Posted on January 24, 2019 by Toby Ward

It’s a new year and, once again, we all start thinking about getting in shape. From regular gym-goers, to those new to fitness, people will be in search of health and wellbeing. Whether it’s a private, corporate or a membership-led gym, January and February will see a spike in attendance and interest as the winter months roll on.

From a business perspective, now is the time to think about changes or upgrades to your workout space. If you’re thinking about updating your gym and fitness facilities, take a look at our gym design predictions for 2019. Making sure your space is future-proofed, and is easily adaptable to changes in trends and fitness habits, will save you money in the long run.

Wearable tech

The wearable technology revolution was driven in large part by consumer demands around fitness and wellbeing, so it’s not surprising that the development and popularity of wearable tech is now being hardwired into gym design.

To keep up with rapidly evolving customer expectations, it’s important to ensure WiFi and Bluetooth is readily available, as well as tracking and monitoring technology, such as cadence trackers with bikes.

Body composition analysis scanners are gaining in popularity with the tech-savvy user, as well as HR monitoring systems. Both of these elements offer a great chance to increase motivation and progress tracking.

The next generation of cardio machines will also soon be equipped with NFC (Near Field Communications), which enables users to pair with Apple Watch, Fitbits and other fitness trackers.

Virtual instructors

Class-based exercise still remains extremely popular and this is not showing any signs of slowing down. If you’re in the process of looking at gym design, seriously consider allowing space for a studio or group workout area, if you have the room to do so.

As part of this, we’re seeing an increase in virtual instructors, especially for Spin and Rowing classes – another big fitness trend for 2019.

The virtual instructor runs the group, whilst class workout stats and progress is shown and updated in real time throughout the session. This helps create friendly competition and motivation within the class.

In terms of design, the space does need to be darkened in order for people to see a screen clearly. This means lighting is important as it needs to serve a functional purpose, as well as ensure it creates a dynamic and focused space.

The virtual reality gym experience is also rising in popularity. This allows for more focused workouts, whereby people are guided through specific exercises, targeting arms, shoulders, chest and back to help achieve a stronger core. This can also help minimise injury.

HIIT and space management

Developers, businesses and even homeowners have to make the most of every square inch, but to do that, design has to be innovative, with an eye on multi-functionality.

HIIT and functional fitness workouts are still extremely popular and very much on-trend in the UK. So, for gyms located in cities or in the workplace where space is at a premium, zoning the gym space for HIIT and functional workouts can be really effective.

As a result, gyms are increasingly zoning their space to create sections for specific parts of the workout routine, as well as incorporating traditionally outdoor-based exercise into the interior design of the gym, such as sprint tracks. As a result, this is encouraging designers to create really imaginative and inspiring spaces.

Rob Clarke, motive8 Gym Design Consultant, comments: “We helped one of our clients to effectively split the space into two sections. On one side is cardio equipment, and the other benches that also double-up as storage for weights and other loose equipment. This also helps them get more people into a class, therefore increasing revenue, not to mention a return on their gym investment.”

A space for the over 50’s

The over 50’s are considered to be the most frequent users of gyms, so it’s no surprise building gyms for older people is an area of focus, especially in 2019.

As we are living longer and we understand that fitness is a key element to this, we are becoming fitter and more agile. As a result, people are making sure they maintain this level of fitness well into their 50’s, 60’s and even 70’s.

This means there will be an increase in home gyms and gym membership. And, as we’re working longer, no doubt there will be more in the workplace too.

New-build later living schemes are increasingly including a dedicated gym which helps with the wellbeing for older people.

Family and student gyms

We’re seeing an increasing number of private households installing a family gym. The idea that families that exercise together, stay together is an emerging trend.

As well as family gyms, we’re seeing increasing numbers of gyms for student accommodation and gyms for Build to Rent schemes.

Interior design

The link between physical fitness and emotional wellbeing has long been well established. But recent years have seen a convergence of the two into a more holistic and combined approach. This is set to spill into gym interior design.

Positioning your gym space as a welcoming, supportive space, especially in a corporate gym, will put users at their ease. This can be done by using positive colours, such as blues, yellows and greens, which can help enhance the purpose of a space and create an experience similar to being in an uplifting, endorphin-bursting environment.

Clever use of graphics can also contribute to the overall effect – encouraging interaction and aspiration while being welcoming to any new users or members.

2019 looks set to be an exciting year in the gym space, so why not get in touch and find out how we can help you stay ahead of the curve.