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How do you set up a good gym?

How do you set up a good gym?

Posted by Tyler Spraul, Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist® (CSCS®) on May 24, 2023 — Updated on November 14, 2023

Learning how to set up a good gym is important for gym owners and fitness professionals who want to start a gym that will be financially successful for years to come. Setting up a good gym can be a daunting task, but with the right tools and knowledge, it can be a rewarding experience.

The first step in setting up a good gym is to determine your target audience and their fitness goals. This will help you decide what equipment and amenities to include in your gym. Once you have a clear understanding of your target audience, it’s time to start thinking about the layout and design of your gym. You want to create a space that is both functional and aesthetically pleasing.

One of the best ways to ensure that your gym is successful is to invest in the best gym management software. Exercise.com is the best gym management software on the market, offering a wide range of features that can help you streamline your operations and improve your bottom line. If you’re interested in learning more about how Exercise.com can help you set up a good gym, we encourage you to book a demo today. Our team of experts is standing by to answer any questions you may have and help you get started on the path to success.

Exercise.com is simply the best. We were using three or four different apps or softwares to do what we can now do all in one with the Exercise.com platform.
Brandon Stroupe
Founder and President, APEC Sports Performance

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Choosing the Right Location

When it comes to setting up a good gym, choosing the right location is critical. You want a site that is accessible to your target market, has ample parking, and is in a low competition area. Here are the factors you should consider when selecting a site:

Factors to Consider When Selecting a Site

  • Proximity to your target market
  • Demographic makeup of the surrounding area
  • Accessibility by car, bike, or public transport
  • Availability of parking
  • Local competition

Scouting for Competition and Demographics

Before you select a site, it is important to do a thorough market analysis. This should include studying local demographics and identifying your target market. Additionally, you should identify competing gyms in the area and examine their pricing, services, and amenities in order to identify opportunities to differentiate your service.

For example, if you notice that competing gyms in the area don’t offer any classes for seniors, you could consider offering senior-specific classes to differentiate yourself and attract a new market segment. Similarly, if competing gyms don’t offer any nutritional counseling, you could consider hiring a nutritionist to offer this service at your gym.

Accessibility and Parking

Having your gym located in an easily accessible location and with accessible parking is key to attracting and retaining clients. You should look for a location with good road links, parking facilities, and bike storage space to make it easy for people to get to your gym.

It’s also important to consider the safety of the area. If your gym is located in a high-crime area, potential clients may be hesitant to visit. Consider installing security cameras and hiring a security guard to make your gym feel safer and more welcoming.

Finally, consider the overall aesthetic of the area. Is the surrounding area well-maintained and attractive? Are there nearby parks or other amenities that could attract potential clients? These factors can all play a role in the overall success of your gym.

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Designing the Gym Layout

The design of your gym layout is critical in attracting and retaining members. You want to maximize available space and ensure that there is ample room for members to move around and workout comfortably. Here are the key considerations to make when designing your gym layout:

Maximizing Space and Functionality

Your gym should be designed in such a way as to maximize available space. This means using height to create a more open layout, and optimizing equipment placement to avoid overcrowding. Additionally, it is important to consider functionality, and include private spaces for changing, showering, and massage.

When it comes to maximizing space, it’s important to consider the layout of your gym. One popular approach is to use a circular or oval layout, which allows for a more efficient use of space. This can be particularly effective if you have a smaller gym, as it allows you to fit more equipment and workout areas into a smaller space.

Another important consideration is the type of equipment you choose. Multi-functional equipment, such as adjustable weight machines and cable machines, can be a great way to save space while still offering a wide range of exercises.

Creating Workout Zones

Breaking up your gym into specific workout zones can help members feel more at ease and less intimidated. This might include designated areas for strength training, stretching, cardiovascular exercises, and functional training.

When creating workout zones, it’s important to think about the flow of traffic. You don’t want members to have to navigate through a maze of equipment to get to the area they want to use. Instead, try to create clear pathways that lead from one zone to another.

Another important consideration is the layout of your equipment within each zone. For example, you might want to group similar equipment together, or place larger equipment towards the back of the zone to avoid blocking the view of other members.

Ensuring Safety and Comfort

Ensuring safety and comfort of your members is a top priority. This means investing in appropriate ventilation to reduce overheating, air conditioning to ensure temperature control, and keeping the floor and equipment clean and sanitary.

When it comes to ventilation, it’s important to consider the size of your gym and the number of members you expect to have at any given time. A larger gym with more members will require more ventilation to ensure adequate air flow and prevent overheating.

Another important consideration is the type of flooring you choose. Rubber flooring is a popular choice for gyms, as it is durable, slip-resistant, and easy to clean. It also provides a cushioned surface that can help reduce the risk of injury.

Finally, it’s important to consider the overall atmosphere of your gym. Bright lighting, vibrant colors, and motivating music can all help create a positive and energizing environment that encourages members to push themselves to their limits.

Read More: Gym Design Guide

Selecting the Right Equipment

Equipment selection is a critical part of gym design. You want to make sure that your gym has equipment that is current, in good working order, and tailored to your members’ fitness goals. Here are the key equipment categories you should consider:

Cardiovascular Equipment

This includes treadmills, ellipticals, stationary bikes, rowing machines, and stair climbers. Make sure you have a variety of machines to cater to different users’ preferences and experience levels.

In addition to the traditional cardio machines, you may also want to consider adding some non-traditional options to your gym. For example, an indoor cycling studio can be a great addition for those who love to cycle but don’t want to brave the elements. You could also consider adding a rowing studio or an area for jump rope workouts.

Strength Training Equipment

This category includes free weights, weight machines, resistance bands, and power cages. Strength training is a core component of any gym and having a range of equipment that caters to different fitness levels is essential.

When selecting strength training equipment, it’s important to consider the space you have available. Free weights and resistance bands take up less space than weight machines, so they may be a better option if you have limited space. However, weight machines can be a great option for beginners who may not feel comfortable using free weights.

Functional Training Equipment

Functional training equipment such as kettlebells, medicine balls, and resistance bands are increasingly popular as they are great for increasing flexibility and building strength through movement-focused exercises.

In addition to the equipment listed above, you may also want to consider adding some balance and stability equipment to your gym. This can include items such as stability balls, balance boards, and foam rollers. These items can be great for improving balance and core strength.

Specialized Equipment for Niche Markets

If your gym is catering to specialized markets such as athletes, seniors, children, or those with disabilities, you may need specialized equipment and facilities to cater to their needs.

For example, if you are catering to seniors, you may want to consider adding equipment that is designed to improve balance and flexibility. If you are catering to athletes, you may want to consider adding equipment that is designed to improve speed and agility.

It’s important to do your research and understand the needs of your target market before selecting specialized equipment. This will ensure that you are providing the best possible experience for your members.

Hiring and Training Staff

Your staff is the backbone of your gym, and it is important to hire people who are knowledgeable, passionate, and customer-focused. Here are the key considerations when hiring and training staff:

Finding Qualified Instructors and Trainers

When looking for qualified instructors and trainers, it is important to consider their education, experience, and certifications. Look for individuals who have a degree in exercise science or a related field, as well as certifications from reputable organizations such as the American Council on Exercise (ACE) or the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA).

In addition to their qualifications, it is important to find instructors and trainers who are passionate about fitness and helping others achieve their goals. Look for individuals who have a positive attitude and great communication and interpersonal skills.

Developing a Training Program

Developing a structured training program that caters to the needs of different clients is essential to building a loyal customer base. Consider offering a range of programs that cater to different fitness levels and interests, such as strength training, cardio, and group fitness classes.

You may also want to consider offering personalized training programs for clients who are looking for a more tailored approach. This can include one-on-one sessions with a personal trainer, or small group training sessions with a focus on specific fitness goals.

Establishing a Positive Work Environment

Creating a positive work environment is essential to attracting and retaining top talent. In addition to providing a competitive salary package, consider offering opportunities for professional development, such as attending industry conferences or workshops.

It is also important to create an open and collaborative working culture, where staff members feel valued and supported. Encourage communication and collaboration between staff members, and provide opportunities for team building activities outside of work.

By focusing on hiring and training qualified, passionate, and customer-focused staff members, and creating a positive work environment, you can build a successful and thriving gym that attracts and retains loyal customers.

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How do you choose the right location for a gym?

When choosing a location for your gym, consider factors such as accessibility, visibility, and parking. Look for a space that is easily accessible by foot, bike, or car, and that is visible from the street. Make sure there is ample parking available for your clients.

What equipment should you have in a good gym?

A good gym should have a variety of equipment to cater to different fitness levels and goals. This includes cardio machines, strength training equipment, free weights, and functional training equipment. Consider the space available and the needs of your target market when selecting equipment.

How do you create a welcoming atmosphere in a gym?

To create a welcoming atmosphere in your gym, focus on cleanliness, lighting, and music. Make sure the gym is well-lit and clean, with plenty of natural light if possible. Play upbeat music that motivates your clients and creates a positive energy in the space. Train your staff to be friendly and approachable, and encourage them to greet clients by name.

How do you market a new gym?

To market a new gym, start by creating a website and social media accounts to promote your services and offerings. Offer free trials or discounts to attract new clients, and consider partnering with local businesses to cross-promote your gym. Host events and workshops to showcase your expertise and build relationships with potential clients.

Read More:

Start setting up a good, even GREAT gym

Setting up a good gym requires careful planning, attention to detail, and an unwavering commitment to customer satisfaction. By selecting a good location, designing a functional gym layout, selecting the right equipment, and hiring and developing qualified staff, you can create a gym that stands out from the competition and delivers results for your clients.

Jimmy Myers Relentless Sports Performance
If you want to offer an elite service for the end user you need to get with the times and use elite level software that is intuitive, visually appealing, and effective. That is exactly what Exercise.com delivers to its clients.
Jimmy Myers
Owner/Trainer, Relentless Sports Performance

Ready to get started with the best gym software to set up an awesome gym that will help you achieve your financial goals? Get a demo now!

Tyler Spraul is the director of UX and the head trainer for Exercise.com. He has his Bachelor of Science degree in pre-medicine and is an NSCA-Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist® (CSCS®). He is a former All-American soccer player and still coaches soccer today. In his free time, he enjoys reading, learning, and living the dad life.
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