Welcome to our monthly customer profile. This spring we are speaking with Claude Mumpower III, owner of Iron Mayhem Strength and Conditioning in Bristol, Virginia. He brings an optimistic, growth-focused perspective we are excited to share with you.
Lessons learned while growing a gym
Mumpower established Iron Mayhem in 2014 after retiring from a career in law enforcement. His first fitness center maxed out at 2,000 square feet, which he quickly outgrew. Unfortunately, Mumpower jumped into his next location without vetting the lease and found an expensive secondary agreement that cost him both time and money. Using that mistake as a lesson learned, he tackled his newest location carefully and deliberately. Read this blog for more details on his approach to signing a tenant-friendly lease. Now he runs an 11,000-square-foot, 24/7 powerlifting gym with a national reputation for hosting major events. And, he enjoys space to grow — this spring he is adding 3,000 square feet of MMA and cardio classroom space.
Current challenges as a gym owner
Since Mumpower installed Gym Insight software, “the gym’s run itself,” he says. Currently, he manages the 24/7 fitness center by himself, with no other employees. It’s not an ideal option, he agrees. But he’s had a tough time finding steady help. Instead, he trades out jobs for breaks on memberships and tries to take care of his people.
What kind of gym is Iron Mayhem?
It is, first and foremost, a strength and conditioning gym, Mumpower asserts. “We are not like a normal gym… Strongman, body building… we are set up for all that stuff.” That being said, only about 10 percent of his member base actually participate in Strongman competitions or are high-level lifters. Yet, that image attracts the other 90 percent, who love exercising around heavy hitters.
To accommodate both styles of exerciser, Mumpower divides his gym into separate spaces, with cardio and power lifting equipment in different areas, as well as a full outside garage center and, now, a cardio and MMA classroom.
Type of equipment found at Iron Mayhem
Mumpower buys Arsenal Strength as well as Rogue Fitness. “I buy from the best equipment company in the country. It’s quality and it will last forever. I want to be the one who has the specialty equipment.” Seems to be working. His facility boasts 13 deadlift platforms — one in every area of the gym. Outside, in the garage and under a canopy are benches, racks, and more deadlift platforms. When the weather turns warm, the equipment slides outside. Inside the gym and outside are glute and quad equipment such as belt squats, mono lifts, pendulum squat, super squat, and inverse curls. Every piece is handpicked for a purpose, he says.
How does he build the gym’s image?
Mumpower hosts both power lifting and Strongman competitions throughout the year. These sanctioned, national events build his gym’s reputation and prestige throughout the industry. He regularly puts on International Powerlifting Association (IPA) competitions, Strongman Corporation competitions and Revolution Powerlifting Syndicate (RPS) events. His long-term goal is to hold one event a month. Currently, his competitions sell out a month ahead of time and attract competitors from across the country.
Any branded merch?
As soon as Mumpower moved into his location along a main road in Bristol, curious locals stopped by for stickers and tee-shirts. He’s grown this side of the business by selling supplements, energy drinks, and waters, along with branded shirts and hoodies. The visual of a bearded Strongman deadlifting impossible weight draws sold-out presales.
Iron Mayhem Goals
More is better, right? With a single, very busy location, Mumpower has set his sights on opening a second location in 2025, about 45 minutes away, after paying off the current equipment purchases. He anticipates it will quadruple his business. In the farther future, he plans to continue opening similar locations throughout the south, eventually handing the enterprise to his son. At which point, he will retire … again. Well, we’ll see about that.
With the best, easiest-to-use gym management software available, we are proud to support fitness centers like Iron Mayhem. Our software is subscription-based, which makes it affordable, and is completely designed in-house. No third-party software integrations to fight. For more information on how we do business, check out our Gym Owner’s Podcast and meet Anthony and Natalia, our sales team, or call 855-FOR-GYMS. They will guide you through what makes our gym software special and how we can help you become the most successful health club in town.