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Thread: Starting Strength Request Trends

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2021

    Default Starting Strength Request Trends

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    Perhaps this question has been raised numerous times elsewhere, and if so, please point me to those threads...

    Let's get right to it: How is Starting Strength doing, from a business perspective? Specifically, I want to know: are SS gyms and coaches turning away more clients than they can handle (exponential growth), or is business simply growing steadily (linear growth)? I've seen a few SS videos from a number of years ago wherein coaches were mentioning they were being flooded with requests, but were unable to take on more clients because they simply didn't have the time. Obviously (or maybe not) this can't be the case for EVERY coach/gym, but I'd imagine for a number of coaches/gyms this may be accurate. Is this, indeed, the case? Likewise, how many requests does SS get - per month - for new gyms to open in their area, or nearby coaches? Would love to understand a few more of the business insights, if possible. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    North Texas


    We are growing in a slow, steady, manageable way. Considering the current social and business climate, we are pleased.

  3. #3
    Ray Gillenwater's Avatar
    Ray Gillenwater is offline Administrator, Starting Strength Gyms
    Starting Strength Coach
    Join Date
    Aug 2017


    Growth of the brand:
    • Currently producing 35M annual impressions online, organically - this is extreme outlier performance
    • Each gym produces ~11M annual impressions, offline
    • With eight gyms opened, the gyms are currently producing ~88M annual impressions
    • We'll have 15 gyms opened by Jan, which puts us at ~164M
    • We've signed 25 gyms, and when they're all opened (likely in 2022), we'll be at ~274M
    • When we hit our goal of 100 in five years, Starting Strength Gyms will generate over 1B impressions annually, from our storefront signs alone

    Growth of the franchise:
    • Started 2021 with 4 gyms opened
    • By end of summer we were at 8
    • By Jan 2022, we'll be at 15
    • It's hard to predict next year, but I think doubling to 30 is feasible
    • The week prior to the Coaches Conference we had 22 gyms signed, we hit 24 before the conference started, 25 by the end of the weekend, with a 26th committed to the following week
    • We're getting 2-3 inquiries per week from prospective franchise owners

    Growth of the gyms:
    • We're limited in what we can state publicly about our performance due to FTC franchise regulations - if you are interested in opening a franchise, go to and punch in your info - we can share our disclosure documents with you that have limited financial performance information, per gym
    • Gyms are charging $315-455/month for coaching 3x/week
    • If you go to each open gym's website and try to sign up, you can get a sense for what percentage of their sessions are sold out
    • Every franchise owner that's had a gym opened for one year or more has either already opened a second gym, signed for a second gym, or is searching for a second gym
    • Brent Carter and his business partner Andrew have purchased 5 gyms and have committed to 20, based on the performance of their first two

    I've been a part of several fast growth companies with big funding and big marketing budgets. I've never seen a brand grow like this organically. It's what happens when a product or service comes to market that is far superior to anything in its category. Like what Tesla did to the premium sedan category with the Model S, or what Apple did to the Smartphone industry with the iPhone.

    It makes sense if you step back and think about it big picture. The fitness industry is massive. The gym business alone is $87B globally. Why? Because not being sedentary is better than being sedentary. However, "not being sedentary" is much less attractive than "getting stronger than you thought was possible." For the demographic that cares about investing time and money wisely in their health and fitness, there is nothing else on the market that comes close to what Starting Strength can do. Our biggest problem is that only a small percentage of the market is aware of this. 1B annual impressions will help spread the word. It already has: gyms are reporting 10%+ of their sign ups just from the storefront signs.
    Last edited by Ray Gillenwater; 10-05-2021 at 11:54 AM.


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