We all know what a timeshare is. And many of us are familiar with Uber. Because home gyms are nothing new, they have been around before the Internet came along. But like anything else post-Internet, home gyms, and garage gyms especially, have become more and more popular and in the public’s eye thanks to social media.
It is no surprise that garage gym owners are expanding their reach by becoming small businesses. The Crossfit mainsite and Starting Strength.com have both allowed home gyms to list themselves as official training facilities which Tools are springing up that are making this easier for the garage gym owner, in this article we will cover two of those tools.
Have you ever had people come over to work out with you in your home gym, booked an Uber or stayed at an AirBnB? Maybe you’ve made appointments online for a doctor visit, oil changes, or a restaurant reservation.
Garage Gym Magazine reached out to the developers of AirGym, an app launching in June 2018, and Opusls, a website that’s also in development for IOS and Android apps. The two similar brands seeking to bring garage gym owners together with like-minded guests who want to workout in a different kind of environment.
Both platforms are similar in that both want to bring garage gym owners together with guests who may want to work out someplace different, or other than in a traditional big box franchised gym. The kicker is, like a timeshare, the home gym owner may not be at home when the guest is present.
A basic introduction and how it works from AirGym and Opusls –
“AirGym is a mobile app platform that allows home gym/fitness owners to host their space and make money on it. If you have weights, a Crossfit setup, yoga, martial arts or anything that you feel people could use to workout, this is the app for you. Home Gym Owners will download the app, sign up and post pictures of their fitness space with a description of their equipment. Members will be able to see pictures and choose a time slot that the owner establishes and comes workout. All payments happen automatically through the app.” To sign up for more information and updates, go to airgym.com.
“Opusls is short for Opus Lifestyle (Opus is the Latin word for “work” – work lifestyle). To get started all you have to do is register an account. From there, you can list or book a gym. All bookings must first be approved by the gym owner, to give them some time to vet the potential guest. This ensures that gym owners feel comfortable with whoever comes to their gym. Payments are made upon booking request, but not paid to the owner until at least a day after the booking is complete. Our priority is to make sure gym owners feel safe and comfortable letting strangers into their home. After all, they are the glue that holds this business model together.”
Is there a screening process for garage gym owners?
AirGym verifies addresses and will do a background check. Currently, they are using CCAP (an online circuit court of appeals database) for address verifications and background checks but are also looking into a company to do this process for them.
Opusls will leave it up to garage gym owners and guests to perform their own vetting process. Garage gym owners and guests can check out each other’s social media profiles and Opusls currently uses stripe.com as their payment service which also provides a built-in fraud prevention system. Garage gym owners addresses are never displayed publicly but will be emailed to the guest when an appointment is booked.
How will the guests be reassured that they are safe and going to a legit home/garage gym?
AirGym – “We will have double verification process of the AirGym Owners. But, this also comes down to a guest’s review of the AirGym Owners, pictures and descriptions of where the AirGym is located. Some people may not feel comfortable working out in someone’s attic or spare bedroom, that’s okay. You will be able to choose another AirGym.”
Opusls – “Just like with the owner vetting potential guests before accepting, guests must take it upon themselves to check out the owner’s profile and gym. Adding images to the listing, a profile picture and detailed gym description will help a lot. This, paired up with Stripes fraud prevention system, ensures a safe and worry-free environment for all guests.”
Why did you choose the Airbnb model for your app rather than simply creating a database of certified training centers for clients to look up like what the CrossFit main site, starting strongman.com and Powerlifting federations late USAPL and USPA have done?
AirGym – “I think in terms of being frictionless. Apps are the vehicle and platform that people are used to. We want to give people the option to see what AirGym is about through the website and if they are interested they can sign up.”
Opusls – “We chose the Airbnb model versus a database for certified centers because I personally know how expensive home gyms can be. We want to help support the owners financially, giving them the opportunity to expand their lifestyle.”
What is the major factor in people who have signed up being willing to open up their homes to complete strangers?
AirGym – “They like the idea and they aren’t scared of meeting new people who have similar interests. So much of social media and main stream broadcasts, these days, is predicated by fear. This is sad because the majority of people in this world are really good people. Airbnb has broken this mindset and they are building communities in very exciting ways. AirGym hopes we can add to communities in the same way.”
Opusls – “People who sign up and are willing to list their gym have a strong degree of trust in Opusls. They know we have their back, through thick and thin.”
Is this going to be open to people from other countries? If that’s the case does the insurance cover international travelers as well?
AirGym – “The app will be available to people from other countries. We are working with a couple of insurance companies on this exact topic.”
Opusls – “Our insurance covers all home gym owners on our platform, no matter what country they are in. This is the same for all guests.”
International travelers means dealing with VAT and other taxes along with currency exchange rates. What payment methods do you accept?
AirGym – “We have chosen Stripe as our payment processor as this is the most efficient way for owners to get paid. There are multiple options to get paid out and they take into consideration the exchange rates.”
Opusls – “Our payment service provider, Stripe, covers all discrepencies that may occur with international payments. We work closely with them to provide owners and guests with the simplest payments and payouts.”
Are the home gym owner addresses displayed publicly to subscribers only or to anyone who goes on the website?
AirGym – “The exact location of an AirGym is given once someone books the home gym.”
Opusls – “Home gym addresses are not displayed publicly. They are only given out to the guest (privately and directly) once their booking has been confirmed by the owner.”
Is the AirGym app free or does it cost money on top of the fee paid to rent a facility?
AirGym – “The AirGym app is going to be free for everyone.”
Opusls – “Opusls is totally free to use, excluding of course, booking a gym. There is NO registration fee for the owner or guest.”
A little more about AirGym
Chris Daskam was born in Indiana to two great parents who worked their tails off to provide a healthy and supportive upbringing. Chris used to watch his Dad workout at home for years and this played into him wanting to be active and healthy. Chris played all sports growing up and was an avid speed junkie on roller blades, BMX bikes, skateboards and anything that would go fast. Chris has completed three Tough Mudders and earned his Black Belt in Karate along with being trained in all weapons.
AirGym was established in 2017 when his neighbors invited Chris to workout in their Garage Gym. They had a squat rack, bench, dumbbells, barbells, pull up bar, whiteboard, fridge, and more. He was able to walk home, which is right next door, and was showing? when the idea hit him. Chris immediately started doing his research.
AirGym app plans to launch June 10th and will host a launch party in Chris’s neighborhood with other AirGym owners featuring a circuit training session between three home gyms!
A little more about Opusls
Matthew Wolfe is one of the co-founders of Opusls. He is from Hamiton, Ontario, a city just outside Toronto. Michael is an experienced computer programmer and web developer who has a passion for bodybuilding. As a result of these two passions, he came up with the idea of sharing home gyms. He is also a home gym owner and knows how expensive it can be to set up and maintain your own space.
Opus Lifestyle is currently a website but they are in the development phases of creating an IOS and Android app.
Currently, Opusls is involved as a sponsor for the Garage Gym Competition hosted by @gray_matter_lifting.
To sign up as a home gym owner or guest, go to opusls.com