When it comes to gym equipment, it’s easy to overlook what your community needs, in favor of what they want. Getting lured in by the newest shiny toy is not uncommon. Because, let’s be honest, a Rogue Pig would be pretty cool.
First things first, your equipment matters. It’s important to have the pieces you need to conduct results-based classes or training. Plus, they need to be in good working order and clean.
What they don’t need to be is impractical. If your jerk blocks are in the corner and members use them as a place to set their water bottles, you may need to reconsider that investment.
Why the Right Gym Equipment is Important.
With a goal of filling your space with practical gym equipment that fits within your budget, it can sometimes be challenging to know how to prioritize your list.
We recently spoke with Adam Brandt, the Partnerships Coordinator at REP Fitness, to get some tips. REP Fitness is an equipment company that caters to small and large commercial gyms, as well as home gyms.
Brandt started CrossFit a decade ago. He recalls that the gym was rugged, and that almost all of the equipment was basically basically homemade.
“It was all DYI,” he said.
At the time, he accepted it because there wasn’t an expectation of more at the time. But he admitted it was “frustrating at times” to work with less-than-ideal equipment.
A decade later, the gym culture has changed a lot. And with that comes an expectation that gyms provide an ample amount of quality equipment.
“When people walk into a gym and they see nice equipment, it makes it feel like it’s a professional place,” said Brandt. “Having nice equipment can be a game changer and can potentially sell a membership.”
Four Equipment Tips for Gym Owners.
For most gym owners, equipment is a large upfront cost, as well as an ongoing expense. And long-term success will involve smart management of both. If your equipment wish list is long and your budget is limited, Brandt shared some tips.
1. Do Your Research for Best Value Purchases.
There’s a vast difference in gym equipment quality and prices on the market, Brandt pointed out. Therefore, it’s imperative that you do your research before placing an order.
“You have to look into where you get the best value,” he said. “And you want to find good, quality equipment that will last you a long time.”
He then added that sometimes it’s better to spend a bit to replace equipment that’s used less frequently. Along the same lines, it’s important to recognize what types of equipment are worth splurging on, and which aren’t.
For example, barbells generally last a long time. There’s a significant price difference in higher- and lower-end barbells, yet not always a significant difference in quality.
“Most small gyms don’t need super-expensive barbells,” Brandt said. He then used Eleiko as an example. “They might be nice to have, but ninety percent of your members aren’t going to know the difference.”
On the other hand, Brandt warned gym owners, “don’t cheap out” on things like resistance bands and medicine balls. They don’t always last for a long time, and often need to be replaced. REP Fitness medicine balls are durable and grippier than many others on the market, so they simply last longer.
2. Consider Your Unique Gym.
Simply put, there’s no one-size-fits-all gym equipment list. As such, many of your decisions will be based on your unique gym. These variables include things like the type of services you offer and your average group class size.
For example, if most of your classes have 10 athletes or less, you don’t necessarily need 10 rowing machines. Instead, your gym programming could be set up in heats. Half the class starts on the rower and the other half doing something else, then swapping.
Further, if personal training is a significant source of gym revenue, this should factor into your equipment purchases. In this case, it might be worth investing in certain equipment that you wouldn’t use in a class. Then again, if you predominantly offer group classes, investing in equipment that you can’t use in class might not be wise.
3. Plan Ahead.
When you’re first opening a gym, budget and space will play a role in your initial list of equipment. But after you’ve been up and running for a while, you’ll have a better idea of what to add and replace.
For example, experienced gym owners will attest that resistance bands need to be replaced regularly. Knowing this will allow you to plan ahead and include these purchases in your yearly - or quarterly - budget.
Further, big purchases like rowers or bikes will factor into your financial planning. Be sure to stay on top of your financial reports to help with projections. That way, you’ll be able to analyze gym growth and expected revenue, to determine the need for these purchases.
Pro Tip: Want to learn how the PushPress Financial Reports can help you run your gym better? Book a demo with the PushPress Core team today!
4. Don’t Forget the Tax Advantage.
If the year is drawing to a close and you’re showing a bigger profit than expected, it might be time to consider a gym equipment purchase.
First, talk to your accountant about the applicable tax benefits. Then consider placing an order that will both benefit your gym’s bottom line and provide value to your members.
In Summary: Necessary, Practical and Budget-Friendly.
Purchasing and replacing gym equipment is an inevitable part of owning a fitness business. It’s critical that the equipment you choose is practical for the services you offer, and fits in your space. Further, it shouldn’t put your financial numbers in the red.
With that in mind, consider these four important tips from REP Fitness. Start by doing your research. Choose the right equipment for your unique gym. Plan ahead for big purchases or recurring smaller ones. And don’t forget the potential tax advantages.
One last thing: Brandt says there’s nothing wrong with creating a large “dream wish list.” Just remember that you don’t have to acquire everything all at once. Chip away slowly so you can continue growing for years to come.