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How much space is required for a commercial gym?

How much space is required for a commercial gym?

Posted by Schimri Yoyo, Sports Columnist on June 9, 2021 — Updated on November 22, 2023

The amount of space you need for a commercial gym is at least 1,000 square feet, because experts recommend having 36 square feet per member and 45-75 square feet per piece of equipment.

How much space is required for a commercial gym?

Your gym business model will determine exactly how many square feet you need for your gym, but if you have at least 1,000 square feet then you can start a small gym. However, according to the Association of Fitness Studios, the average size for a fitness studio is 3,813 square feet (with big box gyms having a lot more space, many with 40,000 square feet and up to even 70,000 square feet).

Commercial Gym Space
Source: TMPL Gym

If you’re looking to learn how to open a gym, one thing you should consider is how many square feet do you need for a gym. Read further to discover the space required for a commercial gym, decide on what equipment you need to start a gym (different types of gyms have different equipment needs, and therefore, different space considerations, etc.), and more.

  • The space required for a commercial gym with little to no equipment is 850 to 1,000 square feet.
  • The space required for a commercial gym with a large membership and lots of equipment is 3,000 to 8,000 square feet.

There are many reasons to open a gym: The opportunity to flex your entrepreneurial muscles. The opportunity to help others maximize their fitness potential and reach their goals. The opportunity to be your own boss. But before you jump headlong into this dream of being a fitness professional, you should first make sure that you have an adequate space to conduct your business.

Fitness Income Ideas

So how much space is required for a commercial gym? How many square feet do you need for a gym? What is the average area of a commercial gym space? To answer these questions properly for your specific context, you should consider the following: What is the function of your commercial gym space and how do your want the traffic to flow within that space.

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Founder and President, APEC Sports Performance

Regardless of the size of your gym, an easy way to simplify your daily operations is to use the best gym business management software.

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The Space Required for a Commercial Gym Depends on Its Function

How many square feet do you need for a gym? Experts recommend 36 sq ft per member and 45-75 sq ft per piece of equipment. Read on to learn about how much space is required for a commercial gym. The minimum space required for a commercial gym is 2,000 square feet.

According to the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA), the size of an average high school weight room and locker room is a combined 1,650 square feet. So, unless you want to lose clients to your local high school, 2,000 square feet is a good starting point for the area for your gym.

It’s important to consider what is the purpose or function of your space. If you operate a yoga studio, a Pilates studio, or an aerobics fitness studio with no free weights and minimal equipment, then you can get away with an 850-1,000-square-foot space. If you are live-streaming classes online through your custom-branded fitness trainer app, then you too can get away with a smaller commercial space.

The America College of Sports Medicine recommends 36 square feet per member (and up to 225 square feet per member in the age of social distancing and Covid-19) for a commercial gym space and 45 to 75 square feet per piece of equipment. Thus, if you’re operating a full-service gym with hundreds of members, free weight stations, and elliptical machines and stationary bikes, you’re looking at 3,000 to 8,000 square foot space.

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The Square Feet Area of a Gym Is Affected by the Flow of the Space

The next consideration for the area needed for your gym is the operational and creative flow you want to create in your space. You want to position and design your workspace in such away that optimizes both the productivity and aesthetics of the environment.

Will you have a reception desk and lobby? You should allocate five to ten percent of your space to that area. Will you have a weight room or a locker room? How closely will either of them be positioned to the main workout room? Is your furniture and exercise equipment located in areas that increase or impede the flow of the foot traffic in your facility? How you answer these questions will help inform you whether or not your commercial gym space is too large, too small, or just right.

Read More:

How many square feet is an average gym?

The size of an average gym can vary widely based on the type of facility and the services offered. Commercial gyms can range from 3,000 to 40,000 square feet or more. Smaller, specialized studios may be as little as 800 to 2,000 square feet.

Is 1,000 square feet enough for a gym?

1,000 square feet may be sufficient for a small, specialized fitness studio, such as a boutique yoga or personal training space. However, it may be limiting for gyms that require multiple types of equipment and areas for group classes.

Is 2,000 square feet enough for a gym?

A 2,000-square-foot space can accommodate a moderate range of gym equipment and possibly one or two small group class areas, making it more versatile than a 1,000-square-foot space.

Is 3,000 square feet enough for a gym?

A 3,000-square-foot gym offers even more versatility, potentially allowing for multiple group fitness areas, a wider range of equipment, and possibly even some specialized amenities.

How many square feet is needed for a CrossFit gym?

For a CrossFit gym, a space of at least 3,000 to 5,000 square feet is generally recommended to accommodate equipment, class areas, and safety zones.

How many square feet is needed for a sports performance gym?

Sports performance gyms often require more space for specialized equipment and functional training areas; 5,000 to 10,000 square feet could be adequate.

How many square feet is needed for a martial arts gym?

Martial arts gyms may require anywhere from 1,500 to 5,000 square feet, depending on the number of practice areas and additional amenities like changing rooms or spectator areas.

How many square feet is needed for a yoga studio?

For a yoga studio, 1,200 to 1,800 square feet can suffice, offering room for a large practice area, small reception, and perhaps a changing room.

What are the other facility and space requirements for a gym?

Other requirements can include adequate parking, restroom and shower facilities, storage space for equipment, and possibly a reception or retail area.

Are bigger gyms better?

Bigger gyms can offer more amenities and services but may come with higher operating costs. The “best” size for a gym depends on the target market, business model, and operational considerations.

How many people can fit in a 1,000 sq ft space?

In a 1,000 sq ft space, depending on the layout and use case, you could potentially fit up to 16-20 people for a group fitness class, assuming an average of 50 square feet per person for safe and comfortable movement.

How can Exercise.com help my gym?

Exercise.com provides a comprehensive gym management software that helps gym owners run their businesses more effectively. From online booking and payment processing, workout plan creation and gym check-ins, you can run your entire gym business in one place.

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

And if you need a little help managing your business in your commercial space, reach to us at Exercise.com. Book a demo today!

Read More: What is a commercial gym?


Schimri Yoyo is a writer for Exercise.com and educator in the Metro D.C. area who thinks in numbers but communicates in the narrative. Schimri is an avid sports fan, possessing an encyclopedic knowledge of all things Boston Celtics, Boston Red Sox, and San Francisco 49ers. In a past life, he earned personal trainer credentials and covered Villanova Men’s Basketball and Big East College Football for Examiner.com. His work can be found on Examiner.com and Bleacherreport.com
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