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  1. #21
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    • texas starting strength seminar september 2020
    • wichita falls texas december seminar 2020
    Hey Ray. Any updates on SSLA? Iím gunning for an apprenticeship.

  2. #22
    Ray Gillenwater's Avatar
    Ray Gillenwater is offline Administrator, Starting Strength Gyms
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    Quote Originally Posted by braydenw View Post
    Hey Ray. Any updates on SSLA? Iím gunning for an apprenticeship.
    Hi Brayden- We are hunting for the perfect location.

    Glad to hear youíre looking to apprentice. Noah has received dozens of inquiries from apprentice prospects. I recommend emailing him (nebner [at] startingstrengthgyms.com) and making your best case for why youíre the highest potential candidate. Franchise owners like to see skill (capacity to lead, communication style, presence, capacity to learn) and will (passion for SS, initiative being taken in reading the books, doing the program, signing up for the prep course) when evaluating coaching prospects.

    Hope that helps and good luck.

  3. #23
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    Ray Gillenwater is offline Administrator, Starting Strength Gyms
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    After 2+ months of forced closures, it is more clear than ever that there is significant demand for Starting Strength in a clean, well-spaced environment. Franchise owners are aggressively moving forward with opening new gyms.

    Lease negotiation stage:
    • Chicago

    Letter of Intent negotiation stage:
    • Houston #2
    • Los Angeles
    • Boston

    Active real estate search stage:
    • Dallas #2

    Exploratory stage:
    • Austin #2
    • Soon-to-be-announced city #1
    • Soon-to-be-announced city #2

    Paradoxically, I believe this is a tough time to be in the online fitness space - too much noise. But I believe it's a good time to be in the retail gym business, provided the model doesn't depend on packing dozens of people into a small room.

  4. #24
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    Ray Gillenwater is offline Administrator, Starting Strength Gyms
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    The gyms have been re-opened for ~6 weeks now. Performance is strong. We have to submit our numbers to the FTC before I can disclose them, but we are very pleased with how quickly the gyms recovered from Covid closures and are now surpassing previous records.

    I'm guessing it's a combination of:
    • Pent up demand from stay at home orders - people are anxious to train
    • Permanent gym closures - fewer places to train
    • Fear of training at bigger, busier, dirtier facilities - we have 11' of space between each trainee
    • Momentum and awareness spreading about Starting Strength success stories in each city
    • Fatigue from virtual interactions - people are craving in person connection

    We were also happy to see this Finnish study reinforce our belief that it's possible to run a small, clean gym without contributing to the spread of COVID-19: ďConclusions: Provided good hygiene and social distancing measures, there was no increased COVID-19 spread at training facilities.Ē


    Also, CONGRATS to Starting Strength Houston owner JD Shipley for passing the platform exam!

  5. #25
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    Great news, Ray! I am glad to hear the SS Gym business model is successful in spite of all this nonsense.

    Now, when will you be opening a second SS Houston gym further Southeast, in the Space Center area? SS Houston and Andy Baker are too far from me to train consistently.

  6. #26
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    Many training options to chose from.
    Kinda like Chefs have different recipes for the same dish of Pasta.
    SS is just a training program. It’s one of many that are available.
    If someone wants to open a Gym are they forbidden from using some of SS programs?
    Not sure of the advantages to name it SS?
    It kind of boxes a business in only one format.
    Like if you opened a grocery store and didn’t offer Pork or Milk?
    I like the program as a tool in the tool box. But just don’t get the one way approach?
    High end equipment and professional environment plus hands on attention with training is very important to some people.
    But only offering one type of programming seems odd in today’s economic situation
    In other words putting your eggs in one basket limits your outreach

  7. #27
    Ray Gillenwater's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Schexnayder View Post
    Now, when will you be opening a second SS Houston gym further Southeast, in the Space Center area? SS Houston and Andy Baker are too far from me to train consistently.
    Much appreciated. Gym 2 in Houston is underway. Real estate is close to being secured. Get on JD's mailing list for updates? houston.ssgyms.com

    Quote Originally Posted by Jump 22 View Post
    Many training options to chose from.
    Kinda like Chefs have different recipes for the same dish of Pasta.
    SS is just a training program. Itís one of many that are available.
    Insightful.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jump 22 View Post
    If someone wants to open a Gym are they forbidden from using some of SS programs?
    Yes. Rippetoe will drop Thor's hammer on anyone that dares use our method.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jump 22 View Post
    Not sure of the advantages to name it SS?
    Can you make a few guesses?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jump 22 View Post
    It kind of boxes a business in only one format.
    Like if you opened a grocery store and didnít offer Pork or Milk?
    In this analogy, what are the pork and milk items that we are missing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jump 22 View Post
    I like the program as a tool in the tool box. But just donít get the one way approach?
    What's your height/weight/squat/press/deadlift? I'm not aware of anyone with a 405 deadlift that doesn't understand why strength is the toolbox.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jump 22 View Post
    High end equipment and professional environment plus hands on attention with training is very important to some people.
    But only offering one type of programming seems odd in todayís economic situation
    In other words putting your eggs in one basket limits your outreach
    What would you offer? At what price? To whom? How would you communicate to them? What results would you provide those people that are different/better than getting stronger?

    People that broadcast their opinions in the absence of practical experience are the source of many of society's problems. Repent. It's not too late!

  8. #28
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    This is GREAT news Ray. And congrats to JD on both passing the platform and moving forward with a second location. Looking forward to watching the post COVID SS gyms boom market!

  9. #29
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    Akron, OH
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jump 22 View Post
    Many training options to chose from.
    Kinda like Chefs have different recipes for the same dish of Pasta.
    SS is just a training program. It’s one of many that are available.
    If someone wants to open a Gym are they forbidden from using some of SS programs?
    Not sure of the advantages to name it SS?
    It kind of boxes a business in only one format.
    Like if you opened a grocery store and didn’t offer Pork or Milk?
    I like the program as a tool in the tool box. But just don’t get the one way approach?
    High end equipment and professional environment plus hands on attention with training is very important to some people.
    But only offering one type of programming seems odd in today’s economic situation
    In other words putting your eggs in one basket limits your outreach
    What if you opened a grocery store that only sold the best goddamn pork in the country? Your overhead would be low. Your time would be devoted to a core offering. You wouldn't be dealing with low price up items. You'd have a special thing that Walmart doesn't. People would pay top dollar for your pork and because people like they make good money, recessions don't impact them as much.

    What if you got so good with that pork that people cooking pork wanted to come to your website to ask you questions about pork and pork recipes? You could write a book about pork and develop a following of people who love pork and pork recipes who would then be interested in buying your pork because they know how good and valuable it is. You could hold seminars on how to identify and cook good pork, and those people would want to go to your grocery stores and buy more pork.

    If you were good enough, you could open pork stores all over the country (and call them SS pork) with people who have become infatuated with your high quality pork and pork recipes. Everyone who doesn't like it can go to Walmart if they like.

    Of course, anyone else can buy the same pigs you do, but you know how to cut the pig in the best way, which is why you don't give a shit if the butcher at Planet Porkness tries to sell your type of pork. You know how to do it best, and at the end of the day, you want people to eat good pork, because it's what's right and good.

  10. #30
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    Jul 2020
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    Eastern NC
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    starting strength coach development program
    I am in Eastern NC and very excited at the possibility of an SS: Raleigh. I would be highly interested in an apprenticeship there, or more, depending on my status at the time. I'm currently studying the method in hopes of pursuing the credential next year.

    Following this thread closely! Looking forward to hearing more success stories with the SS gyms. An excellent business model.

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