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  • Layrd Design Ltd

5 Interior Design Tips for an Effective Gym Layout 

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Imagine stepping into a gym that feels effortless to navigate, where every zone seamlessly flows into the next, and finding the equipment you need is a breeze. At Layrd Design, we're passionate about creating transformative spaces that motivate and inspire. Gym layout significantly impacts member experience, safety and ultimately, gym success.


1.     Understanding Your Clientele

The first step to designing an effective gym layout is understanding your target clientele. Once you know who you're designing for, you can tailor the layout to suit their needs. The best way to satisfy your client base is by getting their feedback through first-hand research. You can even learn about their attitudes toward your existing facility. If setting up a new gym, speak to the target client base to understand which factors will encourage member signups.


Immersive gym design with spacious layout, planting and moody lighting.

2.     Defining Your Zones

You should define dedicated zones by the type of activity and cater to different workout styles. This creates a functional ecosystem within your space, allowing members to reach their fitness goals by giving them the correct tools. The zones needed will depend on your gym type, so you'll have to work out which are applicable in your space. Consider:


  • Cardio Zones

  • Functional Training

  • Strength Training

  • Plate Loaded Equipment

  • HIIT Training

  • Personal Training

  • Specialised Studios

  • Stretching and Recovery Spaces


Branded yoga studio at East Grinstead Sports Club.

3.     Thinking Beyond the Gym Floor

Creating an engaging and positive experience for your members throughout their entire gym visit goes beyond their workout. Every aspect of your gym from the moment a member walks through the door contributes to their overall impression and motivation. These areas provide a space for members to connect, relax, and build a sense of community. They can also help you solidify your brand identity and create a unique and immersive experience. Consider:


  • The Entrance and Exit

  • Reception

  • Hospitality and Social Zones

  • Changing Facilities

  • Meeting Spaces and Staff Areas

  • Back of House and Storage


Immersive gym experience at East Grinstead Sports Club with branded reception area.

4.     Optimising for Functionality and Safety

Look to guidelines and carefully consider the footprint of treadmills, ellipticals, and weight machines when positioning them. Leave ample clearance around and for benches, barbells, and dumbbells to allow for safe movement and prevent accidents.


Plan clear pathways throughout the gym that allow for easy movement between zones. Keep high-traffic areas free from equipment or obstructions, and consider incorporating arrows or signage to guide members, maintaining a smooth flow.


While maximising space utilisation is crucial for a functional gym, it's equally important to strike a balance to avoid overwhelming your clients. The ideal amount of empty space depends on the desired feeling. Luxury gyms might consider utilising open space to create a sense of importance with a curated and high-end feeling. Studios specialising in yoga or pilates might benefit from a minimalist aesthetic with minimal clutter.


Strategic equipment layout at Instagym, a boutique London-based fitness facility.

5.     The Member Journey

A well-designed gym layout isn't just about designated zones – it's about creating a smooth and intuitive flow for your members. Strategically place zones to optimise the user journey. Reception and changing facilities should be placed near the entrance for easy access and a seamless transition into the workout. Incorporating a stretching and recovery space here also allows users to warm up and cool down on their way in and out of the gym.


Cardio zones are effective toward the start of the user journey, often used for warm-up or low-impact workouts, making them a natural starting point for many members. This positioning can also feel less intimidating for beginners who may be apprehensive about using other equipment. As members move deeper into the gym, position zones with progressively higher intensity levels. Strength training and free weight areas placed further from the entrance provide experienced gym-goers with dedicated space for focused training.


Cardio zone in gym layout of Instagym, a London-based new gym.

Different Gyms, Different Needs


There's no one-size-fits-all approach to gym design. Our experienced design team will work closely with you to understand your clientele and create a layout that optimises your available space in the right way. We can assist with gathering client feedback to understand the specific needs and goals of your gym. By combining this knowledge with our design expertise, Layrd Design can create a gym that cultivates the right feeling for your brand.  


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