The Gym

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I attended my first condo meeting last night at the building.

They talked budget and some various issues. I found out my building has a tremendous cash reserve, and according to our accountant this is very rare for buildings in Hoboken that are our size (we have about 100 units).

I brought up, at the end of the meeting, the gym.

The gym in our building is about 500 sq feet, with equipment from the days when Pauly Shore was on TV. It is simply in dire need of refurbishment, everything should be replaced in my opinion. What they have currently is:

1. One elliptical machine (this is less than 5 years old).
2. Two treadmills (one in good shape, the other in fair-to-poor shape).
3. A Smith Press.
4. A Rack Cage.
5. Two adjustable benches.
6. One flat bench (in bad shape).
7. A set of hex metal dumbbells from 5-50 (very poor shape).
8. Two olympic bars, with full plate sets (one is on smith press, other in rack cage).
9. One multi-gym with leg press, bench press, lat bar pull down, leg raise/bar dip station.

Now if these were brand-new, i'd be floored. But you need to, dear reader, use your imagination here. They are at least 20 years old and very much used. I would hazard if everything was sold, i'd get about $5,000 for everything. You look around and just think, "This stuff is junk".

That's where I come in. The board wants to hear a proposal by me about how to upgrade the gym. They agree that the gym is great for the tenants, and a good investment. A key for selling or renting our units would be a good gym in our building. Even owners who may not directly use the gym can benefit from part of their maintenence costs going into repair/upgrade of common use items. Even at $10 per month per owner that would be $12,000 a year we could sink into upgrading the gym.

I don't have a budget (yet), but i'm trying to figure out a cost-effective solution.

What i'd like, in my dream of dreams, is to create a mini "Club H". I really like the gym, and the equipment they have. But I don't have $200,000 to replace everything. I will hazard that I have more like $50,000 to replace the equipment.

If I were to identify five key things to upgrade this is what i'd do:

1. Replace the flooring with rubber gym mats & repaint the entire room.
2. Replace one or two treadmills.
3. Buy a straight bar & an EZ bar that can be used with the plates used with the Olympic bars. I want to combine all the bars so that they just need one plate set to be used for each bar, rather than the monstrousity that they have now.
4. Replace the flat bench, adjustable benches, and roman chair. Buy one upright bench (I have used adjustable benches before and they can't match a good upright bench).
5. Replace the dumbbell set with a rubber hex set from 5-100, with a dumbbell rack.

New (gym strength, not home) treadmills can cost like $3,000-8,000 each. Buying dumbbells, from what i'm told, its just best to to go a sporting goods store and buy them there. Anyone know maybe a gym outlet store that sells wholesale? Maybe I could buy used gym equipment?

To me, those would be the most important replacements, because they are the most used items in a gym. Most people I see at Club H want a good treadmill or elliptical machine. With a good dumbbell, barbell and proper benches you can do an entire workout routine, you don't need machines (but i'd love to replace all of them, if I had the funds).

I have to also take into consideration all the owners. What would they like in a gym? I'm a guy, so my needs may be different than someone else.

If I had unlimited funds, i'd love to replace the smith press, cage, multi-gym and stations, too. But I have a feeling my five key upgrades alone will reach $50,000. Suggestions are welcome here!

1 Comment

If it were me? I'd call GymSource ( in Paramus and have them come out and do a free gymsite design and see what they recommend. If one of the treadmill is in good shape, and so is the elliptical, maybe what I'd do is put dump the broken treadmill in favor of a stationary bike (maybe even a recumbent?) and possibly a Cybex Total Arc Trainer. Both machines together will be no more than $10,000. Cardio is always in high demand at NYSC and 4 cardio machines doesn't seem like overkill with 100 units and god knows how many people. It is worth spending money on these because they have lots of moving parts and take a beating.

Putting rubber on the floor and painting is a no-brainer. No idea how much this would cost.

Benches/roman chair etc. at most should be a couple hundred apiece. Definitely replace if they are broken/stuffing coming out/etc.

I don't see how your current metal hex dumbbell set can be unusable/bad shape. These last forever! If they are dinged up from someone dropping them, that just adds macho factor and isn't a reason to get rid of them. If you want a new rubber set because you want from 50-100, that's a different story. I'd probably buy the new set and rack in addition to (not instead of) the old set and rack. Is the old set complete? If you are seeking to be inclusive, the women in the building might appreciate the inclusion of 2 and 3 pound dumbbells instead of going straight to 5, however, the worry I would have at a gym that doesn't have supervision is that small things like dumbbells might walk away. For that reason I think the money is better spent on a multi-station weight gym where the weights are built in to the racks.

A smith press can be had even at Modell's for $1,000. But then you have to deal with delivery and setup yourself.

You should've sent all those mirrored walls you took out of your apartment to your building's gym. Mirrors, to me, are critical for me to check my form and not blow out my back.

Your building has dealt with the liability issue of an unsupervised gym, right?

Did you want some sort of music there? I find it hard to lift with wires and iPods and the like strapped to me and prefer overhead music.

I'd also make sure you left an area for stretching/ab work so you don't have to plop on the floor in the middle of everything else. Some of those core fitness balls/medicine balls are cheap and good for this area.

Just my $.02.

Good luck! Sounds like a fun project!

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This page contains a single entry by Furey published on June 5, 2007 12:28 AM.

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