Building a Home Gym – How the Professionals Do It

The last few months have been tough for most people. With the Coronavirus wreaking havoc in society, most of us have been forced to undergo lockdown – an unprecedented change in our lifestyles.

It’s changed our attitudes towards everything from spending habits, shopping, entertainment, health, fitness and travel.

Home gym workout

Why are home gyms so popular right now?

It’s because over the last few months so much has changed in lifestyles and attitudes:

Our schedules Instead of having regimented daytime schedules (wake/breakfast/school drop-off/work/school-collect/dinner/evening) the day, for many of us, is far more fluid.

This means we have more opportunity to exercise at home. Exercise can now be built into almost any part of the day instead of being relegated to first-thing or evening.

Our desire for stimulation Frankly staying at home can be boring and as a society we are looking for more ways to fill our time.

Our attitude to wellbeing In these uncertain times we are focusing more and more attention on mental wellbeing, health and fitness.

Our desire to try new things In the last few months so many of us have tried new things. Whether it’s cooking at home or a new fitness regimen, our minds have expanded and we’re looking to fill our time with meaningful, beneficial, life-affirming activity.

All this has created an environment where people are building home gyms like never before! You only have to look at the trend in searches for home gyms to see where the future is headed.

Home gym searches
Searches for “home gym” over the last few months.

We’ve been motivated (and exhausted) by the brilliant Joe Wicks and his boundless enthusiasm for staying fit. We especially love his emphasis on family fitness.

With so many people embarking on adapting space at home to fitness purposes, we thought we’d take a look at the how the professionals would approach this task. And who better to ask than the experienced team of home gym designers right here at motive8?

Private gym myth busting

Home gyms – just for the rich and famous?

Let’s quickly dispel one myth: home gyms are not just for the rich and famous.

All sorts of people have built gyms in their homes. One reason is because a home gym can actually save you money, compared with gym memberships. Given the average gym membership cost £150 (2019 figures) it’s not surprising to learn that the return on investment in a home gym can be seen within three years for an average family.

Home gyms – just for adults?

Not true at all. We’re seeing an increasing focus on creating exercise spaces that all the family can use. The benefits of exercising together as a family are enormous. From family bonding to increased health and fitness. Exercising with your kids sets up an expectation of physical activity that can last a lifetime. As we said in our article “Building a Private Gym for the Whole Family” – “it’s great to see the family get fitter and stronger together and reach your goals as a “team”.

What would the pros do?

So what would a professional home gym consultant do differently to a non-professional?


Developing a home gym does require some space. But not as much as you might think. In fact one thing a professional can bring to your project is the imagination to see your home space in ways that you cannot. If you have lived in a house for years, it’s easy to become accustomed to using spaces in a certain way. A professional will encourage you to see your space differently and look at the potential for space to be turned into exercise space.

As we said in our April blog, The Benefits of a Home Gym:

“Long gone are the days of a treadmill in the garage.”

Family space

When consulting on a new home gym one of the questions we’ll ask is what your fitness goals are. Everybody is different. For some, cardio is important. For others, core strength and endurance. For many people, exercise is about recovery from injury or illness. It’s rare that the home gym is just intended for one family member, so we would aim to find out what everybody in the family needs. This way, nobody gets left out and your investment is maximised.

Types of home gym

Of course gym consultants are continually thinking about hardware – the treadmills, weights, rowing machines. It’s our job to know exactly what is on the market, what the best deals and prices are and what equipment suits which customer types.

Not all home gyms are equal. Different gyms are designed for different customers.

Functional home gym Functional training tends to focus on whole-body movements. Equipment includes kettlebells, barbells, plyometric equipment.

Wellbeing home gym This type of gym will focus on activities such as yoga, Pilates and core strength equipment. It could therefore include yoga mats, barres, Pilates rings, yoga belts.

Traditional home gym This type of gym has a more traditional gym vibe and the equipment will focus on machines such as treadmills, cross-trainers, ellipticals, dumbbells.

Health and safety

One really important element is keeping everybody safe. Gyms can be hazardous spaces. We take into account the potential for accident or injury as a top priority.

We aim to eliminate (as far as humanly possible) the hazards associated with heavy weights, machines with running cables, slippery floors, poor air circulation, poor light and many other factors. These are parts of the gym design process that are truly best left to those with experience and who understand the installation of gyms in many different spaces.

Father and son doing push ups in a home gym
You can leverage kids’ desire to copy adults when encouraging them towards a lifelong love of health and fitness

Kids space

Professionals know that family gyms require plenty of mat and floor space.

This is because kids’ requirements are different from adults. Their bodies and bones are not developed enough for hardcore workouts with weights.

Instead, mat-based exercises including Yoga and Pilates are often a huge hit with the kids. Especially as now there are so many online classes and tutorials that can safely guide kids through the exercises.

Talking of which – professionals know that kids love to copy adults. This can be leveraged to your advantage! Showing them that getting fit is both fun and grown-up is a huge motivator. Just one more reason to build a family gym at home!

We also recommend some clients a comfy beanbag corner or homework corner so that mum or dad can get a few extra minutes of exercise when the kids have finished!

What have we learned?

Home gyms are hugely on-trend now for everybody, no matter how much space you have.

To get the maximum return on your investment, it’s a good idea to consult a professional home gym installer like motive8. Professional consultants can help you with space-planning, equipment choice, environmental factors such as air circulation and flooring, and ensure that your new gym works for the whole family.

Exercising at home has taken on new importance in the last few months, so why not book a home gym consultation? Or contact us on 0800 028 0198.

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Alice Ward


Alice has been in the fitness industry for over 15 years, one of her first places of work being motive8! Since then, Alice has gone on to work for some of the leading U.K gym providers and most recently managed a large corporate gym in Surrey, implementing innovative fitness trends and overseeing the health and wellbeing of the clients, alongside opening a second corporate club and managing a team of personal trainers and instructors. A keen interest in health and fitness drives Alice outside of work, spending regular time working out in the gym, outdoors or at home.

Monika Blaziak

Gym Maintenance Co-ordinator Manager

Monika is the Gym Maintenance Co-ordinator Manager for all gym and pool/leisure equipment and has a background in maintenance and accounts administration for property development companies.

Monika’s skills include accounting, IT and of course the backbone of all busy administration roles, multi-tasking!

In her spare time she likes to spend her free time with her dog Cezar, walking through parks and forests and also likes to relax with a good book at the end of the day. Monika is also interested in psychology, which she is currently studying.

Nick Sadler

Managing Director

Nick Sadler is the Founding Director of motive8 and has worked in the industry for 18 years. He has worked as the lead Gym and Spa consultant on projects across all sectors on a number of prestigious schemes with developers, architects, interior design agencies and managing agents. His expertise and consultancy on projects have ensured that the original design concepts are always met or exceeded whilst maintaining the future operational efficiency of the facility.

Jenny Cromack


Jenny’s specialism’s are fat loss and endurance training, she has a proven record in helping clients to lose weight, change their body image and simply feel amazing about themselves! Having seen what we can achieve with clients on a 1:1 basis, Jenny transfers these skills to be able to impact the health and wellbeing of corporate clients and groups.

A keen duathlete and triathlete, Jenny has recently started representing Great Britain for her age group. So, if she isn’t at work she will be cycling, swimming or running somewhere!

Sarah Cleland-Smith


Sarah has worked in the fitness industry for 17 years and is a co-owner of motive8. She has worked across all areas of the business, predominantly the day to day operations of the Gym and Spa facilities we currently manage on behalf of our clients. She has a key understanding of how design must meet operational requirements, ensuring the client and end user receive the best possible service and ongoing running costs are considered in the design. Her current focus is project management and financials.

Richard Moon


Richard has headed up the motive8 maintenance team for the past 12 years and became a Director and co-owner of the business in 2016. He provides service contracts and maintenance for all motive8 equipped facilities to ensure longevity and value for the client. The maintenance department currently services in excess of 200 sites in the UK. He works with the client and their onsite team to provide H&S best practice which includes daily checks of the facility. Richard also manages motive8 gym installations, ensuring equipment and design are delivered on time, safely and to a high standard.

Rob Clarke


Rob has worked in the leisure industry all of his working life and brings with him a huge amount of experience from the commercial leisure sector. He has provided consultancy to the majority of the country’s leading developers, architects and property management companies and is widely considered as one of the leading experts in residential leisure facilities.

Rob’s role at motive8 is a varied one and involves business development, overseeing the maintenance and management departments whilst also consulting on a variety of client projects.

Outside of the office, you will often find Rob walking his beloved Labrador in Windsor Great Park. Rob also enjoys travelling and spending time with his family.

Nikki Spratley

IQ coordinator

Nikki has always had a passion for helping people and after spending a number of years working in and running the Gym & Spa department, an opportunity to develop and grow motive8’s training division presented itself and so Nikki moved from overseeing the Gym & Spa team and managed sites to developing the training of our own team along with those from outside of motive8.

Outside of motive8, Nikki continues to work at a sports massage clinic helping her clients with various injuries along with making time for her own fitness and wellbeing.

Margaret Hamya


Margaret is our bookkeeper and joined the company in March of 2017.
She enjoys working on multiple projects within the finance department and uses her professional qualification in Finance and Accounting to generate the financial reports used by different stakeholders within the company.

In her spare time she gets involved in different life activities like spending time with family and friends and enjoys cooking.

Rolstone Langmead

Logistics & Gym Install Manager

Joining motive8 back in 2013 with the Gym & Spa department, Rolstone brought his experience from the customer service industry as well as 8 years’ experience as a personal trainer, the knowledge of which was spread into the department.

Rolstone now manages motive8 gym installations, ensuring equipment and design are delivered on time, safely and to a high standard. Providing H&S best practice and service support to our customers for all our products with the aid of our team of engineers. Rolstone is also working with our Maintenance team that currently services in excess of 200 sites in the UK to ensure longevity and value for the client.

Albert Spangenberg

Refurb and Technicians Manager

Albert started his career in facility maintenance and operations; he is now motive8’s Refurb and Technicians Manager. Albert launched a new department providing refurbished gym equipment to rent or buy which his background in mechanical engineering and manufacturing perfectly suits. He has worked in the fitness industry for the past 17 years. Albert is meticulous about how the equipment is maintained and is always looking at ways to improve the service motive8 can offer to their clients.

In his spare time he likes spend quality time with the family and work on mechanical projects.

Kamil Reyad

Maintenance Admin Assistant

Kamil is a recent law graduate with a background in customer service and sales, working within the maintenance administration team. His skills include IT, Multi-tasking and customer service.

In his spare time he enjoys going to the gym, boxing, practicing MMA, playing guitar, reading and gaming.

Warren Killeen

Head of Maintenance

Warren started his career as an Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration engineer servicing a wide range of commercial and industrial systems. He has over 20 years’ experience in the FM industry working for major players across the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors. With his technical and hands-on experience, Warren has always been happy to roll his sleeves up and get involved with works on sites when needed. In Warren’s spare time he enjoys DIY, quizzing and country walks. He is also involved with helping at his local Irish club organising charity fundraising nights and other events.

Kim Mead

Gym & Spa Design

Kim’s career began in the property industry, where she spent a number of years working for both estate agents and developers, giving her a broad spectrum of experience and knowledge of how the industry functions.

Kim has worked alongside Nick for the past 11 years and transforms his ideas & designs into 3D visuals and 2D floor layouts via CAD & Visio in line with the architect’s requirements. She brings together all project documentation including equipment specifications, quotes & project drawings. Once finalised and agreed, Kim procures all the required equipment.

In her spare time, Kim loves playing tennis, cooking and travelling.

Sally Ottewell

Gym & Spa Consultant

Sally has over 10 years’ experience in sales. She has worked within the communications industry for 12 years and made the move to motive8 because of her love for all things fitness.

Sally is passionate about gym and spa design and takes pride in each individual project, whether that be residential, corporate, commercial or within the hotel market. She consults, designs layouts and provides product advice on schemes nationwide with a range of developers, designers, project managers and private clients.

She enjoys being active, is a regular gym goer and has practiced yoga since being a teenager, qualifying to teach it in 2014.

Emma Jackson


Emma has recently joined the Gym and Spa Team, after graduating from the University of Nottingham with a masters in Product Design and Manufacture Engineering.
She is experienced in CAD, creating 3D visuals and has extensive design knowledge, which she’s now using to design gym and spa facilities.

In her spare time Emma enjoys travelling, cooking and spending time with her family and dogs.

Ashley Wright

Head of Gym & Spa Management

Ashley moved back to the UK after working as a singer in production shows around Europe. Starting in the fitness industry as a Personal Trainer, Ashley joined Motive8 as an Area Manager in 2019 before moving into the role of Head of Gym and Spa Management. Ashley oversees the Gym and Spa Department ensuring a high standard of service is met for the residents and motive8’s clients.

Away from work, Ashley still teaches spin classes at a number of gyms across London and enjoys cooking and travelling.

Josh Remedios

Gym & Spa Area Manager

Josh has worked for motive8 since 2013 after graduating from University of Portsmouth. He has worked his way up through the gym and spa department from Spa Operative, to Supervisor, Manager and now Area Manager. Josh works with the managers he oversees to provide facilities residents can enjoy as an extension to their homes as well as working closely with the estate management companies to ensure the standards at all sites remain high.

Outside of motive8 Josh is a keen on his travelling and adding to a growing list of countries he has visited as well as being passionate about his own fitness and football.

Lauren Alford

Gym & Spa Area Manager

Starting in the fitness industry as a Personal Trainer with a specialism for pre and post-natal exercise, Lauren moved into management and now oversees the running of several of motive8’s fully managed gym & spa contracts. Lauren deals with the day-to-day operations of these sites whilst ensuring a high standard of service is met for the residents and motive8’s clients.

Away from work, Lauren is a holistic therapist and yoga teacher. Having previously competed in multiple martial art disciplines, she still enjoys practicing them as part of her weekly workout routine.

Will Thompson


Will has worked in the leisure industry for 12 years. During this time, he has held many different roles all over the country in many different sectors of the leisure industry.
Will joined the motive8 team in August 2019 as Gym and Spa manager where he excelled and has since been promoted into the area manager role.

In his spare time Will enjoys spending time with friends and family and open water swimming in Shepperton lakes.

Kate Halsall

Personal Trainer & Biomechanics Coach

Kate is an enthusiastic personal trainer, and qualified biomechanics coach, who specialises in posture and back care. She has worked in the industry since 2009, and her other specialisms include weight/fat loss, group exercise and working with specialist populations.

On top of that, Kate loves working with groups of pregnant ladies as she is also pre and post-natal qualified! Exercise is a real passion of hers, and she can often be found riding her bike, going to fitness weekends, walking in the lake district – and she’s recently started participating in cycling sportives.

When it comes to advice, she claims “give it a try – what’s the worst that could happen?” is her greatest piece.

Emily Forbes

Personal Trainer

Emily is motive8’s in-house nutritionist, and doesn’t stop at just being a great personal trainer. Her effective programming and nutritional advice is highly popular and aimed at helping clients achieve a variety of fitness goals.

Not only is Emily passionate about nutrition though, as she also loves strength training and Yoga. She takes a holistic approach to exercise, nutrition and health as a whole, which no doubt makes for a recipe for success across the board.

Her greatest piece of advice is simply “consistency…this will help you achieve your goals for the long term.”