Gyms can be noisy places. People coming and going, group classes and sports involving music and shouting, and the well-known thud and clank of the weight area. These noises are practically synonymous with hashtag gym life these days.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. By tackling the causes, you can completely transform the atmosphere in your gym. To help with your gym soundproofing, we’re going to take a look at the main causes of noise in gyms.
Strangely enough, one of the worst causes of unwanted noise in gyms are the users themselves. And not just while using machines or dropping weights. At peak times, the sound of customers coming and going, chatting in the lobby and workout areas, slamming lockers, and shouting over the background noise all adds up to a clamorous din that sits on top of the already problematic gym soundtrack.
There’s not much you can do about the noise that people make. You could try banning them, but that might not be great for business. And soundproofing your gym is generally easier than soundproofing people. A good floor designed for traffic areas will help a lot though, reducing the noise created by footsteps and echoes. You could also try playing light classical music in common areas, given that studies have shown it has a tendency to make people more relaxed and lower blood pressure.
4. Air conditioning
Often overlooked, air conditioning and/or heating systems in gyms can be a problematic source of noise. If there’s a constant hum or rumble in a hall, then all other forms of aural communication have to be turned up to compete with it. Think music, instructions, advice, chats about the football or how the keto diet’s going. All of these other noises are all forced up a notch when your noise already starts above zero.
An efficient air conditioning system will also save you money. If it does its job well, it doesn’t need to be on 24/7. Making sure that the room’s well sealed is part of this. Escaping air, and air of different temperatures entering the room, will only force your air-con to work harder, driving up the noise levels and the cost.
3. Running machines
Running machines, like your air conditioning system, don’t seem to be much of a problem at first. But if you’ve got tens of people using them, all at the same time, they’re going to make a bit of noise. One thing you can do is make sure you keep them well maintained. This will reduce the amount of noise they transmit, as well as making them more efficient and cutting your repair costs.
To keep the sound of pounding feet down, however, you’ll need decent flooring. Floors designed for cardio rooms are the way to go, as they’ll cushion the blows and disperse the vibrations, meaning the sound dissipates quicker and keeps those background noise levels to a minimum.
You might think you’ve got control over this one, but it’s not always that simple. Music is integral to group and studio classes, which are skyrocketing in popularity and show no signs of letting up. Therefore, if you want to engage with the market, you can’t just plug the plug on the stereo.
However, you can invest in a bit of soundproofing. Solutions are relatively cheap, and you can turn to musical suppliers in particular to help you out, as they tend to know a fair bit about keeping music inside a studio. Acoustic panels on the walls are an obvious starting point, but are somewhat useless if you leave gaping holes in your protection. Don’t forget to soundproof doors and windows, and if you really, really need to keep the noise down in your gym, soundproofing smaller crevices like light fittings and vents will help too.
Weights. The most problematic source of noise in the gym. All that lifting and thrusting, jerking and dropping. It’s enough to drive you mad. Or at least to lodge a complaint with the local authority and open up a particularly unsavoury can of worms. And both free weights and fixed weights are just as bad as each other.
The problem with weights is the, well, weight. When they’re dropped they cause vibrations that just go on and on and on. And those vibrations are what causes the noise, and the headaches.
The best solution is a good floor designed to deal with those vibrations. The idea is that it stops the vibrations at source, meaning they don’t bounce around the building and shake your fillings out. A solid weightlifting floor is the only sure-fire way to deal with these vibrations, given that asking weightlifters nicely not to drop their barbells isn’t usually too effective.
Small changes can make a huge difference
As you’ll have noticed reading through this article, you don’t have to make wholesale changes to get great results when it comes to soundproofing your gym. Small changes in the most problematic of areas are usually enough. And replacing the flooring doesn’t have to be a headache either. Our ACOUSTIC flooring, specially designed to offer extra protection against vibration and noise, can be installed post-construction, and includes the protective, absorbent sub-layer that’s critical to keeping the noise down.
If you’re interested in this or any other of our products, contact us to find out more. If you’re not sure which floor works best for you we can help you make the best decision, or you can take a look at our flooring guide. And don’t forget to share this article!