How Do You Build an Apartment Gym?

An apartment gym allows you to collect higher rent, get a better class of tenants, and even collect subscriber revenue in some cases, but it can be daunting to build one.

Our step-by-step “how to build an apartment gym” guide simplifies the process.

You build an apartment gym by clearing the plan with relevant authorities, then deciding the target audience objective, selecting a space, and filling it with equipment that matches the demographic goals. Your apartment gym will initially lean towards muscle building or weight loss.

Before we dive deep into the process, here are the steps at a glance.

  1. See if it is okay to set up an apartment gym in your building
  2. Find out who the target audience is and what their fitness goals are
  3. Select a space that is easily accessible but doesn't annoy non-users
  4. Get the equipment that will be used most of the time

Step 1: Check the Regulations

The first step in building an apartment gym is making sure you won't have to take it down.

Setting up an entire business venture and getting the equipment will result in a loss if you have to sell the items on the second-hand market. This can be prevented by checking with the building owner and the local municipality. The FAQs section of this post covers what you need to know about this.

Step 2: Decide Exercise Modality

Once you have the required approval, you must pick your target audience by exercise goals.

Because you're setting up an apartment gym, there is a space cost for every piece of equipment. You will have to choose certain machines and weights over others, and knowing the tenant's exercise modality will help you get the right equipment.

Here are the three exercise modalities.

Muscle building - Users want to build or maintain their muscle mass. Ideal if a majority of the users are men.

Losing weight - The audience consists of people who want to burn fat or maintain a lean physique. This is likely the case if the majority of the tenants are female.

Hybrid - Tennants are a mixed group that is, on average, equally interested in muscle-building and weight loss.

Step 3: Pick a Space

Having decided the purpose of your apartment gym, you'll select an appropriate space. In most cases, you'll be limited to a specific apartment because of the building code. In that case, you'll need to think about equipment more strategically and opt for the ones that take up the least space yet have the widest range of uses.

We discuss that in the next stage. But if you have two or more options, you must choose your apartment gym space carefully, considering the following factors:

Where will your workout noise be least noticeable?

Is there a window? If so, will the sunlight hit your eyes when working out?

Where is the gym most accessible yet least intrusive?

Step 4: Select the Equipment

Once you have selected a space, you must optimize your equipment selection for the best results with minimal inconvenience.

Here you must consider the Pareto principle, which dictates that around 20% of the causes result in 80% of the results. Since 20% of the equipment will be used 80% of the time, you should get what will be used most often, at least initially.

There are three ways to prioritize your equipment search for an apartment gym

Filter by budget - Get the equipment and weights that fall within your budget.

Prioritize by space - Get the machines and weights that occupy the right amount of space.

Optimize by workout objective - Remember setting the target audience's exercise modality in step two? You can filter your equipment selection based on that.

To simplify this step, I have created a table that shows the best equipment for different contexts

The situation

You should...

Products to consider

You are on a very tight budget

Get fewer items, mostly free weights, that have more exercise possibilities. You can get more than one of each to facilitate higher at-a-time user capacity.

Outroad Ab Roller Wheel Kit

Jungaha Adjustable Weight Dumbbell Barbell Set

COOBONS Resistance Bands Set

Your users are trying to lose weight

Get aerobic exercise equipment for the most part. You might have to get a trainer on the premises to lead classes.

Anwick Treadmill for Home

Relife Vertical Climber

XTERRA Fitness Folding Exercise Bike

The users are focusing on their upper body

Get free weights and a pull-up bar. This can work in very specific situations, like a hostel building that houses a fraternity.

Jungaha 88 lbs Dumbbell Barbell Set

Ally Peaks Pull Up Bar for Doorway

Body Champ Olympic Weight Bench

The users are trying to bulk-up overall

Get one type of machine or piece of equipment per workout area (broad). Again, you'll need to get multiple

BangTong&Li Pull-Up Bar and Dip Station

EnterSports Ab Wheel Roller

Tesland 180 Lbs Pilates Bar

You are building a gym in a very small space

Get one machine that can help you work out your upper and lower body. Add free weights, resistance bands, etc.

Gold's Gym XRS 50 Home Gym System

Nymph Code Portable Home Gym Kit

FAQs About Building an Apartment Gym

Apartment Gym

Get equipment that costs less and has multiple uses.

Are you allowed to have weights in an apartment?

You are allowed to have weights in an apartment unless your rental agreement or the building code dictates otherwise. Metal weights and poor release discipline can trigger a noise complaint. As long as they don't produce too much noise or damage the flooring, you can have weights in your apartment.

That said, you should not confuse a home gym with an apartment gym. The former is personal, while the latter is commercial and can trigger different state regulations, building codes, and commercial zoning laws.

Why don't apartment gyms have squat racks?

Apartment gyms don't have squat racks because they are noisy and expensive, create workout bottlenecks, and have more feasible alternatives. If you're looking to cut equipment from your cart when setting up your apartment gym, you can easily remove the squat racks.

What is the best exercise equipment for a small space?

The best exercise equipment for a small space is one that allows you to do more than 4 workouts, targeting more than one area of your body. A workout station like the Marcy 150-lb Multifunctional Home Gym Station is ideal for a small home or apartment gym.

How to Build an Apartment Gym Recap

Apartment gyms can make tenants more loyal to a property and even create room to raise the rent. Since neither of those is guaranteed, it is best to start small by taking the steps covered in this article. Here's a recap:

  1. Get your plans cleared by relevant regulating bodies (local municipality, building owner, etc).
  2. Figure out what the users want by polling or demographic reflection.
  3. Select a space for maximum accessibility with minimum inconvenience.

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