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.


Part 1 – 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 -how to get the most gym equipment for your money

When opening a new gym, there are a lot of choices for where to purchase your gym equipment and there are a lot of people and companies trying to convince you that they are your place to purchase from. As a New Gym Specialist, a fundamental aspect of my job is to make sure that each person that I help gets the absolute best deal on their gym equipment.

Whether your new gym is a 24/7 coed gym, a personal training studio, a womens only gym, a crossfit gym, a corporate fitness center, an apartment complex fitness center, a sports performance gym or another type of training center, there are 3 Main Ingredients to getting your best deal on your gym equipment.

Fitness club weight training equipment gym modern interior

The 3 Main Ingredients to Getting Your Best Deal On Gym Equipment Are:

  1. Only Purchase New Equipment
  2. Only Purchase as a Complete Package
  3. Only Purchase through a New Gym Specialist

We will take a look at each of these key factors so that you will be able to make the right decision in purchasing your gym equipment for your new gym.

Only Purchase New Equipment

The misguided notion of saving money by opening your new gym with used gym equipment was discussed in Part 1 of this series. As a recap, there are many places to cut costs when you open a new gym, but purchasing used gym equipment is NOT one of them. Issues from lack of proper full manufacturers’ warranty coverage, to outdated designs, to presenting a poor first impression on prospective members are just some of the several reasons why used gym equipment is no bargain for anyone who is serious about opening a new gym and successfully operating a gym for years.

As mentioned in Part 1 of this series, a New Gym Specialist will be able to provide you with the right equipment at the right deal so that you can open your new gym with new gym equipment and with confidence.

Only Purchase as a Complete Package

This is extremely important in getting your best deal for your new gym equipment. Complete Package Purchasing allows you to take advantage of bulk discounted pricing while you still get everything that you need for your new gym. Similar to purchasing in bulk at Costco or Sam’s Club, with Complete Gym Equipment Package Purchasing, the more that you purchase the greater your overall discount. Since you need several products to properly equip your new gym so that all types of people can train there, you will be buying many things anyway. By getting the bulk of what you need from a single source as a Complete Package, you will be able to take advantage of significant total savings.

Note: Just because someone throws an assortment of products into a quote for you, does NOT make it a true Package deal. A Complete Package is the product of studying the right equipment types, the right amount and mix of equipment and the right accessory products to fit a specific type of training facility. These factors are all finely tuned and then worked into a Discounted Package with the percentage of discount varying between each product and culminating in a total Discounted Package Price.

A true Discounted Complete Package will also include the shipping and on-site assembly into the Package so that these things can also be discounted. Be careful of someone who is offering you what appears to be a great discounted price on your equipment and then hammers you with a high shipping and assembly cost so that they can make a higher profit. Make sure that everything is included in your Discounted Package – even the shipping and assembly.

Only Purchase through a New Gym Specialist

A New Gym Specialist is specifically trained to help people to open their new gym and is your most valuable asset in purchasing your gym equipment and in getting just the right Complete Package for you. Through years of working in the industry, a New Gym Specialist will have the knowledge, skills and connections to make your gym equipment purchase simple and effective.

More importantly, the right New Gym Specialist will save you thousands of dollars by purchasing your Complete Package through them.

A New Gym Specialist will be able to create a Custom Complete Package specifically for you. Your new gym is special and should be treated as such. Sample Packages are a great place to start because they show you what can fit in a certain room size, or what approximately matches your budget, or what types of gym equipment are best suited for your specific type of gym. The right New Gym Specialist will then move beyond this information and work very closely with you so that your Complete Package is made just for you – and is just what you want and need for your new gym.

By using the right New Gym Specialist to create a Custom Equipment Package for you with new gym equipment, you will get the best deal for equipment for your new gym.

Part 3 – Determining Your Budget

As a New Gym Specialist, people often come to me to help them to turn their dream of opening a new gym into a reality. Often, they are fitness enthusiasts who know how important the role of fitness plays in living a quality enriched life. They are excited about the opportunity of owning their own coed gym, personal training studio, crossfit gym, women’s only gym or other type of gym and are ready to take the next steps towards doing so.

In this third part of this Series, “How Much Does Gym Equipment Cost?” I discuss an essential step in moving forward towards opening your new gym – Determining Your Budget

Men and women riding exercise bikes in health club

Men and women riding exercise bikes in health club

Even for the fitness enthusiast who simply loves working out and could spend all day in the gym, to be a successful gym owner, opening a new gym needs to be undertaken for what it is – a business endeavor that can be extremely rewarding both personally and financially. As such, you need to have an idea of what you are budgeting for your gym equipment before you contact your New Gym Specialist to put together a Complete Package for your new gym.

Once your New Gym Specialist has a close estimation of your budget, he can work to maximize the quality and the amount of your cardio equipment, selectorized strength equipment, plate loaded equipment, free weight equipment and other items so that you get all that you need to be successful while staying within your budget. But first, you need to determine what your budget is.

Determining Your Budget for your Gym Equipment

Your budget will determine the type of gym equipment that you can get, the amount of gym equipment that you can get and the quality of gym equipment that you can get. Therefore, you need to know what your budget is at the outset. You can determine your budget by answering a few simple questions:

  1. How much can I afford to pay for my gym equipment?
  2. How much am I comfortable with paying for my gym equipment?
  3. How am I going to pay for my gym equipment?

Let’s take a closer look at these questions.

  1. “How much can I afford to pay for my gym equipment?” – Generally, just as with any new business endeavor, opening a new gym requires some monetary expenditure on a few different things such as the expense of the build out of the room, advertizing, staffing and the gym equipment itself (cardio equipment and strength equipment). Each of the expenses is separate from the other and should be looked at as a separate operating budget. This will allow you to allocate a specific amount of funds for each part of your new gym opening project and to stay within your budget for each part.

Determining how much you can afford for your new gym equipment is pretty much the same as how you figure out how much you can spend on any major purchase. For example, let’s say that you are in the market for a new car. You already know how much your income is and what you have in the bank or other investments where you can get liquid capital, so you have a good idea of how much you can afford for a new car.

You should take the same approach when determining how much you can afford for your gym equipment. Know what you have on hand, what is available to you and, if you have another revenue stream, what that is.

  1. “How much am I comfortable with paying for my gym equipment?” – Although this may initially seem to be the same as question #1, there can be a difference between what you can afford and what you are comfortable with allocating. If you are not comfortable allocating the maximum amount that you can afford for your new gym equipment, your New Gym Specialist can work closely with you regarding financing avenues such as leasing, (again discussed in Part 4 of this Series).

Keep in mind that your new gym is a business that is there to generate a healthy income for you. You do NOT want to cut corners and purchase less equipment than what you need because it’s vital to start out strong in appearance and function for prospective members to join.

Also, don’t settle for used gym equipment for your new gym. Remember that this is your livelihood and your equipment is a reflection on you, as the owner. This was discussed in Part 1 of this Series, but it’s worth mentioning again here.

Be comfortable, but also be realistic. You’re not going to open a new gym business that you are going to make your living with and purchase your gym equipment for $10,000, (Unless it’s a very small one-on-one personal training studio), any more than you can get that new BMW for $10,000.

Your New Gym Specialist is your #1 Source for helping you get the best equipment and stay within your budget.

  1. “How am I going to pay for my gym equipment?” – Once you know your budget and how much you are comfortable with spending, you need to determine how you are going to pay for your gym equipment. There are several options to consider and this is the subject of the next part of this Series.

To summarize, done right, starting a gym can become a very lucrative and enjoyable source of income. The gym equipment that you choose is a very important aspect of this business and, by answering a few quick questions, you will know how much you have to allocate for it. Once you know this, it’s time to contact your New Gym Specialist to get to work for you.

Part 4 – Funding Options

Every situation is different for people opening a new gym, and one method of funding may be perfect for someone and not quite right for another’s particular needs.  No matter what type of gym you are looking to open, (24/7 coed gym, crossfit gym, personal training studio, sports performance gym, etc.), it’s essential for you to work with a New Gym Specialist to help steer you to the best funding method for your specific situation.

Funding your new gym - the ins and outs of starting your new venture


You will need to have your funding in place before your New Gym Specialist can create a Complete Package designed especially for you.  Knowing your budget allows him to put you into the right mix and amount of equipment while keeping within your limits.  This will allow you to get the most treadmills, elliptical, spin bikes, selectorized equipment, plate loaded equipment, free weight equipment, olympic bars, olympic plates, dumbbells and whatever else you will need for a complete new gym set up.

There are several options when it comes to getting the funds together for your new gym.  Here’s a breakdown of the more common ones with the general pros and cons –

  1. Direct Pay – If you have the funds available, the least expensive way for you to open your new gym is to pay for your equipment without using another source.  This way, you don’t have monthly payments and, more importantly, interest rates.  You also do not need to hand over any collateral to be held against a loan so that you can purchase your fitness equipment.  And, there is the satisfaction that you are not accountable to anyone.  For sheer cost savings and ease, direct pay is your best way to go and it allows you to take the most advantage from the Discounted Complete Gym Package that your New Gym Specialist has created for you.
    PRO – Least expensive / Paid for and out of the way – no payments hanging over your head
    CON – Not always feasible, particularly with larger new gym projects
  2. Investor / Partner – People who don’t have access to all of the funds, (or prefer not to use them), often tie in with an investor or partner who supplies the funds while not being otherwise involved in the day to day operations of the business.  This allows you to save on your upfront capital expenditure while still keeping clear of any additional charges associated with going through a bank or other lending source.You can use one or several investors/partners.  The key with this way of securing your funds is to align yourself with the right investors/partners.  These will need to be people whom you trust and who trust in your capabilities to successfully own and operate a new gym.  A careful selection of the right people and a concrete mutual understanding of what is expected from each party will go a long way to eliminate hassles down the road.
    PRO – You can set it up however works best for you / No interest rate because the investors/partners can get a small % of your business profits.  The investors/partners will want your new gym to be successful, so they will not take enough of a % of your business’ profits to hinder that.
    CON – You’ve got to make sure that you tie in with someone whom you want to be with / The agreement needs to be detailed so that each party knows what their part is.
  3. Bank Loan – A standard bank loan for a small business will usually have a better interest rate than a lease company will give you.  This can work out very well if you have an established relationship with your local bank and banker.  A local bank should be interested in working with a new business in the community.
    PRO – Lower interest rate / Business partner is not needed / Pretty simple process.
    CON – May need a business plan to present to the bank / may need collateral against the loan.
  4. Leasing – This is actually financing-to-own.  The lease company will run a credit check to determine what you qualify for.  Leases, like bank loans, usually run from 2 to 5 years, depending on the amount needed, your credit score and possibly other factors.  Unlike a bank loan, qualifying for a lease is mostly determined by your credit score or a combination of the credit scores for you and your partner, if you are opening your new gym with someone else.  Also unlike a bank, the leasing company works with various funding sources, so there may be more than one payment required to be sent each month.
    PRO – Simple application process / tax write off advantages / requires a minimal payment down to qualify.
    CON – High credit score is usually required / Highest interest rate / May need to pay different lending sources independently on a monthly basis.
  5. Direct Pay / Leasing Hybrid – With this method of funding, you direct pay a certain amount upfront and lease the balance.  You determine the amount that you want to direct pay and the amount that you will leave open for leasing.  This is a good approach to take if your credit score isn’t high enough for you to secure all of your needed funds with the lease company or if you want to bring your monthly payment down.
    PRO – This method decreases your monthly lease payment to a level where you may be more comfortable while still giving you the tax advantages of leasing.
    CON – Still interest involved with the amount that you are leasing.

To summarize, Direct Pay is the least expensive way for you to open your new gym.  If that isn’t entirely feasible, there are several options to help you get the right gym equipment to be successful.  Of these options, the Direct Pay / Leasing Hybrid is a very good one if you have some amount of funds on hand.  It gives you control over what you pay monthly for your lease payments and can quickly put you on the road to owning your new gym.

Once you have secured your funds, your first call should be to your New Gym Specialist so that he can get started doing what he does – determining the best product mix for your new gym and creating a Custom Gym Equipment Package at a Discounted Package Price.

Regardless of how you secure your funds, remember that your equipment will need to be paid for in full to place your order.  This allows your New Gym Specialist to quickly distribute the funds to the proper sources so that you can take advantage of all of the discounts that he has gotten put in place for you.

Written by Bill at BAMPSCO International Inc. /