The fitness industry is constantly changing, with new gym design trends emerging every year. Our team of fitness experts collectively gather industry insight in order to support customers with an in-depth understanding of the current fitness landscape.

For this article, the team have detailed some key considerations to be aware of when designing your gym and have outlined some of the potential gym design trends you can expect to see in 2018.


Before exploring the most important gym design trends, it's important to consider some of the wider-reaching changes that the industry is experiencing.

Knowledge is Power

One constant that stands out is the emphasis on the quality of people working in our gyms, which is improving year on year in the UK as we keep more of the talent within the industry.

A large number of experienced staff strongly affects the layout of the gym, as it changes the types and amount of equipment required to offer a top quality training experience to members.

Defined Gym Models

When we work with a client we give the utmost consideration to the business model that gym or club wants to operate. Before starting to look at space and layout, it's important to understand how the gym is going to be used.

Gym designs for spaces where there is a little to no staff presence will differ greatly to those with a highly experienced team on the gym floor, or one focussed around group training sessions.

gym design trend wall graphic

More Space, Less Equipment

Instead of filling a space with large cardio and fixed resistance equipment, gyms continue to choose to allocate the floor space to functional training zones. These are perfect for trainers to interact with members and add a touch of expertise to the service the club provides.

Design Principles

The fitness industry is also continuing to learn from well-established service industries, by seriously investing in a facility's look and feel.

This is done through the manipulation of lighting, music, layout and colour schemes. We expect this trend to continue, allowing any gym to turn their space into an "experience" in their own right. Find out more about this type of gym design in this article.


Gym Design Trends for 2018

Gym Design Trends - Performance

Performance Spaces for the Regular User

As ease of access to data, apps and tracking has increased in recent years, the appetite of the average user for understanding their fitness and performance levels has also grown. We expect to see more Wattbikes and other performance testing tools being installed (and used) more frequently outside the confines of elite sport. Falkirk FC and Dundee and Angus are some great examples of this.

Gym Design Trends - Immersive Spaces

Creating Immersive Environments

Lighting rigs, sound systems and slick studio designs are no longer just an excessive expense undertaken by the high-end clubs or boutique studios. More gyms are factoring in more ambitious styling and theming to their designs, especially in sectors where they haven’t done so before. A good example of this is the Wallace Centre in Stoke on Trent.

Gym Design Trends - People Centric Spaces

Spaces Designed Around People, Not Products

The appreciation that people are as important as products in designing a gym means that operators are more open to flexible, functional training spaces when they’re confident in their staff’s training and abilities.

‘People don’t know how to use it’ should be eliminated as an excuse for sticking to traditional CV/Resistance based gym designs. (Check out the Fitness Experts as an example of this type of design)


Boutiques - Gym Design TrendsBoutique Diversification and Alliances

More boutique facilities are becoming multi-faceted or are forming alliances with other niche operators to offer a broader service to their members. To prevent members moving on to something else once they’ve tired of their Yoga, Spin or HIIT phase, having a combination of these can delay the onset of such a change in preferences.

A fitness offering which incorporates multiple specialities can extend a member's lifetime.  An example of a club offering a combination of these specialities is 3 Tribes (Yoga, Spin, HIIT)


Functional HIIT Zones - Gym Design Trends

High-Intensity Functional Fitness Zones

The growth in popularity of high-intensity training has undoubtedly been one of the top gym design trends in recent years. Prior to this, the question was ‘does your gym layout have a functional training area’, recently it’s been more about high-intensity spaces and hope to make these work well in your gym space.

What we are starting to see is that these zones within the gym are commonly becoming one and the same. Adapting the functional zone to accommodate more popular HIIT workouts has involved the incorporation of specialist cardio products combined with the essentials – a wall timer and rebrand from functional to HIIT.


fitness technology gym design trends 2018Open Technology

With the power of data becoming one of our industry’s biggest influencers, clubs are having to consider their technology story from a much earlier point in the planning process. Fully integrated software and systems are becoming the expectation for many users.

Giving users control of their data to use in their favourite apps, or allowing facility apps to pull data from third parties is what will keep customers from ditching site apps for the fan favourites like Strava and RunKeeper.


Combat Gym design trendsCombat Sports Facilities

The booming popularity of the UFC and MMA style training is influencing the fitness industry. Combat sports training has always been popular but we are seeing an increase in hybrid centres that combine fitness classes, strength and conditioning and martial arts under one roof.

This could be with the goal of creating a real fight training environment or allowing gym members the opportunity to train like a UFC athlete. We’ve seen nationwide operators develop combat in their facilities recently as well as trust and independent operators look at incorporating this into their offering.


Gym Design Trends - New Generation Lifting

Weightlifting & Powerlifting Spaces Ditching the Stereotype

With strongman, weightlifting and powerlifting all on the increase, we are seeing a growth in the number of specialist spaces for lifters seeking to train in a dedicated environment, but not within the traditionally raw, more basic type of facility.

Users moving from mid-market clubs are looking for a more premium finish in their lifting haven. Some of these designs will draw inspiration from the more stylish boutique and premium clubs, as others may aim for the US collegiate sports style S&C facility feel.


Gym Design Trends - Smart Storage Solutions

Smart Storage Solutions

With more emphasis on functional training and new and exciting fitness accessories on the gym floor there comes a requirement for additional storage.

Gym operators are designing fitness spaces that incorporate customisable or even bespoke space saving storage into the functional areas.  Storage can also be incorporated in equipment such as functional rigs and power racks.


Hopefully, this list of gym design trends has given you some ideas to consider when approaching the design or redesign of your fitness space. For more help or advice, contact hello@originfitness.com to discuss your project.