A medium-sized fitness center can be anywhere from 500 to 1500 square feet in size. Fitness centers of this size may be found at a school, hotel, community center, or a place of employment, such as corporate office or fire department. Depending upon the needs of the facility, designers may include numerous types of commercial fitness equipment for cardiovascular exercise and weight training. There may also be rooms or space for instructional classes such as yoga, Pilates, spin classes or martial arts. Layout and design of a fitness center of this size depends on the total space and budget available. The following are some types of exercise equipment to consider when designing a medium-sized fitness center.
Aerobic exercise is a key component of any health and exercise regimen. A minimum of 20 to 30 minutes of low impact cardiovascular exercise is recommended at least 3 times per week in order to stay fit and healthy. Some of the most popular cardiovascular equipment types in a commercial fitness center are treadmills, elliptical cross trainers, and exercise or stationary bikes. Exercise bikes come in 3 different styles: upright, recumbent, and spinning. Stair climbers and rowing machines are also other options. A sample medium-sized facility with multiple users might include the following cardio equipment:
• 3-5 Treadmills
• 2-3 Elliptical Machines
• 2-3 Exercise Bikes
• 1 Stair Climber and/or Rowing Machine
Treadmills are often the most popular piece of cardio equipment in a gym. They are ideal for novices and advanced exercisers alike, since they are easy to use and offer a range of exercise options from walking to hiking to running. To minimize wait times, it is useful to include a greater number of treadmills than other pieces of cardio equipment. Elliptical cross trainers provide a comprehensive, low impact cardiovascular workout, combining both the upper and lower body. The movement is similar to cross country skiing and is often recommended as being easy on the joints.
Weight Training Equipment
Strength training is another key component of a health and exercise regimen. Strength training builds bone density and muscle tone. Typical strength training equipment in a commercial fitness center includes specialized weight machines, multi-station gyms, and free weights. Fitness centers with limited space may choose to include 1-2 multi-station gyms that work multiple parts of the body, while larger gyms may include more focused, specialized machines, such as:
• Seated Leg Curl Machine
• Leg Press
• Leg Extension
• Lateral Pull Down Machine
• Chest Press
• Squat Rack
Free weights should include a dumbbell set with weights ranging from 5-75 pounds. It is important to designate a specific area of the fitness center for free weight exercises, to better ensure comfort and safety.
Additional fitness equipment to consider includes exercise or Pilates balls, exercise bands, and jump ropes. Each of these items helps to build strength and tone muscles through varied isolation movements. The jump ropes also contribute to the cardiovascular workout. Gym flooring should be chosen that reduces impact on knees, and any carpet should be low pile to avoid slips and injuries.