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5 Things Developers Need To Know To Make Their Fitness Centers Stand Out

Fitness center at The Hepburn Apartments

The fitness industry has experienced an explosion of novel trends and products, rendering the task of impressing exercisers more difficult than ever. These five key insights let designers conquer gym sameness to deliver standout spaces.

1. Understand The Local Market


Before commencing construction or embarking on a redesign, developers should take a walk around their neighborhood. They should explore the buzzing exercise venues, and try to identify and cater to an untapped niche with their fitness facility. They can also poll residents to determine their exercise habits and what they would look for in a new fitness center.

“Fitness has become such a crowded market,” enerG wellness marketing coordinator Kathleen Swift said. “In order to stand out from the rest, it is necessary to look at all aspects of your center in order to do something different.”

2. Be Cognizant Of Constraints

Fitness center at The Shelby Apartments

Lack of awareness of size, budget and other constraints can halt the execution of the grandest plans. Some foresight and careful planning will mitigate this risk. Luckily, innovative and flexible fitness solutions now abound.

Since CrossFit began appealing to exercisers nationwide, functional space that delivers real results is in high demand. Lower on their priority list is high-end, glamorous space.

“Whether we’re working with a small or large budget, a big or tight space, we find a unique way to differentiate each facility,” Swift said.

If money is a limiting factor, keeping design simple and installing multipurpose equipment can give exercisers the functionality they need in an aesthetically pleasing environment.

“Inexpensive touches like ceiling-mounted monkey bars or a wall-mounted pull-up bar will elevate your space,” Swift said.

3. Show People How To (Dis)Connect

Wellbeats group fitness

In our hyperconnected, 24/7 modern world, people crave real interaction. A workout can provide the perfect opportunity to disconnect from devices and connect face-to-face with people.

“With technology so prevalent in the fitness industry today, and the growing amount of home online workouts available at the press of a button, we are finding that exercisers, especially Millennials, come to the gym to unplug and socialize,” Swift said.

Group classes foster a sense of community and inclusion, while sessions with personal trainers can help with form, individually tailored regimens and accountability to a professional who helps people reach their goals.

Gym layouts can promote social activities, which leads to happy exercisers and high retention/renewal rates. If short-staffed, adding scheduled or on-demand virtual group classes with Wellbeats could be a great compromise.

4. Stay On Top Of The Latest Fitness Trends

Medicine balls, physio balls, plyo box and TRX cables at The Apollo

Fitness is a dynamic, fast-moving, trend-based market. Often, developers find elements popular just a few years ago have either evolved or fallen out of favor.

“While it is still extremely important to include the traditional gym staples such as cardio and strength equipment, refreshing your existing facility with some updated accessories or new products can go a long way and be cost-effective,” Swift said. "Boutique fitness centers are driving our fitness market today. Functional fitness, cycling, CrossFit, group exercise and HIIT are hot."

Incorporating products like plyometric boxes, kettlebells, medicine balls and quality fitness mats conserves space and is relatively inexpensive. The Abs Company Tire Flip is perfect for emulating the CrossFit experience without the liability.

5. Know How To Impress

Fitness center at The Hepburn Apartments

Featuring at least one hallmark piece will help generate interest, accrue devoted patrons and give facilities a custom, upscale feel.

Low budget ideas:

  • Wall mounted pull-up bar coupled with TRX suspension training
  • Wall-mounted ballet barre
  • Yoga area with mats, straps and cork blocks
  • Torque TANK training area for facilities without space restrictions
  • Functional or CrossFit training area with Torque TriplePlyo, battlerope and kettlebells

Bigger budget ideas:

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Related Topics: enerG Wellness