Modern fitness centers serve a rapidly evolving market that caters to different sub-sets of fitness styles and demographics. It’s crucial to understand these contemporary, functional, and aesthetic directions. Understanding how they function will allow you to appropriately identify your target market and improve your fitness center to serve that particular market.
Modern fitness centers have taken several directions, both functionally and aesthetically. They split up into two camps: Minimalist and forward-thinking.
Minimalist design and business models focus on a single type of machine or a targeted array of fitness options. Examples include the group training aesthetic of Barry’s Bootcamp, stationary bicycle studios, or Pilate’s studios. Minimalist fitness centers have less equipment today and look more like hotels or spas with multi-functional space. This space can be a waiting area stocked with beverages and healthy snack, or a small boutique stocked with workout clothes, beauty products, or a little bit of both.
Forward-thinking fitness amenities take an opposite approach to the hospitality aesthetic and create an immersive, energetic, high tech venue. Bold graphics, lighting, and color inspire users to jump in and work out.
No matter the fitness trend, it’s essential to know your target market and build your amenity around that particular clientele. Conceptualize your fitness amenity toward best serving that target market, and inspire motivation and excitement.
The design of your fitness center plays a crucial role in the experience you provide your clients. Whether you decide to go with the hospitality aesthetic, the group workout studio, or the all-out action set piece, the layout must be both functional and aesthetically pleasing. To achieve the optimal layout design, you and your team must make an honest assessment of:
● What your guests desire from your fitness center
● The volume of use during peak hours
● Your vision
● The ultimate objective of your fitness amenity
This optimal layout may mean a whole host of changes – moving equipment, changing furnishings, refocusing your facility, etc. Ultimately, it’s for the enhancement of your amenity and your clients.
You must address these aspects honestly, then fine-tune your layout. Only then can you take the first steps toward the fitness amenity you and your clientele want – an inspiring location that helps them reach and exceed their fitness goals.
Wall art and graphics
Inspiration is an essential factor in the success and overall motivation of your clientele. Many fitness centers find success by adopting wall graphics and artwork into their decor. The right graphics and artwork set the tone, inspire your clients, direct traffic, and elevate your social media marketing.
Including graphics in a gym’s layout increases the momentum of the space and provides users with guides on how to use equipment. The goal is to incorporate visual interest to your fitness center.
Provide inspirational, functional, and stimulating graphics. These can provide your fitness amenity with the advanced function and aesthetic.
Proper flooring serves several purposes:
● User safety
● Enhances the aesthetic of your center
● Establishes different zones of activity
Your clients’ safety should always be at the top of your priority list. Floors should protect clients at all times, being easy to walk on and work out on. Items such as rubber shock mats should be in place for clients to use free weights. Whether you go with the softer hospitality, wood-grain look, or a higher-tech vinyl product, your modern fitness center flooring should provide:
● A clean look
● Easy maintenance
● User safety
Think about your clients and select flooring that will provide your fitness center with the best look & functional feel possible.
Video and interactive tech
High-tech & modern fitness centers often incorporate video screens and interactive technology to enhance their users’ experience. Due to their increased affordability and the ability for companies to leverage this technology, many companies use this technology to support their messaging and create brand awareness. Whether on the wall or equipment, many video displays offer fitness programming, inspirational messages, and informational updates.
The number of screens required and screen usage determines the design of your facility. Similar to wall art and graphics, screens can be integrated into your design seamlessly and provide clients with optimal fitness experiences.
Mirrors and windows
Natural lighting and a stellar view are desirable elements in just about any space. Mirrors allow users to modify and better their fitness techniques. In terms of minimalist design, the use of both windows and mirrors in fitness centers is to create sleek, open environments.
Mirrors expand the look of a space, effectively doubling its visual size. The sleek appearance of a mirrored wall elevates the modern design in a cost-effective way. Windows frame a view and can act as a “television screen” when a user is working out, keeping their mind occupied. Also, they are a great advertising tool for those outside of your amenity, sparking interest from the curious public.
Lesson: modern fitness amenities must effectively integrate windows and mirrors into its design.
Equipment renovation and restoration
Fitness equipment is one of the most apparent areas of modern fitness design that stands to be improved by advancements in technology, consolidation, and aesthetics. Thanks to new industry innovations, fitness equipment is becoming lighter, faster, comprehensive, and flexible.
We now have vast equipment types that operate off their own generated power and are made from light, aesthetically-pleasing materials. Self-powered equipment also has the flexibility of being able to be moved around a facility without the need for a power outlet.
Combining multiple exercise stations into a single equipment platform is a continuing trend that has allowed fitness centers to increase functionality while reducing the required equipment footprint and cost. The more open space that is achieved while maintaining high functional value is the way modern fitness amenities continue to win in the marketplace.
Setting the proper mood in a fitness center is critical when effectively sparking motivation. Incorporating specific lighting is essential to attracting users to your workout space and achieving the desired mood.
Given the current health conditions, poor hygiene in a fitness center can be extremely costly. In 2019, The International Health, Racquet & Sports Club Association (IHRSA) cited the following statistics:
● 56% of members surveyed admitted that they expected their gym to be free of germs
● Gyms that spent 4% of their budget on maintenance made more money and had higher customer retention rates than those who spent only 3%.
● If a gym was perceived to be unclean, customer satisfaction ratings fell from 83% to 43%, and customer retention rates decreased from 90% to 53%.
The current uncertainty has further skewed these perceptions. Owners have been tasked with demanding questions by clients and employees. Everyone is eager to get back to their routine, but questions like the following preface their actions:
● “Is it safe?”
● “What are you doing to sanitize the fitness center?”
● “What should I do if I feel sick?”
The great answer is that there are a variety of unobtrusive products and services, which can be easily integrated into your current cleaning regimen that address these concerns. These products eliminate pathogens and viruses lying dormant on equipment and surfaces.
No matter what system or cleaning products you use, the new reality is that every business is going to have to devote a considerable amount of time and effort cleaning and disinfecting. This effort must be public so that returning and potential clients have their concerns addressed.
Show your clients that one of the improvements you’re making to your fitness community is their health and welfare.
No matter what improvements you choose, or what design aesthetic you wish to serve your target client, know that you can begin making those improvements today. You couldn’t choose a better time to get it underway. Take the necessary steps to ensure your facility’s success once market uncertainty has passed.
Think about it: When has there been a better time to revamp your fitness amenity?
● The facility improvements are disrupting no users.
● Users are cooped up in their homes and are eager to reactivate their fitness regimen.
● By investing in your clients and making improvements NOW, you can act courageously on behalf of your clients’ fitness experience.
Are you ready to improve your fitness amenity, and create a modern facility for your clients? If so, tremendous value to your overall business awaits!