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  1. #1
    Registered User Milkahol's Avatar
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    Rogue Yoke, Dumbbell Handles, Layout and Equipment Suggestions?

    Backstory: I am looking to open a largely free-weight based private training facility for independent trainers.

    http://www.roguefitness.com/y2-yoke.php

    I have done quite a bit of research on various racks/rack setups/etc. I believe the Rogue Y2 offers a ton of versatility at a great price. You can use it as a rack, yoke, sled, prowler, and more. Hole spacing for squatting and benching, plate storage, various rogue attachments like the matador as a dip station, the list goes on. As you can tell, I kind of have a boner for this rack right now. I just want some opinions from you guys.
    http://www.roguefitness.com/y2-yoke.php

    Next up: Olympic dumbbell Handles vs fixed dumbbell sets

    Pros: Very space efficient, very cost efficient, infinite increments, huge weight capacity per dumbbell.
    Cons: Kind of a pain in the ass to change weights, takes a little getting used to(familiarity/safety).

    I really feel like I need your opinions on this one. Remember, this is for a gym that is solely utilized my independent trainers and their clients. I was thinking that you could make Y-stands that you set the dumbbell handles onto, and you would be able to change the weights much easier. I got a pair of olympic dumbbell handles, and they do take getting used to. They are pretty damn safe, even with the stock collars. I have loaded up a 100#'s on one side of the handle and pointed it at the ground and shook it, held fine and I didn't notice any slipping at all. If I threw on a pair of Ivanko compression collars i'm sure it would hold even better. I'm just unsure if the dumbbell handles would turn some people away.

    Lastly: My rough gym layout:
    Around 1,500 square feet of racks, open rubber matted space, straightaway, free-weights, some cardio, and other various equipment. Something like a defranco, strength and conditioning center, OSUDIMOND's gym was an inspiration as well.
    Key:
    White squares at the bottom are the Rogue Yokes
    Green strip is the turf straightaway for short sprints, yoke carry/various weighted carry, sled drag/pull/push, etc.
    White circle is the punching bag
    White I-shape is the rope climb
    Small double white circles are the gymnastic rings
    Two rowers
    White rectangles on the right side are benches
    Long white rectangle on the right side is the dumbbell rack
    White squares at the top symbolize storage for tires/kegs/plyo boxes/atlas stones/medicine/wall balls, sandbags, jump ropes, etc, etc, etc.

    Thoughts on equipment, layout, etc? I'm very open to critiques, suggestions. I also want to add that I thought about olympic platforms, but I just don't see trainers clients utilizing olympic movements enough to justify buying a bunch of platforms and bumpers. I did think about having a olympic lifting/deadlifting platform instead of one of the racks, thoughts on that?

    inb4 tldr
    Thanks!
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  2. #2
    5'18" keyboardworkout's Avatar
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    CFF also has out their new "Beast" combo yoke and half rack. Haven't seen a review yet.

    http://christiansfitnessfactory.com/...the-beast.html

    I would skip the oly handles for a commercial facility. Go with fixed dumbbells or a few sets of Ironmasters.
    Last edited by keyboardworkout; 12-24-2013 at 07:53 AM. Reason: fix broken link
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  3. #3
    Registered User Milkahol's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by keyboardworkout View Post
    CFF also has out their new "Beast" combo yoke and half rack. Haven't seen a review yet.

    https://christiansfitnessfactory.com...the-beast.html

    I would skip the oly handles for a commercial facility. Go with fixed dumbbells or a few sets of Ironmasters.
    That thing is definitely awesome, but it's 2.5x the cost of the rogue yoke.

    If I were to get fixed dumbbells, do you think a set of 5-55 suffice for a training facility for independent trainers?
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    How will you win/keep clients if you lack basic equipment like power racks and a dumbbell rack? Have you thought about liability and insurance? If someone gets smacked in the face because a collar slipped off an olympic dumbbell handle, your business would likely be bankrupted by a lawsuit.
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  5. #5
    Registered User Milkahol's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by morebarbell View Post
    How will you win/keep clients if you lack basic equipment like power racks and a dumbbell rack? Have you thought about liability and insurance? If someone gets smacked in the face because a collar slipped off an olympic dumbbell handle, your business will likely be bankrupted by a lawsuit.
    Rogue yoke is a rack, and I will have dumbbells, just a discussion of what type. Yes I have, this is a consideration for dumbbell handles. Honestly, I am leaning toward fixed dumbbells despite their high cost/space requirement.
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    Originally Posted by Milkahol View Post
    That thing is definitely awesome, but it's 2.5x the cost of the rogue yoke.

    If I were to get fixed dumbbells, do you think a set of 5-55 suffice for a training facility for independent trainers?
    You will definitely need more than 55lbs.

    Your plans seem more geared towards a home gym. People don't want to pay money to have to adjust their own dumbbells, they can do that at home for cheaper.
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    Registered User Milkahol's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by kplee View Post
    You will definitely need more than 55lbs.

    Your plans seem more geared towards a home gym. People don't want to pay money to have to adjust their own dumbbells, they can do that at home for cheaper.
    How so besides the dumbbells? This gym is geared towards clients being trained by independent trainers, so i'm thinking not too many clients are going to kick back the 90#ers. That's what i'm figuring. So it's settled, i'm going to go with fixed dumbbells, just how much for this size/type of gym.
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    Originally Posted by Milkahol View Post
    Rogue yoke is a rack, and I will have dumbbells, just a discussion of what type. Yes I have, this is a consideration for dumbbell handles. Honestly, I am leaning toward fixed dumbbells despite their high cost/space requirement.
    The Y2 is a Yoke that can also be used as a squat stand. It's not a power rack. I agree with kplee that the equipment decisions seem more fitting for a home gym than a commercial gym.

    Originally Posted by kplee View Post
    You will definitely need more than 55lbs.

    Your plans seem more geared towards a home gym. People don't want to pay money to have to adjust their own dumbbells, they can do that at home for cheaper.
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    5'18" keyboardworkout's Avatar
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    Yokes are for gyms with atlas stones, logs, axles and circus dumbbells.

    Sounds like a prowler and a power rack would be better for you.
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    Registered User Milkahol's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by morebarbell View Post
    The Y2 is a Yoke that can also be used as a squat stand. It's not a power rack. I agree with kplee that the equipment decisions seem more fitting for a home gym than a commercial gym.
    A power rack is not necessary, and arguably isn't a whole lot safer. That is my experience and the experience of other gym owners I know of. Not too mention that I haven't seen many cross fitters or olympic lifters complain about a lack of power cages in their gyms either. You can put a pair of spotter arms on the yoke and make a half-rack out of it if that is desired, not to mention the clients would always have the trainer to spot them.

    What equipment would make it more commercial in your opinion?
    Last edited by Milkahol; 12-22-2013 at 02:48 PM.
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    Registered User Milkahol's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by keyboardworkout View Post
    Yokes are for gyms with atlas stones, logs, axles and circus dumbbells.

    Sounds like a prowler and a power rack would be better for you.
    I don't see why an effective piece of workout equipment has to be confined to a strongman only gym.

    The yoke is a couple hundred dollars less than a power rack, and you don't have to spend a couple hundred on a prowler to go with the rack.
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    The clients will not use dumbbells over 50 pounds but will use a yoke?

    Have you ever trained with a yoke? It's not something your average weight loss/weekend warrior client is going to be using.

    Sled or prowler, yes. Farmer's walks, yes. Yoke, no.
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    Originally Posted by keyboardworkout View Post
    The clients will not use dumbbells over 50 pounds but will use a yoke?

    Have you ever trained with a yoke? It's not something your average weight loss/weekend warrior client is going to be using.

    Sled or prowler, yes. Farmer's walks, yes. Yoke, no.
    It's an option for if someone can/wants to use it, doesn't mean they have to. It's simply provides extra versatility that comes with the awesome $515 price tag. It is far more economical to utilize the yoke as a sled/prowler than to buy a rack and a prowler.

    Sorry, I didn't mean the clients would never use above 55# dumbbells or that i'm not going to get above 55# dumbbells, i'm just trying to figure what amount/weight of dumbbells will suit the gym/clients well without dropping 5 grand on dumbbells initially, trying to keep the startup costs/investment low in the beginning. I agree 55# is too light. I'm thinking 5-75 initially, and i'll add more once things get going and i'm making a profit, and if people want heavier dumbbells.
    Last edited by Milkahol; 12-22-2013 at 02:39 PM.
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    Registered User Detrus's Avatar
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    I saw a college gym setup with rows of racks and each rack had a set of powerblocks next to it. Now this would be pretty convenient if they couldn't break. But I'm guessing with college football players using them, their life is short and they just replace them. Ironmasters would last but aren't as quick.

    Had the same idea for a commercial gym. Instead of a full rack of dumbbells, have multiple pairs of adjustable ones. You could have a rack of 5-55, then 70, 85, 100 fixed and adjustable handles for going heavier or getting smaller increments. Many crossfit gyms skimp on dumbbells, they'll have a few pairs but nothing like a globo gym.

    The yokes are versatile but you'll have to set up some as the S-2 to get pullup bar right? And you'll need some to be Y-1 because it's lighter. And you may still need a prowler/dogsled etc.

    It's a nice dream. But remember, whatever you save with the versatility of the Y-2 and adjustable dumbbells, you'll spend in a few months of rent/maintenance.
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    Buy fixed pro style DBS in 10lb increments and get 2 pairs of 2.5lb plate mates to save space and money.

    Ditch the Yoke. It is a wobbly POS and terrible excuse for a rack.
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    Also if that was your real space you'd get a longer track if you positioned it diagonally. 56' instead of 48'.

    I think a minimalist gym like this has to have a special angle for getting results. The main attraction would be moving sleds/yokes/farmers handles down that track.
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    Registered User Milkahol's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Detrus View Post
    I saw a college gym setup with rows of racks and each rack had a set of powerblocks next to it. Now this would be pretty convenient if they couldn't break. But I'm guessing with college football players using them, their life is short and they just replace them. Ironmasters would last but aren't as quick.

    Had the same idea for a commercial gym. Instead of a full rack of dumbbells, have multiple pairs of adjustable ones. You could have a rack of 5-55, then 70, 85, 100 fixed and adjustable handles for going heavier or getting smaller increments. Many crossfit gyms skimp on dumbbells, they'll have a few pairs but nothing like a globo gym.

    The yokes are versatile but you'll have to set up some as the S-2 to get pullup bar right? And you'll need some to be Y-1 because it's lighter. And you may still need a prowler/dogsled etc.

    It's a nice dream. But remember, whatever you save with the versatility of the Y-2 and adjustable dumbbells, you'll spend in a few months of rent/maintenance.
    Yah I can see the power blocks depreciating quite quickly. They aren't really made to be tossed around.

    You can just do pull-ups off of the crossmember. The Y1 is only 10 pounds lighter than the Y2, but the Y1 is a little low for pull-ups. I am thinking that I will make my own dogsleds for light/fast work, **** you could even chain up some tires and drag 'em haha.

    I don't understand your last statement?
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    Originally Posted by Detrus View Post
    Also if that was your real space you'd get a longer track if you positioned it diagonally. 56' instead of 48'.

    I think a minimalist gym like this has to have a special angle for getting results. The main attraction would be moving sleds/yokes/farmers handles down that track.
    Yah, I haven't really done a design for a diagonal track, i'll give it a shot and see how things fit.

    It would be a private facility for trainers, so yes it is angled for getting results.

    Originally Posted by GarageIron View Post
    Buy fixed pro style DBS in 10lb increments and get 2 pairs of 2.5lb plate mates to save space and money.

    Ditch the Yoke. It is a wobbly POS and terrible excuse for a rack.
    Good idea, thanks.

    You have used the rogue yoke before? I can't imagine it being that wobbly if you have a bunch of iron on the plate storage posts. Most people won't be doing real heavy squats off of it either. Hmm
    Last edited by Milkahol; 12-22-2013 at 03:07 PM.
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    Honestly, and I really don't mean to sound like an *******, but have you ever been a personal trainer, or worked in a commercial gym alongside personal trainers? You strike me as out-of-touch with that world.

    Some points off the top of my head:
    Many trainers are going to want a smith machine. In fact, although I'm a powerlifter and do 90% f my lifting free weight, I think it's a mistake to have 0 machines. Even just a combo leg extension/leg curl is good. We use ours in our gym all the time. Also a combo leg press/hack squat, and a combo pec deck/rear delt machine. These are movements that are not easily simulated with free weights, and complement free weight-based programs nicely.

    The vast, vast majority of personal training clients have no reason to use a yoke, keg, or atlas stones - in fact, many will find them just plain intimidating. How many soccer moms with 4 kids, whose goal it is to lose 25lbs, are going to want to start flipping dirty tractor tires or carrying huge cement balls around? Most personal trainers I know have their bread-and-butter weightloss and weekend warrior clients. You need to appeal to the clients you actually expect to have. I mean everybody wants to own a gym full of top-notch athletes and big badass guys who take things to the extreme... but is that a financially viable business plan? Probably not, at least not as a start-up. You actually said yourself that you don't see clients using Olympic movements that often.... but they're going to use kegs and yokes and tires? Most trainers I know have enough trouble getting clients to squat and deadlift, let alone start messing around with strongman equipment.

    And if you plan on having more than 1 rack, get all full 4- or 6-post racks, and get 1 yoke - you're not going to use strongman equipment nearly as often as you think you are. Also, the "illusion" of safety is important. Spotter or not, most people are going to feel more comfortable pushing their limits in a full power rack than a half rack.... especially some half rack/yoke that's not even bolted down. I would instead go with 3 full racks (with or without weight storage, though for me each rack would have its own weight storage - 2x2.5, 2x5, 4x10, 2x25, and as many 45s as you'd like), 1 halfrack/yoke combo, and 1 dedicated Olympic and/or deadlift platform.

    Also, although I love rowers, most people don't. I'd suggest 1 rower, and either an elliptical or a treadmill, for clients who prefer some light cardio as a warmup.

    Note that I'm not trying to be overly negative - I like alot of your ideas. I like a 90% free weight gym. I like the multiple racks, I like the rope/punching bag, I really, really like the indoor turf area. I also like the idea of replacing 1 rack with a deadlift platform.

    In short, if I were you, I'd try to talk to a few personal trainers and get their input on what they'd like to see. I think you have alot of good ideas, and a great start here, but you should consult with a few trainers and try to figure out exactly what they want, what you can afford, and how you can make those two things meet in the middle so everybody's happy.


    EDIT - for the record, I own my own home gym, and I train at a dedicated powerlifting facility. My coach trains personal training clients out of our team gym, everybody from high-school athletes to middle age couples trying to lose weight. Versatility is going to be crucial for your business, I feel.
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    Originally Posted by Milkahol View Post
    Yah, I haven't really done a design for a diagonal track, i'll give it a shot and see how things fit.

    It would be a private facility for trainers, so yes it is angled for getting results.



    Good idea, thanks.

    You have used the rogue yoke before? I can't imagine it being that wobbly if you have a bunch of iron on the plate storage posts. Most people won't be doing real heavy squats off of it either. Hmm
    I have not used it but seen a few. The top section is held together with hitch pins that allow you to slide it up and down. Those pins have a lot of play do not tightly secure the unit together like bolts would. This causes it to sway side to side. It works as a yoke, and that's it. You can load up as much weight on the pins as you want, it won't help.
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    Originally Posted by Milkahol View Post
    I have done quite a bit of research on various racks/rack setups/etc. I believe the Rogue Y2 offers a ton of versatility at a great price. You can use it as a rack, yoke, sled, prowler, and more. Hole spacing for squatting and benching, plate storage, various rogue attachments like the matador as a dip station, the list goes on. As you can tell, I kind of have a boner for this rack right now. I just want some opinions from you guys.
    I too was intrigued when I first heard about the Rogue's Yoke. As you say, it can be a versatile piece of equipment. But, if I were outfitting a gym, I'd get a bunch of power racks first. If I got any Yokes at all, they'd be probably be dedicated to use a a Yoke. The power racks will be more stable and your members won't have to carry it back from across the room (or parking lot) where some inconsiderate member last left it.
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    Dual purpose equipment is great for home gyms, work gyms or amateur sports clubs.

    I wouldn't be willing to pay money to work out at a commercial gym that didn't have the space or budget to buy dedicated equipment.

    My "commercial" powertec rack still has a bit of a wobble and it's 3x3 11g steel with weight storage, bolted into concrete. Doing dips on that rogue thing would turn your "matador" into a bull rider.
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    Originally Posted by Milkahol View Post
    Yah I can see the power blocks depreciating quite quickly. They aren't really made to be tossed around.

    You can just do pull-ups off of the crossmember. The Y1 is only 10 pounds lighter than the Y2, but the Y1 is a little low for pull-ups. I am thinking that I will make my own dogsleds for light/fast work, **** you could even chain up some tires and drag 'em haha.

    I don't understand your last statement?
    The Y-2 crossmember is very thick. More than 2". It's like doing pullups on a log. You'll need a normal thickness pullup bar.

    I don't know how much the Y-2 wobbles but yea it may be an issue. There are crossfit gyms that use them as half racks, so how bad can they be right?

    My last statement means the $3K difference between a few Yokes and a few power racks will be negligible. Rent and electricity is often $3K.
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    Thanks you for your replies, and thank you for your in depth response mstngvic.

    It sounds like the layout is good, the deadlift/olympic lift platform is good, just some equipment reconsiderations, specifically with the racks.

    If you guys were outfitting the gym, what 'core' pieces of equipment would you choose, specifically? (Racks, sleds, amount/weight of dumbbells, other pieces of equipment that you find necessary for a gym like this) Keep in mind i'm not looking to sell my testicles to build the gym.. so please refrain from suggesting the $10,000 elitefts signature rack.
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    Where do I sign up? This place sounds awesome!
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    Milkahol,

    Here are some pics from Empower3's Facebook page. Notice who is using the power racks and how they are being used. This is what the clientele look like at most personal training facilities.

    http://phoenix.craigslist.org/evl/spo/4194769964.html

    https://www.facebook.com/empower3fitness/photos_stream



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    Originally Posted by keyboardworkout View Post
    Hmm... very expensive push up handles.
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    Originally Posted by keyboardworkout View Post
    Milkahol,

    Here are some pics from Empower3's Facebook page. Notice who is using the power racks and how they are being used. This is what the clientele look like at most personal training facilities.

    http://phoenix.craigslist.org/evl/spo/4194769964.html

    https://www.facebook.com/empower3fitness/photos_stream
    What is your point? Is this still about the strongman equipment/yoke?

    Originally Posted by jdforsy View Post
    Where do I sign up? This place sounds awesome!
    Thanks man!

    Originally Posted by KBKB View Post
    I too was intrigued when I first heard about the Rogue's Yoke. As you say, it can be a versatile piece of equipment. But, if I were outfitting a gym, I'd get a bunch of power racks first. If I got any Yokes at all, they'd be probably be dedicated to use a a Yoke. The power racks will be more stable and your members won't have to carry it back from across the room (or parking lot) where some inconsiderate member last left it.
    This would be a trainers only gym, so I could sort that problem out quickly, but I hear what you're saying.

    I'm still not entirely convinced on the full power rack, but what are your views on the Rogue R3:
    Last edited by Milkahol; 12-23-2013 at 11:09 AM.
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    Originally Posted by Milkahol View Post
    What is your point? Is this still about the strongman equipment/yoke?



    Thanks man!



    This would be a trainers only gym, so I could sort that problem out quickly, but I hear what you're saying.

    I'm still not entirely convinced on the full power rack, but what are your views on the Rogue R3:
    Rogue is considered to be quality equipment. Many CrossFit gyms are outfitted entirely with Rogue equipment, many of which have R3 racks or the Infinity rig (same materials).
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