Updated: Aug 26, 2019
When it comes to apartment living, the types of apartment amenities are highly influential to prospective residents. As apartment and residential community living facilities continue to evolve their list of offerings, one crucial amenity that has sat at the top of that list for years is an on-site fitness center.
While conventional apartment fitness centers may not be groundbreaking, apartment fitness centers overall continue to be a big draw. On-site fitness centers sit at number 2 in the top 5 amenities for apartment living. Nowadays, some apartment gyms are equipped well enough to be a big box gym and have the convenience of being within walking distance.
What makes the ultimate apartment gym right now is additional elements that accommodate tenants' needs, who are likely incorporating home fitness/personal training apps into their everyday fitness routines. A few traditional machines and treadmills aren't enough to capture the interests of fitness enthusiasts or even beginners who want to be a part of what's trending in fitness. So, we put together a quick list of everything needed to build out the ultimate apartment gym.
To start, four general parts make up any type of gym: cardio, weight training, and flexibility/stretching, & functional fitness. When choosing the right fitness equipment for an apartment gym, it's important to consider the following: size requirements, noise level, quality, fitness intensity level, multi-use abilities to save money, space, and provide the best amenities for your tenants.
A big portion of any fitness facility is its cardio equipment – the standard treadmill, elliptical, and bike. The addition of a rower or stair machine is a big plus. Cardio equipment typically takes up the most space (and budgets) for gyms, but plays a crucial role in any type of fitness facility. When space is limited, it's important to consider how many machines you may need and type of machine. While treadmills are the most popular choice in any gym, bikes offer a great alternative and have a smaller footprint, saving you space. Thanks to Cross Fit, HIIT (high-intensity interval training) and other types of functional fitness, air bikes are becoming more and more popular. These bikes allow the user to work at their level of resistance and pace while pushing and pulling their arms for an effective full-body workout. Rowing machines are another popular choice because they can build, tone, strengthen muscles, improve endurance, all while being easy on the back and joints.
What typically takes another big portion of an apartment gym space is the free weight/weight training section of the room. This could include a combination of multi-use weight machines, individual weight machines, racks, Smith machine, bars, plates, dumbbells, & benches. While weight machines provide ease-of-use for the user, these take up valuable space in an apartment gym so it's important to pick and choose the ones that make the most sense in your space. Luckily, many weight machines are multi-use or built to allow multiple users at one time. For example, a leg curl/leg extension combo machine provides multiple exercises but only takes up the space of one weight machine. Dumbbells also take up a fair share of space, but are extremely versatile, making them a necessity in any gym. Nearly every type of exercise can be completed with dumbbells. A 5-50 lb rack of dumbbells with a bench is the norm and there are many ways to display dumbbells without taking too much space. For example, dumbbells can be aligned against a wall on a vertical rack. Today, there are many different types of dumbbells made of different materials at many different price points. Research to find the ones that provide great quality while saving additional cost and space.
Whether doing cardio, weight training or both, tenants will want to warm up or cool down in a safe space that's out of the way from the main activity going on in the facility (i.e. the cardio and weight training sections). Exercise mats are essential for pre- and post-workout stretches. Exercise mats also provide a great surface to do ab work, push-ups, and calisthenics. Foam rollers, stability balls, and resistance bands are typical items seen in this section that can provide a multitude of warm-up and stretching routines.
Last but not least, today's apartment gym must allocate some space for functional fitness. What is functional fitness? Functional fitness relies heavily on the idea that our bodies were developed to have all of our muscles work together and support each other in different movements. Isolating muscles to build mass, which has traditionally been the concept of weight training, is not what our bodies are made according to this concept. Instead, incorporating body movements such as squats, multi-directional lunges, pushing and pulling weights to strengthen muscles and stretch limbs can not only provide a great workout but provide the developing muscle and body stability needed for everyday life. The popularity of functional fitness training has grown because of the benefits people see in their lives inside and outside of the gym. These exercises, done circuit style, can gradually increase in complexity and resistance using kettle bells, dumbbells, resistance bands, slam balls, battle ropes, tires, sledgehammers, and other accessories. It's important that when designing an apartment gym, there is space for users to take part in mobility and movement based on functional fitness principles, which appeals to all ages and fitness levels.
Okay, let's talk about taking your apartment gym facility to a whole new level. According to fitness trends reports, the top trend of 2019 is the "fusion" of all different types of workout routines and activities in one. For example, yoga traditionally involved a mat; now, yoga can incorporate medicine balls, balance boards, or even resistance bands. There should also be a strong focus on personalization. Fitness trackers and mobile apps make it possible for a tenant to take a personal trainer with them anywhere so the gym facility they are using should match that same mobility and flexibility. With the rise of functional fitness, shorter workouts or high-intensity interval workouts have become increasingly popular, making it even more imperative for apartment properties to provide the necessities to complete these types of workouts. Luckily, because these workouts are rather short, tenants feel more of a desire to enjoy their apartment gym, rather than commuting 30 minutes in each direction for a 20-30 minute workout.
The ultimate apartment gym offers fluidity to allow tenants to work out in different ways at a time that's convenient for them. Property Managers should consider creating an aesthetically pleasing, balanced, holistic space. With stimulation at every turn, consumers are looking to alleviate stress and looking for ways to make everyday routines and tasks easier. In general, consumers are "thinking about health that encompasses the mind, body, and emotions with the goal of being energized, happy, balanced, and rested, so we need to ask ourselves how we can help our residents achieve that, outside of the typical fitness center.” The addition of a state-of-the-art apartment fitness facility that provides comprehensive wellness, structure, and that overall "feel-good feeling" will reach residents of all fitness levels and capture what's new and hot in fitness.