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What Qualities Make A Gym Great?

What Qualities Make a Gym Great?

A gym is not just a place for training and exercise; it’s also a space for unwinding, socializing, and recharging. An excellent gym promotes physical activity, offers a safe, functional, and comfortable environment, and provides a pleasant atmosphere for both recreation and socialization.

So, what defines a great gym? Is it the practical and flexible design, the quality of the equipment, the safety and comfort of the environment, the availability of modern amenities, the aesthetic appeal, the maintenance of the premises, or the competence and friendliness of the staff? Each of these factors—and many others—contribute to a gym’s excellence, motivating people to exercise more intensely and encouraging them to return.

Here are the most important qualities to consider when designing a sports complex:

Gym – Space, Design, and Layout

University of Mary Gym

For optimal performance, a gym must be thoughtfully and meticulously designed. The facility should be spacious, well-structured, and efficiently organized to accommodate many people and a variety of exercises simultaneously. In short, a great gym is designed and laid out with the athlete in mind.

  • The design of the sports facility must be creative and artistic in order to attract people and spark their motivation to exercise harder and longer – spectacular facades, varying color themes, and other appealing design features all work great in that regard.
  • There must be sufficient lighting in the gym (plenty of diffused natural light, high-intensity fluorescent lights, etc.) and adequate indoor climate control, so users can exercise comfortably at any time of the day or the year.
  • There must be enough space in the gym and enough room in between equipment so people can use the gear and move around without bothering other patrons in the facility. Everyone should be comfortable doing their exercises and must not feel crowded in any way.
  • The available space must be efficiently utilized – the gym needs to be set up with a clear structure so people can easily find the piece of equipment they are looking for. It is, therefore, a good idea to have the equipment categorized by type – there can be specific sections dedicated to cardio exercising, weightlifting, stretching, etc.
  • The equipment must be laid out with ease of use in mind – it is only logical to put all the cardio machines together, keep the dumbbells close to the free weight machines, etc. Treadmills should face towards the weightlifting area of the gym. Mirrors must be incorporated in the weightlifting section because they are very important for lifting properly and avoiding injuries.

Quality Gym Flooring

Missouri Valley College Gym

A good gym must have good flooring for each area of the facility. Quality flooring is key for a safe, attractive, and high-performing sports facility – it must provide users with the right conditions for their sport and help them feel comfortable enough to train or practice without holding back. You should consider gym flooring options that work best for each individual sport, including running tracks, basketball courts, volleyball courts, and artificial turf for indoor and outdoor fields.

When it comes to weight rooms and other training areas, the floor must be resilient enough for weightlifting and aerobic exercises, provide superb shock absorption and cushioning to ensure the safety of the athletes, and have excellent resistance to heavy impact loads so it can withstand thousands of pounds of fitness equipment.

With the need for a sports surface to meet so many different requirements, synthetic flooring is becoming more popular in gyms across the country. Synthetic floors provide an advantageous and cost-effective alternative to wood flooring products – they are durable, safe, high-performing, resilient, shock-absorbent, easy to install and maintain, and offer a great deal of versatility. Synthetic flooring is especially beneficial for weight rooms and running tracks that require superb cushioning and energy return.

There are three basic synthetic sports surfaces that can be used for various activities at a fitness center – urethane, rubber, and vinyl:

  • Urethane floor systems are characterized by great elasticity, tensile strength, and tear strength. They are very durable, easy to clean, and appropriate for a variety of athletic activities.
  • Rubber gym flooring is particularly suitable for weight rooms, fitness centers, aerobics studios, and multipurpose sports facilities. It is very easy to install and maintain, can last for decades of daily use, and looks and performs great. Rubber flooring products come in two different formats (rolls and tiles) and a wide range of colors and styles.
  • Vinyl gym flooring is ideal for applications that require great flexibility and ease of maintenance. This is the most economical gym flooring option available on the market.

KieferUSA provides top quality gym flooring options to meet every need and demand. We have the professional knowledge and rich experience to help you pick the best athletic surface for your gym, install the floor, and maintain it to keep it in excellent condition.

State-Of-The-Art Equipment

Alexandria High School Gym

After establishing a safe, high-performing, comfortable, and motivating training environment, the next crucial element for a high-quality gym is having the right equipment. A diverse array of fitness machines and exercise equipment is essential to cater to members with varying interests and abilities. Additionally, there should be sufficient quantities of popular machines, like treadmills, to avoid imposing time limits on specific equipment. A quality gym should offer a blend of cutting-edge and traditional equipment, featuring both sophisticated and simple machines.

Your gym should include the following types of equipment to accommodate your patrons:

  • Weightlifting equipment – There needs to be a mix of equipment so users can vary their workout routines and train all muscle groups:
    • Free weights such as dumbbells, kettlebells, barbells, and bumper plates of different weights should be available.
    • High-end machines offer versatile options that can emphasize specific phases of an exercise, such as the concentric (muscle-shortening) phase. These include weight benches designed for deadlifts, shrugs, squats, rows, and more, providing a comprehensive workout experience.
    • Power cages and racks offer a wide range of workouts, including squats, rack pulls, rack lockouts, and many others.
    • Padded platforms and plates for deadlifting provide a solid surface to stand on surrounded by shock absorbing rubber to absorb the impact of dropped weights.
  • Cardio machines – In addition to treadmills and exercise bikes, there should also be elliptical trainers, rowing machines, stair mills, spin bikes, and other state-of-the-art cardio equipment.
  • Stretching areas – A good gym should have a large space for stretching and plenty of stretching mats.
  • Equipment for sports and activities – Your gym should have the equipment needed for various sports, such as soccer nets, basketball hoops, punching bags, and boxing rings for training and sparring.
  • Additional equipment – Pull-up bars and rings, dip bars and abdominal benches, and many other types of workout equipment should also be available in the gym.

It is important to regularly clean and maintain all gym equipment and address broken machines right away. You may need to consult with the manufacturer of the equipment for repairs and proper instructions for maintenance and care.

Cleanliness and Maintenance

Dundee Crown High School GymNeedless to say, there won’t be much point in having quality equipment and quality gym flooring if they’re not properly maintained. Pristine condition of the facility and perfect working order of the equipment are of paramount importance for the quality of a gym.

  • The gym floor must be swept and mopped on a daily basis and thoroughly cleaned at least once a week;
  • Damage to the flooring must be repaired in a timely and efficient manner;
  • Sports floors should be recoated once a year;
  • The entire facility (including bathrooms, locker rooms, etc.) must be kept spotless and ready for use at all times;
  • The equipment should be inspected regularly and repaired/replaced as necessary.

Competent and Helpful Staff

The “human factor” is a crucial aspect of an outstanding gym. Every staff member, regardless of their role, should be friendly, helpful, and well-qualified. They must understand members’ priorities, including their fitness goals, and be ready to assist whenever needed. People don’t join a gym merely for access to specialized equipment they lack at home; they seek personalized and intensive exercise support.

  • A quality gym requires skilled fitness trainers—dedicated, full-time professionals with in-depth knowledge. Specialized trainers should be available for everything from yoga to boxing and weightlifting, each holding relevant certifications. These trainers must be equipped to answer questions from members while offering guidance and support. Their role is to educate and assist, possessing comprehensive knowledge of various workouts and the ability to design personalized training programs for each client.
  • The staff should always be available, proactively offering assistance with equipment. They should respond to member inquiries or concerns competently and courteously, or quickly find someone who can provide the needed answers.

Make Your Gym Great with KieferUSA

Missouri Valley College Gym flooringSo, what truly makes a gym exceptional? While the factors mentioned above play a significant role, several other crucial elements define a top-tier fitness center. These include location, accessibility, amenities such as saunas, steam rooms, spacious showers, and changing rooms, as well as ample parking during peak hours.

When designing a gym, consider your target audience and their specific needs. By understanding what potential gym members are seeking, you can effortlessly create an outstanding facility. And remember, KieferUSA is here to support you in achieving success with your gym flooring project!



Amber Stromberg

Kiefer USA is a leading athletic surface design and sports flooring installation company. Amber Stromberg is a Director of Marketing. 10 Years with Kiefer.
Favorite Hobby: working out and spending time with her kids and family.

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