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How to Design a Personal Training Facility

How to Design a Personal Training Facility

Whether you're a personal training veteran or a fresh face in the field, the idea of launching your own Fitness Studio has likely crossed your mind. With a simple Google search, multiple steps becomes apparent, but we believe none is more important than the gym design phase.

Crafting a thoughtfully designed PT studio isn't just about the aesthetics; it's about creating an environment that propels clients toward their fitness goals while embodying your unique brand. Striking a balance between visual appeal, practicality, and key fitness elements.

Inspiring clients to push their limits in a comfortable space demands meticulous planning and embracing challenges. In this article, we delve into the pivotal aspects of PT Studio design, merging our own insights with essential ingredients so that you have a complete guide to hand when the time arrives to open up your own studio.

Table of Contents:

Designing a Personal Training Studio

Virtual fitness touchscreen technology

Designing a personal training studio is a journey that involves many different aspects. We wanted to dive into this topic to equip you with the knowledge needed to create your own fitness space. By leaving nothing to chance and taking a strategic approach, will ensure you're prepared for each step in the gym design process:

  1. Setting the Goals, Vision, and Budget
  2. Space Planning and Layout Design
  3. Equipment Selection and Placement
  4. Flooring and Surface Considerations
  5. Lighting
  6. Colour Scheme and Branding
  7. Storage Solutions
  8. Safety and Accessibility
  9. Sound and Acoustics
  10. Mirrors and Visual Feedback
  11. Client Amenities and Comfort

1. Setting the Goals, Vision, and Budget

The journey of designing a personal training studio starts by defining the goals, vision, and budget. This initial phase sets the foundation for your entire project. Clear goals aid focus, keeping your vision on track and help you make informed decisions as you progress.

Additionally, this stage will involve defining the gyms nature and who your target audience is going to be. Will you focus on weight loss, muscle gain, or overall wellness? Are you targeting athletes, older adults, or beginners? Defining this early guides design choices, enabling tailored services for specific needs and establishing the foundational framework for the studio.

Crafting a compelling vision is equally crucial. It distinguishes your studio, vividly illustrating the possibilities for clients. This vision guides your design and branding, inspiring both you and potential clients.

Lastly, setting a budget on equipment and aesthetics, helps to ground your design in reality. Budgets vary based on project size, ranging from £5,000 - £10,000 for smaller spaces based on baluu, to potentially £75,000 according to xplorgym. Careful budgeting prevents disappointment and ensures your personal training studio dreams become reality.

Valiant Performance

2. Space Planning and Layout Design

Efficient space planning is key to maximising functionality and flow in a personal training studio. This stage involves looking at layout designs, zoning, and optimum equipment selection. Done correctly, it ensures a cohesive workout environment can be created.

Balance is essential – equipment and open areas must work together. A well-equipped studio should offer a spacious open environment with movement freedom. Moreover, appropriate zoning of specific areas like free weights, cardio, and stretching enhances accessibility which aids client navigation across the gym.

Studio design is about tailoring the space to your vision. Looking to focus on one-to-one client sessions? Create a more intimate gym space for personalised client attention. Want to focus on group classes? Allocate more of the gym to open space for larger community based activities.

Done right, it breathes life into your vision, nurturing an environment where fitness thrives. If you need more inspiration, delve into this article by Housing on different interior design options for your gym!

Personal training studio gym design mock up
Will Mason PT Studio (3D Mock-Up)

3. Equipment Selection and Placement

Carefully selecting and strategically placing fitness equipment can significantly impact the efficiency and atmosphere of your personal training studio. Each piece, from dumbbells to cardio machines, contributes to function and ambiance in your gym.

Strategic placement of equipment ensures a seamless flow. For clients, thoughtful space planning allows them to easily transition between different exercises or zones, whereas for trainers it can create a more dynamic space that results in minimal disruption to training.

Ultimately equipment choice should match your mission and cater to client needs. While equipment is functional, it also serves as part of your studios vibe with the choice between modern strength machines and classic weights, shaping how the place feels.

Balancing variety and space is crucial. Equipment diversity should invite exploration without overcrowding, to create a space where efficiency and atmosphere are at their most optimum.

Studio 37

4. Flooring and Surface Considerations

Choosing the right flooring isn't just about aesthetics; it's a key decision that impacts safety, functionality, and overall experience. It underpins every movement clients make in your space, making it a major part of the workout environment. Safety is paramount, and the right choice minimises risks.

Shock-absorbent flooring cushions high-impact activities and provides traction that prevents clients slipping during intense exercises. Cushioned zones cater to yoga and stretching which can enhance performance by reducing injury risk.

Comfort is also integral to experience such as having adequate padding for floor exercises. Additionally, gym flooring contributes to reinforcing the personal training studio's identity. To find out more about this topic read our full gym flooring buying guide.

sprint track flooring
Will Mason PT Studio

5. Lighting

In gym design, lighting wields transformative power by creating environments that resonate with clients and their workouts. Beyond illumination, lighting is often overlooked but can be a key tool in improving mood and enhancing energy.

Incorporating elements like LED lighting, calibrated Halo Mirrors, and thoughtful downlights into your studio space can create an environment of positive energy and motivation.

Designs fortunate enough to incorporate natural light into the space, should focus on the placement of doors and windows. They provide a fantastic opportunity to use natural daylight, ventilation, and allows the arrangement of equipment to be adapted to suit the environment.

personal trainer with client
True Fitness Kilmarnock

6. Colour Scheme and Branding

Beyond simply aesthetics, the colour scheme and branding of your studio contribute to its identity and can leave a lasting impression on clients. Colours create emotions, with bright reds creating an energetic vibe whereas mild blues create more of a feeling calmness.

Inviting clients to an environment that is recognisable, but shows off your values is a great way of building trust and connecting with them. Each visual detail needs to resonates with their own fitness narrative and the one that you are trying to convey.

We know how important branding can be, so as part of our gym design process we offer a wide range of customisable branding options on gym equipment and gym flooring. Going this extra step can truly be the difference that elevates your personal training studio space from the competition.

blaze class at David Lloyd
Blaze Custom Branding

7. Storage Solutions

Studio storage silently mould a personal training studio's character, providing a designated home for equipment and essential items. Vertical storage optimises space, while a Storage Cage merges both function and aesthetics to create a clutter-free environment.

Storage solutions enhance safety, eliminate trip hazards, and streamline workouts. Trainers can access tools swiftly, keeping a sessions momentum going and clients don't have to search across the studio space to find the right piece of equipment.

Origin Studio Barbell Storage
Origin 30 Set Studio Barbell Storage

8. Safety and Accessibility

In modern studio design, safety and accessibility are paramount. A welcoming space offers adaptable equipment, a versatile space, and clear signage that caters to different ability levels. Prioritising this in design including considering the placement of non-slip flooring to emergency exits, ensures workouts remain risk-free.

Confidence thrives in a secure environment and enables clients to focus on their wellness goals. In turn, this can fosters trust with clients that encourages return visits and referrals. Safety and accessibility are not just tick box exercises but form a foundational element of a well rounded studio design.

Valiant Performance

9. Sound and Acoustics

Often an overlooked aspect of gym design, both can have a profound impact on a clients experience. Not only does it set the mood for your gym environment, but can increase performance and make workouts more enjoyable. Getting this balance right will not only amplify focus, but will create an environment where workouts become a greater experience.

This is more than just noise reduction; it's about creating clear focus for clients. By curbing echoes or distractions through sound-absorbing materials, the studio becomes an immersive space. Soundproofing shields the studio from external disruptions, leading to a more optimum workout environment.

Cycling class bikes
Indoor Cycling Class

10. Mirrors and Visual Feedback

What studio would be complete without mirrors? Strategically placed mirrors offer more than just visual reflection; they showcase progress. Thoughtful placement and positioning can deliver real time visual feedback, help clients to refine their form, and prevent injuries.

Beyond simple mechanics, they capture transformations over each session, which can fuel client motivation. Visible changes help to boost confidence, helping clients to push their boundaries. With each reflection, clients are positively reminded every step is a stride towards personal growth and well-being.

Gymshark Lifting Club Gym Mirrors
Gymshark Lifting Club

11. Client Amenities and Comfort

Creating the perfect studio requires considering a few outside factors for clients. The workout is just one aspect, and many on their fitness journey are also seeking a sense of community. Client loyalty rests on experience, and they will return to spaces that value their overall well-being and that foster a sense of belonging.

When designing your gym, think about how you can do this. If space is available, create comfortable areas where people can relax after sessions to encourage connections beyond their workouts. Create environments that offer mental respite, this could be something as simple as adding hydration stations.

Doing this conveys you care gym from simply being a workout space, to a hub of relationships and friendships that so many are looking for. Creating a memorable experience that not only nurtures the body and mind, but overall wellbeing, is a sure fire way of setting your studio apart from others.

People resting after a workout
Mindset Gym

Our Gym Design Process

Throughout the years, we have helped many personal trainers in launching their own studios with innovative bespoke gym design solutions. Our teams experience and depth allows us to tailor each proposal to the individual to offer exceptional gym design services from start to finish.

Encompassing many of the previous points in our own process, we also wanted to go over our own process to understand what working with Origin Fitness would be like when the time comes to design your next personal training studio:

Our Process

1. Discussing Your Vision

To offer a personalised service, we like to meet with you for an initial discussion so we can grasp your vision. This helps us understand your plans, so that our gym design professionals can support you best.

At this stage we will talk to you through our business models, budgets, gym equipment requirements, and the overall look and feel of your gym facility. This stage is free and allows us to get a better understanding of your unique requirements:

Origin Fitness Sales Team
Our Team

"Working with Origin was great. In the end, I think I got the perfect amount and mixture of equipment to start my business with. My account manager's product knowledge was second to none and he was able to advise perfectly on what I should be looking at, and what I should consider later on."

- Erica Pease, Founder (Studio 37)

2. Designing Your Gym

Following the initial discussion our gym design experts will take your requirements and create 3D visual designs, this will then allow you to see exactly what your gym will look like!

This is an important stage in gym design, because it highlights factors that you may not have taken into consideration such as layout, equipment placement, and materials required.

Origin Fitness Gym Design Team
Gym Design Process

This allows you to revise plans at little to no cost allowing you to be as creative as you like without commitment. Once layout and equipment has been decided, we can move on to interior design and branding.

Using the latest technology to create 3D models, renders, and videos we can demonstrate how it may feel to walk around your newly designed gym. Not only is this useful for visualisation, but has also played a key role in securing funding and pre-selling memberships to a gym before it even opens/is completed.

Freedom Leisure Guildford
Freedom Leisure Guildford

"Since opening our clients have commented on how striking the design work is in the gym. Coupled with the high ceilings and natural light they find it a great place to train in. The quality of the equipment and flooring has also been positively received by members."

- Robert Lindsay, Owner (True Fitness)

3. Delivery, Installation, and Support

Once a bespoke gym design and equipment layout has been signed-off, we can then deliver and install your new gym equipment at a time that suits you best. This stage is where dreams truly become a reality, but we know there can still be some bumps in the road later down the line.

While getting your facility up and running is just the a start of an exciting process, we know there may be technical issues and maintenance needs further down the line. This is one of the reasons we have an experienced team of engineers across the UK, to solve any problems that may occur.

Across the country we ensure our time of engineers ensure that any faults are resolved in time and on budget. We know how vital keeping your personal training studio running is, which is why we put a large focus on the maintenance of equipment post-installation.

Our service includes our qualified service engineers, who work in partnership with an extensive network of independent engineers on behalf of the brands we supply. This keeps you safe in knowledge your equipment will always be running and that you will have support when you need it.

Origin Fitness Engineers
Our Engineers

"Origin has been excellent throughout the entire progress of opening Fearless. Quality of service has been second to none - bending over backwards to make sure the gym is looking its best. I could not be happier with the end result and will absolutely use Origin again in the future!"

- Mark Jenkins, Owner (Fearless Gym)


To round things off, we hope that you now feel more aware of it takes to open your own studio, and we hope you keep this handy guide nearby for when the time comes to open up your own personal training gym.

We know there can be many steps on this journey so if you need help, guidance or are interested in discussing your vision with our team of in-house experts, get in touch with our team on 0333 2000 750 or email us at [email protected].


What does it cost to open a PT Studio?

Every PT Studio is unique meaning the exact cost can vary drastically for each studio. Budget and location are the biggest factors to consider. Location in a busier city means more competition and higher spend requirements for space. Budget impacts everything from gym size, to equipment. A safe guide would be between £10,000 to £15,000 to open a Personal Training Studio.

What equipment do I need to open my own PT Studio?

Equipment needs will vary depending on the type of studio you want to offer clients. It's always worth having essential items on hand such as dumbbells, weight benches, weight plates, barbells, racks, and some form of functional training equipment (i.e. resistance bands, boxing equipment) when starting out.

What are the benefits to owning a PT studio?

Set your own prices - Working for a commercial facility can be great when you're starting out to gain experience, but it can have downsides such as not being in control of your own rates. Having your own space allows you to charge prices as you see fit which can open the door to making more money.

Increasing Income - Owning a personal training business is also a great way of increasing your income. A profitable business would not only increase your personal income, but having additional finances could then allow you to upgrade facilities, expand your team, or used to invest in other areas of your life.

Choose Working Hours - Being able to set your own working hours can allow you to be more adaptable to the needs of different clients and work hours outside a regular 9-5 training schedule. It also allows you to have more adaptable approach to your own life allowing you to work as much as you need to.

What are the disadvantages to owning a PT Studio?

Leads - Working for yourself means you will no longer have access to a continuous flow of new clients coming into the gym every day. It’s key you nail down your lead generation activities, marketing, and how you plan to grow your client base until you have an established set of loyal clients.  

Financial Investment - It’s no secret that opening a personal training studio is not cheap, even though there are ways to do so that are cost effective such as being a mobile PT. Taking that first step however does require a decent level of investment to get it right, which is why it can take a number of years to save up for that initial investment.  

Flexibility - We mentioned choosing working hours was an advantage, but this could also be seen as a disadvantage. Opening a personal training studio means you’re now a new business owner, which means you will more than likely be working far more hours than you had before. This is because your focus is on developing a business which encompasses many different roles meaning it is highly likely you will have far less flexibility compared to previous roles for the first few years at least.

How do I start getting PT clients?

Building your brand is one of the best ways to gain new clients, which is key to growing your client base. This will be needed especially if moving away from the area you worked in before. The easiest way of doing this is through social media marketing which we recommend you be real on, share client journeys, and be consistent with content output. If you’re curious about organically growing your business check out this article by Lesmills.

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