How to Choose The Best Commercial Gym Equipment for Your Fitness Center

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Are you shopping around for new fitness equipment for your gym? Whether you’re opening a new gym or renovating an existing fitness center, new equipment can make all the difference between success and failure.


From determining the amount of space you have available for calculating maintenance, leasing costs, and other financial factors, there are numerous choices that go into picking the right gym equipment for your fitness center.

Below, we’ve listed several tips, techniques, and tactics that you can use to make the process of buying the best commercial gym equipment for your fitness center simpler, helping you cut your costs, save time and get the best possible value for money.

Before You Shop, Calculate Your Floor Space

One of the most important factors in choosing the best equipment for your gym is matching the amount of floor space you have available for your equipment.

Outfitting a gym isn’t like decorating a retail store — from changing areas to smoothie bars, front desks, and other furniture, you’ll need to set aside space for a range of non-exercise spaces and items.

This makes it essential that you calculate the amount of floor space you have available before you start shopping for fitness equipment.

On average, fitness centers use about 60% of their space for cardio machines, weights, cable machines and other fitness equipment. The remaining 40% is usually spent on areas unrelated to fitness, ranging from lockers to reception desks.

In short, the space you have available on paper won’t necessarily be the space you end up with to install your gym equipment. Before you start shopping, calculate the total amount of space in your gym that you can devote to equipment, then base your shopping around these limitations.

Make a List of Essential Equipment

Worried about spending more than you need to on gym equipment? The key to keeping your budget in control is easy — instead of treating equipment purchasing as an open-ended project, make a list of essential equipment before you start comparing and buying items.

Because every fitness center is different, your list of essential items might not be the same as that of another gym.

If you’re developing a gym aimed at a general audience, make a list of all of the most important cardio machines, resistance machines, weight racks, dumbbells and other equipment you need.

If your gym is aimed at an enthusiast audience (for example, a dedicated CrossFit, powerlifting or bodybuilding gym), make a list of the equipment your target audience would look for when choosing a fitness center.

Finally, set a specific quantity for each item on your list. While you’ll only need one unit of some machines (for example, you might only need one power rack or smith machine), you’ll probably need several of the most popular cardio machines.

Create a Floor Plan for Your Gym

Got your list ready? Then it’s time to move onto the next step — creating a floor plan of your gym that features all of your equipment, exercise areas, reception desk, changing rooms, F&B areas, waiting for space and other areas.

One of the most common gym outfitting mistakes is calculating floor space and buying exercise equipment without a clear layout in mind. The end result is often a fitness center that has all of the best commercial gym equipment, but a cluttered or illogical layout that feels unnatural.

When you’re creating a floor plan for your fitness center, group similar machines together. Most gyms categorize equipment by its purpose, with dedicated zones for cardio, weight training, and resistance machines.

This approach makes it easier for people to work out within one “zone,” reducing movement in your gym and preventing crowding. Between each zone, layout clear pathways for people to move around your fitness center without having to constantly avoid equipment or other items.

In short, design your fitness center’s floor plan like you’d design any other space — for efficient use, minimal obstacles and optimal convenience — while it might not seem obvious, the people that use your gym will notice the difference.

Calculate the Long-Term Cost of Equipment

There’s more to buying gym equipment than just setting aside a budget and buying the items outright. From financing to leasing, maintenance and more, there are numerous costs involved in running and maintaining a commercial gym.

First off, there are several ways to buy fitness equipment. You can purchase your equipment in a lump sum, paying it all at once using cash.

While this is possible for established businesses, it can be a major hit to cash flow for small or startup gyms. As a result, to get the best commercial fitness equipment for your gym, you may want to use a financing or leasing agreement.

Leasing your equipment has several advantages. First, you can trade in your equipment every few years for newer replacements, letting you keep your gym new, fresh and modern. Second, the monthly payments of a lease can be beneficial from a cash flow perspective.

Financing equipment, on the other hand, means that you can reduce the cash flow hit of buying equipment outright, all while making sure you own your gym equipment once the financing term reaches its end.

All of these tactics have advantages and disadvantages, meaning there’s no “best” solution for every gym owner. For optimal results, it’s best to sit down, go over your financial situation and come to a logical, long-term focused solution on which payment option is best for you.

Avoid Cheap, Cut-Price Exercise Equipment

Commercial exercise equipment can vary hugely in price. Search online and you’ll find a wide range of cut-price items, ranging from budget stationary bikes to power racks so inexpensive they seem almost unbelievable.

While these items might be okay for a home gym, they’re generally not the best choice for a commercial fitness center.

The best commercial gym equipment is built to a high standard, as manufacturers understand it’s going to be used again and again, day after day, by thousands of people. Cheap equipment usually isn’t built to the same standards — instead, it’s designed for occasional use at home.

This means that while buying cut-price equipment might save you money in the short term, it can often cost you significantly more than buying more expensive, higher quality equipment over the long term due to maintenance, replacements, and repairs.

When in doubt, remember the golden rule: “if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.” As tempting as it can be to stock your gym with cut-price equipment, you’ll almost always spend less over the long term by investing in reliable, high-quality commercial fitness equipment.

View Our Commercial Fitness Equipment Online

Are you searching for high quality, competitively priced equipment for your fitness center? We stock a complete range of fitness equipment from the world’s top brands, with options for gyms of all types and sizes.

View our entire range of equipment online, as well as our customization options. You can also contact our experienced team directly to learn more about how we can help you find and buy the best equipment for your new fitness center.

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