June 01, 2006
Hardly a week passes that I don’t hear someone say, “I hear you opened a gym. That must have cost a fortune.” My usual response is, “No, not really. You would be surprised at how small the start-up costs are relative to mainstream commercial fitness facilities.” Typically, their eyes glaze over at this point, their eyebrows wrinkle, and I suspect that they walk away thinking, “Yeah right, no need to play it down. There is no way you can own a gym without spending a bundle.” Well, there is.
Part of the start-up process is not only to plan gym layout but to prioritize equipment purchases by determining which are required for the exercises that are most important and used most frequently—the staple movements that make up the core of our core.
In my analysis, the core movements boiled down to the pull-up, squat, handstand push-up, and running—all things that require no significant cash outlay and are enough to establish an initial client base around. For the items that do require fairly large expenditures, there are often creative work-arounds, what I like to call the circumnavigation of retail purchases.
This article is essentially the story of how we at newly opened CrossFit San Diego effected such a circumnavigation and managed to open our doors with a minimum of cash outlay-and a minimum of construction aptitude.