A gym or fitness center is like its very own small city where all the residents – or members – are working toward the common goal of better health and wellness.
You may think that the sole purpose of auditing a gym is to check for hazardous equipment and cleanliness. These are certainly the top priorities when inspecting a fitness facility, but it’s more complex.
Today, many gyms have the following amenities:
- Locker rooms/showers
- Mixed martial arts (MMA) area
- Cardio theater
- Boxing ring
- Kids club
- Café/smoothie bar
It’s important to create checklists and audit each area separately because…
Gym Members Can be Annoying
As a manager, you may scoff and say, “Not my members!” Your loyalty is admirable, but let’s be honest. Not everyone is a model gym citizen. In a facility where people are supposed to have the amenities of home, some people act like that – like they are in the gym alone! Not everyone is neat and tidy… or sanitary.
Machines need to be in working condition and cleaned regularly. Ripped seats or arm cushions need to be replaced or repaired – not duct taped. There should be paper towels and spray bottles with cleaning solution readily available to encourage members to wipe down their machines after use. Towels, if provided, need to be collected and washed.
Of course, barbells, medicine balls, jump ropes and weights should be organized neatly on shelves. It not only looks neat, but also prevents tripping.
But wait, there’s more! I decided to investigate what average people find most annoying about going to the gym, and translate that into what managers can do to improve the experience. An article in the Huffington Post, “13 Annoying Gym Pet Peeves That Makes You Just Want to Quit Working Out” seemed promising.
Here’s a quick rundown:
You can’t tell members to stop working out so hard, but you have to be prepared to clean up their sweaty mess if they’re not courteous enough to do it themselves. Members will be turned off if management doesn’t do their part.
It’s usually guys who do this, but to be fair, you could have Maria Sharapova yelling in your gym. It begs the question: Is there enough space on the gym floor?
People working out on top of each other
Are there enough machines and are they spaced out appropriately? Again, this is a personal space issue.
Some machines have their own TVs. Make sure they are in working condition, or some machines might not be used. What channels are TVs set to in the gym? News and sports channels may be appropriate, but not the Food Network.
How is the PA system in your gym? Most people will listen to their own tunes, but trainers will need to communicate. Don’t blast music. Also, find a balance between grunge and the soundtrack of “Grey’s Anatomy.” Keep it lively, but not too angry or depressing.
Locker room/restroom etiquette
Nudity is generally frowned upon, and so is theft. While it’s usually the responsibility of gym members to use their own locks, they may forget. Be sure that your gym’s locker room policies are clearly posted and that members are removing their belongings at the end of sessions. Of course, restrooms and showers must be cleaned regularly.
People taking gym selfies
Most gyms post signs asking people to limit cell phone use. This is not only an etiquette issue, but also a matter of privacy. No one wants to feel they’re being creeped on or wind up on the Internet as a joke.
Here are two pet peeves that can be grouped together: People misusing exercise equipment and people who are not trainers intruding on people’s workouts. This translates to a staffing issue. Is there a trainer on staff who can walk the floor and offer help to members in a non-intrusive way?
Don’t forget the exterior and entrance!
Most gyms have well-lit signs and inviting entrances. Working out in front of others can be intimidating enough for some people, so be sure to create a clean, safe and inviting environment.
Also be sure that the front desk is well-staffed for signing up new members, checking the lost and found, and addressing other membership concerns.