With the number of gyms and fitness centres on the rise, so are noise complaints and lawsuits against these facilities.
Cardio and resistance machines, free weights, and high-impact group classes are all culprits. Added to that, large spaces also have the problem of echoes, keeping the sound alive and increasing the volume in your training area.
Why is it important to reduce gym noise?
For some gyms, it’s a simple matter of location. Being situated near an office or housing complex can lead to noise complaints and costly fines, or restrictions regarding opening hours. Of course, we’re not striving for silence – unless we’re talking mind-body classes – but limiting noise is beneficial to your users, staff, and neighbours, and helps to keep costs down.
Aside from the obvious legal issues around disrupting neighbours, there are also serious health reasons for dealing with noise in gyms. Users are increasingly at risk of losing their hearing. A lot of this damage is caused by users turning up the volume on their music players while working out, to try and drown out the high levels of background noise in the gym. Aside from ear damage, excessive noise can also increase hypertension, worsen sleep problems, and harm cardiovascular health – all contrary to the benefits that a gym aims to provide.
How can you control the noise in the gym?
One of the most obvious sources of noise in the gym is the weight area. The clanking sounds of lifting weights and dull thuds of dropping them are seemingly inevitable. However, there are steps you can take to limit the noise. Bumper plates and coated dumbbells and kettlebells are readily available, and you can even get impressive pliable weights that protect your floor as well as reduce noise.
If a new set of weights aren’t an option, or weights aren’t the main source of noise in your gym, you’ll want to consider the option of reducing the echo. If you’re having problems with the noise levels in your gym, echoes are just bouncing that noise around and worsening the issue, especially in large spaces.
It’s a relatively easy problem to fix, with plenty of varied solutions that will make a huge difference to the noise levels in your gym. The first thing to do is get some acoustic panels, which offer a relatively cheap solution. Musicians often have the same issues with noise and echoes, so musical solutions can offer the same or better quality than gym-specific ones. In the same vein, hanging acoustic baffles is another way to deal with echoes.
The difference in gym noise
Despite having discussed a few ways to reduce noise in the gym, these solutions won’t prevent the problem of low-frequency sounds from being an issue. These sounds are caused by the vibrations generated from heavy impacts on the floors and walls, for example in weight and machine areas.
The best way to manage this low-frequency noise is to tackle the issue at source – ensure you have the appropriate flooring. But don’t just take our word for it. Most soundproofing specialists point to the flooring as the key area when it comes to noise reduction.
The Pavigym ACOUSTIC range is specially designed to reduce vibrations from free weights and gym machines, protecting the structure of the building and keeping noise levels at a minimum. ACOUSTIC dampens vibrations, preventing sound from travelling through floors and walls, reducing echoes, and reducing the effects of heavy impacts on the floor.
In the same way that insulation fills the gap between the outside and the inside walls, the ACOUSTIC underlay provides a layer of cushion and support between a sub-floor and your gym floor. ACOUSTIC adds an additional layer of sound reduction to your gym, and it’s a solution that doesn’t require you to plan ahead or install during construction.
Installing sound-reducing underlay after your floors have already been installed is often a hassle and can be cost prohibitive, but not in this case.
Noise in weight areas
Another way to reduce noise is to isolate all the noisy activities in one area. If moving the weights area to a separate area is a possibility, you can better soundproof the facility and ensure you’ve got the correct floor installed for each activity. Flooring is extra important in this case, because we all know that users aren’t going to look after it while working out. A lot of gyms find this out the hard way, when floors are damaged and have to be replaced because of improper treatment or overuse.
EXTREME S&S flooring, when combined with the ACOUSTIC underlay, offers durable, resistant flooring for weight areas while preventing the noise and vibrations that are so harmful to your business. It also offers the advantage of using a tiled installation system, so if any maintenance or repair is required, tiles can be replaced individually.
Noise in cardio areas
An easily overlooked source of noise is the cardio area. All those clanking machines, runners pounding treadmills, and whirring motors add up to cause a lot of background noise. Quiet cardio equipment is available, but regular maintenance and keeping everything well-oiled is usually just as good a solution in a large, busy cardio room.
If you really need to reduce gym noise, for example in a large cardio area or an open-plan gym, then once again the best solution is to consider the flooring. Some suggestions involve installing shock absorbing pads or decouplers to gym machines in order to separate them from the floor and prevent the transference of vibrations. However, fitting shock absorbers to all the machines in your gym, and then replacing them every time they wear down, is a lot more hassle and completely unnecessary when you’re flooring already provides those benefits.
ACOUSTIC flooring coupled with ENDURANCE S&S, manufactured for cardio and machine areas, gives you the benefit of being able to install your flooring and forget about it. As with the rest of our flooring, any maintenance that might be required is quick and easy, while you get a cardio zone flooring solution that dampens noise and vibration, prevents machines from slipping, and can be personalised for your gym.
Finally, don’t forget to add the finishing touches to your workout areas. All your soundproofing efforts will have been in vain if you don’t soundproof the one area that many forget about – the door. Depending on your noise restriction requirements, you can also look for smaller cracks, light fixtures for example, windows and vents, which when soundproofed will really help bring the noise level down.
If you’d like to take a closer look at the products mentioned in this article, check out the ACOUSTIC, EXTREME, and ENDURANCE pages. And don’t forget to share this article with your noisy neighbours and friends!