Fresh Look for the New Year

How can it possibly be the middle of January already?!?  I hope the New Year has meant your doors are getting a workout with all the bustling activity.
As we were cleaning up around the office it got me thinking about the extra bodies at your “office”.  January is a great month for resolutions and goals but we also find a refreshing start to a new day when we take down decorations and sweep up all those little pieces from the tree and wreaths that warmed up our space last month.

I found this great blog post from blog.gyminsight.com with awesome tips for your facility.

Maintaining an Optimized Facility

As a gym owner, you work hard to devise engaging fitness programs, keep a qualified rotation of trainers on staff, and offer a variety of equipment for your customers to enjoy. But there is one often-overlooked aspect of maximizing your client retention and member satisfaction: optimizing the building itself.

Your physical building space is the face of your business. Before your clients walk up to the front desk and greet the first employee they see, they will make a snap judgement about your gym based on what they see around them. Consider the environment and ambiance of your gym, and try to look at it from the perspective of someone who has never seen your facility before. Sure, you know that stain on the carpeting is just a spilled protein drink that has already been steam-cleaned and sterilized. But will your customers know that?

Loyal clientele will be able to look past the quirks and flaws in their favorite facility and simply enjoy the amazing classes and top-notch equipment you provide. If you seem to be struggling to attract new potential members, however, it might be worth taking a look at the face you’re presenting to the public.

Cleanliness

You are hopefully well-acquainted already with standard practices for keeping gym equipment sterilized and sanitized. Just in case you have forgotten something, however, keep the following in mind.

Though your staff should wipe down each bench, padded area, and touch point with sanitizing chemicals as part of every opening or closing checklist, make sure your clients also have access to convenient cleaning products. Setting out spray bottles of cleaning products along with paper towels in visible areas encourages your members to wipe down equipment after use. Between-use cleaning minimizes the transition of germs and fungal infections that thrive in areas where sweat is left behind by the equipment’s previous user.

Especially encourage clients to clean exercise mats, including ab and yoga mats, in addition to benches and barbell pads. Any weight belts or other rental equipment your gym offers will require frequent and thorough cleaning as well. Porous surfaces such as these tend to absorb moisture and harbor germs and fungi more readily than hard flooring and metal bar grips.

While your cleaning routine might be strict when it comes to sanitizing equipment, drinking fountains, and other high-use areas, don’t forget the less obvious things. Locker doors, shower curtains and walls, and carpeted areas that may absorb sweat droplets or spilled drinks often get left behind in cleaning protocols, even though they are high-traffic areas that get touched frequently by many people. You may want to power wash the sidewalk and exterior walls of your building to give your business a clean, fresh facelift. Also, be sure to replace any stained benches or mats that look ugly and unclean even if they get sanitized on a regular basis.

Organization

The overall design and floor plan of your building may not be under your control, but you can optimize your equipment layout to maximize the attractive and convenient use of space. Even if your gym is small, resist the temptation to crowd in as much equipment as will fit into the area.

A clear and clutter-free space is not only more attractive and convenient, it’s also safer for everyone. Clients should not have to trip over free weight racks and dodge lifters heaving around barbells to get to the treadmill section, for example. Eliminate extraneous unused equipment that could become trip hazards or block exit points and err on the side of safety.

The final consideration for your equipment organization comes down to the intuitive use of workout sections. What is feasible for your gym will vary, but in an ideal situation, you can cater to the different needs of each client in a way that is convenient and feels natural to them.

Treadmills, ellipticals, and other cardio machines can be kept in a separate area so users don’t feel crowded or intimidated by powerlifters grunting and moving barbells nearby. Likewise, professional, hardcore lifters would probably appreciate a dedicated free weight section with safety benches and racks, so they don’t have to share weight plates with resistance machines or wait endlessly for a spotter.
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