Maintaining your gear should be of high priority when you are running your gym. Keeping the equipment you buy to the best quality possible not only ensures your clients will be safe when using it, it also demonstrates that you care about your clients and gives you the ‘professional edge’ – it just looks better. Thus, regularly investing in maintaining and replacing gear will certainly affect your retention rate.
Do a regular audit and make a list of gear to clean, service or replace. This way you’ll be organised and able to keep track of what needs your attention and when.
Below are the main pieces of equipment you need to focus on maintaining, and some ways you can keep your gear working in as new condition.
Make sure you oil the chains. This process doesn’t take long and only needs to be done every 6 months. Oiling the chains obviously helps in preventing rust building up over the years of use and keeps those paddle strokes smooth.
Also think about doing the little things, like folding the computer screen down after use which limits the likelihood of it being knocked by objects or people. As well as this, at the end of the day, rest the paddle against the base of where the computer screen sits. The chain of the rower is attached to an elastic band inside (known as the shock cord). By taking tension off this band as much as possible will help to further preserve its longevity.
Consider teaching clients when doing their last rep in a workout, to stick a hand out to break its fall, which will lessen the impact on the ball when it hits the floor. Many high impact reps (slamming the ball, or allowing it to fall from a great height), can cause the seams to split and speed up the wear and tear over time. Also, never throw your wall ball above a share object where it has the chance to strike the sharp object on the way down. This is common sense, but you wouldn’t believe how often this happens.
Never drop an empty bar! This should already be instilled in everyone who has walked through the doors of any gym that provides barbells to use. However, clients new to the weightlifting experience won’t know, so make sure that you educate all your members on proper bar etiquette. This also includes unloading the bar correctly. Sometimes it can be hard to do but making sure when you unload the bar that the shaft (where the plates are loaded) doesn’t smack onto the ground will help preserve either the ball or needle bearings inside the barbell.
Also, consider having the bars oiled once a month (a few drops of multi-purpose oil where the shaft meets the collar of the bar), as this will help keep the spin of the bars working well.
Dropping any weight above shoulder height is generally not recommended safety wise ( Fun Fact - it is actually against International Weightlifting competition rules to do so), and being especially careful when dropping a bar loaded with ONLY two 5kg plates is important. Due to the how the plates are structured, 5kg rubber bumper plates are not engineered to withstand a high amount of impact on if dropped from hip height. Teaching your members to guide the weight down as best as they can (say to just above hip height), will assist in preventing the plates from splitting around the collars, cracking or warping.
Lastly, storing the equipment well will assist in maintaining its longevity. Storage works for you in two ways. It protects your gear and keeps from under foot or in unstable stacks which will keep the gym tidy and your members safe. See our previous article on storage here.
Use these tips to protect your most precious investments in your gym, your equipment. It will take you from a run of the mill gym with okay equipment to a gym with a professional edge, and save you a lot of money in the long run.
If you ever need advice or assistance, don’t hesitate to contact us.