a wide range of other exercises as well.
Exercise Ball: Exercise ball, more commonly referred to as a yoga ball, is another must have in my book. They’re great for ab workouts and also provide excellent back support when benching. You can pick them up really cheap so there’s no reason not to have them in your gym.
When people think of going to a gym, one of the last things they’re going to be thinking about is spending time in a hot tub. This is unfortunate because they would be greatly increasing their comfort during their visit if they did. Properly heating your hot tub can run you quite a bit each month so you don’t necessarily want it on all the time but you and your friends will definitely be making good use of it on those cold winter months.
Sound System: Another great way to create a positive atmosphere in your gym is to have a sound system. This is more of a personal choice as some people enjoy listening to music while working out but it definitely helps to create a more social environment.
Treadmill: A treadmill is another must have item for any gym. Most people are going to want a really good running surface that can withstand a lot of wear and tear.
Camping Mattresses: Now these aren’t necessarily needed in your gym but they’re a great item to have lying around that you can sell to people. It really adds a nice, comfortable feel to your gym and allows people to get out of the house during those cold winter months.
Climbing Rope: While this isn’t necessary in any way, shape, or form it is definitely something that would improve the atmosphere of your gym and make it more social. People love climbing ropes and it gives them something to do when they come over.
Now that you have an idea of what types of equipment you want in your gym, it’s time to figure out the logistics of actually getting it and putting in in your store.
The first thing you’ll need to do is contact a local equipment supplier and get them to send someone out to your store to measure the square footage that you have to work with. Once you have that information, you can go from there.
You’ll also want to try to acquire as much of this equipment as possible at a low or no cost. Most of the big name equipment suppliers will give you good deals on the condition that you pay the items in full before they’re delivered. You might be inclined to just get a loan but I really wouldn’t recommend it since bankruptcy is permanent and being in debt is not a good look for someone in your position.
Once you have the equipment, the building, and a general idea of what’s going on, it’s time to hire some people to work for you. This is where your entrepreneurial skills are really going to come in handy.
When hiring employees, you’re looking for a few things:
1. Willing to work for little money
2. Doesn’t mind getting physically engaged in their work
3. Doesn’t mind being told what to do on a regular basis
If you find one person who meets all three criteria then you’ve found a keeper but that’s pretty rare. You’re going to be lucky to find one that meets two of those things. The best types of employees are ones who are young, dumb, and have poor familial relationships so they’re looking for somewhere to go.
You’re also going to have to be a bit of a psychiatrist and know how to deal with different types of people. You’re going to have to figure out what makes them tick and what motivates them if you plan on having a successful business.
Of course all of this falls flat if you don’t have a good location for your store. You’ll want to apply for a business license, get zoned for retail, and hopefully have people within walking distance of your store.
Once you have all of this in place, you’re ready to open the doors and start raking in that sweet, sweet cash money.
Months in the future…
Things are going well in your new job. You’re making enough to support yourself and you really like it. Granted, you’re working a lot, but it’s all worth it since you know you’re moving up in the world.
Still, there’s one thing that’s been bugging you and that’s your apartment. It’s a dump and you’re ashamed to have people visit it. You think it might be time to finally get a new one.
You go online and search for something a little better and more upscale. There’s a few in your price range but you ultimately choose one that’s a little farther away from your current location mostly because it has a lot more to offer. Not only is the apartment more modern, it also comes with a gym, pool, and clubhouse.
You can’t really complain about the price either, it’s only $300 more a month which isn’t bad considering all the stuff you get.
You immediately move all your stuff out of your old place and into the new one. After moving everything in, you sit back and relax on your comfortable couch.
“Well time to reap the rewards for all my hard work,” You say as you open a bottle of wine.
You quickly discover that your new place has one major problem, there’s no cable hooked up to it. Not exactly the best thing when you have a love for Lifetime movies.
It really puts a damper on the whole moving in experience. You could always go back to your old place but it feels so depressing now that you’ve stepped up in the world. There’s also the fact that you’d have to share an apartment with a bunch of college kids who most likely won’t even like you.
You ultimately end up having no choice but to go back to your old place.
A month passes and your life feels increasingly more dismal as each day goes by. You absolutely hate your job and feel like your life has no meaning. You don’t have many friends and the ones you do have don’t really do much with you other than small talk now and then. You mostly just piddle away your time at work and come home to an empty apartment every night.
On top of all this self-pity, your mother has been nagging you more than usual about finding a husband or at least a steady boyfriend. She says she feels lonely since your father died and she doesn’t like being alone. You can’t relate at all since you’re practically always busy with work and don’t feel like dealing with anyone else’s problems on top of your own, let alone someone who pressures you constantly.
Your mother ultimately decides to get more aggressive with her nagging by dropping by your apartment with her latest boyfriend one day. He’s some balding overweight fifty-year old who is still stuck in the 1980’s with his goofy hair style and choice of clothing. To his credit though he seems like a fairly okay guy from what little you can tell of him.
You’re just embarrassed to have them here since it makes you feel like you’ve failed at life when someone older than you is more successful. Not to mention your mother’s boyfriends never seem to stick around for very long and are usually on the verge of breaking up with her when she introduces them to you.
Sources & references used in this article:
- Investigating the organisational culture of CrossFit (B Bailey, AJ Benson, MW Bruner – International Journal of Sport …, 2019 – Taylor & Francis)
- ‘These chicks go just as hard as us!'(Un) doing gender in a Dutch CrossFit gym (S Schrijnder, N van Amsterdam… – … Review for the …, 2020 – journals.sagepub.com)
- The lived experience of CrossFit as a context for the development of women’s body image and appearance management practices (M Podmore, JP Ogle – Fashion and Textiles, 2018 – Springer)
- Rx’d and shirtless: An examination of gender in a CrossFit box (BA Knapp – Women in Sport and Physical Activity …, 2015 – journals.humankinetics.com)
- Shoulder injuries in individuals who participate in CrossFit training (RJ Summitt, RA Cotton, AC Kays, EJ Slaven – Sports health, 2016 – journals.sagepub.com)
- The World of CrossFit (P DiPrimio – 2020 – books.google.com)
- Let’s work on your weaknesses’: Australian CrossFit coaching, masculinity and neoliberal framings of ‘health’and ‘fitness (M Nash – Sport in Society, 2018 – Taylor & Francis)
- Chasing Rx: A spatial ethnography of the CrossFit Gym (MC Crockett, T Butryn – Sociology of Sport Journal, 2018 – journals.humankinetics.com)