One side of the building was the former home of Athletic Republic, and in 2017 Smith shifted his plan to keep that gym space while lenses were made in the other half of the building, said Garrett Klaproth, manager of StrengthBuilt Athletics.
“[Smith] started renting it out to personal trainers ... and that’s kind of how StrengthBuilt came to be,” he said.
Klaproth has been a trainer for more than 10 years and trained Smith before becoming the manager of the facility in 2019. Now, the gym is a space where men and women train for powerlifting, bodybuilding and Strongman competitions, which incorporate a variety of strength events. Athletes pay $60 per month, though discounts are available for first responders and military personnel.
“A lot of people here are competing for something,” Klaproth said. “They are very goal-driven, and they are very experienced.”
StrengthBuilt also hosts a rookie powerlifting meet each year, and the gym has also hosted women’s meets, Klaproth said.
As the gym continues to grow and host more events, Klaproth and his team are working to convert an outdoor space into a training area specifically for Strongman training.
“I would like to get some punching bags out there and stuff like that; my athletes could probably use a little bit more cardio,” Klaproth said.
Athletes who train at the gym have become a community, Klaproth said, due in part to the dedication each one has to their sports.
“It’s not really a gym. These are not members; these are residents,” Klaproth said. “These athletes, they spend hours and hours working here.”
1389 Wald Road, New Braunfels
830-358-2522 | www.strengthbuilt.com
Hours: daily 5 a.m.-10 p.m.
Making of a Strongman
Strongman competitions are hosted around the country and include a variety of strength events.
Axle bar deadline: Athletes work to complete as many deadlifts with an axle bar as they can within a minute.
Stone over bar: The athlete lifts an atlas stone over a high bar onto a platform. The competition either focuses on the weight of the stone or the number of repetitions completed in one minute.
Car deadlift: An athlete completes deadlifts with a car.
Log press: The competitors press large, heavy objects such as logs and kegs.
Keg toss: A competitor will toss heavy objects, such as kegs and concrete blocks, over a high wall.