One of the easiest ways to annoy, frustrate, and ultimately send members and prospective members running to different fitness center? Fail to keep your fitness center equipment in good working condition. After all, there’s nothing worse than planning a treadmill, elliptical or Stairmaster workout only to be greeted with an “Out of Order” sign. Because of this, fitness center equipment maintenance is a mission-critical endeavor for gyms in today’s intensely competitive fitness industry. 

Wondering what you can do to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to keeping your fitness center equipment in tip-top condition? Here are five tips. 

1. Shop smart.

All fitness center owners have their eye on the bottom line. However, trying to save a few dollars on equipment will end up costing you in the long run. Seeking out high-quality, commercial products from reputable manufacturers, meanwhile, ensures that equipment lasts longer and performs better — attributes which are guaranteed to please your members. In addition to enhanced durability and reliability, name-brand equipment also comes with warranties which can help conserve repair and replacement costs down the line.  

2. Follow manufacturer’s maintenance guidelines.

Buying the best equipment is only part of the equation. Also essential? Adhering to the manufacturer’s maintenance recommendations. Treating your machines well will help support optimal life expectancy. Manufacturer’s recommendations clearly delineate care and maintenance protocols — from cleaning Stairmaster frames weekly to lubricating spin bike chains monthly. Follow these for best outcomes. 

A related best practice for maintaining your fitness center equipment? Use only replacement parts from the manufacturer. While this may seem more costly or time-consuming, it also provides a desirable level of assurance.

3. Adopt a preventative strategy.

The old saying goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” While the sentiment applies to most aspects of life, it’s especially apt when it comes to fitness center equipment. Taking steps to protect your equipment now can help avoid both downtime and expensive deferred maintenance in the future. 

Think you prefer the “Why fix it if it isn’t broken” approach? Think again. Not only can failing to implement a routine preventative maintenance program lead to larger problems, it can also put your members at risk if wear and tear — such as to cables and bolts — results in breakdowns during use and potential injuries to members. 

So what, specifically, can you do to keep equipment at its best at all times? As debris can lead to friction which wears away at motors, make sure to keep all moving parts free and clear of dirt and dust. Electronic displays, seats, backrests, and handrails should be wiped down regularly, while upholstered surfaces should be kept clean and tear-free. Lastly, install surge protectors to prevent power surges thereby minimizing the risk of electrical damage. 

4. Document and log.

Committing to a regular cleaning schedule is one thing. Enforcing it — particularly in a busy fitness center environment — is another. By establishing and documenting a preventative maintenance schedule which identifies exactly which pieces of equipment should be cleaned and serviced and when can help ensure that you stay on track. Logging records of all repairs and maintenance, meanwhile, offers a useful paper trail should a particular machine fail again.

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5. Educate your staff and members.

Your staff offer invaluable partnership in keeping fitness equipment in shape, but only if your make sure they understand the importance of doing so along with the role they each play in the process. Designating a staff member to oversee all preventative maintenance promotes accountability and follow-through. 

Members can also contribute to the effort by doing their part to keep equipment clean. Make it easy for them by making paper towels and disinfectant easily available and accessible to them. Additionally, put up signage encouraging them to wipe down machines after use to minimize rust and other wear and tear. 

While keeping your fitness center equipment in excellent working condition is important, in reality, it’s just a means to another paramount objective: satisfied members. After all, without members to use them, the condition of your fitness equipment is the least of your problems.  For another useful way to offer a premier member experience at your fitness center, request a demo today.