Costs to start a gym: a practical breakdown

costs to start a gym

There are a few things to keep in mind in your process of building your fitness empire… and we’d be lying to you if costs to start a gym weren’t one of the biggest factors at play.
The costs to start a gym can determine whether your business will sink or exceed expectations. Beginning to save for these starting costs ensures your gym is prepared to handle any hurdles you encounter along the way.
Let’s dive into an accurate breakdown of how much it will cost to start a gym. Then you’ll be able to accurately predict what you’ll need to save to get started.

Initial costs to start a gym

If you’re wondering how to start a gym, first of all you need to determine the costs to start a gym. We can start off by saying you should expect to save anywhere between $15,000-$100,000. Pretty wide range, right? That’s why it all depends on your location’s area, demographic, rental options, loan choices, and financing choices. There are too many options at play to tell you exactly what your costs to start a gym will be – that’s up to you to gather. We can ensure you’ll need to create a spreadsheet of your expected costs. Not sure what all of that will be? Our guide should help.
How can OneFitStop help your boutique fitness studio? Request a Demo to learn more.

Gym equipment costs

Gym equipment can cost vastly different from gym to gym depending on what you want your gym’s offerings to be. Need all of the racks, and less of the machines? Expect to pay between $200 and $5,000 per strength rack. Want to invest in a dance studio? You’ll need to invest between $5,000-$10,000 for the flooring, mirrors, lighting, and sound system. Consult with gym rental companies to see if this is an option for you. Don’t forget that customers are not interested in working out on old, damaged equipment. On the other hand, it’s wise to consider renting your gym equipment if you’re slightly unsure as to whether or not the gym life is for you. That way, you won’t be left with thousands of dollars worth of bulky gym equipment that serves you no purpose.
Here are some additional estimates for how much equipment will cost upon investing in your new gym.

  • Elliptical machine: $1,000-$3,000
  • Stairmaster: $2,000-$4,000
  • Free weights: $500-$2,000
  • Bench press $200-$500


One of the expensive costs to start a gym will come with paying for the employees that will help you run it. Investing in awesome staff is worth it. If you’re starting a small fitness studio, you can expect to hire 2-3 desk managers, 2-3 personal trainers, 1-2 professional cleaners, and potentially 1-2 freelancing fitness professionals like yoga teachers, dieticians, or Crossfit instructors that will bring something unique to your gym. Start by hiring local managers that are looking to get experience, and able to take a paycheck that won’t leave you high and dry. Advertising your job for young, enthusiastic desk managers offers them a great experience, and you the opportunity to teach and grow with them.
Your personal trainers’ pay range will be much more expensive because of their sheer experience. It will depend on their previous roles and their own expertise on how much they’ll be worth, but many make between $20-$150 an hour. It’s up to you to be communicative and ask up front what are their pay expectations. This way, there’s no awkwardness.

Gym upkeep and surprise expenses

Making sure your gym is clean, functional, and pleasant to use will make sure customers want to visit your space again and again. You’ll need to have a gym business plan for the unexpected and mundane costs to start a gym. A separate fund for your unexpected/upkeep costs will ensure your equipment is covered if something breaks or stalls. This is all about planning for the unexpected, so our guesses are as good as yours.
Owning a gym connects fitness-lovers, and is proven in profitability (when done right). We encourage you to check out our budget planner that can give you more insight on startup gym costs for new owners.
How can OneFitStop help your boutique fitness studio? Request a Demo to learn more.

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