Top Tips on Designing a Home Gym

2020 was, for most of us, an extremely challenging year. Finding new ways of working and new ways of co-existing with family members. And for the health-conscious among us, finding new ways of keeping fit in both body and mind.

With most commercial gyms closed for the best part of the year, it’s been necessary to explore new ways of taking exercise, working out and chilling out.

Not to be defeated, we’ve laced up our running shoes once again and hit the streets. We’ve discovered online fitness classes, dusted off old bikes, virtual workouts, mental health-boosting apps and, in particular, our attention has turned towards creating home gyms.

Interest in home gyms has skyrocketed in 2020. We are converting spare bedrooms, garages, basements, attics and even sheds into home gyms at a remarkable rate. It’s partly out of necessity and partly the “Joe Wicks” effect (Wicks became a national treasure in 2020 on the back of his new stay-at-home gym routine for kids and families).

If you are eyeing that bit of spare space in your home and considering turning it into a fabulous workout space and relaxation zone for you and your family, read on for our greatest tips on how to maximise your space and ensure your gym lasts for many years to come.

Work out how much you could save

Did you know that there are 6,700 gyms and fitness clubs in the UK? And nearly 9 million people are members of commercial gyms and fitness clubs.

On average it will take only five years to pay back the money invested in a home gym


With average gym memberships coming in at around £70 per month (and some exclusive clubs charging many times more) it’s not surprising that there is a strong incentive for us to want to save money.

The average family has three members of a gym so membership could cost up to £2,500 per year. A typical home gym installation might cost in the region of £15,000. So, it will only take five years or so to pay back the money invested in the home gym.

Furthermore, gyms are opening and closing at an unpredictable rate, with local and national lockdowns causing havoc on the high street. And, as concerns around social distancing are high, it’s unsurprising that we are turning to the home as our main exercise space.

Fitness, your way

Our first tip is to carefully think about who will use your gym now and (more importantly) in the future. Maybe it’s just you and your partner today but, in the future, will there be children using the gym? Or perhaps an older relative? A home gym is an excellent opportunity to improve fitness for the whole family. Make sure you factor every potential gym user into your design.

Next, take a while to consider how you and your family want to keep fit. Not everybody wants to do cardio all the time and end up pouring with sweat. Most of those who dive into a new fitness regime and attempt too much, too soon, end up giving up. It’s far better to find a style of fitness that really suits you. Exercise should be a reward, not a punishment, and the feeling of wellbeing it generates should be the incentive.  

Whilst treadmills, cross trainers, and cardio machines such as rowing machines are still extremely popular, there is a huge trend towards holistic exercises such as Pilates, meditation, and yoga.

Because every individual has different preferences, at motive8 we tend to think of home gyms as one of three or four different types.

The functional home gym is the most recognisable, with its steppers, kettlebells, resistance bands, hand weights, treadmills, and bikes.

Whereas the Wellness oasis may not look like a commercial gym at all as it will tend to feature exercise mats, plants, mirrors, artwork, pleasant soft lighting, and a gentler ambience altogether.

Then again, the family gym is focused on the whole family from kids to grandparents, and zoned areas for each age group.

Find the right space

One of the biggest questions you may be asking is whether you have enough space to fit a home gym. Our customers have in the past converted garages, basements, lofts, spare rooms, annexes, garden buildings and side rooms.

If you are lucky enough to have a double garage (take a look at this amazing garage gym we created for one such customer) this is an ideal candidate for conversion to a home gym.

If you don’t have any existing space, you can always build a new structure. This of course will certainly require a team of home gym designers to achieve.

So, first of all, consider what space you have available. It’s amazing how much you can fit into a small space especially with an experienced designer overseeing the project, but there are limits. You will most likely need a space in the region of 5 by 5 metres for maximum effect. You need enough space between equipment to ensure adequate safety and make sure you don’t feel cramped.

Increasingly we are installing projectors and screens into new home gyms to take advantage of live streamed exercise classes, pre-recorded exercise classes and games console-based exercises. For best effect, these will require a whole blank wall.

Getting the vibe right

Gyms are spaces in which quite a lot of heat, moisture and vibration occur. And it’s a space where we breathe in very deeply and exhale a lot!

Failing to take account of these aspects will create a gym which is stuffy, dark, damp and maybe even smelly. For your home gym to really work it must be light, bright and properly ventilated. A room with large existing windows is ideal but, if necessary, it is well worth enlarging or creating new window spaces. Mirrors are vital in most gyms – and the bigger the better.

One of the most important factors in your home gym design will be ventilation and airflow. A gym without ventilation is likely to be abandoned quickly because it will soon become unpleasant, difficult to clean and generally unwelcoming. Ventilation may need to be installed separately. And without an adequate flow of air around the space, the quality of the air rapidly drops.

Other factors include temperature and humidity. These will be different from other rooms in your home and, for best effect, dehumidification, exhaust fans and heating may need to be installed professionally. It’s part of the overall cost but essential for getting a gym that will be used for a long time.

Consider new tech

The health and fitness space is extremely innovative and new inventions, gadgets, gizmos are coming out all the time. Whilst some might be passing fads, we think that some fitness trends are here to stay. So, pay attention to these trends and make sure your gym is designed with these innovations built-in:

Live streamed fitness classes

Why work out on your own when you can experience a class with a top-flight professional instructor? Choose your theme – from eighties-style aerobics to boxercise to yoga, barre, HIIT and … Mr Motivator. The worlds of fitness, entertainment and socialisation are colliding in the home gym.

Smart gym kit

The latest and greatest gym equipment comes with internet connectivity, allowing you to compete on leader-boards, set challenges, get livestreamed classes. The best of the bunch can be paired with your wearable tech such as heart rate monitors. So, your workouts can be assimilated into your overall movement throughout the day.

Build to last

Our last tip is perhaps the most important. It’s about building a gym that lasts for many years to come. Building a proper home gym should be an investment, not an expense. It’s an investment in your future and that of your family. So, attempting to save money at every opportunity could be a mistake.

This is especially important when it comes to equipment. Whatever equipment you choose it should be built to last. That does not necessarily mean brand new equipment – there is plenty of gym equipment on the second-hand market. But the last thing you want is to be

Your thought process should be: “What can I buy so that I never have to buy again?”


continually having to replace flimsy, fragile gym equipment. Your thought process should always be: “What can I buy so that I never have to buy again?”

motive8 can recommend the best equipment on the market that has stood the test of time. What equipment do we recommend? That all depends on your style of workout. A typical home gym will have some form of cardio, free weights and a stretching area. If you are interested in Pilates, then a reformer will probably be necessary.

Two or three yoga mats will be essential. Also remember essential items such as a skipping rope, dumbbells and resistance bands. But don’t skimp on these either.

Enjoy your fabulous home gym

Home gyms have come a long way since the days of a weights bench in a crowded garage. Modern families want a space that’s adaptable, good for all the family, flexible and will last for years. Using our tips before you get started will help you get a fitness facility in your home that will last a lifetime and bring joy and pleasure to you and your family.

At motive8 we are committed to helping customers build fantastic home gyms, no matter who will be using them or what their exercise preferences are. Please do get in touch with us to discuss your home gym project.



Victor Adegbesan

Handyman & Equipment Installation Engineer

Victor was welcomed into the logistics and gym install team team in 2023.

New to gym installation and maintenance, Victor is extensively experienced in the involved applications via previous positions, interests and hobbies.

With a long standing passion for fitness and discipline, Victor has been embedded within the gym scene for many years and was the primary attraction to his current position.

In his free time he enjoys staying fit and healthy, and spending time with his family and friends.

Ashley Wright

Head of Gym & Spa Management

Ashley Wright is the Head of Gym & Spa Management at motive8. She is a leading industry expert in gym and spa management, working with gym and spa facilities all over the UK.

Ashley joined motive8 in 2019, initially as Gym & Spa Area Manager before being promoted into her current role. Ashley’s background encompasses Personal Training, working for prestigious brands such as Nuffield Health and Digme Fitness; as well as service management.

Ashley’s on the ground knowledge of the industry coupled with service management experience allows her to take a holistic view of motive8’s corporate and residential offerings. Ashley works closely with Area Managers to support them and their onsite teams in all aspects of running motive8’s managed residential facilities, ensuring residents receive a bespoke service at each of motive8’s gym and spas.

A key aspect of Ashley’s day to day role is to ensure a true community feel is achieved across all of motive8’s sites, creating more opportunities for residents to enhance their wellbeing journeys through events, workshops and specialist classes. She works closely with the Area Managers to support them and their onsite teams in all aspects of the running of motive8’s residential facilities.

Away from work, Ashley still teaches spin classes at a number of gyms across London and enjoys 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 is a leading expert in personal training and service delivery, with over 20 years’ experience in the gym and leisure industry.  

A driving force within motive8, Jenny set up motive8 North alongside motive8 Founding Director, Nick Sadler, in 2011, before merging with the wider motive8 brand in 2018.

A key facet of Jenny’s role is to run the motive8 Personal Training studio in Leeds. With extensive experience as a Personal Trainer, Jenny leads motive8’s inductions; working across a range of motive8’s portfolio including unmanned sites and placing a focus on first rate, bespoke service delivery as a key priority.

Jenny has also been instrumental in the development of motive8’s flagship commercial gym in York, Supersonic Fitness, which opened in 2018; as well as working with developers to enhance the functionality of motive8’s own booking system, which is used in both unmanned and manned facilities to manage classes and gym attendance to offer an affordable and effective solution for clients. Jenny brings an informed, progressive approach to business development and innovation for motive8, strengthened by her broad on the ground experience.

Before becoming a Director at motive8 Jenny owned and ran a personal training company for nearly four years, and has previously held positions as Health Club & Spa Manager, working within the Radisson Edwardian for Fitness Express, and Assistant Gym Manager for corporate law firm, Addleshaw Goddard.

A keen duathlete and triathlete who has represented Great Britain for her age group, outside of work Jenny loves spending time with family and friends, alongside her much-loved sports of cycling, swimming and running.

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 is a leading industry expert in gym and spa maintenance and has been a Director and a co-owner of motive8 since 2016. He was responsible for setting up the maintenance department 15 years ago, starting with just one maintenance contract, to now, over 250 and has supported across multiple different roles throughout the company over this period.

Richard’s key responsibility at motive8 is to head up the maintenance division, which provide service and maintenance contracts for all motive8 equipped facilities to ensure longevity and value for the client. The maintenance department currently services in excess of 250 sites across the UK. Richard and his team work with the client and their onsite teams to provide H&S best practice, daily maintenance checks and aftercare packages.

Richard enjoys working at motive8 and within the leisure industry. Internally, he enjoys the people he works with and being part of a team. Externally, he finds it fulfilling to provide a service to his clients that makes him happy: “I am in a fortunate position that the decisions I make have an impact”.

Rob Clarke


Rob has worked in the leisure industry for nearly 20 years and brings with him a wealth of experience from the commercial leisure sector. He has provided consultancy to the majority of the country’s top developers, architects and property management companies, and is widely considered as one of the leading experts in residential leisure facilities.

Rob has been with motive8 for nearly seven years, having previously held a long-term position at The Hogarth Group’s The Park Club as Facilities Manager and Health & Safety Manager, before transferring to The Weybridge Health Club & Spa as Operations Manager. At motive8, Rob has been a key member of the team as a Gym & Spa Consultant, Pool & Spa Maintenance Manager, and latterly, Head of Operations, before moving onto the company’s board of directors in 2020. 

Rob’s key responsibilities at motive8 involve business development; overseeing the maintenance and management departments; and consulting on a variety of client projects. A values-driven professional, 2021 saw Rob work with the motive8 team to produce a series of social initiatives including the Empowering Performance ambassador programme, supporting athletes to reach their goals; carbon offsetting with Make It Wild; and creating a Wellbeing Committee for employees.

Sheena Sudera

Office Manager & HR Coordinator

Sheena joined the motive8 team in 2024, with over 15 years’ experience as a PA, her position is essential to the smooth running of the office. From managing office operations to supporting the heads of departments, Sheena’s role is to provide administrative support and develop relationships across all departments within the company.

Away from motive8, Sheena is a keen runner and qualified personal trainer, championing women in supporting them with their physical and mental health.

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.

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.

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.

Lily Lamthong

Assistant design consultant

Lily joined the Gym & Spa design team in 2023. She is an architecture graduate with years of experience in architectural practice, now transferring her architectural skills into her role at motive8.

With her love for the gym and all things design, she provides creative and administrative support to the design team. This includes tasks such as creating 3D visualisations, 2D design drawings and quotes.

In her free time she enjoys cooking, travelling and weight training. She also volunteers her time to the Lao Association in the UK. 

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.

Jo Hunt


Jo has worked within the fitness industry for 11 years, starting as a fitness instructor to personal trainer working her way through to being a general manager for the UK’s largest gym operator. 

With Jo’s extensive knowledge and experience within the commercial fitness industry, she is working with our managed London sites to maintain & build processes to streamline our operations alongside ensuring our sites are hosting events throughout each month to build a sense of community. 

In her spare time Jo enjoys going out for long country walks with her dog, playing rugby and teaching dance at her local dance school.

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:

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.

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.

Albert Spangdenberg

Rental and refurb manager

Albert started his career in facilities maintenance and operations and is now a Senior Engineer. With Albert’s background in mechanical engineering and manufacturing, he has recently headed up a new department within motive8 providing refurbished gym equipment to rent or buy. He has worked in the fitness industry for the past 17 years. Albert is very meticulous at how the equipment is maintained and always aims to improve on efficiency of how this service is provided.

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

Filip Kozlowski

Services manager

Filip is responsible for the day to day running of our Inductions Department, and assists residents across our un-manned gym facilities with arranging their inductions and personal training sessions, as well as managing the group exercise schedules delivered across different schemes.

Outside of the day time job, Filip also delivers Personal Training both in-house as well as on a self-employed basis, which is how he originally entered the Fitness Industry space in 2016.

Always taking the opportunity to promote health and wellbeing whenever possible, a bit of advice from Filip– “The easiest way to always stay fit is having a kettlebell at hand!”



After working as a professional actor and dancer for almost a decade, Adrian moved into the fitness industry in 2015. He has moved through various fitness management roles within Operations and Customer Service, as well as being a fitness instructor. He joined Motive8 in 2020 as a Gym & Spa Manager before being promoted to Area manager.

Mental health is as important as physical health for Adrian. Outside work, he likes to meditate daily and also still dabbles in theatre through Movement Direction and Choreography.

Lily Lamthong

Assistant design consultant

Lily joined the Gym & Spa design team in 2023. She is an architecture graduate with years of experience in architectural practice, now transferring her architectural skills into her role at motive8.

With her love for the gym and all things design, she provides creative and creative support to the design team. This includes tasks such as creating 3D visualisations, 2D design drawings and quotes.

In her free time she enjoys cooking, travelling and weight training. She also volunteers her time to the Lao Association inn the UK.