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    09 / Feb / 2022

    8 Tips to Consider When Planning a Commercial Gym

    Opening up your very own commercial gym can feel a tad overwhelming, especially if you don’t know where to start. Thankfully this article outlines 8 tips that will help you get started when it comes to planning a commercial gym.

    8 Tips to Consider When Planning a Commercial Gym

    There are many good reasons to frequently visit a commercial gym. Whether you have your own fitness goals you want to accomplish, or maybe you may just enjoy having the added routine and structure to your day, commercial gyms provide a variety of purposes.

    For some, their love for the fitness industry speaks to a higher level and they want to immerse themselves into the fitness industry as a career. We don’t blame you … we feel the same way!

    At Akfit, we are  a Canadian specialty fitness store. Located in Sudbury, we serve clients in northern Ontario, the rest of Canada, and beyond. 

    By selling quality gym equipment and accessories, we often get asked for advice on purchasing gym equipment. Not only do we assist every-day consumers, but we also offer commercial gym services. So you’ve come to the right place! 

    Opening up your very own commercial gym can feel a tad overwhelming, especially if you don’t know where to start. Thankfully this article outlines 8 tips that will help you get started when it comes to planning a commercial gym.

    In this article:

    1)      What is a Commercial Gym?

    2)      Determine the User Demographic

    3)      Determine the Size of the Space

    4)      Location and Nearby Services

    5)      Don’t Forget About Your Budget

    6)      Consider Your Flooring Options

    7)      Plan with Hygiene in Mind

    8)      Always Consider Safety

    9)      Invest in the Essential Equipment

    10)    Reach Out to Akfit

     

    What is a Commercial Gym?

    Before diving into the setup of a commercial gym, it is important to define what exactly a commercial gym is and if this is the type of gym you wish to create. 

    A commercial gym is what most people think of as a public gym. They are typically large spaces used by customers or members that are designed with the purpose of working out.

    These gyms are usually filled up with commercial-grade fitness equipment that is durable and designed for high-volume usage. Commercial gyms are also known to provide different workout programs and classes, and sometimes other amenities such as showers, lockers, saunas, massage chairs, swimming pools, basketball courts, and more.

    Working out at a commercial gym is attractive because it offers a wide range of equipment, programs, and amenities that you may not have access to at home. In turn, a commercial gym is a one-stop-shop for achieving one’s fitness goals.   

    However, there isn’t just one standard type of a commercial gym. Consider comparing commercial gyms to the restaurant industry, every commercial gym business has a different brand, experience, and target user.

    Some different types of commercial gyms can include:

    • Big box gyms
    • Boutique gyms
    • Personal training gyms
    • Cross fit gyms
    • Powerlifting gyms
    • Specialty fitness centers
    • Medical fitness and wellness gyms

     

    Here are 8 very important tips you should consider when planning a commercial gym.

     

    Determine the User Demographic

    When you are planning to open up and design a commercial gym, knowing your market and  potential clientele is very important. After all, these are the people that will keep you in business.

    You’ll want to determine the type of clients you want to attract to your gym that will continue to visit frequently. They could be customers who…

    • Who want to lose weight
    • Want to bulk up and build muscle
    • Those who are looking for a safe environment to workout indoors
    • Clients who enjoy working out but also enjoy socializing on the side
    • Those who enjoy their regular sessions of high-intensity training
    • Customers who want to work with a personal trainer or attend classes
    • Those who want to attend a gym or class that provides sense of comfort (such as female only sections)

    Commercial gyms aren’t just limited to themselves as individual businesses either. Gyms are commonly found as workplaces, hotels, luxury condominiums, hospitals, community centers, and more.  

    It’s important to find a niche or a target demographic so that the service you supply will meet the needs of your clientele. After all, there is a lot of competition in the commercial gym business. 

     

    Determine the Size of Your Space

    Commercial gyms should be as spacious as possible especially if your gym intends on facilitating a lot of workout programs and equipment used by a variety of guests. 

    You don’t want your clientele having to exercise in a cramped environment. It not only poses a safety concern, but may also lead to clientele feeling uncomfortable. 

    In fact, planning with extra space in mind is a good thing. Chances are if your commercial gym is just starting out, you’ll want to have the opportunity to expand your services. It can be difficult to figure out which equipment may be more popular than others at first so it’s important to leave space for expansion.

    Most commercial gyms break their space into sections. Generally all the cardio equipment is in one area, strength training equipment is in another area, there are usually extra rooms dedicated for classes, and even more available space depending on the niche of your gym.

     

    Picking a Location

    Picking out your ideal location for a commercial gym is very important. After deciding upon the type of gym you want to be and the clients you want to target, those exact clients will need to be able to access your services.

    When looking for your ideal location, consider some of these simple points:

    • A gym that is close to nearby amenities or residential areas could be more easily accessible. There are lots of gyms in shopping malls for example that easily service regulars or workers of that mall.
    • You’ll want your gym to be in an area where you can have potential foot traffic so potential customers walk in and inquire about your gym.
    • Depending on your niche and the type of clients are you trying to attract, you will want to find a location that has proper space for the size of your gym. 
    • Finally,does your commercial gym provide enough parking space for your customers?

     

    Don’t Forget About Your Budget

    This seems obvious right? Opening up a commercial gym is expensive. There are quite a few components to opening a commercial gym that  you’ll need to budget for. 

    A commercial gym budget should include:

    • Rent
    • Gym equipment & accessories
    • Employees
    • Legal fees
    • Business software
    • Licenses and permits
    • Flooring options
    • Building & equipment maintenance

    The start-up cost of opening a commercial gym can cost anywhere from $10,000 to $50,000 and more.

    To save on cost, you may want to consider finding a property with a more cost-friendly monthly rent. If you are able to install a lot of the equipment and flooring yourself that can also take some pressure off your wallet as well. But, it is important to ensure that the floor is installed properly and safely. Poorly installed equipment can lead to injuries and potentially lawsuits if escalated.

    You’ll still want to be able to provide quality durable equipment, an accessible location, and employ reputable staff and experts so that the business can grow and your clientele’s needs are met.

    Consider Your Flooring Options

    The type of flooring you use for your commercial gym is very important for the safety of the users, the equipment, and the durability of your location.

    You’ll want to look for the best commercial gym flooring that is able to absorb the impact of the vigorous workouts that are taking place. If you don’t have the ideal flooring in place, you’ll want to consider looking into mats,  sectional rubber tiles, or turf flooring.

    Each type of flooring has different purposes, so it’s important that the flooring you choose caters to the type of exercise that takes place in your gym. To figure out what type of gym you want to be first, and then budget it out accordingly.

    We recommend checking out the different flooring options that are best for your gym. If you are a business that offers the use of heavy-duty equipment, you might want to check out the different rubber flooring options available.

    The cost of your flooring can be impacted by the following variables:

    • The type of flooring you wish to install
    • The thickness of the floor
    • Installation costs
    • The durability of our floor

     

    Plan with Hygiene in Mind

    Gym equipment can get dirty and gross, especially in a heavily populated environment. If you hop on a treadmill at a popular public gym that you frequent, there is a very good chance someone was using that exact treadmill not long before you.

    It’s important to be able to provide proper sanitization and cleaning solutions, as well as paper towels that are safe for cleaning workout equipment.

    Another honest reality of commercial gyms is that a bunch of people sweating in a single confined space can create an unpleasant smell. Investing in quality air ventilation or filtration can drastically increase the air quality in your gym.

    Showers are also a must-have if you intend on having a lot of traffic in your gym because many clients visit before and after work, or on their lunch breaks. It is important for people to have a place to shower to get on with the rest of their day … feeling clean!

    Aside from avoiding filth and odor, let’s also not forget about the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. As a commercial gym owner, you have a responsibility to keep your gym goers safe.  Maintaining a clean and germ-free workout environment has never been so important!

     

    Always Consider Safety

    Safety is an important element for every business. You need to ensure that you are providing your clientele with a service that won’t put them in danger. Your staff should also be well-trained in safety programs for the benefits of themselves and the business. 

    To create a comfortable workout environment and minimize injuries in your gym, you’ll want to consider some key factors:

    • Your gym should have enough space for change rooms and lockers to allow customers to safely change into their workout gear.
    • Flooring is very important for safety. A floor that doesn’t have a lot of give can be dangerous to the user and the equipment.
    • As previously mentioned, with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, proper sanitization is key.
    • Make sure your equipment has a proper maintenance schedule so the risk to your patrons is minimized.
    • Plan your gym with a lot of space so your customers can easily workout and not bump into someone else.
    • Make sure to include safety instructions on all equipment so that customers are aware of how to use the equipment properly.
    • Hire and train staff that have an expertise in exercising safely to help service your clientele.

     

    Purchasing Essential Gym Equipment

    While there are different types of commercial gyms, it’s still important to have a wide range of equipment that can cater to different fitness needs. 

    Even gyms who specialize in strength training still require a good outlet for cardio training as well. You’ll want to make sure that you have a variety of lifting equipment while still having treadmills, ellipticals, and exercise bikes in your gym. 

    If you hope to expand into a big box gym, it is best to have a mix of everything because you don’t know which machines may become more popular among your customers. 

    Ready to Plan a Commercial Gym? Reach Out to Akfit!

    After reading this article, it is clear that designing a commercial gym is a complex business venture. This can feel overwhelming as you are getting started.

    Thankfully, we are here to help. Since 1989, Akfit has been working closely with our communities and our fitness experts are here to help you with planning and designing a commercial gym of your own.

    We sell commercial gym equipment that is of high-quality and is built to last. We highly recommend reaching out to us with your commercial gym related questions.

    You can book a virtual meeting with us, or visit us in-store at our Sudbury location to help you plan out the ideal commercial gym packages that work best for you and your customers.

    Akfit can even provide you a 3D design along with a quote to help you envision your commercial gym coming to life. Submit a commercial request here.

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