I agree with most everyone’s answers. I prefer more simple pieces of equipment. Machines are great for beginners but it’s very temporary until they are comfortable with new movement patterns.
The type of equipment would depend on the type of facility you were opening and the type of clientele you want to draw. Do you want your facility have more body-builder clients? If so, you need more heavy-lifting apparatus. Sport performance? Studio?
My dream facility would be an open floor studio with equipment on the side for personal and group training, corner that’s fully matted for stretching, correctives, rolling, etc, and a separate room for larger classes (TRX, spin, kettlebell, barbell, stretching/rolling classes, correctives, etc). The idea would be to attract everyone from beginners-advanced, healthy and in rehab, using trainer guidance.
Barbells (15lb Olympic-style for beginners and youth as well as Olympic bars)
Boxes/steps at various heights
Functional Trainer (cable machine) with various attachments
If I were opening next month and had to pay for everything, that’s a different list than what would be my ideal. I could start with a much smaller operation and earn into my “ideal” location. So, my “starter” list would be:
A big open space with rubberized floor an mirrors with as much natural light as possible.
A Freemotion or similar adjustable machine with many functions.
A rack to hang CrossCore, rings, bags, pull-up bars, and weight bars.
CrossCore (high-end suspension / rotational bodyweight trainer)
High quality mats
Lebert Equalizers and buddy systems
I actually have everything except the studio and the freemotion machine. If not for two small kids, if the right space presented itself, I could go into business and have enough to get started.
Over time, I would love to add gyrotronic or pilates reformers.
-TRX or some type of suspension trainer with anchor points
-Medicine Balls with a wall and throwing area
-Pull up and dip bars
-Foam Rollers and half foam rollers
-Various height boxes for jumps
-Various tubing and jumpstretch bands with anchor points
-Cable machines like a keiser functional trainer or a cable crossover
-Turf area for sprints, agility drills and sled pushes
-Sleds for pushing and pulling like “the prowler”
-A squat rack with safety bars and barbells/weight plates
-Lifting Platforms and bumper plates (ideally in front of the squat rack)
-Trap bar for deadlifts
-Some type of box for various height squats as well as something to vary the height of a deadlift like blocks or mats
You could easily start out with the first two and get great results for personal training clients and work your way down if you are training athletes, although personal training clients will enjoy training as an athlete also.
I agree with Janet about the ab machines she has mentioned and too much spinal flexion. In general, most machines are also not “one size fits all”.
They are just too awkward and do not fit to meet a person’s individual needs (in addition to most not being very functional). They can have their place, however, for those who are beginning a workout program and for those who many have an injury to overcome. I do like cable machines for certain exercises.
My ideal place would have the following: Dumbbells, medicine balls, stability balls, kettlebells, TRX (love this single piece of equipment!), rowing machines, access to stairs for workouts or stair climber (stairs are another love for me), gliding discs, cable machine, foam rollers, and perhaps a few pieces of boxing equipment (I do rounds using gloves, wraps, and focus mitts).
an ideal gym to me has a lot of open space with balls, Bosus, soft foam rollers. ViPRs, sandbells, dumbbells, dyna discs, elastic resistance, cables, balance boards of any description, devices for agility.
But it also has machines; something like Freemotion that do not lock the user into one prescribed path of movement. While I am not a fan of them, they have a place in fitness, and they are ideal for beginners who are just starting out or are on some stage of post-rehab. I personally own a Power Tower (fancy version of the Total Gym) which I truly love.
On the ‘really dislike’ list are machines that can cause injury over time such as the Lateral Raise. Ab Crunch machines are useless in my book, and Leg Extensions are not for everyone.
I am very fortunate in that I have my own studio, and all the stuff that I really like, I have 🙂