Posts Tagged ‘small gyms’

general warm up (10 minutes)

resistance band pull a parts x 100 reps

dislocates x 10 reps

inch worms x 50 feet

specific warm up (5 minutes)

back squats set up and light practice
strength (20 minutes)

back squats x 20-10 reps
conditioning/accessory work (1 round)

resistance band good mornings x 20 reps

kettlebell V presses x 15 reps

side planks x 2 minutes each side

Six years ago, I posted video about small gyms on my old YouTube channel .  made that video to encourage other small gym owners, like myself, who could end  up surrounded by big fancy chain gyms or “globo” gyms. The big gyms didn’t take us seriously.

However, much has changed since I made that video. Now we have them surrounded!

Small gyms are all over the place in the U.S. and many other countries.

People are burning out on big gyms and looking for something better and for coaches that actually care about their health and fitness.

The main points I made then are still valid today

  • don’t be intimidated
  • stay true to your vision for your own small gym
  • remember, they can’t offer what you can
  • they don’t do what you do
  • they are not you and do not have all the experience you have
  • they are not your competition any more than cows are to sharks
  • keep getting results for the people you train and for yourself
  • be authentic
  • keep learning
  • rise above the herd

If you already have a small gym in your garage, back yard, at a local park or wherever, you might find Garage Gym Life Magazine helpful and encouraging.



I learned over the years that you shouldn’t spend more than you make. When I moved from my old location to what is now the Cave, I kept that financial approach in place.


Just about everything we bought was used. The rest we made ourselves or had skilled friends  make it for us.  On rare occasions we bought new stuff, but only as needed.

In contrast, all around there was  a major fitness organization hitting hyper growth and bigger fancier gyms were springing up around us quickly.

I stuck to my original plan and heard through the grapevine that I was being mocked as “the old guy with the dumpy gym”, and  who in their right mind would want to train in a place like that? They  didn’t have anything fancy or shiny there, no mirrors, no sound system, no amenities of any kind.

I have to laugh now, looking back, a number of those people are gone now.

My training philosophy is still very basic as is my gym.

I am now older and the Cave is going strong!

Nothing fancy, just results!


I used to run very large martial arts classes, up to about 100 people at once.

Over they years, I found it was much better to work with smaller groups


  • better coach to client ratio means more quality instruction
  • safety is improved
  • results are better
  • less overhead

When I transitioned to the strength and fitness world, I started out small, like many people do. Unlike many others, I decided to keep my gym small, “old school-style”.

Big fancy gyms are all over the place in  my area, like yours I’m sure.

So, if you have a small warehouse gym or other small gym, and love what you do,

here’s some tips to keep you up and running in the midst of all the monsters around you:

  • don’t be intimidated by the big chain gyms, they cannot offer what you do
  • plan before you spend, and spend less than you make
  • buy used equipment or make your own whenever possible
  • don’t buy what you want, buy what your client need
  • build your reputation by getting measureable results for your clients through excellent coaching
  • keep advertising to a minimum, it is often a waste of money (in fact, we don’t advertise our gym at all)
  • don’t take credit cards, the processing fees are way too high
  • small gyms don’t need software to track their clients progress
  • don’t buy expensive sound systems ( we don’t have any at all)
  • remember, no one person will make or break your gym
  • don’t chase after “super stars”
  • don’t follow fads
  • build on the basics
  • invest in your own training regularly
  • keep learning from credible sources

I hope you find this helpful!


One of the biggest mistakes the big chain gyms made is underestimating the power of thousands of small independent gyms.

Over the past decade, big gyms have either ignored small gyms or tried to annihilate them through huge advertising budgets, lots of shiny equipment, and $10 a month memberships.

Though they tried to crush us, we are still here,  and GOD-willing, we will steadfastly continue.

All across our nation and the world there are thousands and thousands of small gyms in garages, warehouses, basements, or outdoors.

These are the places where some of the best strength & fitness athletes train.