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“Many people choose a fitness center by its equipment, but the equipment arrangement is just as important. Room temperatures, the space between machines and the order of assembly can make the difference between a satisfying workout and one that causes unexplained stress. While gym managers have numerous options for equipment arrangement, some are more user-friendly than others.


Cardiovascular Area

When arranging the cardiovascular exercise area, the National Strength and Conditioning Association suggests placing the machines that require standing, upright exercise behind those performed in a seated position. Upright machines include treadmillsstepmills, steppers, and ellipticals. The upright and recumbent bikes, as well as rowing machines, are seated exercise equipment. By keeping the taller machines closer to the wall, you avoid impairing the visual field of the people who are closer to the ground.

Weight-Room Set-Up

If possible, designate separate areas for dumbbell and barbell training and for resistance training equipment. Many barbell exercises, such as the bench press, require spotters, who must pay careful attention to their training partners. These machines should not be near mirrors, windows or any part of the gym that may distract the spotter. Keep the taller machines, such as the squat racks, against the wall, and shorter items such as the bench press and the weightlifting benches in the center of the room. Place dumbbell racks against the wall, but keep the barbell plate racks, along with the barbell collars, near the bench press and squat racks.

Resistance Machine Room

When using resistance training machines, perform large-muscle, complex exercises before smaller-muscle isolation exercise, says William D. McArdle, co-author of “Essentials of Exercise Physiology, Volume I.” Reversing this order may prematurely fatigue the smaller muscle group, making it unable to assist the larger muscles during a complex exercise. Make this intuitive for members by placing the large muscle equipment closer to the room entrance. Keep the lat pull-down, the bench pressand the seated row, for example, toward the room entrance, and place the triceps extension and the biceps curl on the other side of the room”.