Your Guide to Successfully Starting a Fitness Center
What comes to mind when you think about a fitness center? Exercise equipment? Elaborate yoga routines? A cafe with healthy food? All of that is correct to a certain extent. A fitness center is basically a health spa that consists of exercise equipment and studios to conduct physical exercise. It is also known as a health club and a gym. However, gym may be too simple a word for it. Anyone can stow a treadmill and a few barbells in a room and call it a gym. A fitness center design is all of that and more.
If you’re dreaming of owning your own fitness center, then there are many things you need to consider. But the main objective is always the same: why should others think you’re special? Here’s another one: what do I need in order to be successful? These questions are going to dictate your plans. For example, how much space you’ll need, the number of potential clients, expansion details, and what tools and equipment.
So, how can you take this simple concept and create something unique?
The answer is this: we start by creating a social environment. It’s always a good start when people connect with each other. It’s also a bonus when people enjoy the physical activity of exercising. They need to have fun, and the surroundings can be the perfect inspiration for that. These are a few basics for creating a successful fitness center design.
Starting with the why of your business will allow all the other pieces to fall into place. As Simon Sinek says, people buy the WHY you do, not WHAT you do.
Further, let’s look at recent news and design trends in the latest fitness centers:
Accumulating dedicated clients comes down to two things: relationships and branding. There have to be clients that are willing to move with you regardless of the costs. In other words, if the client is locked into a contract at the box gym, then they’d be willing to pay that amount, in addition to following you and paying you.
So how to create brand and equipment that lock your clients?
Whether you have a big or small space, you should map out specific zones within the facility to utilize the space well. You don’t have to start out with a massive facility full of cardio and weight machines. In fact, you shouldn’t pack your gym with machines – make sure you have plenty of free space to move around. Choose the right equipment and layout!
Moreover, a successful fitness center is welcoming to people of all ages and walks of lives. They can have kids, they can be old, they can be young, etc.
Below, let’s take a look at some creative facilities that can be added to a health center to add to its appeal:
1. Daycare facilities
A good fitness center design covers all the needs of its potential users. The larger demographic of parents who want to work out, but cannot because of their kids, can be at ease with this particular addition. This way, while the parents indulge in some rigorous exercising, the kids can be officially taken care of. This facility can also be a means of making money. You can come up with charges according to the age of a certain kid, and the amount of care they’ll need. It can be labeled as the ‘where additional child-oriented activities can keep children busy.
2. Exergame Fitness
A successful fitness center design appeals to people of all ages. This is why creating an unconventional exercise routine for kids is a given. In architecture, it can be done by creating an interactive youth fitness space. This area can be designed for different activities like T-Walls, bike gaming with X-box, and other technologically advanced ideas that attract tweens and teenagers. The idea is to enhance their physical and mental condition. It also means improving their agility and hand-eye coordination. It’s only possible by keeping their interest. That requires some creative thinking while designing the space.
Young adults like to stay on top of things. This means that they like taking on new obstacles that challenge their perception. Fitness center designs all over the world are catering to this desire by coming up with innovative solutions. Reaxing is a one such institution. They have successfully blended the concept of unpredictable daily thrills melded in unique exercise routines. Therefore, they have created some customized machinery and equipment for those who’d like to train their mind and body to react in perfect harmony. These include REAX RAFT, REAX RUN, and Fluiball. This is how you can create your own customized techniques to attract users of a certain demographic.
If you need a little inspiration, let’s take a look at these unique activities for inspiration:
This activity allows you to get intense neuromuscular training with patented technology. It is flexible, squeezable, and bendable. It helps improve balance, coordination, and strength.
This activity consists of a medical ball with non-toxic colored fluid. It is used for intense neuromuscular training. This can be added as a specialized exercise in your fitness center design. The exclusivity and newness can attract a whole new crowed.
This exercise allows you to train your senses on an innovative mechanical board. It’s a balance and teamwork improving activity that can be promoted for couples.
4. Reax Lights – Fitness & Combat
Reax Lights is an incredible Wi-Fi tool. It’s versatile, flexible, wearable, easy-to-use. Training becomes self-motivating and any kind of free body exercise results more effective than ever. It’s equipped with magnets for a quick and easy application. Thanks to the magnets, you can apply the satellites on the walls, on the floor, on the ceiling, on any metallic surfaces, on wall bars or any other functional training structure. The satellites can be controlled through a tablet computer, which allows the user to select the difficulty level and the training program he or she wishes.
There is always an adventurous side to the population these days. You can market it as a credible activity by designing a Body Combat curriculum in your fitness center design. These include martial-arts inspired workouts. It’s non-contact but has a high calorie burning count. People can learn useful moves from taekwondo, boxing, karate, and Kung Fu. It can also be marketed as a self-defense course. You’ll need several large studios for that. Or you can opt for one big studio divided into various sections to accommodate each type of combat exercise.
6. Water-based exercises
A trendy fitness center design features all sorts of physical activities; even water-based. It is unconventional, but it also helps set you apart from the rest. Water-based exercises have great cardiovascular benefits. A great example of such an activity is the ReaxRaft exercise. It helps improve flexibility, muscle coordination and balance – all on top of water!
Types of fitness centers
Activities and uniqueness aside, there are several different types of fitness centers. The overall design depends on the genre, location and the demographic. Let’s take a look at some of these different types in detail:
– Student accommodation gyms: This type of a fitness center is usually modest in size. It only contains the requisite exercise equipment and rarely ever has anything extra. Bigger ones may have an attached swimming pool, but there’s very little room to be innovative in these gyms. The interior design is stark, minimal and efficient.
– Hotel gyms: Hotel gyms are typically luxurious. They contain all the conventional equipment. However, it is arranged in a way that enhances the view and presentation of the hotel itself. Treadmills are arranged by a large window to provide a stimulating view. There are also large shower areas and lockers as well.
– Gym chains and franchises: Fitness franchises have become very common these days. CrossFit and 9Round are good examples. This type of a fitness center design consists of large spaces and innovative workout routines. They need to stand out and build a solid customer base to work. Most of these chains are located in huge buildings and offer their own distinct curriculums. There are individual training areas as well. Some people can even go for personal trainers. Even the interior designs are colorful, cheery, social, interactive, and exciting.
– Corporate & company gyms: Company or corporate gyms are very ergonomic. They feature only the needed equipment. The scale and size depend on the company funding. But overall, they’re very minimal and don’t have much aesthetic value.
– Sports Clubs and Complexes: Sports complexes are extremely large. They are usually divided into separate sections and offer areas for different games. A small sports complex may have a large tennis court, an Olympic size swimming pool, a recreational pool for the general public, a basketball court and even several squash arenas. Of course, there is also a gym and showering/locker faculties as well. The scale of this type of a fitness center design is definitely on the larger side.
Creative & design considerations
As always, there are a few specific design and creative considerations that need to be catered in a fitness center. Let’s take a look at a few of them below:
1. Creating a friendly environment
A fitness center does not have to seem like a prison for physical work-outs. Instead, it has to be designed to host a friendly environment. Therefore, using lots of bright and cheerful colors can instantly have a good impact. Using abundant natural lighting can take the edge of the exercise and create a stimulating environment. You can also use natural finishes to create a homely ambiance. All of these techniques are going to evoke a friendly aura within the fitness center design.
2. Stimulating creativity
If your fitness center is offering some unique courses, then you need to design the interiors with just as much creativity. Colors, textures and patterns can go a long way in enhancing how we experience the space. Bright colors are naturally stimulating. Crafty patterns help unlock creative juices. So, using them on feature walls in major studios can communicate a sense of fun in your fitness center design. You can even opt for modern murals, abstract space layouts and activity-based color schemes to achieve this effect.
3. Encouraging individuality
Part of exercising at a fitness center is building up the stamina and incentive to work-out on your own. A gym is not a school. Although many patrons do need some guidance – especially in muscle and ab exercises – doing your own thing matters a lot. So, a successful fitness center design is created to encourage autonomy. There can be individual work-out areas for people who like to do things individually. Gaming and VR exercises are trending big, and you can have separate rooms for these in your centers to encourage autonomy.
4. Behind-the-scene areas
While the gym facilities are the main attraction, staff areas are equally important in the design of a good fitness center. The staff needs proper spaces to accomplish behind-the-scene activities. Trainers need offices. They’ll also need proper bathrooms. Similarly, the cleaning and maintenance staff also require their own spaces to work efficiently. There also needs to be a first-aid center for minor injuries and sprains. All these day-to-day activities are quite crucial, but they don’t need to be seen. So, you can zone spaces at the back of the facility to keep things out of sight.
5. Safe environment
Every fitness center design needs to be accounted for the best safety standards. You can do so by installing cameras in strategic locations to keep track of all activities. You can ensure good natural and artificial ventilation to keep the stink out of the air. The floors need to be selected according to the usage. For example, stretch flooring is always softer to accommodate body movement. Fitness flooring is light to accommodate body weight exercises. Free-weight flooring is recommended for spaces where there is heavy equipment like dumbbells, etc.
6. Décor and branding
The décor and branding of a fitness center design need to be statement worthy yet subtle at the same time. Use bright colors, but don’t use them recklessly. If you emulate too many bold hues and patterns, the gym can look small. On the other hand, if you use too many understated colors, the space can feel boring and monotonous. You need to find the perfect balance of both for a harmonious environment.
As far as branding is concerned, you can use signage, artwork and the official company logo. A franchise gym always uses the logo as a focal point. They also use the official colors to create a fun ambiance. Plain walls can feature general fitness related pointers and artwork. Once again, you need to toe the line between too much and too little.
So, these are some of the pointers that need to be considered while running and designing a successful fitness center design. At CAS, we’re experts at creating functional yet innovative designs in this particular genre. You can contact us for further details if you have a project in mind.