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    Forget training, fitness spaces and the gym. Think for a moment of your favourite bar or restaurant. What makes it so special? The drink? The food? Sure, those are obvious answers, but what about how the place looks and feels – the design? The chairs, the lighting, the music? All of these will impact on why you like the location so much.

    Now apply this to health clubs and gyms. Gym design is so important. Logic dictates that belonging to a club where you are comfortable will encourage you to stay longer. It’s all about experience. Here at Escape Fitness we are revealing the top five simple gym design steps to put your fitness space ahead of the competition.

    For more tips on gym design, fitness space development, sign up to the Escape Fitness newsletter.

    Gym design tip #1: First impressions = lasting impressions.

    Studies suggest it takes less than seven seconds for someone to form an opinion about you or your business. That opinion will determine the level of trust they have in you.

    Trust is built on first impressions, and first impressions are hugely impacted by design. The more a member trusts your club – the equipment and the staff – and the more comfortable they feel in your surroundings – flooring, lighting and general mood – the more likely they are to return.

    Gym design tip #2: Happy people are loyal people!

    Design is an area of the industry that is starting to grow and develop because clever and imaginative use of design can not only improve the efficiency of a club but, most importantly, improve member retention and ultimately impact a business’s bottom line. The planning of a workout space should be developed with members in mind.

    Providing engaging workout spaces is one part, but creating an environment that instils pride in an employee is also of fundamental importance to your business.

    Gym design tip #3: A confident brand message creates consumer confidence.

    When a potential member walks into your club they should immediately have a feel for your business’s focus and philosophy, immediately building trust and confidence through a striking first impression. A brand is more than just a logo, it’s about how unique your club is, how it looks, feels and works. It’s about the equipment your member’s use, the flooring that flows through your club and the education of your staff. It’s about the depth of quality behind a logo.


    Gym design tip #4: When the workout has finished the real work starts.

    At the end of a hard session, having a place where you can relax is important. Remember, the mindset is that exercise is hard work so the idea of presenting the illusion of not being at a gym will help to make a visit less intimidating. Providing these ‘break out’ zones will also automatically develop social interaction between members. Building these bonds has been proven to dramatically impact retention rates.

    Gym design tip #5: Communicate what is happening.

    Keep members up to date with developments and how it will benefit their fitness plan and experience. Nobody likes disruption to a routine, but communicating it in a positive and reassuring manner will help to put them at ease. Make sure staff are fully up to speed with all the progress and ensure they feel confident in the reasons why it is being done; any changes need to be promoted as genuine improvements and sold to members as value propositions.

    In summary, by underestimating the importance of design you run the risk of missing out on new membership sales and the potential for those people to stay longer in your club once they have signed on the dotted line.


    For more tips on gym design, fitness space development, check out the blog homepage.