How do I Choose the Best Gym Design?

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  • Written By: Jessica Ellis
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 05 November 2019
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Choosing the best gym design is an important part of any commercial gym business. How and where machines are placed can greatly affect the atmosphere and convenience of the gym, as well as help users plan effective workouts. Some factors important to determining the best gym design include the size and available space, business emphasis, and type of equipment.

One common type of gym design is based on sectioning equipment. This means that all leg machines are placed together, all arm machines are placed together, and cardiovascular machines are grouped by type. This can help gym-goers who want to focus workouts on a specific section of the body without having to wander all over the gym. Segmental gym design can also allow for speedy maintenance, since problem machines will be easy to find.

Another possible type of gym design is based on circuit training. In circuit training, someone works all major muscle groups by proceeding from one machine to the next, with breaks in between for cardiovascular movement. Circuit gym design requires some forethought, as each circuit needs to contain at least one machine for each muscle group. Some gyms that use circuit layouts help exercisers by numbering the machines to allow for orderly movement through the full circuit. Cardiovascular machines can either be separated from or integrated with each weight training circuit.


In addition to weight training machines, many gyms also feature free weights and related accessories. These may be in a separate room or section from the weight training machines. One of the concerns with free weights is that exercisers may choose to leave weights lying around, rather than replacing them correctly. Keeping free weights sectioned off from the rest of the gym will keep users closer to weight racks, making proper replacement somewhat more likely.

Those using a space with multiple rooms may want to create men's and women's exercise rooms. Some people feel uncomfortable working out in view of the opposite sex, and may be able to get a better workout if there is a gender-specific area. Some gyms have a main floor that anyone can use, as well as gender-specific rooms. This can help ward off complaints of sexism or unfair access to certain machines or rooms.

Other considerations in gym design are locker rooms and rest areas. Nothing will drive away customers faster than dirty, cramped locker facilities. Consider how many people will visit the gym on an average day and try to build locker rooms that can meet or exceed this capacity. Be sure that restrooms and showers have surfaces that are easy to keep clean and hygienic. Make sure that lockers have adequate security to provide protection against theft.


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Post 3

A home gym design depends on the budget and the availability of space. Obviously, the bigger the budget and the space, the more that can be done with the gym. I think every home gym needs to have at least two fitness equipment and two training equipment.

Post 2

@fBoyle-- You made a good point about natural light, I hadn't thought of that. I'm trying to put together a home gym, so I should probably choose a room of the house that has good lighting.

I still need ideas to design my home gym though. I haven't decided on the equipment yet. Does anyone have any experience with this? Can you give me some design ideas?

Post 1

The gym I go to doesn't have the best design in terms of how the machines are placed. It's all kind of mixed together, there is no order and the free weights just sit around in the center.

The only reason I like this gym is because it has great lighting and many flat screen TVs on the wall to keep me occupied. I don't like exercising in dark gyms, it doesn't motivate me and sometimes, I even feel claustrophobic.

This gym has a huge, ceiling to floor window on one side and it gets great natural light. Half of the treadmills and elliptical machines face the window, and there are trees outside, so it's a great ambiance to exercise. It feels like I am walking in nature. The other half face the TVs, so I can watch TV instead if I want.

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