Designing a Perfect Gym

Designing a Perfect Gym

Sponsored Article

By Matrix Fitness Canada

Creating a commercial fitness equipment facility can be a daunting and overwhelming experience. Whether you have decided to follow your passion and open your own gym, are creating a fitness and wellness space in a condo or seizing on the healthy travel trend and revitalizing your hotel gym, now is the time to invest in fitness.


What equipment do you need? How much strength and cardio? What type of treadmill?  Do you want multi-purpose machines? Racks?  What about a recovery zone? Where should everything go?


There are many factors to consider when designing a gym. With the proper guidance, planning and execution, the experience can be highly enriching. Here are the top 10 essentials for Designing a Perfect Gym.


1. Define Your Niche

There is no ‘one size fits all’ model to designing a gym. Are you creating a space for athletes? A health and wellness-vibe for the hospitality market? Is it a condo gym for busy professionals?  Are you looking to create a community feel? Do you have a large space that will be a low-cost alternative for your community? Your niche could be as narrow as a strength-training facility for seniors, or it could be a generalized village hub that has something for everyone. 


2. Know Your User

Knowing who you are serving will help you choose your equipment. A condo facility will need to have enough cardio equipment to accommodate multiple users at busy workout times, and there will be different strength training equipment if your demographic are boomers versus Generation Z. Before you start signing leases and investing in equipment, take the time to look at who will use the space. If you are creating a fitness and wellness space in a hotel, make sure to include equipment that has attachments for devices, or provide indoor cycles with streaming video services so your guests can easily place their phones or tablets on the equipment to support their own workouts. 


3. Make it inspiring 

The research shows that our environment plays a pivotal role in our behaviors, mindset, and mood. Our spaces can have the power to influence our emotions, elevate our focus, and amplify our experience. When designing a gym, pay crucial attention to the availability of natural light, and then enhance this with proper lighting, décor, color palettes, and flooring. Your gym can be a space that not only attracts the right people but supports their fitness goals. The connection between psychology and design is fascinating, and you do not have to be a feng shui expert to maximize the potential of your space in logical and thoughtful ways. 


4. Invest in Equipment

Any savvy business owner will look at investments for the ROI and will measure this overtime. Ample research has proven that the equipment a facility has is a key driver for member satisfaction – not only that, but equipment that continually needs to be fixed proves more costly in the long run. The cornerstone of any successful gym is its equipment and investing in high-quality, durable machines and accessories that cater to your target audience’s needs and preferences is mandatory – whether you are starting from scratch or refreshing your existing space.


5. Prioritize technology

Whether it is Touchscreen consoles, or a connected user experience like the Matrix Connected Solutions platform, a robust digital portfolio that engages the end user in exciting new ways, technology is here to stay. We want to track workouts, stream favorite TV shows, and are continually on the lookout for new tools that enhance the fitness experience.  Invest in back-end technology to track your equipment’s usage and preventative maintenance requirements, which will extend the lifespan of your investment. 


6. Provide cardio options

While treadmills are now standard for all fitness and wellness spaces, choose other cardio machines wisely. Virtual Cycles that have guided rides and workouts, rowing machines that provide full body cross-training opportunities, ellipticals and athletic equipment like the S-drive are creative ways to offer more from your gym. Usage data from Matrix Fitness has found that the Climbmill is one of the most popular pieces of equipment in a fitness facility. 


7. Maximize strength training 

Strength training is in high demand across all demographics.  There are many factors to consider when picking strength equipment. If space is at a premium, choose a few multi-purposes pieces of equipment, while making sure you still have enough benches and weights as an option. Isolated muscle-specific equipment, like the Glute Trainer is an important consideration, and you should have several pieces of equipment that are beginner friendly – meaning, a newcomer can easily slide on and off the equipment, and adjustments are simple. The Matrix Go Series is a perfect fit for those new to fitness, and for the active aging market. 


8. Offer recovery zones

This can be as simple as an inviting space with mats, bands, yoga straps and rollers, in natural light, surrounded by greenery, or can include equipment like the Synca J6950 massage chair, a revolutionary recovery tool that provides deep tissue release in ten minutes.  Fitness and wellness have become integrated, with more people embracing physical activity for stress and anxiety relief and improving mental health outcomes. 


9. Accessorize

Functional fitness is for everyone, and having additional accessories like medicine balls, TRX, Pilates balls, balance boards and jump ropes shows that you are listening, to your market. The Xult product line offers a whole range of dumbbells, core-focused products, bands and more, Your accessories can be part of a functional training space, and for unique ideas you can check out the Matrix Connexus series, functional fitness equipment for every space. 


10. Remember the big, small things

What is the legal capacity of your gym? Do you have enough electrical outlets, and is the wiring capable of handling the power requirements? Is your ventilation system efficient? Have you considered soundproofing? What flooring do you need? An expert in gym design will be an invaluable resource for not only the layout of the equipment but helping you with the foundational pieces to create a safe environment that meets all safety standards and regulations. 


11. Keep it clean

Though it might seem obvious, maintaining a clean, well-maintained facility is crucial for customer satisfaction – whether it is easy to access sanitizing stations, deep cleans throughout the day, and getting inside your equipment to make sure it stays clean and in top condition.


12. Create flow

The layout and design of your gym plays a significant role in not only retention and attrition but is directly correlated with engagement and customer satisfaction. Happy clients are your most available asset – not only will they stay longer, but they will bring friends. This is applicable to an amazing fitness facility in a hotel, to a bustling gym, to a community centre and to corporate facility. The condo market has come to realize that fitness amenities are a top selling point for buyers.  If your gym is vibrant in look, function and feeling – everyone will feel it. This is flow – when your fitness space comes alive, when it inspires possibility, when it makes you want to work harder, and come back again. 

Matrix Fitness Canada offers consultations with our sales team. Each 40-minute consultation will be immediately entered in a monthly draw for a full Matrix design, with a 3D drawing of your facility (Value $899)


To book your consultation: or call 905-819-1232

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