by Gregory Bradley

Contrary to common belief, designing a gym takes more than just deciding how to lay out equipment. We hear from Gregory Bradley, founder of BLK BOX as he shares some tips and advice for anyone starting out on their journey or giving their own gym a facelift. 

1. Don’t Underestimate Time

It’s hard not to get excited when designing your dream gym or studio, but you need to remember to have patience. Undertaking a redesign or designing a facility from scratch can take time and as the old mantra goes, do it properly, or don’t do it at all. 

There are two key stages you should go through prior to commencing to ensure you’re getting exactly what you need:

a) Meet the team you’ll be working with over the next couple of weeks/months/year and set out a plan of action. This should involve surveying the facility and getting the vital measurements. For example, ceiling height will determine whether you can have a mounted rig. 

b)  After meeting with the team, a drawing of what the gym or studio will look like on completion should also be provided. Depending on the level of customization required, this could be completed quite quickly. 

2. Buy Cheap, Buy Twice

Take the time to do your research and ensure you’re paying for legitimate, high quality products. If you don’t, you’re likely to see yourself having to repurchase a couple of months down the line.

Remember when making important purchasing decisions, if the price is too good to be true, it probably is. It’s better to do it right the first time round and save yourself from the potential headache that could happen as soon as your business gets into a rhythm and could potentially affect your new hard earned customer’s experience of your business. 

3. Don’t Let Your Trainer Mindset Take over

When your background is training, it can be difficult to alternate between a ‘trainer mindset’ and an ‘owner mindset’. When purchasing equipment, sometimes the trainer mindset takes over and the instinct is to think ‘new toys’, as opposed to tools for building your business. This can lead to costly mistakes, which leads us to Greg’s next piece of advice…

4. Think About Your Business Model

The equipment you purchase should correlate with your business model, specifically, your USP. Think about the equipment your target market are looking for and make your choice based on their needs. 

From a facility design point of view, you need to factor in the point that you don’t want your clients to need another membership elsewhere. Realistically if you’re only selling two or three sessions per week you may consider an option such as building an open gym aspect so that your members can get everything they need from the one facility.

5.Celebrate Your Brand

Your equipment is a great way to kick off celebrating your own brand. Whether you’re starting from scratch or just mixing things up a little, now is the perfect time to sit down and think about what you really want your equipment to say about your business. Be sure to embrace the colours, style, logo and tagline that separates your business from the crowd and really sell your fitness experience.

At least 70-80% of BLK BOX customers now customise their equipment with their own colours and branding. This can help to demonstrate that they take pride in their gym/studio and also show that they are reinvesting in their business.

It’s important to remember that equipment is not the be all and end all of your career as a fitness professional. If you’re a good trainer, it’s possible to do incredible things with a limited amount of resources and sometimes investing in yourself can be as beneficial as investing in equipment.


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