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Fitness Equipment Maintenance Is Key To Success

Members go to your fitness center to work out. If they can’t work out because the equipment is broken, then your facility isn’t fulfilling its primary purpose. To members, seeing “out of order” signs on equipment represents a failure on the part of the fitness center; they’ll either complain or, worse, go to the competition.

While broken equipment leads to a slow drain on your most important asset — members — a fast drain on fitness center resources can come from liability suits. Simply put, broken or worn-out products are a hazard. And a hazard to members presents a liability to facility owners. Product breakdowns can be dangerous. Stories abound: member hurt when cables on strength machine snaps; member thrown from treadmill that had a sudden burst of speed; person injured when stepper resistance fell out. Liability charges can translate into a huge, unexpected, out-of-pocket expense.

Ryan Meier, president of the service company Fitguard Inc. in West Sacramento, Calif., serves as an expert witness in civil court cases. “The first thing that happens is attorneys request maintenance records,” he says. “Clubs never have the properly documented maintenance information that they need.” Without a complete maintenance log, Meier says, fitness centers cannot show that they have fulfilled their responsibility to keep members safe. “Documentation is critical to avoiding lawsuits…,” Meier explains.

Besides helping meet member expectations and avoiding liability issues, a preventive maintenance program can help you get your investment out of a piece of equipment. Equipment that isn’t maintained breaks down more quickly than equipment that is maintained. Service technicians agree on this point. “Having a maintenance program can actually cost less than not having a maintenance program,” says Senad Haskovic, owner of US in Chicago, Ill. “If something breaks, I charge more to get there and a higher rate per machine,” he says. “Plus, there’s the cost for parts. And there’s the inconvenience of downtime. A maintenance program really makes sense.”

Service technicians point out that when people buy a car, they expect to change the oil, put air in the tires and do other maintenance work. But when many fitness center owners buy equipment, they don’t plan to maintain it. To technicians, this doesn’t make sense. “A treadmill, a bike, an elliptical — whatever — it’s a machine,” Haskovic says. “Every machine needs maintenance.”

It is important therefore to combat problems before they occur. 

Top Quality Equipment

Although equipment from leading manufacturers sometimes costs more, name-brand products can offer superior durability, reliability and warranties, which help reduce costs for equipment repair and replacement later on. Some pieces even can perform various maintenance functions themselves.

Perspiration is a major corrosive force. Your equipment should be cleaned after each use with fitness equipment safe cleansers, especially those parts in contact with exercising users (grips, seats, pads, and consoles). 

Have a Maintenance Schedule 

Your exercise equipment will have a manual from the manufacturer. Be sure to check the manual so that you know how often to schedule maintenance to be performed on your equipment. Having professionals inspect and maintain your equipment on a regular basis will ensure your equipment continues to run optimally. 

Be sure to take notice of any equipment that is used most frequently. Equipment that is heavily used will need maintenance more often than those that are not. It is important to inspect these machines daily to ensure proper functionality. 

“As a gym owner, it just makes good economic sense to take good care of your equipment,” says Brant Wacker, owner of Gold’s Gym in Everett, Wash. Wacker went so far as to personally attend a manufacturer’s training course for technicians. “I’ve saved money already,” he says.


Gym Tech’s Preventative Maintenance Program is the most comprehensive gym equipment maintenance program in the industry. Find out what is performed during each maintenance service. It is designed to keep your equipment working safely and efficiently and to reduce the frequency of repairs through regular maintenance. Contact us today for more information.