What We’ve Learned Over 20 Years of Gym and Spa Design

motive8 MD Nick Sadler shares what 20 years in business has taught us and what have been some of the main contributors to our success.

We have an amazing milestone to celebrate! We’ve now been in the gym and spa design business for nearly 20 years!

Yes, we’re celebrating two decades of industry expertise and business growth, starting from a small two person business to a thriving company with 120 employees today.

For a business such as ours, in a hugely competitive industry, to last this long is no mean feat. It takes a certain type of company to stay the distance, especially in the fitness space which is highly changeable and trend-driven.

Do things properly

Our whole ethos at motive8 is to do things properly and do them well.

Installing gyms or spas is not about cramming equipment in a room, purely to increase margins and then just let people get on with it. Instead, it’s about meticulous planning and getting the space perfect for the end-user.

We prefer to take a more strategic approach, mapping out the space and studying what people really want and need when working out.

We don’t believe in shortcuts or gimmicks. We believe in keeping it simple, doing things properly and doing them well.

Guests using a hotel gym have different preferences or habits to users of a BTR gym, a corporate gym, or even a later living scheme gym, so we always look at every project in isolation in order to provide the right equipment in order to make your exercise space succeed.

What does this approach mean for the customer? It means they get a really effective space that leads to increased member or user engagement and a far better ROI.

Be ahead of the fitness evolution curve

Gym users don’t just hop on a treadmill for 30 minutes to do cardio anymore.

Instead, they prefer to mix and match their workout according to frame of mind or mood. It’s motive8’s deep understanding of these requirements that makes us stand out. We’re constantly looking at how fitness habits change and evolve.

Right now, our focus is on creating multi-purpose spaces that easily adapt and change from (for example) a high-energy cardio space to a wellbeing hub for Yoga or Pilates, or any other type of exercise for that matter.

In doing so, we’re making sure our customers are adapting and responding to the changing fitness environment.

In the 20 years we have been operating, people are now more fitness-savvy than ever before. When we started, people were only just beginning to understand the importance of cardio and the concept of joining a gym. These days, people’s understanding of what constitutes fitness has really changed.

After Germany, we are the biggest fitness market in Europe. As a nation, we also have a better understanding that there are so many different ways to do cardio than previously, when there were only aerobics classes or cross-training sessions.

It’s this understanding that is leading to gym and wellbeing spaces being upgraded from small areas within a building to being allocated bigger spaces. Much bigger. We’re working on a residential development where the gym space is in a standalone building, and, within that, we’re not only providing a gym, but also creating areas for table tennis and pool tables – which are making a comeback – as well as community or social spaces.


Always be aware of trends …

Every year, we go to the States to look at new or emerging fitness trends. Even though we’re starting to see the fitness innovation gap between the US and Europe close a bit more year on year, they are still leading the way, especially on the West Coast.

In the US, fitness is very much part of people’s daily routine, and we’re starting to see that way of thinking really emerge in the UK. The way people slot or integrate exercise into their day is becoming less disruptive and more fluid.

Classic exercise, such as Yoga and Pilates are here to stay, as well as the growing popularity of functional fitness. It’s crucial to always keep one eye on future trends.

We’re also seeing exercise evolving to be a more social experience and we’re now being asked more and more to create fitness and leisure-focused spaces.

In terms of exercise trends, we’ve seen a few come and go, so we do watch this area closely. What we call the classics, such as Yoga and Pilates, aren’t going anywhere soon, but cardio does change and evolve at a fast pace.

… but avoid gimmicks

This is what 20 years in the fitness business has taught us; how to spot a trend versus a gimmick. Investing in a short-lived exercise phase is a high-risk approach that could prove detrimental to a business.

We always analyse the market and really assess what’s going to work for our customers now, and in the future. It’s an approach that certainly seems to work as we have been working with some clients for over 13 years.

The fusion of fitness and leisure

For motive8, and the fitness industry as a whole, we’re going through a really exciting and dynamic period of change. In fact, it’s leading to our business becoming not just a fitness expert, but also a leisure-focused company.

Not only do we work in the residential, corporate and hotel sectors, we’re also starting to work in more retail-focused environments on city centre developments, with more and more projects to create drop-in gyms with cafes, social spaces and group leisure activities such as pool or bowling.

This approach could well be the lifeline to saving the high street. Alcohol consumption is dropping, and more and more people are looking for more fun or interactive activities when they go out. Cities such as Manchester and York are really embracing this change, and, right now, we are very busy in those areas. Like I said, it’s a really exciting time.

It’s been an amazing 20 years for motive8, and we’re even more focused on the next 20 years and delivering high-quality projects where we will continue to keep it simple, do it properly, and do it well.

To learn more about motive8 and the services we offer please contact us on 020 8481 9700 or email info@m8group.co.uk.

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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.”