By Yvan Miklin, President and CEO at Aquila/On-Site Health & Fitness Management

October 15, 2019

Members and potential members want specific features and services from fitness centers, and the American College of Sports Medicine Worldwide Survey of Fitness Trends spells them out each year. The latest survey revealed that that members want group fitness classes like HIIT and yoga, expert personal training, and they want to record their progress using wearable technology and apps on their smartphones.

Some of these trends require flexibility and adaptability of physical space. Here are five of the best forward-thinking design investments you can make to create a timeless space that can keep up with the trends and give your members what they want:

1.  Give them room to move. Design your space with half as many studios that are twice as large as you think they need to be. Give people room to spread their yoga mats. Allow for dedicated personal training spaces.

2.  Keep colors and materials simple. Choose natural wall colors that are conducive to calming your members and bring a bit of the outside in with natural, sustainable materials like bamboo flooring. Place mirrors strategically, but don’t use them all over your walls.

3.  Bring in the sunshine. Natural lighting is far superior to artificial light for bolstering mood and making people feel comfortable in their surroundings. If large windows aren’t possible for your fitness center, consider skylights or solar tubes that bring the sunlight in to lighten up your facility.

4.  Help them connect. Wire your building for the very best internet connection and provide high-speed wi-fi routers your members can use without buffering, no matter how many people are connected.

5.  Plan for a full house. Provide enough machines, towels, cleaning stations and water stations for all your members. That attention to detail will minimize their wait times for equipment even in January.

Designing your fitness center to adapt to changing needs will help you continue to offer what your members want. You’ll also have the benefit of a space that allows you to do it better than your competitors, and it could be the secret to your success.

Yvan Miklin can be reached at