New gym focuses solely on strength training

Owners planning grand-opening celebration on April 21

Leigh Black Irvin
Callie Graham demonstrates how to use battle ropes at her new Farmington gym, American Strength & Fitness, on April 5.
  • In addition to free weights, the facility has two Olympic-size platforms for weight lifting.
  • Fitness training and weight lifting classes are also offered.
  • The owners are trying to use only American-made equipment in the gym.

FARMINGTON — Fitness enthusiasts who wish to focus just on strength training and lifting normally must join a full-service gym to get in a workout.

But the owners of a new fitness facility located at 4615 Gila St. hope to cater specifically to this type of client.

American Strength & Fitness is owned and managed by Callie Graham and Cody Boyd. It focuses on strength training and lifting by offering free weights and other specialized equipment.

The couple said they fell into the fitness business several years ago, and became passionate about getting healthy and fit.

"We had been pondering having our own facility for about a year," Graham aid. "Strength training and free-weight facilities offer different equipment than a normal gym. We noticed that a facility catering to lifting is lacking in our area, so we decided to go for it."

The 30-foot-by-40-foot building has four squat racks for free weights, and is equipped with other strength-training equipment such as rowing machines, push/pull sleds and battle ropes, which are large, heavy ropes used to sculpt muscles and build strength.

Also in the gym is a GHD — or glut ham developer — which helps build muscles in the lower back and the hamstrings, and two Olympic-size platforms for weight lifting.

"Lots of people do Olympic-style free weights and lifting. It's a big part of athletic training," Boyd said. "We’re trying to focus more on athletic performance and wanted to offer a place for those who want to participate in weightlifting competitions, which is its own athletic sport."

Graham said her vision for the facility is that it will serve as a gathering place for those in the weightlifting community to meet and support each other.

Cody Boyd and Callie Graham talk about equipment at their new Farmington gym, American Strength & Fitness on April 5.

The gym operates on a keycard system, and although Graham and Boyd will not always be present at the facility, it will be equipped with cameras so they can check on it remotely.

"Members can just come and go as they like between the hours of 5 a.m. and midnight," Graham said. "We offer a monthly membership for $60 a month, and we also have day passes for $10, and a 10-visit punch pass for $80."

Graham, who is 26 years old and manages a dental office in addition to running the gym, said future plans for the facility include offering personal training.

"I'm going through personal training school now and will get my certification in August," she said. "We want to work with other personal trainers around the area, and we hope to be able to expand the facility within the next couple of years."

In addition to personal training, Graham said fitness classes also will be offered.

"I know a gym can be intimidating when you don't know how to use the equipment, so we want to teach people about weightlifting," Graham said. "I plan to offer a women's introduction to lifting class for this reason."

The 33-year-old Boyd, whose day job is working in the oilfield, said the couple relied on friends and family to help them get the facility open. They also consulted with local experts on how to start a business, including the Small Business Development Center at San Juan College.

Keeping their equipment acquisitions America first, as the name would suggest, is another priority for Graham and Boyd.

Cody Boyd and Callie Graham focus on strength training at their new Farmington gym, American Strength & Fitness.

"Our big focus is to buy as much American-made equipment as possible," said Boyd. "We really want to emphasize that aspect. But it's sometimes tough to find American-made equipment."

Graham and Boyd are planning to hold a grand-opening celebration for the facility from 5 to 8 p.m. on April 21.

"That will be a chance for people to come in, do deadlifts and see the facility," Graham said. "If they want to, they can bring a dog toy or dog treats in that we will donate to the animal shelter. We're interested in being as involved in the community as possible."

For more information, visit the American Strength & Fitness Facebook site or call 505-801-4699.

Leigh Black Irvin is the business editor for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4621.