A small footprint for a high-end workout

This is part three of Hotel Management's three-part look at fitness center design. Click here for part two, "The new face of fitness center decor."

Personal fitness items are more popular now in every segment than ever before,” said John Sarver, founder of Hotel Fitness. Sarver attributes this popularity to handheld items being displayed prominently on TV, making them trendy and appealing.

However, the bread-and-butter treadmill is still here to stay. “The treadmill will always be in all fitness rooms,” Sarver said. “It starts there. We hear it from every customer; no one has enough of them.”

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Luckily, space for treadmills is more readily available than ever. According to Chris White, SVP of WTS International, circuit-training equipment is losing popularity, which is good news for hotels. Circuit-training equipment can cost anywhere between $2,300 and $3,000 a piece, are designed for only one or two exercises and take up a lot of space. 

“There has been a resurgence in low-tech strength training across the board, using your own body weight across multiple planes of motion and cardio,” White said.

Additionally, the understanding of the fitness traveler’s needs at a standard hotel have changed. According to White, travelers who plan on using a fitness room have a well-entrenched appetite for fitness and are interested in keeping up their habits so as not to lose any ground. Hotels are responding to this trend by putting a premium on cardio equipment and having a small complement of strength-training options.

“Many workouts on the road aren’t as ambitious as they would be at a traveler’s home club,” White said. “There is no need for 12 stations of circuit equipment and free weights.” Instead, hotels can have available more cross trainers, stability balls, training ropes, sticks and blocks.

“It’s great for hotels, because this new equipment doesn’t eat up as much money or space,” White said.

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