The Tucson Strength History
From humble beginnings
Tucson Strength started in the summer 2010 in a small community park under the name Evolution Fitness. I had a handful of kettlebells and 5 ladies that wanted to get in better shape. I had just quit my job managing a gym chain and was frustrated with what was happening in the fitness industry.
Mindless high intensity exercise with little to no instruction seemed to be the trend. I knew I had a better way to train people an a passion to build a community of people that believed strength has a greater purpose.
The first Tucson Strength training facility
After a short time in the park being eaten by ants, chased by bats, and battling an active monsoon season, I rented a small 1000sqft facility with air conditioning. It wasn’t much, but it was better than the park. I was broke and had 5 month old baby and wife at home I needed to support.
Within a year we had a staff of 3 of us and had outgrown that little space. We moved down the road to a 6000 sqft spot that I couldn’t afford. I prayed nightly for people to walk through the door, and by a miracle they did. Within 2 years we had a staff of 8 and our programs grew. We had a full personal training team and over 40 strength training and conditioning classes per week.
Growing the Tucson Strength community
In 2012 we built a competitive Olympic Lifting and Powerlifting Team. We also pioneered the barbell sports scene in Tucson, something many told us couldn’t happen in Tucson. We soon began holding sanctioned Olympic Lifting and Powerlifting Competitions in Tucson. We are now the hub of USPA Powerlifting in the state of Arizona.
As we grew, the most powerful thing we built was community. They were the cornerstone of our little gym. A group of like minded individuals that wanted to put their head down and train but also have fun. I can’t count the times we have come together to support a member in need.
Making Tucson Strength official
In 2016 we changed our name from Evolution Fitness to Tucson Strength. We wanted to fully go with what we were best at. Helping people become stronger, physically and mentally. With the influx of corporate group training boutiques opening up we didn’t want to be confused with the fad of mindless exercise and cheerleading masquerading as fitness.
In 2018 I had a vision for something better, something that would change the landscape of gyms in Southern Arizona. Being a training studio was great, but we also had so many people that wanted access to what we had, but didn’t have the space to accommodate more people. Just down the street an old movie theater and more recently a Chuck E. Cheese was sitting vacant and deteriorating rapidly.
After some negotiations with the landlord we began our journey to grow our community and become a full service gym offering memberships, group training, and personal training. Once again we didn’t have the money to do it, but we had a vision and our community came together to pull off a 12,000+sqft project. We opened our new location in January 2019.
Surviving the pandemic
When COVID hit in 2020 we were devastated. All our hard work for over 10 years was at risk of being lost. When we were first shut down we kept our members moving with online workouts and at home programming.
We did our best to keep connected with our people. After being able to re-open for a short period of time the government once again shut us down. This time we refused to close. We believed fitness was essential for physical and mental health. Within 48 hours of the shutdown we put up circus tents outside and moved our operations outdoors to remain open legally and give access to those that wanted to work on their health. Once again our community came together and became closer than ever.
Solidifying our values
Covid solidified what Tucson Strength was about. Yes we offer an amazing facility and professional instruction unlike any other gym in town, but we are community that cares about each other.
We have never been about slamming our gym full of people and being a big box gym. We are about offering an experience to our members where people know your name, offer help when needed, and a safe and focused environment to achieve all of your goals.
Whether you are an experienced athlete needing world class equipment to train on or a beginner starting your journey, we are here for you.
Or, as we like to say, Welcome Home.