Featured on Forbes.com – September 18, 2020 | Contributor: Emma Reynolds

The Covid-19 pandemic has forced us to shift how we interact with the world, from shopping at the grocery store to spending time with family and friends to the establishments we frequent, be it a restaurant or a gym. The world is starting to open but with no vaccine and public regulations still in place, like wearing a mask, social distancing and reducing indoor capacity, it’s unsettling for most to dive back into daily life. This includes exercising at the once-beloved indoor gym.

As offices remain closed and many schools are shut in lieu of virtual learning, we’re spending more time than ever in our homes. Home workouts via fitness apps, YouTube videos or virtual subscriptions are skyrocketing but many aren’t used to working out at home. Where to begin? For the luxury market, the answer is creating a gym from scratch or transforming an existing room into a workout haven. A home gym is a wonderful investment to stay fit and healthy during these unprecedented times.

Whether it’s a Fifth Avenue penthouse or a sprawling California estate, FitnessDesignGroup (FDG), founded in 2005, has options that make a gym a natural part of a home’s design. The Los Angeles-based firm has designed gyms in multiple office locations for Apple, Nike, Starbucks, Snapchat, Google and the Los Angeles Lakers and has created fitness centers and tailored in-room fitness amenities for hotel corporations including Hilton and Accor. The company is seeing an immense increase in inquiries for residential projects all over the U.S.

Forbes Magazine design home gym with Fitness Design Group Technogym sauna gym floorWorking across the world, New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco are the largest markets, with many requesting gyms for their second homes in Idaho or Montana. Historically, the bulk of FDG’s residential business comes from new homes but since the Covid-19 pandemic struck, it’s been a lot of conversions.

“Although the trend towards identifying more intentional and dedicated space for exercise at home has been steadily increasing for years, during Covid-19, consumers have widely clamored to buy up small accessories and any dumbbell or kettlebell they can find,” says Bryan Green, founder and CEO of FitnessDesignGroup. “However, more thoughtfully, we’ve experienced a massive uptick in clients who are interested in taking a holistic approach to creating permanent wellness space within their homes. Our home gym design division has been inundated with helping plan a next generation of really special spaces.”

Technology takes center stage in this “next generation” of home gyms, whether someone enjoys watching a show or the news while on a treadmill, playing music or following along to an online workout.

Forbes Magazine on Home Gym Design spaces with Bryan Green and Fitness Design Group

“The overwhelming majority of content distribution right now is being played through YouTube and through Zoom and other sources where people are utilizing their own devices and then looking to integrate those in or around in proximity to where they’re training,” Green says. “We’re putting in smart TVs, which are web-enabled, and we’re doing a lot of that integration into these wall systems.”

In terms of design, Green says that people want a gym that fits in with the rest of their homes. While some may like the black, rubber flooring found in more commercial gyms and health clubs, many want a chic space that incorporates materials used in the rest of their house. He says: “We have a myriad of colors and options to work with today that can really open up the space, both functionality and aesthetically,” he says. “As a general rule, people like light, bright, energy-stimulating palettes that make for an uplifting space for fitness.”

HIIT workouts, yoga or boxing require open space for movement, and many want to open up the interior of the space and put the machines and equipment along the perimeter. They can accommodate any type of gym, including training equipment for a specific sport if necessary. While equipment depends on the client’s budget and workout preferences, FDG installs every type of equipment, like Peloton, Mirror, Technogym, Hyperice or Gym Rax. They also create creative outdoor gym spaces, like an adult playground, with pull-up bars, punching bags and climbing bars.

Outdoor fitness spaces with Forbes Magazine and Fitness Design Group

Contrary to what one might think, all someone needs is an area as small as 6’ x 8’, according to Green. “We have a lot of clients that sometimes just have small apartments and want to identify a reasonable, smart system for training. And it can be done,” Green says.

Read the full article on FORBES >> Sumptuous Home Gyms are the Latest Design Luxury Amid COVID-19.