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  1. #1
    J.D. Shipley's Avatar
    J.D. Shipley is offline Owner, Starting Strength Houston
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    Default Starting Strength Houston

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    Hey guys, with Rip and Ray's recent article updating the progress on the Starting Strength Gyms, I thought I'd put some background and personal information out there on Starting Strength Houston. My name is JD Shipley and I've signed up for 2 gyms in the Houston area - with as many more make sense after that.

    I started with Stronglifts 5x5 and the more I read, the more Mark Rippetoe and Starting Strength kept popping up. Coming from an engineering background, seeing a lift distilled down to a free-body diagram blew my mind - I just couldn't argue against the physics and logic used to explain the how's and why's behind it all. So, I got some coaching and signed up for SSOC. I got stronger, though still nowhere near what I think a guy my size should be but I'm slugging through it. I've put on 35lb and my back has never felt better.

    Through the process I experienced not only the physical, but more importantly (for me), the mental aspects of training. As the difficulty increased, so did my confidence and my willingness to overcome it - and this bled into all aspects of my life. During this time, I came back to my faith and was struggling with answering the question "How do I honor God in what I do?" because, at the time, my heart was not in my work. The answer I found, was a calling to help others get strong and experience the myriad of benefits that accompany it.

    I eventually quit my day job to focus on coaching full time (in order to obtain my SSC) and open a gym. It was around this time that the franchise gyms were announced. I was faced with a decision - start my own gym, from scratch, myself, with no real experience OR start a franchise gym. The more I spoke with the Ray and his team, the more I realized the franchise was the only [smart] way to go. Being a franchisee gives me access to expertise and support that I would not have been able to source on my own, not right out of the gate.

    At this point in time, we have shortlisted 2 areas in Houston and we're currently in lease negotiations. We expect to open by early summer this year and have lined up the best coaching staff that Starting Strength has to offer, bar none. I'm really close to announcing names shortly and am extremely excited to do so.

    Please let me know what questions you may have for me!

  2. #2
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    Good Luck JD! I hope only for the best for you. (This is Dave btw, the guy you kept kicking under the table at the SS Seminar at the start of the month).

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    Congratulations JD - a great story! I wish you all the success in your venture with SS gyms. It's sure to be a success judging simply by the passion that evokes from your words above.

  4. #4
    Ray Gillenwater's Avatar
    Ray Gillenwater is offline Administrator, Starting Strength Gyms
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    I predict that the closest all-you-can-eat restaurant will raise its prices within 30 days of the gym opening, thanks to one of the members of your yet-to-be-announced coaching staff.

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    Quote Originally Posted by J.D. Shipley View Post
    As the difficulty increased, so did my confidence and my willingness to overcome it - and this bled into all aspects of my life. During this time, I came back to my faith and was struggling with answering the question "How do I honor God in what I do?" because, at the time, my heart was not in my work. The answer I found, was a calling to help others get strong and experience the myriad of benefits that accompany it.
    Short answer? Philippians 4:13 I can do all things throughChrist who strengthens me.

    Muscular Christianity in action.

  6. #6
    J.D. Shipley's Avatar
    J.D. Shipley is offline Owner, Starting Strength Houston
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    Ha, really sorry about all the kicking. Thanks for the well wishes!

  7. #7
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    When will you announce the locations? I'm on your email list and you've hinted at one in the Katy area, if I'm reading your emails right.

  8. #8
    J.D. Shipley's Avatar
    J.D. Shipley is offline Owner, Starting Strength Houston
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    CPA, apologies for the delay in responding. The last update email hinted at a location inside the 610 Loop along the 59 corridor. The Letter of Intent for the lease is approved and now we're working on getting the lease finalized.

    We looked all over town - Katy, Spring Branch, Energy Corridor, Sugarland, Pearland, Galleria, Heights, West U., Midtown, Humble, Cypress, The Woodlands. This location is the best one for the first location because it allows us to serve as much as Houston as possible with one gym.

    We do know that we can't serve all of Houston, that's why more gyms are forthcoming later down the road.

    Does inside the loop (on the SW side) work for you?

  9. #9
    J.D. Shipley's Avatar
    J.D. Shipley is offline Owner, Starting Strength Houston
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    First response to prospective Landlord's lease has just been submitted! Amazing how long this process takes, but we're pushing through it as hard as possible. Want to get open as soon as possible...

  10. #10
    Ray Gillenwater's Avatar
    Ray Gillenwater is offline Administrator, Starting Strength Gyms
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    starting strength coach development program
    Quote Originally Posted by J.D. Shipley View Post
    First response to prospective Landlord's lease has just been submitted! Amazing how long this process takes, but we're pushing through it as hard as possible. Want to get open as soon as possible...
    Iím looking forward to coming out to see you and the space in two weeks!

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