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How Hard is it to Start Your Own Gym?

Jacob Kubik
By Jacob Kubik. Updated: January 16, 2017
How Hard is it to Start Your Own Gym?

Everyone wants to strive to be healthy, and helping people get there can be very lucrative for you too. Thousands upon thousands of people go to the gym every day and pay for the opportunity to get fit and lift heavy things, so why not try to get into the business and create your own gym. Make money while helping other people get in shape. You might wonder if this is a very hard endeavor to do and what it will take to accomplish it. So how hard is it to start your own gym? Take a look at this OneHowTo article if you'd like to start your own business.

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  1. Need Some Space
  2. The Equipment
  3. Define Your Gym
  4. How Hard Is It Really?

Need Some Space

First off, to start your own Gym you'll need the necessary space for said gym. You can't have a gym in a 21 by 21 foot room. It just doesn't work that way. A gym requires a lot of space for all the equipment that people will want to use, and on top of that a gym should be very spacey feeling. You should not feel claustrophobic at all in a gym. If you feel at all that the ceiling is too low or that there's not enough space between a machine and a wall, then you're probably right. The space should also be in good shape and look well kept. Customers will not want to work out in a gym that looks like it is going to collapse or was built a few centuries ago. The best look for a gym space is a modern, airy design. The expense of buying or renting this space will vary depending on the size of the building and where it is located.

How Hard is it to Start Your Own Gym? - Need Some Space

The Equipment

Another very essential aspect of a gym is the equipment. This would be all the weights that people will actually be lifting and all the treadmills to run on. What equipment you need will vary depending on what kind of gym you wish to open. If you just want a standard family gym like Gold's Gym then you will need weights, machines, cardio machines, and other equipment like jump ropes and medicine balls. If you want your customers to also have other activities like basketball or boxing, then you will need the proper equipment to offer these activities as well.

  • You should have around 1000 lbs. of free-weights and 1000 lbs. of weights for your machines. This gives a good variety and provides for multi use at one time.
  • Purchasing machines for general exercises is also a must. Focus on leg, back, and chest machines at first and add on as you gain more customers and money.
  • Having jump ropes, medicine balls, stretching equipment, and mats to lay on is also a good investment.
How Hard is it to Start Your Own Gym? - The Equipment

Define Your Gym

Creating your gym is next. Define what type of gym it is, give it a name, and create a business structure. Starting with the name is always a good idea. The name should be professional and be easily distinguishable as a gym. A simple way to do this is by having the word 'gym' in it (i.e. Graham's Gym). Figure out what type of gym you're going to have and advertise it as such. If you want a boxing gym, then advertise boxing lessons and your boxing ring. Finally, figure out your gym's business structure. This is how it will make money and finance all the start-up costs. Figure out how much a membership to your gym should be per month and what other fees to charge customers for using your gym. Some gyms even sell products to customers such as shirts and bottles. Make this part of your business model, but realize that this should definitely not be your main source of income.

How Hard is it to Start Your Own Gym? - Define Your Gym

How Hard Is It Really?

Looking at all these steps combined, you're looking at a very big commitment to open a gym. If you want to open a big professional gym it may cost anywhere from a few hundred thousand to a million dollars. It's not a cheap start-up business to get into and you must plan to not profit for however long it will take your business to pay off its debt. However, owning a gym can be a lucrative business in the long run if you create a good business model.

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How Hard is it to Start Your Own Gym?