Guide to Refreshing Your Fitness Equipment

For Gym Operators

Guide to Refreshing Your Fitness Equipment

No matter what type of fitness facility you manage—commercial gym, small studio, or university recreational center—it’s important to keep your members happy. It is human nature that they will eventually get bored doing the same exercises and using the same machines with each workout session. It’s a fact that moderate or heavy-use machines wear down over time, creating a less-than-optimal workout experience.

One definite way to combat this is by making sure your fitness equipment is up-to-date and desirable to use. This guide will help you determine whether your equipment is in need of an upgrade, highlights how to go about refreshing your equipment, and outlines the next steps for making the most of your new upgrades. 

What to Consider

If you’re unsure whether your fitness equipment is ready to be refreshed, consider the following factors.

Current Members: Ask yourself, “Are my members satisfied and getting the best possible fitness experience?” Listen to your current members’ feedback about your facility’s equipment. Too many complaints about machines being worn down or not working? Time to upgrade.

Run a survey to gather feedback from members about the state of your equipment. This can be done at the front desk, via email, on social media, or even by having personal trainers or gym staff walk around the gym floor and strike up conversations with exercisers. If feedback is hard to come by, offer a small prize as an incentive for exercisers to share their thoughts.

Competition: What do the other facilities in your area offer their members? If they are sporting the latest and greatest in cardio, strength, and group exercise equipment and classes, you may see your members drifting away to join the more “hip” facility. Upgrade your equipment offering and see retention and membership renewal soar.

Technology: Always evolving, technology is an area you don’t want to skimp on. Members are accustomed to new fitness programs and software updates, so you don’t want to be lagging behind your competition. Entertainment options for cardio equipment these days usually consist of touchscreens, television, Netflix®, Bluetooth® integration, access to the internet, and the ability to track workouts through personal accounts—all features that are in high-demand by today’s highly-connected exercisers. Are you able to provide this with your current offering?

Potential New Members: When a prospective member tours your club, your job is to awe them with your equipment offerings and atmosphere. If your facility’s equipment is showing wear and tear or isn’t up to date with the technology of today, it’s going to leave a bad impression on potential members, and they will likely leave to join the facility down the road. New and improved equipment can drive the interest of new members, so be sure to keep your offerings fresh and take advantage of the latest trends in training.

Trade-In Value: Even if your equipment is older or outdated, there’s still a chance that you’ll be able to get a little money from the trade-in value of it. In fact, you may be spending more on the upkeep and maintenance than what your equipment is actually worth. Find out how much you can get for the equipment you have so you aren’t missing out on a valuable opportunity to upgrade.

Thinking Long-Term: Replacing older equipment with the latest, more robust models means that this new equipment does not require frequent repairs. New equipment is also built to endure more use and last longer. When you make the investment in new equipment, it will save you money when it comes to maintenance and replacing the machine down the road.

How to Refresh Your Fitness Equipment

When it comes to refreshing your fitness equipment, start with research. What are you are looking for? Remember to consider the feedback from your members. Check out your competitors’ facilities to see what they are offering. Pay attention to the latest fitness trends. When you’ve put in your time figuring out what you are ready to update, contact your fitness representatives to find out the best deals.

Luckily, you can update your entire equipment portfolio in stages. Adding new machines every few months is enough to keep members feeling engaged and motivated to work out regularly, and it enables you to make changes consistently, without all of the costs hitting your wallet at once.

Speaking of your wallet, there are several options for financing your investment in new fitness equipment. Below are some common funding choices available:

  • Purchasing equipment using your own cash resources
  • Purchasing equipment using equity raised from investors
  • Taking out a loan
  • Leasing

Our helpful Guide to Financing details all the options above and can help you figure out which method would be best for your situation.

Next Steps: What To Do After You’ve Refreshed Your Equipment

Maintenance of your new and improved equipment is essential in order to keep it running smoothly and to make the most of your investment. Just like when you purchase a new car, your new equipment will run better and retain more of its value with regular, scheduled maintenance. The better a machine is maintained, the longer it lasts and the higher its trade-in value, so keep detailed records of the maintenance you have done on your equipment.

Cardio equipment should be checked twice a year to ensure all parts – moving and not – are functioning as they should. Strength equipment should be checked at least once a year to determine the condition of cables, upholstery, and labeling. As always, check your limited or extended warranty for specifics on your maintenance and to take advantage of having certified technicians servicing your equipment.

Read our FREE Guide to Maintaining Your Fitness Equipment to make sure you’re on track with your equipment’s upkeep with each passing year.

You have the power of Precor behind you. Our experienced field team is ready to answer your questions and provide additional information and insights anytime.