How to Work Effectively With Your Gym Design Consultant

Working with a gym design consultant

So, you would like to build a gym? We strongly recommend working with an experienced gym design consultant to help you through the project and create a gym that will last for years.

Gym design is a specialised profession, involving knowledge of many technical aspects of gym construction such as equipment types, makes, models and all aspects of gym building including flooring, lighting, plumbing, logistics, temperature and humidity control, noise, vibration management and much more!

Beyond the technical side, there’s a world of imaginative design and clever ideas for your gym that can be tapped into when you hire a competent consultant. And, most importantly, your consultant will possess knowledge of gym trends that can only come from building dozens of gyms in offices, hotels, residential buildings etc.

To work effectively with your gym consultant, it’s a great idea to understand what they need to find out about you, your prospective gym users and your overall goals for the success of the project. And it’s important to think about the long-term running and maintenance of your gym, so you can be prepared to factor in all costs from the outset.

The very best gym consultants will help you achieve a gym that will last for years, raise consistent revenue (if it’s a commercial gym) or drive employee engagement (if it’s a corporate gym). Your consultant will explain the various phases of the process and help you to be forearmed with the answers to as many questions as possible.

But don’t worry – you won’t be doing all the work. Anything you don’t yet know will be discussed and your consultant will tease out what success looks like to you. Your consultant is there to help, so make the most of it!

The phases of gym design

There are usually four or five separate phases of gym design: consultation, design, installation/fit out, launch and maintenance.

Consultation phase

In this phase your consultant is looking to establish what your goals are, who will be using the gym, what it’s overall purpose is, how it will be managed and how it will drive revenue.

Space and location audit. Your consultant will examine the space you have and determine what you might need to be built or co-opted.

If the space you have is just too small, gym-goers won’t use it. Gyms need to feel airy and spacious. The gym has to accommodate a range of spaces, potentially including the workout area itself plus fitness areas, storage facilities, sauna and spa facilities, showers, changing rooms, toilets, staff facilities and possibly reception and office space. Space for first aid equipment and staff storage needs to be factored in too.

If the space you have is just too small, gym-goers won’t use it. In the age of social distancing adequate space is going to become ever more important.


In the age of social distancing adequate space is going to become ever more important.

Numbers of users and daily peaks times. How many people are likely to use the gym at peak times? And at off-peak times? In corporate gyms, it’s common for gyms to be full at breakfast, lunch and early evening, but hardly used in between.

What exercises are going to be offered? The type of exercise determines the type of space. For example, a room for spin classes will need to offer music and lighting, loud and bright enough to stimulate energetic exercise. But for low-impact stretching exercises, such as Pilates, sound spill-over from adjacent areas must be kept to a minimum.

Sound. The noise from a gym can be disturbing. Vibration from gym-goers pounding treadmills on the floor above can be quite off-putting. In corporate settings, loud music and vibration is a very large concern where important meetings are being held or customers are being entertained.

Gym design phase

Once the overall goals are agreed, your consultant will begin work on the design. Again, there are some important decisions to be made and it’s as well to know what’s coming in order to make the most of your gym consultant. 

Gym design phase
Working with your gym design consultant

Sound and vision. One of the key points of creating a gym is to encourage employees to switch off from their work and zone into something else for a while. That’s harder to do if there is no facility for ambient sound and something to look at/engage with on a screen. But there are so many ways to provide music and visuals, from big screens and loud music to more private solutions.

Look and feel concepts. The gym space should be an exciting and energising place to enter. It should be sufficiently different in mood and ambience to be instantly recognisable as a space to switch off from the world and focus on fitness. At the same time, it must fit into the overall design and architecture of the containing building.

For example, for this client, we installed a basement gym which is designed sympathetically with the existing building, but at the same time still stands apart.

Lighting and mood. The ambience of the space will need to be consistent with the overall vision and goals of the organisation or developer. So, a good gym design consultant will look at your company’s mission statement and vision and values documents.

For example, an eco-friendly company might want a green/carbon neutral space – maybe even a living wall like the one we installed for this London-based corporate gym. The living wall is made of moss to trap pollutants and purify the air naturally. Whereas another company gym might better suit the industrial/city look.

Accessibility is an absolute must. The requirements of gym users with differing abilities must be taken into account from the outset.

Temperature. Creating an ambient temperature and well-conditioned air environment is vital. Too high a temperature can cause excess sweating and even overheating, a condition you do not want your gym patrons to suffer.

Although there is no legislation mandating the correct temperature in fitness facilities, we follow the recommendations of Sport England with a temperature of 16-18 degrees Celsius, with allowances for slightly warmer temperatures in high summer. Ventilation is measured in litres per second per person, and this must be optimised according the size of the gym.

Lockers and wet and dry changing spaces need to accommodate peak-time usage. A guide ratio of 1.5 lockers per person using the facility in a one-hour period is often used.

Gym equipment. Last but not least, your consultant will work with you to recommend the best makes and models of gym equipment, from cardio and resistance equipment to free weights and more. Lockers can be sourced from a variety of suppliers in styles ranging from modern, to classic and even vintage and retro. For example, in this gym in Spitalfields in London we installed a cardio area with the latest equipment with in-built TV and internet. The strength area has half racks and free weights, and the functional training zone offers multi-use wall-mounted frames that can be used for pull-ups, suspension training and boxing as well as a Dual Adjustable Pulley. There is also a large stretching area for core work.

A well-planned gym will drive more revenue, last longer, drive employee engagement and add value to your organisation. Working with your gym consultant can help to deliver a gym that will last for years to come and bring a substantial return on investment.


Project management

In this phase, your consultant will work with you and the contractors to ensure that the installation and fit-out proceeds according to an agreed timetable. Usually in gym design projects there is work to do rerouting pipework, drains, introducing air conditioning, plumbing and installing showers, all of which require planning and co-ordination. Your consultant will keep you in the loop at all times.

Maintenance and management phase

Once your gym is successfully launched, it goes into a maintenance phase. With such a lot of physical activity, it’s not surprising that gym equipment degrades over time and needs to be maintained and repaired. This is usually done on a contract with a gym management company.

Very often management will include providing qualified and experienced staff who can run the gym and provide inductions, education, personal training, health and safety, specialist instruction and even run gym classes. Please see our information on the importantance of an effective gym management contract.

A well-planned gym will drive more revenue, last longer, drive employee engagement and add value to your organisation. Working with your gym consultant can help to deliver a gym that will last for years to come and bring a substantial return on investment. Finally, understanding the aspects of gym design consultancy will help you work more effectively with your consultant.



Emergency Response

Keep disruption to a minimum with our emergency call-out service. Our engineers will quickly run diagnostic tests and carry out repairs during the visit if possible. motive8 know how important it is to get your pool, spa or water feature back up and running as soon as possible.

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.

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.

Nisha Hansewraj


Nisha graduated from university with a BA Hons in Accounting and Finance. Since then, she has gained significant experience and knowledge in all aspects of accounting and finance. She has joined our accounts team and is responsible for managing our books and preparing relevant financial reports for the business. She is very productive in challenging roles and as a self-motivated and meticulous person is willing to learn new skills and develop existing knowledge.

Outside of work, Nisha enjoys spending time with her family and exploring nature, especially taking scenic countryside walks. Cooking and baking is another of Nisha’s passions. 

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.

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.

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.

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.

Repair & Refurbishment

Keep your facilities looking fresh, modern and in pristine condition. motive8 can advise you on the latest trends in design, sustainability and efficiency to make sure your pool and spa continue to give your site a competitive advantage.

Yaasmeen Muhammad


Yaasmeen (Yaas for short) has recently joined the Gym and Spa Team, after graduating from Kingston School of Art with a master’s in Architecture. She is experienced in CAD and creating 3D visuals and has extensive design knowledge especially when it comes to gyms as she also used to be an athlete and personal trainer and so she knows what it takes to design a well thought out gym and bring the ideas to life.

In her spare time, she enjoys going to the gym, martial arts and spending time with her family. 

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.

Sarah Humphreys

Gym & Spa Area Manager

Sarah has worked in the leisure industry since the age of 17, starting out as a Fitness Instructor initially, then working as Sales Manager and then progressing to Club Manager. Sarah joined motive8 in January 2020 as a Gym and Spa Manager of our first Manchester gym & spa facility before being promoted into the role of Area Manager to oversee our growing operation in Manchester and the North West. Outside of motive8 Sarah enjoys running, Personal Training as well as spending time with family and friends.

Bradley Dixon


Bradley has worked in the leisure industry since the age of 16, starting as a Lifeguard and progressing through various management roles which also took him to working and living abroad both in Dubai and Australia. Bradley joined motive8 in June in 2020 as a Gym and Spa Manager before being promoted into the role of Area Manager.

Outside of motive8 Bradley also enjoys teaching various group exercise classes as well as spending time with friends and travelling.

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.”

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.

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.

Sarah Humphreys

Gym & Spa Area Manager

Sarah has worked in the leisure industry since the age of 17, starting out as a Fitness Instructor initially, then working as Sales Manager and then progressing to Club Manager.

Sarah joined motive8 in January 2020 as a Gym and Spa Manager of our first Manchester gym & spa facility before being promoted into the role of Area Manager to oversee our growing operation in Manchester and the North West. 

Outside of motive8 Sarah enjoys running, Personal Training as well as spending time with family and friends.


Maintenance and servicing

Protect your investment, meet compliance regulations and prevent costly breakdowns. Our experienced pool engineers schedule regular maintenance visits or can attend as requested for events such as preparing an outdoor pool for summer. Our maintenance covers all kinds of pool, spa and water features for: