Getting started with a 24 hour gym
Becoming a 24 Hour Gym
From starting a new gym to upgrading an existing one the industry standard is to open as a 24 hour gym. This helps to reduce the cost of labour, maximise returns on your investment and provide facility access to all members whenever it suits them.
So how exactly do you become a 24 hour gym?
What considerations must be made compared to a regular staffed gym?
How much does it all cost?
The key areas to consider when planning any 24 hour gym are membership management, access control and member / club security.
So let’s break it down.
There are many Membership Management platforms to choose from. Factors such as the size, structure and style of your club play a large part in making your selection. The key things to consider when choosing your software provider are;
- Does my debit provider support this software platform? (If applicable)
- What type of club am I going to be? (Gym, Personal Training Studio, Specialised Training, Single or Multi-Site)
- What do I want to get out of my Membership Management platform?
Once you have considered these questions you can begin to explore your options. Further on we provide details for a few of our trusted integration partners who can discuss your options and help you decide if they best suit your club.
The next step to becoming a 24 hour gym requires some form of access control. This is the physical hardware and supporting software that reads a members access card, confirms their access status and allows or prevents them entry into the building. This decision is instantaneous and based on predefined parameters such as payment status, areas authorised and even factors such as age.
When a user presents their membership card to the reader all entry attempts are recorded in the Membership Management software. Should a member be denied access the software will immediately indicate to staff why the member was denied and provide options for resolving the issue.
Access control can be used in multiple areas of your club such as pools, saunas and speciality use areas, allowing access only to those members who have paid for that service. If a member does not have access to a particular area then the door remains locked and the access attempt is recorded for future review.
Should a power outage occur or the Membership Management PC go down for any reason, all aspects of the access control system are completely battery backed, All membership access data is stored internally updating the system automatically once the system restores. You can rest assured that your club will remain secure and all members will be able to enter and exit the club as required.
All access control solutions are fully supportive of emergency exit systems and procedures allowing safe unhindered exit of the building in case of fire or emergency.
Membership cards (or fobs) are a member’s key to accessing your club. Utilising RFID (Radio Frequency IDentification) technology members simply present their card to the wall reader and access control does the rest.
Membership cards can be generic cost effective coloured fobs or custom designed and branded depending on your needs and budget. In addition to key ring style fobs there are wristbands and other wearables available upon request.
Design services are available free of charge providing a professional look to members while helping to strengthen your brand.
In addition to providing door access, membership cards can also provide services such as locker usage or even in club purchases.
A selection of membership card options can be found below.
Security & 24 Hour Monitoring
Outside of staffed hours the safety of your members and security of your 24 hour gym is a primary concern. In some cases monitored security is required by your insurance company.
The best way to provide safety for your members is through the installation of panic / duress buttons placed strategically around your club. Used to indicate an injury or when a member feels concerned for their safety. In addition to fixed buttons wireless pendants are also made available for members to wear around their neck.
Once activated the 24 hour control centre is immediately alerted to the situation and officers act accordingly. The use of additional safety systems such as video cameras may be used by highly qualified control room officers to better assess the situation. Should they be required police or emergency services are quickly dispatched. In addition to providing on site assistance the club owners are also contacted and updated as the situation unfolds providing feedback to officers where required.
With member security under control the security of your club is equally important. Areas such as reception desks, offices, store rooms and training studios can be separately alarmed as staff finish for the day.
Should a member or other unauthorised person access one of these areas then the alarm will sound and control centre officers will immediately inform the club owner of the intrusion. Should the situation require it police can be dispatched based on the severity of the breach.
Additional security measures include the monitoring of emergency exits preventing members from attempting to sneak non members in through unlocked safety doors.
To better improve member safety emergency call points can be installed to dial the control centre. This allows members to directly communicate with control centre officers and request assistance when required.
In a 24 hour gym video surveillance is your eyes and sometimes ears outside of staffed hours. Video cameras provide piece of mind for members and security for your club. With 24 hour motion recording, events in all areas are captured and securely stored for review at a later date. All recorded events are generally held for a period of 30 days before new footage is recorded over the oldest events.
Key areas to consider when installing video cameras are points of entry and exit, foyers, reception desks, weights, cardio, stretching, group fitness and cycle rooms as well as vehicle parking. Should an incident or alarm occur this allows control centre staff to confirm the status of your club as well as providing 24 hour live view to gym owners via their PC. laptop or mobile device.
Video cameras work in conjunction with your access control system creating convenient links between the access event and recorded footage. This allows staff to ensure that members are following club rules by not sharing their membership cards with other people as well as providing video verification of things such as anti-tailgating and anti-passback.
Lighting & Electrical
When it comes to lighting the most important safety measure to consider is emergency lighting. This is lighting that is activated automatically in the event of a power outage or emergency. Providing members with sufficient light to move about the club with clearly illuminated exit signs should an emergency occur.
In addition to safety some club owners wish to include a level of automated control over their lighting, sound systems and displays. Depending on the level of integration you wish to achieve this can be initiated by your access control system or simply by a member pressing a button upon entry. Usually this type of system operates via a timer which is either a simple count down or supported my motion sensors placed around the club.
Music, fans and other electrical devices can be incorporated into automated control saving on the cost of utility bills as well as automated security which protects your facility from attacks while unattended.