Starting a Warehouse Gym: The Sh*t They Never Told You

Prepare for the NO bullsh*t truth about running a warehouse gym. It’s gonna be harsh and in your face…and you probably won’t like the majority of what I’m going to reveal to you.

Starting a warehouse gym ain’t easy. Period. You won’t be able to rent a garage, throw in a power rack – or two, some sleds, tires, free weights and a loud stereo -  and just expect every hardcore lifter to camp in front of your gym awaiting for your presence.

Sorry – it ain’t happenin’.

“Do what you love and the money will follow.” Have you heard that before? I’m callin’ bullsh*t right now.

Here’s an example: I love to read books at Barnes and Noble. I go there often and no one ever offered me money to read books. What the f*&%? I LOVE reading books, where’s my money?

Running a business is a whole new world compared to training clients under the roof of someone else’s gym. You have tons to think about, juggle, organize, constantly reinvent and improve upon. You need to take care of rent, pay the utilities, organize the scheduling of clients and coaches, handle memberships/payments, beready for Murphy’s Law and plenty more.

Every time you walk into your gym’s bathroom you’ll be wiping the piss off the toilet and cleaning the sink – every time. Why? Because you care, that’s why.

Sure, you might have someone who cleans for you, but the game changes when you’re the owner. You need to be the type of person who always does the extra, even when noone told you to do so.

You need to become a people person and have multiple personalities for each of your clients…and for their parents as well. Sometimes you need to lay the law down with the parents and tell them something no one ever told them. Sometimes you’ll kick out and get rid of clients because they bring down the energy of your gym, or their parents interfere with everything you do. And, you’ll have to do this even when you need the money.

Money that puts food on the table and a roof over your family’s head.

Dave Tate reinforced this to me years before I had the Underground Warehouse up and running. It’s called integrity and dignity. If someone is an asshole, it doesn’t matter how much money they throw your way, get them the f%&# out. Period.

Someone e-mailed me recently saying the main difference between him and I was Joe DeFranco. Other than that, all things were equal, including the fact that he had a high school diploma. He wanted my honest answer if he could be a success without marketing. He equated “marketing” with dishonesty, which says a lot about his future success, or lack thereof. Your marketing should be the straight-up truth.

What most don’t know, including the fact that they are morons themselves, is:

1. Those of us who run highly successful warehouse gyms, or any business for that matter, never give up.

2. We will walk through the jungle with a machete and kill or be killed. We won’t lie down and wait for others to take control. Instead, we’ll charge onward and upward to create our own destiny. There are no excuses and we claim full responsibility and accountability for our success or failure.

3. Successful business owners constantly invest in their eduction. I’m always investing in my education through a variety of resources: books, DVDs, CDs, mentorship courses, mastermind groups, etc. Tens and tens of thousands are invested. Notice I didn’t say “spent.” Education is an investment which, when properly implemented, brings about a powerful return on investment.


You need to be willing to fix problems that stop you from becoming successful.

If your warehouse gym isn’t pumping, then fix it. The problem is likely with your attitude and lack of action.

If you don’t give your athletes amazing results, fix it and learn better training methods.

If you wait for people to find out about your or spread the word, fix it and learn 100 ways to spread the word. Then you can market yourself to highly qualified prospects that are serious about becoming ultra successful in their sport.

If you don’t take care of your athletes like your own family, fix it. Treat them like your own family.
Always have a vision.

I had a clear vision of what I wanted to do with my business and it all began in a backyard and garage. I would stay up late – very late – reading EliteFTS articles and Joe DeFranco’s Q&A section to learn as much as possible. It took six months to schedule a consultation with Joe DeFranco, and this was when he was one-percent as busy as he is today.

From the very first e-mail I sent him, I stated I would pay for his time. I let him know I valued his time, something I see very, very few aspiring coaches showing today. I payed for my consultation two weeks before my wedding, a time where money was certainly not something I had much of at that time. But, I didn’t care how much it was, I knew it would help me fast-forward my success. You should be paying for knowledge as well. I’ve invested so much on my training and business knowledge. I understand that people do not give out their information for free. I also understood that my investment would come back ten fold, at minimum. One year before I left my teaching job behind, I invested $ 3,000 to have lunch with someone. It changed my life forever. That’s pretty cheap for one hour that changed my entire life and allowed me to spend more time with my family.
There will be haters.

Trust me, even if you live next to Joe DeFranco, you won’t suddenly become a successful business owner. Sorry, that’s just the truth. You need to work your ass off, study the business, learn the business and constantly improve. At the same time you must deal with people ripping you off, copying from your Web site, word for word, and crying and complaining to you.

People will hate you and try to break you down. With success, comes critics. Many will despise you for your success. F&*% ‘em, who cares? Remember who is important to you. It’s your athletes and your family. Friends? I doubt you can count your real friends on both hands, in fact, as you become more successful, make it one hand.

Once you have studied your ass off, trained your ass off, made countless sacrifices, invested tens of thousands of dollars, you will get daily e mails of people asking to stop by and “see what you do”.

Sure, come by, I’ll tell you everything I do, for FREE, and these freeloaders will be the people who complain the most and cry because an e book is more than $ 19. Boo Hoo.

If it makes you feel better, I’ll wash your car and mow your lawn. And if my wife and kids ask me why I’m gone for so long, I’ll tell them I’m doing it just to make YOU happy.

Remember who counts most: YOUR Family. Your family is also the members of your gym. The athletes I train are my family. I want them to succeed as I want my own children to succeed. I won’t make excuses for them or B.S. them either. If they are slackin’, disrespecting the gym in any way shape or form, they will be reprimanded. Some will be removed from the gym.

Running a gym requires business knowledge. Period. Call it marketing if you like, I don’t give a sh*t. If you lie and tell stories you’re
only marketing your own Bull Sh*t.

If you make excuses I don’t wanna hear them.

So, in a nut shell, you better be damn GREAT at what you do. Many will tell you to quit and do things differently. The Haters will come in droves, including those who you thought you were your “friends”.

You can cave in and let people push you around, or you can be a Gladiator and follow your gut instincts, keep your integrity and your dignity. Don’t let the a**holes bring you down.

If you an handle all this and more, then running your own warehouse gym is gonna be the best damn “job” you ever had.

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About the Author

Zach Even–Esh is a performance coach for athletes and the owner of the Underground Strength Gym in Edison, New Jersey. You can learn more about his methods at http://ZachEven-Esh.com or http://UndergroundStrengthCoach.com.