Creation and Opening of a Gym – 2XL Powerlifting LLC

Creation and Opening of a Gym – 2XL Powerlifting LLC

Jul 5, 2014


^^It’s all fun and games until the mops and sponges come out…

Our previous training facility for Team Stone was a great personal training facility called Right-Fit.  After years of success by both, schedules began to conflict and it became time for us to find a new home.  Instead of finding another space to share, team captain Eric Stone, World Champion powerlifter Joe Atef, and this broken down old man (your’s truly) decided to set up a partnership, find a location, and open a gym.

There were two things that happened first – 1) starting the official business; and, 2) setting up a partnership agreement.  First, Illinois has a great LLC law and protections, so we decided that we would use the name of the website that I owned as the name for the gym – it made it easier to establish.  We have discussed whether it was the best approach – I mean, 2XL Powerlifting LLC – does it really pack a punch like many of the other gyms out there?  From a business perspective, we needed to decide what our purpose is in the development of the business.  Are we out there to be another powerlifting gym?  Or, are we out there to do something more?  Equally important, and deserving of its own article, is the partnership agreement!


^^The presently-being-built-out site for the new gym

We opted for something more.  A training center where we can both train as Team Stone, but also provide personal strength training, powerlifting/health/nutrition seminars, a location where lifters who have not used competition equipment before can learn or experience them, such as the monolift – even visiting teams (ie: we have had a lot of crossfit teams enter into local meets), and access for other trainers to use for strength training.   We have no intention of being a ‘full time’ gym, but, instead, open for training hours only as a private gym.

The search was interesting for several reasons.  First relates to local codes and the second relates to the cost per square foot per year.  The amount stated is not the total when you are looking at spaces.  For instance, $15/square foot per year may turn into $18-20/sq ft/yr with adders, commission and taxes.  At such times you have to balance space with the overall cost and location.  Do you want an industrial warehouse or a storefront?  Is there enough parking?  What kind of reaction would you have from your neighbors?  What are the costs associated with opening the facility?

We actually spent several months searching in the area that we were interested in – the Chicago suburban powerlifting gyms were all outside 20 miles from the area of our search.  Our find was a bit of a surprise – a storefront at 3600 sq foot including an open main space of 60×45 feet and storage/office/bathroom area of 14×45 feet.  The objective was also a minimum amount of work and we obtained a ‘special lease’ which provided a good rate.  The cost of the storefront is offset by a large parking lot, 24 hour security, and easy convenience to the intersection of I-88 and I-355.


The challenges associated with opening a gym in a mall location are very interesting.  From the standpoint of insurance requirements to working with neighbors that may not necessarily appreciate a good deadlift day or loud music, and the leases do include stipulations related to these.  On the other hand, a gym with a good deli located next door…


^^Moving cable machines purchased from another gym.

The good news is that we both had most of the equipment and we were able to obtain insurance and other equipment to flesh out our training capabilities quickly.  We were also able to obtain a used floor in the form of artificial turf and rubber flooring to cover the existing floor.


^^Even powerlifters need a little help!  In this case, a fork truck and driver to load the 93 ft artificial turf and flooring into the 26 ft lift-gate truck.


^^Planning how to grab the flooring from another gym in the process of moving.


^^ Grabbing some of our accessory equipment from storage for the move to Team Stone’s new home!


^^Removing collapsing veneer and scraping the walls in preparation of a coat of paint.


^^Some of the July 5th Moving Crew

We have decided to add a few additional features for our training team.  This includes: high speed internet to allow streaming during competitions; a 51 inch screen for critiquing lifts; strong-man equipment; sleds and prowlers; we do have a request for cardio equipment, but have not obtained that yet.

Following our clean-up and basic work, the city then makes it’s decision in the form of a certificate of occupancy.  Assuming that goes well, we hope to open for accessory training the evening of Monday, August 4, 2014, with a proposed schedule of (subject to change):

Mondays: Morning 9-noon and 5-9pm for accessory training

Wednesdays: Morning 9-noon and 5-9pm for deadlift training

Fridays: 5-9pm for bench training

Sundays: 9-noon for squat training

Our plan is to also post other times that the space will be occupied for additional accessory training.

One Saturday each month will be set aside for seminar/guest training.


Our first training session will be the Ernie Frantz Deadlift Clinic, followed by an unsanctioned deadlift competition and then an open house for people to check out the equipment and get in a quick workout.  Details can be found at



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  1. John Mason /

    I would like to speak to you on behalf of Brady Stewart in regard to supplementation.
    We can arrange a conference call amongst all parties to discuss the benefits of particular daily regimens as well as the additional revenue it will generate..

    John Mason
    Performance & Recovery

  2. Betty Ebben /

    Very excited for your new combined efforts! Hope it’s all you dreamed of, and more!

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