The focus on health and wellness is at an all-time high. With an increasing number of people joining gyms and getting active, it’s a great time to be a health club owner or operator. There is however a lot to consider in order to maintain a profitable health club, and few resources that provide guidance with those decisions. Whether managing a franchise or a luxury health club, gym managers often ask the same question: How much cardio equipment do I need?

The truth is, there is no exact answer or magic number. However, there is a way to figure out how much cardio equipment you should have. We’ve compiled a list of various factors to consider when determining how much cardio equipment you need for your gym.


The location of your gym has a huge impact on the amount of cardio equipment you’ll need. Consider this, if you’re located in a busy city there will be a higher demand for cardio equipment because your customers have less of an opportunity to run outside. Similarly, if you’re located in a warmer state, people are more likely to want to exercise outside versus colder states.


Your equipment needs will largely depend on the type of gym you have. If you have a fully-loaded gym that already offers a wide variety of different cardio equipment and other amenities like an indoor track and pool, it’s likely treadmills won’t need to make up as large a percent of your total equipment.


The clientele you cater to is another factor that will impact the amount of cardio equipment you’ll need. Refer to your business plan and consider your audience, the demographic, and diversity. If you have a standard gym and are targeting customers that are interested in more of a traditional gym workout, then you will need a lot more cardio equipment than one with a client base more interested in high intensity or group training. You may also need to appeal to many different preferences for cardio and should consider things like diversifying your elliptical options to satisfy different tastes.

Make sure to consider your target audience and previous usage data when you are choosing which types of cardio equipment to include into your floor plan as well. For instance, treadmills are universally popular, but do you know the second most popular piece of cardio equipment at your facility? In a recent industry report, we found that stair climbers are rising in popularity and are currently the second most-popular cardio machine.


Optimizing your floor space and determining the amount of space available for cardio equipment is another factor. How much space do you have dedicated to cardio equipment? How much equipment can you comfortably fit within that area? Remember, you will want to try and create an open environment for cardio exercise, but you will need to balance that with ensuring you have enough equipment to keep up with client volume.


Unfortunately, there’s no way of knowing that perfect number of cardio equipment before you open. Sometimes, you’ll nail it and everything will run perfectly but most of the time it will take some testing. Review your usage data, peak machine usage times and customer feedback. If customers are having to wait for a cardio machine, you need to reevaluate and make adjustments to your equipment ratio.

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