Why fitness centers need room to breathe

This is part two in a series on fitness center design. Click here for part one: How fitness centers are designed to maximize wellness.

With different guests demanding different features and services from fitness centers, today’s designers have to be sure a traditional gym can operate effectively alongside a yoga or pilates studio in a limited space.

True Fitness Technology, a cardio-equipment manufacturing company, has supplied gym machines to the InterContinental Hotel in Adelaide, the Warwick Hotel in Denver and the La Posada Hotel in Green Valley, Ariz. Glenn Colarossi, director of global hospitality at True Fitness, said that in years past, hotel gyms would install as much equipment as possible so the guest could get a comprehensive workout. “Today, the guest wants an individualized or customized experience. They want more space for core exercises and stretching.”


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As such, he continued, open space is increasingly important in hotel fitness centers, and brands need to re-evaluate their spaces and pay attention to trends. There is also a financial benefit to leaving empty space in a fitness center: the rooms become less expensive to create. “People can open a box for less than $100,000,” he said. “A full health club would cost more.” 

David Diehl, global director of hospitality sales for fitness equipment manufacturer Precor, said that hoteliers are looking to attract guests younger than their mid-40s. “Those groups make up 50 percent of the total traveling public,” he explained. When using a hotel fitness center, this demographic wants what Diehl calls “functional training” (such as TRX and suspension training products) along with indoor cycling and rowing options. The ongoing popularity of yoga and pilates classes mean designers have to allocate more space for stretching and floor exercises