Why I Own A Gym
Why I Own A Gym
On several occasions over the last decade since I founded the Austin Fitness Center, a few of my personal training clients have asked me why I own a gym as opposed to simply being a trainer elsewhere, and not subjecting myself to the stress that often accompanies owning a small business. It’s a fair question since my gym is not one that I advertise, run silly promotions for, or even allow everyone to join, if they aren’t going to follow our rules of etiquette.
Why I own a gym is, in a nutshell, because I want to be able to work with my personal training clients in a positive environment, void of sexuality, machismo, hassles, sales pitches, and the other usual things that accompany big box gyms. I also wanted to create a true neighborhood gym where everyone, regardless of race, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, athletic ability, etc, could feel comfortable to come workout, with or without employing me, or one of my on staff personal trainers.
The road to me opening a gym over 10 years ago with an 8 month old baby and a wife in graduate school, is a long one, as I’ve been a personal trainer in Austin for over 22 years now, but it was the only way that I could continue in a career that I truly cherish. I’ve never worked for a big box gym, other than when I was contracted by one to train their lead trainer for a professional bodybuilding show, nor have I ever been employed by any gym, for that matter. As a personal trainer, I’ve always been an independent. This means I would pay a gym a large monthly fee in order to train my clients there, and the clients would join that gym so they could workout between our sessions. This seems like a no brainer, in that if you are a long time trainer with a large clientele, you could just come to work, train your people, and go home…but what you can’t control, however, is the atmosphere in the facility, unless, of course, you own it. The personal training studio where I was working independently prior to opening Austin Fitness Center, was the impetus for my opening my own facility… even with an 8 month old baby and my wife being in grad school.
There’s no need to name names, nor is there a need to disparage another Austin gym, or Austin personal trainer, so the facility will remain anonymous, but suffice it to say that the way I saw people, especially women, being treated there, was appalling to me to the extent that I told my wife I would rather drive a dump truck than continue after over 3 years of being there. I have always believed in the golden rule of treating others as you wish to be treated. That doesn’t simply mean prospective clients, or people who pay you, but everyone. It was obvious to me that I needed my own gym.
My gym, just like any other gym, won’t appeal to everyone, and that’s fine. There’s a multitude of gyms and workout activities you can try here in Austin until you find what you think is right for you. On that note, I have found what works for me as a personal trainer, and as a human being, and will continue to wake every morning at 4:45 to go open the doors to my gym and welcome my clients every hour on the hour and do the best job I’m capable of, but in an environment that is positive, genuinely friendly, laid back, and productive. When you love what you do, who you work with, and where you work, it’s easy to get up in the morning.
Andy is a top notch trainer for fitness novices to seasoned body builders. He has a breadth of knowledge matched only by very few in the fitness industry today.