The Home Gym Set-Up: Our Story
Let’s take it back…way back before I had a gym, or a real business. I had a patio with some weights, a squat rack and a few items that I cared to use.
I was the strength coach for Football at Scottsdale Community College. I had a few clients on the side, but working with the college program was my main gig.
One day I received a Facebook message from an Arizona Roller Derby Athlete.
We met up on a Saturday and did an agility workout in the sand. She wanted a collegiate style training program to take her to the next level. She needed a program specifically to get her faster and more agile- not just any general fitness program.
She gave me a call after the workout and wanted to sign up. I was both excited to work with her and a little bummed I didn’t have a much to offer…only my personal 'patio gym'.
But being the down-to-earth go-getter that she is, she only asked one thing, “Can we get it done?”
“Hell yes we can!” I was so thrilled to work with her. When it comes to training, I’m the master of doing a lot with very little… I definitely had enough to start with and so we did.
She would come by at 7AM – I’d have coffee made for us both, my little 3-year old was content watching AM cartoons on the couch and we put in work on a 120 sq foot patio.
And so Arthur Ash's quote became my unspoken philosophy:
Start where you are, use what you have, do what you can.
I soon out-grew the patio gym and we moved into a larger 900sq ft. studio, bringing only the equipment I had with me plus one additional squat rack I purchased from Craigslist.
It hasn't been easy - At one point I was back on the patio gym training clients after a a fire broke out at a larger shared facility I had moved into. That was a hard loss to recover from, but after saving and rebuilding - and learning just how strong we all were from having to deal with adversity and nearly losing everything - my trajectory finally changed one day after a lift battle in the street. (Incidentally, I was written up by my HOA for having a weightlifting party and banned from loud outdoor activities... I couldn't even train at home anymore. Rock meet bottom)
That moment made me realize despite having nothing, despite losing everything, the training program was still working.
We didn't need fancy 20k sq. ft facilities. 45lb is 45lb no matter if it's Eliko or if its the rusty garage sale plate from your neighbors dad's 1980s bodybuilding era back yard training. None of that shit mattered.
What mattered was the program, the WHY behind what we were doing, and the people we were doing it with.
I now sit in a humble 1500 square foot facility. I like the novelty and the intimacy of the small gym set up - not to mention the lessons I learned about revenue, overhead, and profit margins along the way. Which leads me to my next point:
I continue to run the business like a garage gym because 45lb is 45lb. Because the people who understand that understand programming and mindset - the mental grit and fortitude - matter so much more than aesthetics.
I train athletes of all levels in this scaled garage gym - from retired, to rec sports to professional - we get it done. I say that not to brag, but to underscore the point that if they can improve in a garage gym so can you. You just need a few things and the right mindset to get started. And I'm going to show you how.