So You're Building a Fitness Center: Where Do You Start?

Posted by Mike Rucker on Feb 1, 2016 2:00:00 PM
A community fitness center can be a great idea. It can attract new people to your community and provide residents with a healthy outlet for entertainment and social interaction. But once you've determined that a fitness center is the right way to improve and add value to your community, where do you go from there? Planning and designing a quality fitness center is no small feat, and if you've never tackled anything like this before, it's hard to know where to start. Take a look at some ideas that can help you come up with the right vision for your fitness center.

Limit Liability

Make sure you allow all the space needed to use the equipment properly.

A fitness center that isn't safe isn't healthy for its users or for its management. One of the first things that you need to consider when planning a fitness center is how you're going to make it a safe place to exercise so that your members can work out without fear and you are protected from liability.

With this in mind, proper layout is paramount when it comes to ensuring safety. It's a bad idea to jam equipment into a space that's too small - when you do this, you limit the functionality of your machines and equipment and you risk obstructed pathways that can pose a hazard. You're better off with fewer machines than with an overcrowded space. Group similar equipment together to create a safer, more functional, and easier to use space.

You'll need to make sure that the space can support dedicated electrical outlets for each piece of equipment, and that you'll have the ability to hide the cords. You should also consider how you're going to ensure that the light from the windows doesn't create a glare that can impede a user's ability to use the machines properly. Nonslip floors and adequate lighting should also be a priority.

Encourage Socialization

Classes or small groups can provide your facility with a social element.

One of the current trends in today's gyms and fitness centers is an increasingly social atmosphere. If you want your fitness center to appeal to your residents, you'll need to provide similar opportunities for socialization at your own center.

This may mean that you need a larger lobby with seating so that members can meet or interact, or you may want to make locker room spaces more spa-like and spacious, instead of utilitarian. Providing classes or allowing small groups to book all or part of the center for planned, specialized activities can help give the message that your fitness center is a place where people can gather, not just a place for individuals on their own.

Plan For the Future

You may not be able to realize all of your visions for your fitness center from the moment you open. In some cases, it makes more sense to start small, and improve and add to the center as time goes on and your traffic increases.

However, even if you're going to operate in a more limited capacity at first, make sure that you plan for the future when choosing your location. You need a place that will accommodate growth when the time comes.

Don't hesitate to consult the fitness industry experts for help in planning and designing the best possible facility for your community. It's well worth it to ensure that your facility is safe, successful, and on track for a bright future. For more information, contact us today.