Gym Of The Month: Firehouse Fitness

They built a gym out of an abandoned firehouse. Instead of putting out fires, they will light them inside you.

Firefighters spend great potions of their lives in the firehouse. They eat, sleep, exercise and live there. When Tim and Pam Smith noticed a vacant firehouse in their neighborhood, they leapt at the chance to renovate it; now their clients pass long, happy hours laboring away in the Firehouse Fitness complex.

Firehouse is a truly unique gym concept. It has a full kitchen and a remarkable, one of a kind outdoor exercise area. This is a gym where neighbors spot one another and the owner's mother teaches Zumba. Tim gave us an inside glimpse of how small ideas become huge opportunities in this special corner of Abilene, Texas. Congratulations to Firehouse Fitness, our gym of the month!

Name of Gym: Firehouse Fitness
Name of Owner: Timothy and Pam Smith
Address: 3518 S 7th St Abilene, TX 79605
Number of Members: 450
Square Feet: 5000
Website: E-Mail:
Phone: (325) 232-7500
Hours of Operation: 24/7 access and staffed 9am-7pm Monday-Friday, Saturday 9am-4pm
Number of Trainers on Staff: 8 trainers

How Did the Gym Start, and Why Did You Decide to Get Into the Gym Business?

The vacant building, built in the 1950s, was originally a fire station in the Old Elmwood neighborhood in Abilene. It had been vacant for more than a year and I decided it would make a great neighborhood gym. My wife and I live around the corner from our gym. We have always been an active family and fitness has been our passion for many years. Opening Firehouse Fitness has been a dream come true!

What Went Into Opening Your Awesome Establishment?

We purchased the building and did a complete renovation, keeping in character with the Firehouse theme. We had to get the property re-zoned since we are located in a neighborhood rather than in a commercial location.

What Makes Your Gym Different?

We are family-owned and operated. We are located in a normal neighborhood. We have a 2,000 square foot outdoor area with a creek view. We use the outdoor area for CrossFit, weightlifting, yoga, and Zumba classes. We serve a healthy lunch menu in the kitchen the firefighters used in the old station here in the 1950s. We also serve healthy, readymade meals people can buy frozen in bulk.

What Sort of People Do You Attract Into Your Gym?

We appeal to a wide variety of people. Many of the nearby residents have joined. Many of our clients are regular people seeking weight loss. We also have a number of members who compete in bodybuilding and physique competitions.

What Inspires People to Train at Your Facility?

The outdoor lifting space has been a huge draw for people. It is truly unique and there is no exercise space like it in Abilene. People are also impressed with our customer service and new equipment.

Who Are Your Top Trainers and Why Are They so Good?

Andrew Barker and Sandi Gravatt are our top trainers. They are both NASM certified and they are both bodybuilding competitors. Both have a passion for exercise, nutrition, and motivating others to reach their full potential.

What Special Services Do You Provide?

We specialize in personal training, group training classes such as H.O.T. (Hardcore Outdoor Training), yoga, and zumba. We even offer jiu jitsu classes for both adults and children.

What Makes You Competitive Over the Other Gym Chains?

We are not a franchise like the other gyms. We have the flexibility to utilize our center as we see fit since we are family owned and operated. We have a great outdoor area that is truly unique.

How Have You Been Able to Remain so Successful and How Do You Hope to Remain So?

We have kept overhead low, so we do not need a thousand members to thrive. With just 300 members, we make a good profit, and we have only been open for nine months. We are also customer-friendly. We make it a point to make everyone feel comfortable here.

Who Would You Like to Thank?

Thank you Chris Kemp, our gym manager and one of our personal trainers. He designed our Firehouse Fitness logo and also does an excellent job promoting and managing all aspects of our gym.

Thank you Nita Smith, my mom, who voluntarily teaches our Zumba classes four times per week. In the last two years she has gone from sedentary to fit and has lost 70 pounds. We are all proud of her!