How Your Gym Might Be Holding You Back

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It’s commonly accepted wisdom that the biggest hurdle to staying in shape is just getting out the door. Once you’re actually working out—for some, once you’re even in your workout clothes—the battle has been won.

But maybe not. According to research conducted by the fitness metric analysts at UK-based GYMetrix, how a gym chooses to stock and arrange its equipment can make a radical impact on whether patrons decide to stick around.

One of the bigger mistakes is ordering too much of a good thing. Some gyms rely on distributors sending them pre-stocked inventory that may feature too many or too few of the amenities that customers will use. A gym might have dozens of cardio machines taking up floor space, edging out stretching mats. Worse, those mats might be centrally located, making gym-goers feel like they’re on “display” for other members.

That concern also holds true when determining where equipment is placed. People are more likely to use stationary equipment like treadmills when they are positioned so that they face other members, not windows or blank space. GYMetrix believes this might be because people feel more comfortable when they have a view of the gym's activity; if they're looking out a window or at a wall, they don't know what's going on behind them.

When arranging space for free weights, GYMetrix says that gym owners don't often put much thought into the placement of equipment. They suggest light and medium weight areas be made available for beginning weightlifters or those who can’t yet handle some of the larger plates being used by experienced members.

To see if your gym might be guilty of some of these layout errors, you can check out GYMetrix’s video below.

[h/t Wall Street Journal]