With thousands of exercise devices on the market, choosing equipment for a commercial fitness center can be challenging. It can be particularly tough to figure out what type of equipment to buy and how many of each to purchase. Having the proper mix of equipment is vital to having a successful fitness center or gym, so it is well worth the time to sit down and figure out the needs of the gym’s customers.


Commercial fitness centers at schools may have different requirements from those at a hotel or condominium complex.  For instance, some centers may require a broad range of strength training equipment for more advanced exercisers or bodybuilders, while others need more of the basics for beginners.

There are a few types of exercise equipment that every good commercial fitness center or gym should have.


Strength training equipment, such as weight machines or free weights, is a standard part of most gyms. For weight lifting, gym owners should consider including a bench press, squat rack, and leg press machine. If space and budget permits, additional strength training machines or stations can be added.


There is a wide variety of equipment available for strengthening and toning specific parts of the body. Just a sampling includes an inclined bench press, bicep curl machine, leg extension machine, leg raise chair, power rack, or smith machine. Racks and benches are essential for advanced users who will be lifting weights, as they are required for popular lifts like squatting and bench pressing.


All-in-one gyms that enable multiple exercises on a single piece of equipment are popular options for gyms with space restrictions. It is important to ensure enough space around these pieces of equipment to ensure each station can be used properly. These machines come in different sizes and configurations, often with a choice of weight stacks and attachments.


In addition, commercial fitness centers will require a large selection of free weights, dumbbells, and weight bars in a wide range of weights. This will enable many users with different levels of strength and fitness to use the strength training equipment.


A special section of the gym should be set up for free weight exercises with padded gym flooring and appropriate workout space to ensure customer comfort and safety when working out.


When purchasing these devices, it is important to choose higher quality commercial fitness equipment. This type of equipment is designed to stand up to heavy, repeated use, and is far more durable than equipment designed for the home. Also, pay attention to weight specifications when choosing equipment for a commercial fitness center. If the population using the center is heavy set or obese, it is important to choose equipment specifically designed to handle heavier weights.


Finally, most gyms and fitness centers should have some cardio exercise machines. The most popular cardio exercise equipment is the treadmill. If space allows, consider more than one treadmill to minimize wait times for customers. Other cardio equipment to consider includes elliptical cross trainers, exercise and recumbent bikes, stair steppers and climbers, and rowing machines.


Again, it is recommended to purchase commercial grade versions of these products if the gym or fitness center will be used by multiple people.

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