Obstacle Course

Your miscellaneous machines such as the roman chair and abdominal benches will be just that, miscellaneous. You can place them anywhere in the room, but make sure you have one close to the circuit training, and don’t place one in the middle of the dumbbell section. No one wants to sit in the middle of a bunch of people and train their abs or lower back, so place them off to the sides.

The Cardio Room

Whether you have several machines, or only just a few, the machines should always be as separate as possible from the weight lifting machines. If someone is doing cardio, they are not lifting weights and vice versa. Therefore, separate the exercises into two different areas.

Again, if you have one room, a platform is great idea. If your machines are facing a television, be sure the bikes are on the first row because those people will be sitting, next will be your treadmills because those people are standing, and last will be your stair climbers and elliptical trainers because those people are climbing or bouncing.

If your TV is up high, put the bikes farther back because people will be straining their necks if they are up close. Do you need a TV? It’s a relatively inexpensive thing to put in your cardio room, but not entirely necessary.

If you choose not to have one, hang motivational messages such as, “Did you know that people who work out with music burn twice as many calories as those who watch television?”

Also, face them toward the weight lifting machines that way they can watch fellow exercises and maybe learn something by watching them. If you have an upstairs, this is where the cardio equipment should go, especially if you can face the cardio machines toward the other patrons lifting weights.

After you’ve decided how your gym will make sense, educate your patrons on why you put certain things where. For instance, “Here is the circuit area, you’ll want to start here if you’re a beginner because we’ve placed all of our machines for differing body parts together and these machines are designed to keep your body aligned to ensure good form”. If it makes sense to you, it makes sense to them.

Kati Trammel is advertising and public relations account executive for MCCS Marketing, Semper Fit, Retail, Food and Beverage, based in Okinawa, Japan.

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