Posted on June 09, 2017 by Gordon Smith

Attending the university gym was in UK students’ top 5 pastimes, reported the Independent last year. They ranked exercise at the gym above reading, blogging and, wait for it, going to the pub! However, it is still essential that gym managers keep an eye on the latest student gym design trends to keep students coming back to the gym and maximising capacity usage.

So here’s our summary of the latest student gym design trends and our recommendations on how to incorporate these into your gym.

We have previously explored the expectations, particularly of young people, that their student gym has cutting edge equipment. Arguably this is even more important if the university has prominent sports clubs or popular sports-related courses. The first step should be to have a dialogue with both lecturers and representatives of student bodies such as the Student Union to make sure their basic needs are covered.

There are new classes and fitness techniques coming out every year. Sifting through these fashions and selecting the ones that will go the distance and provide long-term benefits to both your customers and the gym’s bottom line can be a never-ending process. For instance, power Pilates has established itself as a very effective and popular activity with all age groups. But is it worth the investment in the bulky specialist equipment, in terms of both the purchase cost and the room on your gym floor?

New trends and ideas

Here are some ideas on how to adapt your space to include the latest student gym design trends.

Take a leaf out of London’s Gymbox who feature DJ’s and nightclub style lighting and decoration to spice up their aerobics sessions. Put a call out to budding young DJ’s and offer them the opportunity to practice spinning their disks in your gym.

Another space-efficient idea to draw in the student crowds is to install large screens and show popular movies or TV shows. Students might enjoy watching a film while on a cross-trainer or running machine, but a more versatile situation would be in a separate studio that is used for a variety of reasons. More on this later.

One design consideration is how to set up the reception desk. How do your gym goers enter the gym? Do they swipe their card? Is there a manned entry gate? Some students choose unusual study and exercise patterns. Allowing around-the-clock entry like Manchester’s 24 hour Pure Gym could be just the ticket to increase usage and provide the best service possible to your University.

One of the best things you can do when designing your gym is to make sure you have at least one, large ‘free-form’ studio area. This allows the flexibility to accommodate:

  • Circuit training & High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
  • Non-traditional mindfulness activities such as meditation
  • Beauty treatments and relaxation therapies such as massage. In this new age of social media and aesthetics, more young people are seeking beauty treatments. If your university offers qualifications in beauty, again you could offer keen students a way to practice what they’re learning, this could even extend to internships. In addition, massage can provide some much needed relaxation after a full-on study session
  • Allowing Student Union meetings and other club meetings in your gym is another way to bring in students and maximise off-peak usage.

motive8 has extensive experience of working with student accommodation providers to deliver fitness suites that inspire and motivate. Give us a call to discuss how our expertise in the design, supply, installation of student gyms could help ensure that your gym has everything you need.