If you’re toying with the idea of starting your own fitness center but don’t know where to start from, focus on the design! The design comes first as it makes the difference between functionality and impracticality, and in terms of fitness centers, it’s the only difference you should care about.

However, a lot can go wrong when you’re designing your fitness center. Wrong flooring choice or bad lighting can cost you clients, which in turn will hurt your pocket. If that’s a risk you’re not willing to take, here are a few tips that will help you design your fitness center the right way!

Let There Be More Light

Nothing beats natural light and the same goes when it comes to illuminating your fitness facility. If your fitness center is not surrounded by buildings and its location allows you to get a lot of natural light, try to shy away from artificial light as much as possible and opt for windows instead. Relying on natural lighting will significantly lower your power bill, and you can even consider installing a solar collector to heat the water in the showers naturally.

Keep in mind that the machines should be placed far from the windows as the glass can break if a client hits it accidentally. If your budget allows it, you can use skylights or solar tubes to make the most of natural light, minus the safety risks.

However, skipping on artificial lighting altogether is not an option.

Much more than bringing an aesthetically pleasing vibe to your fitness center, lights are a safety precaution every fitness center owner must give a serious thought. Without proper lighting, you’re putting your clients at risk of hurting themselves while working out, especially when using the machines and equipment.

More and more fitness centers nowadays work around the clock. If you plan on keeping it open at night, it goes without saying that you’ll need extra-strong lights to ensure the visitors still have a pleasant working-out experience.

When installing the lights, put yourself in your clients’ shoes. If the fitness center feels lighted enough without having the lights cause you a headache, you’re on the right path!

Choose the Right Flooring

The flooring of your fitness center can make or break your fitness center. First and foremost, the right flooring adds a bonus layer of protection. By providing enough grip, a good flooring option will stop the machines and equipment from moving, hence significantly lowering the risk of your clients getting injured while working out.

Your flooring choice also plays a big role in keeping the hygiene on a solid level. Sweating is inevitable in fitness centers, which is why carpets are a no-go when it comes to these facilities. Instead, you should opt for an easy-to-clean surface that you can clean effortlessly.

Note that, depending on the type of exercises you’ll be offering, you might need different flooring options for different sections. Not all floorings are made the same – even if they look the same to you. While some are more shock resistant, others are designed to handle the spread of impact, some are softer, while others are tougher, etc.

Another thing you must take into consideration is the humidity. It’s not easy maintaining the same temperature and levels of humidity in all weather conditions, so make sure you choose the flooring that is not extremely sensitive to weather changes.

Make Space

Many fitness center owners make a simple, rookie mistake – they pack every inch of the facility with machines in hopes more clients can work out at the same time, hence earning more money. However, they’re overlooking the fact that their clients can’t fly, leaving them with little to no room to move between the machines.

There are no rules set in stone when it comes to proper machine spacing. Rather, you should thoughtfully plan out the layout according to the space you have. Go with your gut feeling, and don’t be afraid to play with the design. If the first layout you came up with isn’t working, move the machines around until you find the most optimal solution.

Bear in mind that a lot of people don’t even use the machines, but rather they just need a good stretch or a yoga session. Make sure your clients feel appreciated by giving them enough room to blow off some steam with their favorite non-machine activity.


If you worked out but didn’t snap a selfie in the mirror to post on social media, does it even count!? Jokes aside, mirrors are an inevitable part of a fitness center’s design for more than one reason.

When it comes to exercising, you have to be careful not to injure yourself, and the best way to stay safe is doing your exercises properly. Maintaining improper form is the number one reason for injuries, so a mirror is a must to observe your form when working out.

You can either choose a wall-to-wall mirror design or you can put large, but spaced mirrors throughout the fitness center. Although most of the fitness centers in the past featured wall-to-wall mirrors by default, more and more facilities nowadays are embracing the trend of spacing the mirrors out.

Know Thy Clients

Before starting your own fitness center, you must have a clear picture of the clientele you’re looking to work with. There are different fitness facilities, including big box gyms, CrossFit gyms, gender-specific or group fitness studios, and many more. Of course, your center can be a mix of different types!

The design of your fitness center should be based on the needs of your clients. Define your client base and start drafting the layout of the facility. Note that even if the design seems to work on paper, you might face some bumps on the road in practice.

Luckily, you can test the design with Ruoom, a revolutionary CRM software that, among other things, also allows you to maximize your available space and take charge of your fitness center’s space management!


The design of your fitness center dictates the success of your business. The devil is in the details, so don’t miss a single detail when planning the layout. Make sure you’re building a space where clients will feel comfortable, safe, appreciated, and above all – a space they’ll keep coming back to!

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