Escape Fitness: Gym Design, 5 Simple Steps to a Dream Facility

Article

SETTING GOALS
AND VISION.

Unless you understand and clearly define the characteristics and goals of the people you want to attract to your facility, you will find it very difficult to offer a personalised experience.

Do the ground work on your audience profiling and you’ve got a higher chance of success. You will put yourself in a position where you can offer a more personalised, differentiated experience.

Put your customers centre stage and be clear about the people you want as members. The main priority is to understand who your target audience is and what they really want and need from their membership. Then you can create an exciting vision to meet, and exceed customer demand.

UNDERSTANDING WHO YOUR TARGET CUSTOMERS ARE.

Consider the type of people you want to attract. Once you’ve established your target market, you can then consider how you will position your facility and how you will deliver training.  

Bear in mind your location and the competition within the town, city or area. How will you cut through the noise in an ever-growing industry?

Checklist:

  • Who is your target audience?
  • What training does this target want?
  • What will be your USP?

UNDERSTANDING YOUR TARGET MEMBERS’ NEEDS.

Most members will have set some goals for their fitness but by helping them move beyond the more superficial goals, you can determine how your facility offering will fulfil this for them.

Until you understand your members at this level, it is very difficult to set a vision for your facility and create the right experience.

Checklist:

  • What are your members' goals?
  • Are you using data for member profiling?
  • What are the emerging fitness trends?

SET A CUSTOMER FOCUSED VISION FOR THE FACILITY.

Once you have gathered input from members and trainers, and have done some competitor research, it’s time to develop a clear vision for what you want to achieve.

Any business model that loses focus on customers is automatically at high risk of failure. Remain customer focussed to boost retention.

Checklist:

  • What types of members do you want?
  • What types of exercise do you offer?
  • What volume do you want to achieve?

PLANNING AND DESIGN.

Do the exercise spaces in your facility make people feel good and help to get the heart racing? A facility that hasn’t planned the design of its environment right will struggle to stand out from the competition.

Consider retail spaces you have visited, everything is carefully considered to provide the very best customer experience. Not only to encourage them to make a purchase, but to keep them coming back.

Once you know what type of training environment will suit your audience, you can start to take a 360-degree view of the facility – from floor to ceiling, everything from the equipment, layout and zones through to colour, lighting and music.

UNDERSTAND WHAT WILL INSPIRE YOUR AUDIENCE.

It’s all about looking at your vision to inspire and engage your members and creating a suitable environment that will help you stand out from the crowd and encourage people back time and time again.

Design your space so that it creates a place your members will love to visit and want to spend any amount of time in.

Checklist:

  • Does the gym design match your audience?
  • Does it create an inspiring space?
  • Does it encourage repeat visits?

THE IMPORTANCE OF LAYOUT.

You have your vision, but you also need to consider how you are going to place your equipment to create a user-friendly, thought out flow and journey throughout your fitness space that will make sense to members.

Design your space so that it seamlessly groups training modalities in a sensible, yet creative and engaging way.

Checklist:

  • Do the workout areas make sense in the space?
  • Is equipment effectively grouped?
  • How does the physical space impact enjoyment?

SPACE-SAVING STORAGE SOLUTIONS.

From a functional perspective, gym areas should contribute to members’ safe and effective use of the equipment. This starts with storage solutions that keep equipment tidied away, yet easily accessible.

Great storage maximises floorspace, opening the door to the very best member experience whilst complimenting your design.

Checklist:

  • Do you have adequate storage?
  • Is equipment quickly accessible?
  • Can stored equipment be easily viewed?

FLOORING AND MARKINGS.

Flooring should never be an afterthought; the right choice of flooring and markings is an absolute essential for your gym space. From providing quality flooring that can withstand the toughest workout through to engaging markings that will zone specific training areas.

Give yourself the perfect base to build your success upon by selecting an option that offers impact reduction, insulating properties, are slip resistant and provide plyometric benefits for your members.

Having the right flooring for each area within the gym is vital, from something rugged for taking a pounding from the free weights area, to specialist surfaces for sprint tracks as well as branded markings to tie in your vision.

UNDERSTANDING YOUR FLOORING NEEDS.

By understanding your vision, your members and their desired methods of training you can start to build up a picture of what flooring solutions your gym space will require.

Flooring should be engaging, but durable and long-lasting to provide a safe, resilient and attractive training environment.

Checklist:

  • What flooring best suits your training modalities?
  • Do you require heavy-duty options?
  • Will you be incorporating zoned markings?

UNDERSTANDING YOUR AESTHETICS.

From an aesthetic perspective, the flooring can contribute to a feeling of being involved in an exciting experience and can promote a flow through the gym floorspace.

Your choice of flooring should mimic your brand, your vision and motivate members into your training space.

Checklist:

  • Does the flooring match your vision and brand?
  • Will you be incorporating your brand?
  • Does it create an exciting training experience?

BENEFITS OF FUTURE-PROOF FLOORING.

Long gone are the days of boring flooring. With an abundance of colours and textures, the fitness industry has brought flooring in line with the latest gym technology.

Nowadays, you can select flooring surfaces that specifically suit the demands of each and every training area.

Checklist:

  • Do you need impact reduction flooring?
  • Is your flooring slip resistant?
  • Have you considered insulating properties?

EQUIPMENT AND STORAGE.

Members are on a journey from the second they step into a facility. But many never complete that journey because they find the equipment available limited, intimidating or unsuitable for their needs.

You can avoid this by equipping members with carefully targeted training options. People join a gym with goals, and achieving these is about progression so the equipment needs to support this.

By prioritising your members’ needs when selecting equipment, you can not only offer a positive fitness experience but also cater for the ability, goals and preferences of your audience. Diverse equipment empowers members, boosts motivation and drives retention.

UNDERSTANDING YOUR DEMOGRAPHICS.

In order to select equipment that is tailored to your members’ specific needs, goals for desired fitness experience, simplify things by breaking members into categories.

Different members will gravitate towards different ways of training but it’s possible to streamline selection by identifying groups.

Checklist:

  • Have you defined your audience?
  • How does your target audience like to train?
  • Is your equipment suitable for a member's needs?

CREATE EQUIPMENT ZONES.

Dedicated training spaces can enhance engagement in training modalities, produce eye-catching, standout training spaces whilst also providing a level of privacy.

By utilising zones, clubs can differentiate and innovate its offering by giving members dedicated spaces to train and encourage community.

Checklist:

  • Does the zone drive flow around the gym space?
  • Do your zones reflect your key training modalities?
  • Can your zones minimise clutter of equipment?

GOOD EQUIPMENT OFFERS FLEXIBILITY.

Equipment shouldn’t be positioned only for a certain user, instead it should offer versatility, flexibility and progressions or regressions based on the stage of the members’ journey.

Think about equipment that would enable raw beginners to do varied workouts, whilst allowing fitness fanatics to push for improved gains.

Checklist:

  • Is your equipment non-intimidating?
  • Is your equipment versatile?
  • Can exercises be progressed or regressed?

TRAINING AND PROGRAMMING.

If you don’t have trainers who can engage with members and help them achieve their fitness goals, your facility is nothing more than an equipment rental company.

That’s the most basic relationship a club can have with its members and is no way to be successful in an industry that relies on customer retention. Have a trained team to build rapport, relationships and retention will follow.

The people that have the greatest impact on your members’ experience and the results they achieve are your team of personal trainers or coaches, regardless of whether they are employed or freelance. They are the face of your brand, the frontline to members and your most valuable asset.

PROPER TRAINING FOR YOUR TEAM.

Clubs can fail if they introduce kit that give members an effective workout, but trainers lack the knowledge to use it correctly.

Educating your trainers will ensure they take your member’s goals to the next level and provide a safe workout for all.

Checklist:

  • Does the team embody the clubs’ vision?
  • Do you provide adequate team training?
  • Are your trainers confident and safe in delivery?

PROVIDING A SAFE, ENGAGING ENVIRONMENT.

Personal trainers and coaches must be qualified to a level whereby they are fully competent and confident with every piece of equipment.

It’s more than teaching technique, it’s about providing an engaging experience with energy and enthusiasm.

Checklist:

  • Are your team fully qualified?
  • Do they have confidence across all equipment?
  • Can they create an effective experience?

PROGRAMMING TO EXCITE MEMBERS.

Workout programmes need to empower members in order to have a positive impact and boost retention.

Group Exercise and Programming is vital, it brings your equipment, gym environment and the facility to life.  

Checklist:

  • Are your workouts attention-grabbing?
  • Are they outcome-based for members?
  • Do they offer durations, intensities and progressions?
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