How Much Does Gym Equipment Cost?


As a New Gym Specialist, the question “how much does gym equipment cost?” often comes up when someone is looking into turning their dream of opening a gym into a reality.

In these posts, I will go over the various factors involved in determining the answer to this question, as each of these factors represents a key ingredient in getting to the overall cost of your gym equipment.

This first post addresses the different types of gym equipment on the market today.


Types of Gym Equipment

There are three main types of gym equipment on the market today and each suits a specific clientele and need. These are commercial fitness equipment, light commercial gym equipment and residential, or home, gym equipment. For our purposes in speaking about opening a new gym and operating it as your livelihood, I will discuss the cost of commercial fitness equipment and light commercial gym equipment. Residential equipment is made for home use only and generally by one person or a family. It’s not something that’s made with the intent of someone using it to make a living.

The fundamental difference between commercial, (also called full commercial), and light commercial gym equipment is the components used in its manufacturing.   Full commercial gym equipment is made to withstand the rigors of the full commercial gym environment; places like membership gyms, 24/7 gyms, sports performance training centers and other types of facilities where the equipment will be used regularly throughout the day by a wide variety of members. Great examples of modern, heavy duty full commercial gym equipment are Impact Fitness Triumph Series strength equipment, BH Fitness cardio equipment, Jacobs Ladder and Troy Barbell plates, bars and accessories. This type of equipment is made to last for years.

Light commercial gym equipment is made for fitness environments that get somewhat less use and are often non-membership based settings. Examples of these types of facilities are corporate fitness centers, condo association and other multi housing fitness rooms, police and fire departments, personal training studios and even some smaller membership gyms. These facilities require well built commercial quality equipment, but it will not get used as heavily as full commercial gym equipment does. Lines like Spirit Fitness and Body Solid are well suited for these types of applications.

That’s not to say that your new personal training studio or private gym has to go with light commercial equipment. The point is that certain facilities can get away with a lighter duty equipment line whereas others really couldn’t. A good gauge in determining which line is right for your new gym is to see what the manufacturer’s warranty is. If the manufacturer won’t cover their equipment for your type of gym, it’s a pretty good sign that you should step up to a heavier duty alternative.

The cost of light commercial gym equipment is generally less than that of a full commercial gym line, but here is where a savvy New Gym Specialist will make the difference for you. A true New Gym Specialist will have deep industry ties that he will leverage for you so that you can get the best equipment for less and be able to offer your prospective members the right equipment that will not only help increase your membership but, as importantly, retain members…a key to any gym’s success.

It pays to take a moment here and speak about used gym equipment, since that can also be considered an alternative to purchase. Similar to used cars, used gym equipment is pretty easily found on the internet today. Also similar to used cars that are often marketed as “pre-owned vehicles” to attempt to remove the stigma of the “used” label, used gym equipment is often marketed with the name of “refurbished equipment” or “remanufactured equipment.” There are supposed to be factors that differentiate these designations, but it is not governed by anyone and the bottom line is that the equipment, no matter what it is being labeled as, is used and not new. You want to open your new gym with brand new, modern equipment…not someone else’s discarded equipment.

Often a new gym is someone’s dream that they have had for years. You only have one chance to make a great first impression and opening a new gym with used equipment gives the impression that you have opened it on the cheap. Opening your new gym with modern, new gym equipment tells everyone that you are sincere in providing the best possible training experience for them and that you are committed to having a top notch fitness facility for them to use for years to come.

Do not be lured by the thought of possibly saving money by purchasing used gym equipment. Instead, seek out a New Gym Specialist who is both willing and able to work with your budget so that you can open your new gym with new equipment to help insure your long term success.

Part 2 in this series “how much does gym equipment cost?” will discuss the great savings that you get by purchasing in packages – if you follow the right steps.

Written by Bill at BAMPSCO International Inc. /