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  1. #1
    Banned Heavy_Beats's Avatar
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    Philanthropic gym aspirations

    Hello, what I have enjoyed most in life up to this point has been training anyone that will listen. It is very gratifying to know I have a purpose and can be a part of people's lives. Helping people though strength training is all that I am good at, all I want to do with my life and I feel that any other pursuit would not be suitable. I have no ambition of making any more money than I need to live frugally ($15,000 should be enough) but I do want to help as many people to get strong as possible.

    I missed the chance to do a fitness certificate at TAFE this year and I don't want to continue my degree in teaching because the career is much too stressful and I am more suited to teaching strength training than dance or much else.

    My dream is to start a gym like John Broz in which I can train people that are willing to work hard and for no profit. I feel really guilty about taking people's money and prefer to work for satisfaction.

    A few boundaries I see is that I need a place to train, people to train and formalities like fitness certificate 4. I have very little money but people from my powerlifting club have offered to lend equipment if I can find a garage to store it (finding a share house that is willing to give up their garage for my gym aspirations is not easy).

    Any advice to help me help people is welcomed.
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  2. #2
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    I don't know if you'll be able to live off $15000/year, unless you intend to live a VERY frugal life. I think working a part time job in a non-related field like retail or something would help keep your business afloat and maybe even get some clients, apart from that I'd just advise to start small with low overheads, maybe train people on a donation basis where they just chip in a few bucks a session. Look for gyms going out of business to buy their stuff, craigslist etc, remember also that even with just a barbell, plates, bench and squat stands you can probably train 3-5 people at once, just rotating around, 1 person lifts, the others rest, change plates and repeat with no down-time. If you worked in 45-90 minute blocks, you could train dozens of people per day with almost no equipment.

    A better option may be setting it up as a co-op, where everyone chips in to buy equipment, and shares it all, so everyone is a partial owner, rather than 1 owner and a bunch of trainees. This also encourages people to do more referrals as they can reduce how much they pay when there's an extra person to split costs.
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  3. #3
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    Originally Posted by Heavy_Beats View Post
    I have no ambition of making any more money than I need to live frugally ($15,000 should be enough) but I do want to help as many people to get strong as possible.
    Just become a typical personal trainer with 0-3 clients and a few gym shifts - you'll earn that much. Trust me, earning a lot of money in the fitness industry is not something that happens to you easily or by accident. To get much more than the dole equivalent you have to work fcking hard.

    Simple template for home gym and not much money,
    • garage gym, $3,000 equipment
    • do 9-5 job
    • garage gym open Sun-Fri, 6-9pm
    • average of 3 people in the place at any one time, for an hour each = 54 people a week
    • $5 each = $270
    • and that is basically your $15,000
    However, a couple considerations for you. The first is insurance: without qualifications and registration, you won't get it. So when someone drops a dumbbell on his foot and sues you, your wages are garnisheed for the next 20 years paying him off. So even with your garage gym you still need certificates and registration. You'll want to make that money back, and pay insurance. Voila, your rates just went up to $10 entry.

    You think it's dishonourable making money doing something you love and which helps people? Let's turn that around: would it be honourable to make money doing something you hate which helps nobody? Of course not. Go ahead, make money, it's alright. Remember there's a difference between "making a good living" and "ripping people off."

    Here's another suggestion. Go work at your local YMCA. Sign up to be a customer service officer, which requires no qualifications except a friendly personality and not being completely clueless (there are half a dozen Sydney vacancies for CSOs listed at the moment). Or to be a pool lifeguard, which requires a weekend certificate. Do that for some months, make some money. Then go and do your Cert III/IV through the Y, which will charge you less as a staff member. After working at the Y for some months and doing your certificates through them, you'll easily get a job training people.

    Of course you can do the same at any community gym.

    Obviously you'd tell them this was your plan. And believe me, community gyms will be fully on-board with that kind of idea. Someone who genuinely loves helping people, who's not overly concerned with money, and who engages in long-term planning? They'll spin out. Just be honest.

    If while working you're feeling philanthropic, you can volunteer more time. I mean nobody in management will complain if you hang around after your shift training people for free. I ran a kettlebell class last year, I wasn't paid, I also bought $500 of kettlebells to be able to run it, all proceeds went to Open Doors. Some co-workers thought I was crazy - fck 'em. If you're truly embarrassed by your financial success, you could always just donate all earnings over $15,000 to some charity.

    Once you have a year or two of experience training people in a community gym, you'll have a better idea of how or if to continue your fitness career.
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  4. #4
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    Heavy_Beats is offline
    Alright, I think I may be able to set up power rack/bench setup to coach new members for my club. I need to get insurance though, does any one know how I can get this?

    Since I have decided to continue my uni degree for the time being I take that into account.

    I think I would have a schedule of mon/wed/fri 5-6;30pm and 6;30-8pm. With absolute beginners at 4pm since they won't need more than an hour for months and by then they can work in with the more experienced lifters.

    Taking in to account the rest times of myself and another lifter I train with I think a maximum of 4 people will be able to train each session.

    One limitation some prospective lifters may have is they will have to follow the same program as the others in their lifting group. However I would prefer to have this control on lifters so they don't do nonsense programing and I will be able to develop as a coach.
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  5. #5
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  6. #6
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    You will only be able to get insurance if qualified and registered with the relevant professional organisation.

    Personal trainer requires Certificate III/IV and registration with Fitness Australia or Kinect. Cert III/IV are 8 weeks full-time, or a uni year part-time, and $3-$6,000. Registration is $100-$150 per two years, insurance $100-$150 a year. You're required to do continuing education, which will usually cost $500-$1,000 every two years, depending on what you do.

    Strength & Conditioning Coach requires SCC Level 1 and registration with the ASCA. This is a weekend course followed by 30 hours of practical work, at least 10 of which must be directly supervised by a coach of higher level than you. The course is about $400, registration $100, I'm not sure about their continuing education.

    Another route would be to go through Powerlifting Australia, do a PL coaching course through them. That's $500 and a weekend, you'd want to be a PA coaching member after that, i think $100 a year.

    If all you want to do is pure strength stuff supervising small groups, then Strength & Conditioning Coach and/or PL coach would be the way to go. Once you've got those qualifications and are registered, you can get insurance.

    Or you could be without insurance, the vast majority of Crossfit gyms are. But then you're betting your entire wealth, such as it is, and future earnings, that nobody gets hurt - even a court case you win will cost you money for legal fees. So get insurance.
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  7. #7
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    Heavy_Beats is offline
    Originally Posted by KyleAaron View Post
    You will only be able to get insurance if qualified and registered with the relevant professional organisation.

    Personal trainer requires Certificate III/IV and registration with Fitness Australia or Kinect. Cert III/IV are 8 weeks full-time, or a uni year part-time, and $3-$6,000. Registration is $100-$150 per two years, insurance $100-$150 a year. You're required to do continuing education, which will usually cost $500-$1,000 every two years, depending on what you do.

    Strength & Conditioning Coach requires SCC Level 1 and registration with the ASCA. This is a weekend course followed by 30 hours of practical work, at least 10 of which must be directly supervised by a coach of higher level than you. The course is about $400, registration $100, I'm not sure about their continuing education.

    Another route would be to go through Powerlifting Australia, do a PL coaching course through them. That's $500 and a weekend, you'd want to be a PA coaching member after that, i think $100 a year.

    If all you want to do is pure strength stuff supervising small groups, then Strength & Conditioning Coach and/or PL coach would be the way to go. Once you've got those qualifications and are registered, you can get insurance.

    Or you could be without insurance, the vast majority of Crossfit gyms are. But then you're betting your entire wealth, such as it is, and future earnings, that nobody gets hurt - even a court case you win will cost you money for legal fees. So get insurance.
    That would add up to quite a lot of money, I'm pretty sure I would not be able to afford the ongoing costs unless I had a job. Is certificate 4 in fitness at TAFE covered by centrelink? I missed out this year but I might be able to get in next year.

    I have that powerlifting certificate but It is no good without insurance.

    Can I get a liability waver stating something along the lines of "exercise can cause injury so don't garnish my centelink when you pop a hammy". Who can I sue for all the times I pulled a muscle or twisted my ankle throughout my life. I'm sitting on a gold mine here and have too much common decency to exploit it.

    If I train someone at an insured gym can I still get my centrelink garnished on the off chance that someone I am training pulls a hammy, loses their mind and sues me for their own bad luck? I think in my other thread it would be alright because of the gym's liability waver.

    The horrible gold diggers might garnish my centrelink but the filthy lawyers might take the landlords house, hence my need how insurance.
    Last edited by Heavy_Beats; 01-14-2012 at 07:57 PM.
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  8. #8
    husband, father, trainer KyleAaron's Avatar
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    If you have the PA coaching certificate, ask PA about what's required for insurance. I'm guessing you'd need first aid and be a registered coaching member of PA. But really, ask them.

    Waivers don't mean sht in law, basically. This article gives an example of why.

    If you're employed by a gym, they accept liability for your actions. If it comes to a court case they'll just sack you to look good, whether it was your fault or not. If you're working independently at a gym, it's just like having your own place, all down to you.
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