How to Choose Strength Equipment for Your Gym

For Gym Operators

How to Choose Strength Equipment for Your Gym

Whether the time has come to refresh your gym's strength equipment or you're opening a new gym entirely, choosing the right mix of strength isn't an easy decision – you need equipment that appeals to a wide range of exercisers that also has the durability to hold up to years of continuous use.

Our recent research has shown that operators like you find price, value, financing, and total cost of ownership as the keys to having a successful strength offering. Alongside those, product durability and easy-to-use equipment should be top of mind when making your purchasing decision. The following tips will help you decide on the strength equipment that's right for both your facility and your customers.

See how other clubs find success

You're not the first health club to invest in strength equipment, so why not take a cue from your peers and find out what's working for them?

In the case study video below, you can check out the strength equipment that's keeping members happy and coming back to a World Gym Australia location.



Choose the right strength mix: Plate Loaded vs. Selectorized

There are a few key types of strength equipment that exercisers expect in a gym: selectorized and plate loaded machines. Including both in your facility is a safe bet to meet the needs of exercisers of all strength levels.

A major benefit to using selectorized equipment includes its ease of use. The desired weight is selected by inserting a pin into the weight stack; this makes it easy to adjust weight during a workout without having to get up. One downside is that selectorized machines have a maximum weight limit, causing some users to outgrow the machine.

Plate loaded strength machines require the same round plates that are used on barbells. Plate loaded equipment generally has a higher maximum weight limit, so it is ideal for those who lift heavy. On the flip side, plate loaded equipment can be used with smaller weights than what can typically be found on selectorized machines, making these machines appealing to light lifters as well. However, the exerciser must load all of the weight plates on and off of the machine, which can disrupt their workout.

Did you know? Conventional equipment, such as benches, free weights, machines, and suspension equipment, dominate the strength training landscape.

Visualize your gym's strength space

How much total space do you have for your gym’s strength area?

If you're just starting your gym, remember that a significant amount of space will be taken up by non-equipment areas like lobbies, offices, bathrooms, utility rooms, and other extra features. If you’re a franchisee, note that your franchiser has set standards you must follow for how much room these features must take up. In fact, an IHRSA Health Club Equipment Benchmarking Report states that fitness-only gyms tend to allocate around 60 percent of their gym space to strength and cardio equipment, with the remaining 40 percent of space being used for the non-equipment areas mentioned previously.

If you're thinking of purchasing Precor strength equipment, you can get an idea of how you can fill your space with the Precor Space Planner. When using our Space Planner, choose the option that suits your facility best – national gym if you’re a franchisee or an independent gym if you’re starting your own gym from scratch.

Upon selecting the type of gym you’re planning for, we recommend choosing the option to “Create a new plan”, where you can input the approximate dimensions of your gym. You can then browse through all of our options for strength equipment (as well as cardio), discovering potential ways to arrange your gym.

Did you know? Twice as many women tend to be first exposed to strength training when they first join a gym than men.

Determine whether to finance or lease your strength equipment

When it comes to the financial side of things, each gym has its unique needs.

Given your situation, is it better for you to buy your gym’s strength equipment or lease it? Leasing equipment offers you the chance to change your fitness equipment every few years, keeping your gym up-to-date with the latest machines on the market. Buying equipment means it’s yours, turning it into an asset that you can later sell if you decide. If you decide to buy strength equipment for your gym, you should figure out whether it’d be better for you to purchase this equipment new or used.

Did you know? Exercisers spend nearly the same amount of time focused on strength and flexibility training as cardio.

Remember to consider maintenance and warranty

If you’re investing large amounts of money in strength equipment, you want it to be able to withstand the tests of time and consistent usage.

Be sure to inquire about the maintenance involved and warranties included. Most gym equipment manufacturers offer warranties that cover service technicians and parts replacements.

Keep up on new strength offerings

To build interest and promote membership retention within your gym, it's important to keep your facility's strength equipment options fresh and exciting.

Take a look at the newest additions to the Precor strength lines:

Contact your Precor sales representative for a consultation on strength equipment needs.