Thursday, April 17, 2014

How To Start A Gym Business Part I

January 5, 2012 by  
Filed under Strength Training

Hey Joe loving your more recent videos, that shoulder mobility drill is awesome… one of the best things I have done for my shoulders in a long time.  Well I’m e-mailing you because I want to know more about how you got to where you are today. You are basically living the dream that I have for my self…. I guess the point of my e-mail is to ask you how you got where you are and how you have gained all the knowledge you have.  I  applied for PT school recently and would like to one day operate my own physical therapy and athletic performance center.  Any books, certs, or business tips you have for me would be greatly appreciated.   Jimmy M, CSCS

I’ve been thinking about a “year ending” post, and Jimmy’s email fell right into my lap.  I do get this question a lot, and usually only have time to fire a few lines back, but this is the perfect time to do some reflecting.

Although I still don’t think I’ve “made it” by any means, hopefully some of this will provide insight on how we got from A to B.  The dates are estimated, as my wife will attest, I am terrible with dates!

Synergy Athletics Timeline

December 2006.  My buddy and I were sitting around in my apartment thinking about summer jobs.  We both played football together at Colgate University and wanted to give back to our sports community so we decided on a football camp and called it Synergy Athletics.  We marketed our butts off and ended up with around 40 attendees in two age groups.
November 2008.  We ran summer and winter camps for a few years.  After listening to parents describe the workout options for their kids I decided to build a gym in my basement and get my CSCS (certified strength and conditioning specialist) certification.  I promoted the training at the last camp and Synergy Athletics training was born….with a whooping 5 clients.
2008 – 2009.  From those first 5 clients, we worked our way up to 10 regulars, and a client list of 15.  During this time I also coached football and baseball for a local school district.
2008- 2009 Part II.  To further my abilities as a trainer, I desperately sought out every “under the bar” training experience as possible.  I found a trainer about an hour away, James Smith of the Diesel Crew, and he was gracious enough to let me tag along with some of his training sessions and trips.
Defranco’s Secrets of Strength Development was the first seminar I had ever attended.  Awesome time, and it was like meeting a superstar to me since I read all his “ask Joe” columns while in college.

Shortly after that I switch the Synergy Athletics site over from a football camp site to the blog you see before you, and I was off to Zach Even Esh’s gym for a strength gathering and seminar.

and then an knowledge packed to Elitefts for a seminar….

I also learned writing “F U” on your hoodie helps you dominate a drop set of squats…

Things are happening fast at this point, as the next day we are also squatting at Westside Barbell!

I also headed down to New Jersey a few months later for a “Fast Track” seminar and a few more strength gatherings. Every were I went I kept a “mad scientist” note book that looked like ramblings of a crazy man! I would write down all kinds of stuff I picked up from all these visits and seminars.

Finally, I reached out to my alma mater, Colgate University, and spent a day training with them…

…and one of our former coaches went on to Rutgers so we drove down there and spent a day training with their football team.

Meanwhile, back at the “Synergy Athletics International HQ” (aka my basement) I am constantly refining programs finding the best pieces of each trip/seminar and put it together for our guys.

2010.  A major breakthrough year…

PART II coming in a few days….

Joe Hashey, CSCS

PS.   Theme of Part I:  get your under the bar training,  build relationships, and provide a quality product.



9 Responses to “How To Start A Gym Business Part I”
  1. Justin Lair says:

    funny because I was thinking about asking this question today.

  2. Matt Middleton says:

    JOE you guys do awesome work with those kids and know your stuff. The few times I was there I learned not only 1) I was on the right track with my training, and 2) that you guys have it down to brass tacks (cover all bases, know when to push it and when to back off, what accomodations you make for kids, etc). I also learned that there were people that trained WAY harder than I did and got my first experience w/ a Prowler, which subsequently led to me building quite a few for various people in the industry, including myself. Keep up the mentality of ( I haven't made it…yet) and you will get FAR indeed.

  3. Drew says:

    I, too, was thinking the same thing.

  4. Hmm, doesn’t seem to be too much interest in this series based on the shares and comments so I’m going to put it on the shelf for now.


  5. Martin Vulu says:

    Hey you can talk to me! E-mail me I am trying to start one myself but don’t want to rent looking to build on property I own!

  6. Kevin says:

    Inspiration and grateful for the article.

  7. Dang, I just came across this post from searching on your website had no idea you wrote it I’m interested maybe youll get it going again! thanks

  8. Justin Andrushko says:

    Joe would you say that the football camps gave you the capital to build the gym or did you already have it?


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  1. [...] Not many comments last week on our How We Started Synergy Athletics, so I am shelving the follow up for [...]

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