How to Evaluate Your Fitness Floor Plan
What are the first elements that come to mind when you consider the impression a gym makes? Equipment, color scheme, and branding are all important, but how about the facility’s layout? Members may love the look of customized equipment and motivational wall graphics, but if they can’t locate or easily access the machines they need, they are unlikely to return.
When was the last time your floor plan was evaluated? Many facility owners think that once their layout has been completed, there’s no need to reassess. This could not be farther from the truth! We’ve asked some of Core Health & Fitness’ industry experts to share the key signs that it’s time to re-evaluate your floor plan, and why it matters.
What to do when you're adding or removing equipment.
“Facilities should be updated to maximize space every time new equipment comes in to the space, or a piece is taken out,” says Jon Brozenec, Midwest Territory Manager. By placing like equipment together, you are ensuring your layout flows and that members can easily find the piece that works their desired muscle group.
“It’s also important to remember that the fitness industry changes every 3-5 years,” adds Heath Debish, Southeast Regional Manager. Re-inventing your space by changing up the layout helps to keep current with your member needs, trends, and budget. If you’re concerned with member retention (and who isn’t?) it’s important to reassess at least every five years.
What are the steps to evaluating a floor plan?
No matter the size of your space, it can seem overwhelming to overhaul a layout.
Start with looking at how the foot traffic will flow. It’s important to leave enough aisle room for members to move – and even more vital to your facility’s safety! Tatiana Kolovou, Schwinn Master Trainer, notes that there are ACSM guidelines available to help you determine the appropriate amount of room needed.
Next, assess your mix of product. “Ensure that like body movements are coordinated in correct workout patterns”, says Brozenec, who stresses that function takes priority. It’s also important to consider ADA Compliance when designing your floor plan, so that those with special needs can utilize your space.
Finally, make sure the building’s heating, cooling, and lighting flows with your layout. Some aspects to consider are whether the air flow is correct, and brightness is acceptable for the space. Where can you put your power sources? Where will you install audio and video? All of this should revolve around the foot traffic of your gym and member needs.
How do you take members into account when planning a floor space?
It may sound like a trick question, because every element of your floor plan should consider your customer, but it’s important to consider utilization during peak hours to determine the correct number and mix of pieces to maximize usage. This will also determine which areas should neighbor each other.
Heath Debish, Southeast Regional Manager, offers one final word of advice: “Your vendors are a wealth of industry knowledge, the ones who help you most with your business, and can provide the service you and your members need both with maintenance and equipment comparison.”