Don’t Sweat It: How to Control Gym Noise

Fitness centres and gyms are constantly popping up around the city. From office buildings to the grocery store to condominiums, having a fitness facility in close proximity to other amenities and residential housing makes it easier for people to use their memberships.

But gyms tend to be noisy places. The bass pumping beats may get everyone going but it is a little annoying if you live above it. Combined with the sound of weights hitting the floor and people coming and going, the noise generated from a fitness centre can result in complaints from neighbours. Gym members may also find noise inside the space overwhelming depending on how it is designed.

Unfortunately, most of our calls about gyms come from clients who have already signed a lease. But there are ways to mitigate potential noise issues so you are not driven out of your space by noise complaints:

1. Soundproof Partitions (Walls, Ceiling or Floor)

It’s easier and more cost effective to incorporate noise control tools if you’re building from the ground up. Ideally, the gym would not share any partitions (walls, ceiling or floor) with any other noise sensitive areas but if it is part of a mixed-use space, then be sure to include high performance soundproof construction of the walls, ceiling or floor. Particular attention should be provided in the design to ensure high performance to control the low frequency bass sounds.

2. Sound System Controls

The music in a fitness facility is an important element in providing the right experience for its members but it can also cause noise intrusion issues for the neighbours. That’s why it is a key component in determining the extent and cost of the soundproofing of the partitions. Gym owners can do their part as well by controlling the music, particularly the low frequency bass and amplified voice levels. This is typically controlled with an electronic limiter and a filter on the sound system.

3. Floor Surface Upgrades

It’s common to hear people drop heavy weights during an intense workout. Using a soft resilient floor surface can reduce the banging noises caused by the dropped weights. As a rule of thumb, the thicker the soft flooring surface, the better its effect of reducing these impact noises. When the weights get heavier or the weights are dropped from greater heights, the need for an engineered solution; a floating floor or other specialized built up floor construction may be necessary.

4. Install Acoustic Panels

Although not as effective in controlling noise transfer to neighbouring spaces, room acoustics should be considered to enhance the experience of participants in the fitness activity. Typically, fitness facilities have a lot of hard surfaces and open spaces which can cause sound waves to bounce around, making it difficult to hear voices, even someone right next to you. To control this, acoustic panels can be mounted on the walls or ceiling to capture these echoes and enhance sound clarity. With proper design, even though they are visible, there are acoustic panels that can blend nicely into the space so they are less noticeable.

5. Lubricate Exercise Equipment

While you can’t control gym members who drop weights or make a lot of noise while lifting weights, make sure the equipment is well-oiled to reduce the sound they produce.

It’s a delicate balance when it comes to controlling noise in a gym or fitness centre. You don’t want the place to be completely quiet or it will feel empty and awkward. On the flip side, an excessively noisy gym can be difficult for members and annoy neighbours. The best way to strike this balance is to involve a noise and vibration consultant as soon as possible so that a noise mitigation plan is put in place right away. These experts will do the heavy lifting for you when it comes to assessing the space and determining the best course of action to strike the perfect balance.

Feel free to contact us to learn more about how Aercoustics can help with soundproofing your facility.