GYM INTERIORS – workout space

WELL PLANNED WORKOUT SPACE - free of obstructions

WELL PLANNED WORKOUT SPACE – free of obstructions

This is undoubtedly the most vital gym space-“The Workout Zone”. Besides being neat and welcoming, this area needs to be cleverly planned and free of unsightly clutter as well as visual and physical obstructions.

Generally it is demarcated into 4 zones:

(1) Cardio

(2) Weights

(3) Floor exercises

(4) Aerobics

CARDIO  refers to workout on treadmills, cycles, etc & it is generally most used. A good designer would always want to give the cardio users a view outside if the site permits. Huge glazing lined with a row of treadmills, cycles, rowing machines & cross trainers would be a perfect setting. That’s because cardio machines are normally used for more than 5-7 mins at a stretch. If glazing is not a possibility or the view is not too pleasant outside, then TV screens can take care of cardio entertainment.





WEIGHTS area has specific needs too. Generally in order to avoid heavy impact of equipment in weight training ( dumbells, weights, etc) , rubber floors are a good option for the floor cushioning. Such provision also takes care of the sound of this equipment being used or dropped.



FLOOR EXERCISES area maybe equipped with wooden floor or carpeted floor ( Though carpeting is generally avoided due to cleaning difficulties) .


Floor work includes yoga and other floor workout routine. A music system/tv close to floor area is an add on.

AEROBICS is one of the most sought after exercise forms these days. Most of the upcoming gyms are incorporating it in their spatial design. A means of body toning via dance moves, it requires a great deal of jumping and thumping. The flooring generally required is wooden ( if budget can accommodate, then the floor needs to have shock absorption & coefficient of friction for this specific exercise form).



As we try to unfold the gym spaces, photographs of some interesting gym interiors are most welcome. Lets just keep in mind that “FIT IS THE NEW SEXY”.


GYM INTERIORS- Environment ( air-conditioning, light & ventillation)



When in a workout zone it is prime to have environmental comfort. Be it the provision of air conditioning, fans, proper light or cross ventilation, each is vital in its own way.

Environmental comfort is of utmost importance since we are living in a highly stressful environment. To convince ourselves to go out of our basic comfort zone is not only too much to ask, but as designers, it beats the very aim of designing ; client satisfaction.



Air conditioning maybe with cassette ac’s, split units or window units as per the project requirements and the availability of wall space and outlet possibility. AC ducts are mostly avoided these days as they do result in a lot of energy wastage.

Individual units are definitely better as they are a more economical option and can be used for localised cooling when required.

For AC installation it is important to involve proper agencies to calculate the tonnage requirements and suggest accordingly.

Usually a 1.5T AC is sufficient for 1000 cu ft room. Some of the prevalent brands in air conditioning are LG, Mitsubishi, Blue Star, etc.

ILLUMINATION  – As for lighting up the interior, natural light is an essential and must be used to the maximum. This can be done with the help of appropriate glazing and light shafts.

While designing a gym we need to keep in mind that it would primarily be used early in the morning & maximum usage would be in the evening. Gym design is a very specialised field and requires attention to detail. Lighting of gym interiors would vary as per individual requirements.



Various track lights, ceiling light and wall fixtures are available and can be used, depending on the ceiling and requirements.



The colour of walls and ceiling is also important when deciding the lumens for a room. Generally for a 150 sqft room (15’*10′) 6000 lumens  are required.

Calculating the right wattage needed to light up a room can be tricky. There are number of factors that must be taken into account and personal lighting preference is one of them.

One popular way to determine the amount of incandescent wattage needed to light up a room is to multiply the room square footage by 1.5

So for a 150 sqft room would be around 150*1.5= 225 watts (approximatel).

GENERAL LIGHTING  To have the desired feel and effect

To have the desired feel and effect

Well that’s it for now. Discussions and additions are most welcome.

GYM INTERIORS- Reception & Waiting area

First impressions are most often considered vital. Many a times they do convince us to go ahead with those long pending decisions. Generally we take partial decision on joining a gym as soon we step into its premises.

A reception must always be designed as the first introduction with a prospective client.

Reception counter with an interactive juice counter-such spaces help trigger interaction with members and serves as a breakout space.

“RECEPTION AREA WITH AN INTERACTIVE JUICE COUNTER” Such spaces help trigger interaction with members and serves as a breakout space.

The reception and waiting area in a gym ought to be both impressive as well as expressive. The decor may vary as per the overall theme of the gym; whether it is a bold use of red and black or a completely rustic look with concrete panels and exposed brickwork; attention to detail is a must as a designer.

Well designed and user friendly, needs to be the foundation of any space design.

Reception & waiting space-Warm & Welcoming

Reception & waiting space-Warm & Welcoming

Adequate amount of light and proper cooling are essential  for aesthetics as well as basic comfort. A poorly lit space is most unwelcoming. The use of both direct and indirect/reverse light are advisable.

In most of the cases nowadays air conditioning is also treated as a necessity, rather than a luxury. Beginning from the reception to the work out zone, air conditioning surely makes the environment more motivating and comfortable. As for the patterns of air conditioning and some popularly used brands in this category; I shall be discussing them separately.

Depending upon the scale of the gym, the waiting  area may or may not have some “counselling hubs“. These are areas that are first meeting points with a client. It is usually here that the first discussion on the clients present health and tentative fitness plan is chalked out in consultation with some trained staff.

Waiting area with counselling hubs

Waiting area with counselling hubs

In some gyms however, the facilities like consultation/measurements may have a dedicated room/cabin. This kind of a room is comfortably accommodated in a 40sft space ( the size maybe bigger depending on the availability of space). Such a room would require:

1. Consultants table

2. Measurement chart.

3. Weighing equipment.

4. Full body scanner.

GYM INTERIORS- Ready reckoner

Life today is moving at such a fast pace that we often tend to overlook our health and fitness regime. Often overpowered by work and other pressures, we tend to loosen out & relax at various breakout zones- cafes, movies or a beer with friends. In the bargain we end up taking in more pressure in the form of calories and hence obesity.

Scientists claim that obesity in itself is a deadly disease that in one way or another puts tremendous mental pressure on individuals.

Working out under in a trained and professional environment can do wonders for the body and mind. Earlier gymming used to be a tedious and demanding task that was done as last and final resort. It would not be anything close to enjoyment or relaxation. But now with the flooding in of various new construction materials and technology, we as designers have a huge platform to play on.


Lets get the basics right and try and analyse the do’s and don’ts while designing a fitness centre. I would like to categorise the discussion for my reader’s comfort. As a general thumb rule the space demarcation is as follows-

1. Reception and waiting area

2. The workout space/gym

3. Conveniences (toilets, change rooms, showers, lockers, steam, etc)

4. Pantry/lunch area

5. Add on facility areas (spin studio, aerobics, yoga, DJ music zone, water coolers,  cafes, juice bars, etc)

Each of these spaces needs some specifics to be followed in order to have a beautiful and hassle free workout world. Will continue to discuss on these areas one by one in my subsequent blogs.


Please feel free to discuss and enlighten. Will be continuing the discussing shortly. Good day.