How much space is required for a commercial gym?

Vicki Morillo
8 min read
Some additional information in one line

Have you ever wondered how much space you need to open a commercial gym? Space planning is not just a matter of finding a big enough room; it's an art form that balances functionality with aesthetics. 

In a commercial gym setting, every square foot counts, and optimizing this space is crucial for creating an environment that is both inviting and efficient.

So, how much space do you need? It's not a one-size-fits-all answer, but typically, you're looking at approximately 1020 square feet per piece of equipment for a commercial gym. 

This range allows enough room for movement, safety, and comfort. The exact amount can vary depending on the type of gym and the variety of equipment and services offered.

Whether you're dreaming of opening your gym or looking to revamp an existing space, understanding the essentials of space optimization is key to your success.

Key takeaways

  • Optimal space planning in a commercial gym is vital, with around 10–30 square feet per piece of equipment generally required for a comfortable and safe workout environment.
  • Gym layouts significantly impact space utilization, ranging from traditionally segregated zones to contemporary integrated designs, each catering to specific workout styles and enhancing the member experience.
  • Equipment space needs careful consideration, with cardio machines requiring around 1030 square feet each, strength training equipment 2050 square feet, and functional training areas 2030 square feet per person.
  • Additional gym spaces, including group fitness rooms, personal training zones, reception areas, and utility spaces, are crucial for a holistic gym experience, each demanding specific square footage for optimal functionality and comfort.

Understanding gym layouts


Dive into the world of gym layouts, where each design choice sets the stage for your members' fitness adventures. It's not just about placing equipment; it's about creating an environment that motivates and supports.

Types of gym layouts

Picture your gym's layout as the blueprint of your members' fitness journey. Traditional layouts, with distinct cardio, strength, and free weight zones, offer a structured path. 

In contrast, contemporary designs blend these areas, fostering a dynamic and integrated workout environment. 

Specialized gyms, like CrossFit boxes or yoga studios, tailor their layouts to their unique fitness philosophy, emphasizing open spaces for group dynamics or specialized equipment setups.

Did you know? 

Some gyms use sustainable materials and energy-efficient equipment to incorporate eco-friendly designs into their layouts. This trend not only supports environmental conservation but also appeals to eco-conscious gym-goers. (Source)

Equipment space requirements

Equipment in a gym.

The art of gym design is in balancing space with functionality. It's about ensuring each piece of equipment has its stage to shine, enhancing safety and user experience.

Cardio machines

Cardio areas are the energetic pulse of a gym. 

Each treadmill, elliptical, and bike needs its spotlight, with around 30 square feet for treadmills, 20 for ellipticals, and 10 for bikes. 

This space isn't just for the machines; it's for safety, comfort, and freedom of movement, allowing users to immerse in their cardio journey without constraints.

Strength training equipment

Each machine, free weight area, and squat rack in strength training demands careful consideration. 

Machines need about 2040 square feet, while free-weight zones call for 50200 square feet of dynamic space. 

Squat racks, the pillars of strength training, require 3550 square feet, ensuring safety and ample room for power movements.

Functional training area

Functional training areas are the versatile playgrounds of a gym, needing about 2030 square feet per person. 

These spaces are adaptable theaters for diverse activities, from kettlebell swings to TRX sessions, embodying the spirit of functional fitness. 

They're designed to be as flexible and dynamic as the workouts they host, accommodating both group energy and individual focus.

Workout area considerations

Designing the workout areas in your gym is like crafting the perfect fitness journey for your members. It's where aspirations turn into action, and every square meter counts.

Group fitness rooms

Imagine a room buzzing with energy as a yoga or aerobics class unfolds. These spaces are the heartbeats of group fitness, pulsating with movement and rhythm. 

For a class of 1015 people, you'll want a room around 2030 square meters a canvas spacious enough for each member to stretch, move, and find their fitness bliss. 

And remember the little details like ventilation and soundproofing that transform a good fitness class into a great one.

Personal training zones

Now, let's talk about personal training zones. These are intimate spaces where goals are set and met one-on-one. 

Consider allocating about 1015 square meters for each zone. It's not just about fitting in equipment; it's about creating a personal sanctuary where clients can focus; away from the gym's hustle and bustle. 

A well-thought-out personal training zone can differentiate between a good and a fantastic gym experience.

Did you know? 

Personal training originated in the early 20th century but gained popularity in the 1980s with the fitness boom. Today, it's a core component of many gyms, offering tailored workout plans and one-on-one coaching. (Source)

Additional facility spaces

Equipment in a gym.

A gym is more than just its workout areas. It's a complete experience, starting right from the entrance.

Reception and lobby area

The reception and lobby area is where first impressions are made. It's the welcoming face of your gym. 

Around 1520 square meters should give your members enough room to enter and leave without a hassle. This space is more than just functional; it introduces your gym's culture and ethos.

Did you know? 

The design and atmosphere of a gym's reception area can significantly influence a new member's first impression. Studies show that a welcoming and well-designed entrance can increase membership retention rates. (Source)

Locker rooms and bathrooms

Let's remember the locker rooms and bathrooms. These are crucial for comfort and convenience. Aim for 3050 square meters, depending on your gym's scale. 

It's about providing a clean, secure, and private space where members can refresh and rejuvenate. Remember, the quality of your locker rooms often reflects the standard of your gym.

Utility and storage areas

Lastly, utility and storage areas are the unsung heroes of your gym. They might require 1020 square meters, but their contribution is immense. 

This is where everything that keeps your gym ticking is stored, from cleaning supplies to extra equipment. 

Organized and accessible, these spaces help keep your gym in top shape and always ready for your members.

FAQs for additional insights

How much space per member is recommended for a comfortable gym experience?

A comfortable gym experience typically requires about 4060 square feet per member. This space allocation ensures enough room for safe movement and equipment use.

What are the common mistakes in gym space planning, and how can they be avoided?

Common mistakes include overcrowding equipment and attention to traffic flow. Avoid these by ensuring ample space between machines and creating clear pathways for movement.

How can gym space be optimized for maximum efficiency?

Optimize gym space by strategically placing equipment to maximize usage and flow, utilizing multi-functional equipment, and creating flexible spaces adaptable for various activities.

How many square feet is an average gym?

An average gym typically ranges between 3,000 and 10,000 square feet, depending on the type and scale of the facility.

Is 1,000 square feet enough for a gym?

Yes, 1,000 square feet can be enough for a small, specialized gym, like a boutique studio, focusing on specific workouts or small group classes.

Is 2,000 square feet enough for a gym?

Yes, 2,000 square feet is sufficient for a small to medium-sized gym, allowing space for essential equipment and various workout zones.

Is 3,000 square feet enough for a gym?

Yes, 3,000 square feet is adequate for a medium-sized gym, offering a broader range of equipment and workout areas, including group fitness spaces.

How many square feet are needed for a CrossFit gym?

A CrossFit gym typically requires at least 3,000 to 4,000 square feet to accommodate various functional training equipment and group workout spaces.

How many square feet are needed for a sports performance gym?

A sports performance gym generally needs about 4,000 to 10,000 square feet, depending on the range of specialized equipment and training areas required.

How many square feet are needed for a martial arts gym?

A martial arts gym usually requires about 1,500 to 3,000 square feet, providing enough space for mats, equipment, and comfortable training areas.

How many square feet are needed for a yoga studio?

A yoga studio typically needs around 1,200 to 2,000 square feet, allowing for a spacious and serene environment conducive to yoga practices.

What are the other facility and space requirements for a gym?

Other requirements include a reception area, locker rooms, storage space, and possibly a lounge or cafe area, all contributing to a comprehensive gym experience.

Are bigger gyms better?

Bigger gyms are sometimes better; it depends on the target market, gym type, and quality of facilities and services offered.

How many people can fit in a 1,000 sq ft space?

In a 1,000 sq ft space, approximately 25 to 30 people can fit comfortably, considering safe distancing and movement area around gym equipment.

How can TeamUp help my gym?

TeamUp can be a valuable tool for managing gym schedules and class bookings effectively. This ensures your gym space is utilized efficiently, avoiding overcrowding and enhancing the overall member experience.


Open Comment Form

Leverage the top Fitness Trends for 2024

Unlock potential revenue and grow your business from strength to strength with our 20+ expert-approved winning strategies!

Related Posts

Positive customer reviews are a powerful tool for attracting potential customers. When potential customers see high ratings and...

Your online reputation can make or break your success as a fitness business owner. Potential clients often form their first...

Your business's online reputation is crucial. Each customer interaction, review, and social media mention shapes public...

Are you interested in setting up an Open Gym? Maybe you already have this concept in place and you're looking for a way to manage...

To learn about the most recent updates to appointments, check our updated guide here. On March 24, 2022, we launched our new...

Fortunately, cloud-based security software such as Kisi has developed smart security locks that you can install at your gym or...

Nowadays, almost everything can be looked up online, including what other people think of your business. Studies have shown...