29 May 2024 World leisure: news, training & property
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Health Club Management
2024 issue 1

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Leisure Management - Everything in its place

Gym floor

Everything in its place

The right storage can transform the flow and feel of your training spaces and the user experience. Steph Eaves asks the experts for their most creative solutions

photo: Shutterstock/Monster Ztudio

Chris Hull
photo: BLK BOX
What are your most creative storage solutions?

In dynamic environments, such as small group personal training (SGPT) facilities where space is often at a premium, BLK BOX offers PT Pods or the PT Pod Pro with Nexus Cable integration that allow for versatility in training.

We also offer modular storage upgrades which allow clients to design bespoke SGPT storage solutions. Each option combines maximum storage capability with accessibility, which is essential during high-intensity sessions where time is of the essence and workout variance is integral.

Accommodating a broad range of equipment, from dumbbells to kettlebells, within our multi-tiered designs we can ensure that the equipment is readily available without impeding floor space or causing pinch points.

Systems with our Nexus Cable integration extend the functionality by incorporating a dual cable stack, which allows for an even greater variety of training options. By incorporating weight stacks within the footprint of the racks we not only keep the gym floor safe and organised, but also enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the training experience.

What’s the best way to encourage members to put kit away?

We’ve found convenience and simplicity are key. We ensure BLK BOX storage systems integrate into the flow of the environment to facilitate swift transitions between exercises. We incorporate user-friendly features such as numbers, colour coding and visual prompts, which aid members in quickly locating the correct location for each piece of equipment and empower a sense of ownership and responsibility for maintaining the gym floor.

How do these products scale for different clubs?

Similar to our Rig and Rack ranges, each BLK BOX storage system is modular and designed with scalability in mind. Whether it’s a Big Ass Storage unit, a Base Camp Storage configuration, or a completely bespoke system, we offer a spectrum of capacity options.

Systems can be easily adjusted to fit space and equipment requirements, ensuring clubs can optimise floor space and provide adequate storage, regardless of size. This flexibility is crucial for accommodating growth, allowing for additional storage units to be added as the membership and equipment inventory expands.

Can the products be customised?

Customisation is a central part of BLK BOX’s DNA. With an in-house design team and well equipped manufacturing facilities in the UK, we’re able to create bespoke solutions that capture a brand’s essence with customisation options from colours, to logos, attachments and unique configurations.

The result is equipment that reflects the brand, resonates with members and enhances the training experience.

Final thoughts?

When designing a training space, storage is a core part of our team’s focus, not an afterthought that’s bolted on or thrown into an empty space. True to our ‘Built Better’ ethos, it’s critical our storage solutions not only complement the aesthetic of the facility, but also meet the practical needs of gym operators while contributing to the overall training experience.

We incorporate user-friendly features such as numbers, colour coding and visual prompts
Flexible gym storage needs to accommodate growth / photo: BLK BOX
Gary Oleinik
Absolute Performance
photo: Absolute Performace
Tell us about your creative storage solutions

We offer two types of storage; bespoke fully integrated and free-standing.

Bespoke integrated products are part of our Werksan range, an IWF (International Weightlifting Federation) accredited brand.

Werksan shelving and storage solutions are designed to suit the space and style of each facility. Storage space can be integrated into the racks and rigs or personal training pods to keep plates, bars and other kit neat, tidy and off the floor. They're also provided as bespoke storage to house ancillary items such as hex dumbbells, medicine balls, bands and mats.

Our Apex freestanding storage solutions are created to house all the different types of kit a small or large gym will need. They keep the space looking professional and enable easy access to the equipment. We provide shelving units for dumbbells, kettlebells, balls and sandbags and also holders and trees for plates and bar storage products. For studios, where space is often limited, many of our solutions have a small footprint, while others can be wall-mounted.

How do your designs help members feel comfortable putting things away?

We make equipment easy and safe to access by reducing the chances of finger trapping and by stopping the kit from rolling away. We also offer laser-cut labelling to help users relocate the equipment correctly.

Our storage solutions are designed with key considerations in mind, including the type of equipment it stores, how the user interacts with it and its footprint. We take into account things such as the weight and shape of the product, height of the shelves, spacing between weights and between shelves.

The Apex hex dumbbell rack has angled shelves, for example, to make it easier to lift the dumbbell by the grip and shelves are staggered so the bottom shelf is as easy to access as the top shelf. Each shelf has rubber padding to protect the weights and a front lip to stop them sliding forwards.

How do these products scale?

Our Werksan range is modular, making it fully scalable. Whether a gym has two racks or 20, they can make use of storage to keep plates, bars, dumbbells, balls and bags safely stored and off the floor. Space between racks is often wasted, so making use of it for storage is a great way for a gym to maximise usable space.

Our freestanding solutions are often multi-functional – our medicine ball or Bosu ball racks can double up as storage for sandbags in smaller gyms or positioned together in larger gyms to create a storage area.

Can the products be customised or branded for the operator?

Our racks, rigs and their storage solutions are fully customisable. We can finish them in brand colours or a colour to match an interior design. They can also be laser cut with logos or finished with brand plates, which delivers a sense of place and ownership to the facility.

When you combine this with customised plates, weights and platforms, the facility can become a unique space owners feel proud of and members can feel energised in.

Any final thoughts?

We encourage customers to think of storage as more than just a place to put equipment, it’s a great way of controlling space, creating flow and segmenting areas. Ensuring equipment is stored well and is in place for each activity keeps training spaces safe and organised. Efficiency, functionality, equipment longevity, aesthetics and client enjoyment are just a few of the benefits.

Storage is a great way of controlling space, creating flow and segmenting areas
How the user interacts with storage and what footprint it takes up all have an impact / photo: Richard Washbrooke Photography
James Anderson
Photo: Physical
What are your most creative storage solutions?

Functional and small group training are our passion: we specialise in creating fitness playgrounds from the ground up, supplying not only the training products, but also the flooring and storage solutions that ensure these spaces are as easy to use as they are inviting.

We supply storage solutions in all shapes and sizes, to house everything from barbells to dumbbells, kettlebells to Olympic plates, power bags to studio Pump sets and more. All have been designed to ensure everything needed is within reach while keeping training areas tidy and safe, with no trip hazards.

The other trend at the moment is the move to incorporate storage racks into training rigs and training stations – we’re seeing things such as dip bars being integrated into gym storage structures and storage integrated between stations on training rigs, creating multi-purpose solutions that maximise every inch of floor space and make the experience seamless.

Can design encourage members to put things away?

You want storage to be right at the edge of the training space; it’s why the integration of storage into training stations is particularly interesting. You also want it to be sturdy and human-sized: people shouldn’t have to reach up to put kit away or worry about it falling on them. It also helps if the storage has a good aesthetic, so people feel drawn to tidy up.

In a functional space, multi-purpose storage is a good solution, accommodating all the equipment used in the workout, so members don’t have to go to different areas of the gym to put things away; you want to make it as easy as possible.

Crucially, it’s about designing storage solutions that don’t cause bottlenecks, so members can put kit away without feeling they’re getting in anyone’s way.

How do products scale for different sized clubs?

We create bespoke solutions, often using modular storage, so we can create exactly what clients need based on space, floor layout and equipment.

We don’t believe in a one-size-fits-all approach, as we know how much impact good storage can have on the whole exercise experience.

We work with clients on developing enhanced product offerings – incorporating boxing frames, lifting platforms and functional equipment, for example – and bespoke storage that’s accessible and less imposing, but still has space for everything a gym needs.

We also offer an option to build exercise stations into our storage rigs: cable pulley, lifting station, squat rack and so on. This maximises training opportunities and makes full use of floor space, enhancing the member experience, whatever the size of the gym.

Can the products be branded for the operator?

Our modular storage solutions can be made in a range of colours, so they can be customised to the colour scheme of each operator’s brand

Did we miss anything?

If operators are looking to take small group training outdoors, our partnership with container gym specialist Beaverfit can help – from fixed containers, shelters, racks and rigs to portable boxes and trailers, and all the workout equipment.

We’re seeing a move to incorporating storage racks into training rigs and stations
Storage shouldn’t be intrusive, says Anderson / photo: Barry Leisure Centre
Matthew Januszek
Escape Fitness
Photo: Escape Fitness
What are your most creative storage solutions?

All our rigs and frames, whether they be multi-user configurations or single person training stations, accommodate integrated storage. In addition to the convenience of easily accessible equipment, integrated storage also enables the creation of dedicated training zones, using the storage racks as space dividers.

An example of how effective integrated storage can be is our new MARS Mobility and Recovery Station. It’s a standalone training pod that houses all the equipment needed for an effective recovery session.

Our partnership with Hyperice means it incorporates the Hypervolt 2 Pro percussion massage device, as well as an integrated MARS screen delivering digital coaching and equipment demonstrations. Users can complete a fully coached recovery session without moving more than a metre from the pod.

We also offer racks for situations where a full frame is not required. These are designed to house anything from functional kit and dumbbells, to kettlebells, plates and bars.

How do your designs help members feel comfortable putting things away themselves?

All our storage solutions are designed to make equipment selection and replacement as easy and safe as possible. For example, provision is made to store heavy objects at a height which makes them easy to replace and remove without having to over-stretch or bend, protecting muscles and joints.

Often replacing a heavy item at waist height is easier than placing it on the floor. This encourages people to return equipment to racks rather than leaving them lying on the training surface. Our storage racks can also be configured to accommodate a wide range of equipment, empowering coaches to be creative, and keeping routines new and fresh for trainers and participants.

Do these products scale for different-sized clubs?

We can supply a training and storage solution to fit any space and any requirements. Many of our frames are also freestanding, while rigs and frames are modular.

We also have HST 90, a training and storage solution that slots into any corner, optimising every square inch of available space.

Can your products be customised?

Our frames and storage solutions are designed so no two training spaces look or feel the same.

All our frames can be fully customised and we have a team of in-house designers who create bespoke configurations that optimise any size or shape training space. We also offer a range of attachments.

Frames are constructed from steel that can be painted to match brand palettes and brand logos. We can also coat our Octagon Frames and selected dumbbell shelves to add extra protection, making them suitable for outdoor use.

Users can complete a fully coached recovery session without moving more than a metre from the pod
Escape designs storage for all its products / photo: Escape Fitness
Tom Rooke
Indigo Fitness
Tell us about your creative storage solutions

We aim to enhance functionality in our storage units, from throw targets and dips to landmine attachments and cable stacks. These units add versatility and value to the gym floor.

We’ve spent years perfecting our storage shelves and solutions and aim to ensure there’s a dedicated space for each accessory to be stored, ensuring a clutter free gym floor. This organisation stops equipment being mixed up or not put back, promoting a seamless workout experience.

A recent innovation involves adapting to existing architecture, such as pillars, to maximise previously neglected floor space. This strategic placement ensures equipment accessibility throughout the gym, eliminating the need for transportation between areas and making session setups more efficient.

How do your products scale?

To cater to the diverse needs of clubs of varying sizes, our shelves are available in three widths. This allows us to create units that fit with the architecture of each space, while accommodating the quantity of equipment required. The result is not only space-efficient, but also visually pleasing, fitting with the overall aesthetics of any health club, regardless of its size.

Can the products be branded for the operator?

Each can be personalised to reflect the unique branding of the client. With the option for laser-cut joining plates, clients can integrate their logo or design, adding a distinctive touch. Furthermore, the framework colours are fully customisable, allowing the product to meet the client’s brand, ensuring a bespoke solution.

Final thoughts?

Storage has evolved from individual racks cluttering the gym to be an integral component of health club and studio design, that can maximise floor space, functionality and identity within a facility.

Adapting storage to sit within existing architectural features, such as pillars, maximises neglected floor space
The aim is to prevent equipment being transported around the gym floor / photo: INDIGO FITNESS

Originally published in Health Club Management 2024 issue 1

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