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Gym Equipment Maintenance

Why Regular Gym Equipment Maintenance is Essential for Safety 

If you run a gym or a fitness center, you’ll know that gym equipment receives regular, heavy use by hundreds of people. This use puts a strain on the equipment. Heavy use can eventually cause gym equipment to malfunction, break, or worse, cause an accident.

Regular gym equipment maintenance is essential for safety. The last thing you want is an injured client on your hands, especially if it’s your badly maintained equipment that’s to blame. Additionally, you could also find yourself staring down the barrel of a liability lawsuit.

In this article, we break down why gym equipment maintenance is essential and what you need to be doing to keep your equipment in top condition.

Why Regular Gym Maintenance Matters

It’s not just injured clients that suffer at the hands of badly maintained gym equipment. A whole host of other problems and issues can arise from not looking after gym items. Even something as innocuous as a dumbbell can become dangerous and slip out of a person’s hand if it’s not properly cleaned between uses.

Avoid Further Damage

Regular equipment maintenance means you can spot problems early on before they get out of hand. For example, a protective rubber casing that’s peeling away from a handlebar can easily be fixed before it gets worse. Or, a machine that’s making creaking noises can be taken out of use until it has been inspected and fixed by an engineer.

Gym equipment that’s left to deteriorate will get past the fixable stage and eventually break down entirely. Not only that, but also the worse condition your equipment is in, the more dangerous it is.

Keep Your Costs Down

Properly maintained equipment lasts longer, meaning you don’t have to fork out for costly replacements.  Gym equipment isn’t cheap, so it makes sense that you’d want to protect your investment. The best way to do this is simply by looking after it properly. Paying a small amount for an occasional fix or repair may be nothing compared to replacing an entire piece.

Keep Your Reputation

Word travels fast. Once you gain a reputation for having badly maintained or broken gym equipment, you tend to be stuck with it. When your reputation takes a nose-dive, so does your client base.

Preventing Client Injury

This is the top reason that regular gym equipment maintenance is essential for safety. If a client gets injured when using your equipment and it’s found that that equipment was damaged or faulty, you are to blame.

Being found liable for causing injury can cost you thousands of dollars. In the worst cases, it could lead to bankruptcy and the closure of your business. Can you afford to take that risk? Even if you can survive the cost of a liability lawsuit, you likely won’t survive the loss of clients once word gets out about what happened.

Preventative maintenance on your equipment will minimize the risk of client injury as much as possible. Occasionally accidents will still happen, though. If you can provide records of care and maintenance, you can prove you did everything necessary to keep your clients safe.

Enjoy an Increased Client Base

While badly maintained equipment will damage your client base, having great equipment maintenance will do the opposite. If you’re doing a stellar job and providing the safest and best experience for your clients, they are likely to recommend you to others. More clients mean more for your bottom line, so what’s not to like?

Be More Relaxed and Save Time

Running a business is hard work. Surely, you don’t want the added stress of dealing with broken equipment or an injured client? Lawsuits can drag on for many months and they can be very stressful.

Establishing a maintenance routine can seem like hard work, and it can be easy to avoid finding the time to do it. But, once the initial work is done, it’ll be smooth sailing. Most importantly, you can save yourself a lot of headaches in the future.

Don’t Forget About Leased Equipment

This is a common question. Surely, the leased equipment is the responsibility of the providing companies, isn’t it? While this is partly true, the providing company isn’t going to pop in on a weekly basis to check all their machines. The best thing to do is check it yourself, so if you do spot a problem, you can call them in immediately to deal with it.

We hope that this has been enough to convince you that regular gym equipment maintenance is essential. If so, then the next step is to implement a routine or schedule that ensures your equipment is kept safe.

Cleaning & Inspection Tips

The first step of good gym equipment maintenance is to establish a thorough cleaning and inspection routine. You can train your employees to do this on a daily basis. And ensure you give adequate training to your staff. It is important to cover not only what they need to do to maintain the equipment but also why it’s so important. Well-trained and informed employees are your biggest asset in risk prevention.

Cleaning Gym Equipment

  • Establish a daily cleaning rota and assign a staff member to oversee it for each shift
  • Provide signs asking gym members to wipe down the equipment after each use.
  • Once the cleaning has been carried out, get the staff member responsible to sign to show they’ve completed it
  • At the end of each day, all equipment must be wiped down with a damp cloth and mild detergent. Wipe down the following:
    • Framework
    • Consoles
    • Seats
    • Upholstery
    • Handlebars and hand grips
    • Plastic Coverings
    • Other items like gym balls, steps, foam blocks, etc
  • Turn off electrical machinery before you attempt to clean it
  • Clean and mop the floors thoroughly, paying special attention to floorwork/gym mat areas
  • When using the vacuum cleaner, run the nozzle around the treadmill belts and under the machine as this is an area where dust and debris build up quickly
  • Use a dry cloth or paper towel to clean any heart rate monitors
  • Remove any items and debris that may have been left by clients, such as water bottles or towels
  • Place all equipment in their holders and back in their proper locations
  • Inspect the equipment as it is cleaned for any obvious damage or problems
  • Perform regular checks at intervals throughout the day; clean spills, mess or marks on the equipment
  • If someone leaves a piece of equipment without wiping it down, a staff member should head over with a damp cloth. No one wants to use gym equipment that’s covered in someone else’s sweat!

Keeping your gym equipment squeaky clean is critical for keeping your clients happy. Clean equipment is less likely to suffer a problem. And you’ll be increasing its lifespan too since there’s no opportunity for dirt to build up.

Routine Safety Checks — What You Should Do Each Day

Daily safety checks should become as routine as your cleaning schedule. They are vital to ensure proper maintenance of your equipment. Your daily routine safety check should include the following:

  • Check all cables and belts before the gym opens for the day. You can do this by operating the machine normally and extending its cable to its full length and inspecting it for problems. Run belt-based machines normally on a slow setting for inspection. Here’s what you’re looking for:
    • Light cracks to outer plastic coating on cables (not cause for immediate concern but should be closely monitored for further damage)
    • If a cable’s metalcore is exposed in any way, this requires immediate attention and the machine should be taken out of use until it’s fixed
    • Belts displaying frayed edges or any cracks should be taken out of use until repaired
  • The typical lifespan of belts and cables is 2-3 years so keep this in mind for your machines
  • Test the emergency stop button or cords on treadmills and other machines to see that they’re operating correctly
  • Check all the power cables of machinery to ensure there are no exposed wires or loose connections
  • Remove the selector pin on weight stacks and set it so that only the top plate is selected

Weekly and Monthly Maintenance Checks

In addition to your daily routine, a weekly and monthly inspection schedule needs to be implemented:


  • Lubricate and clean all guide rods, bicycle seat posts, and pivot points
  • Check all equipment for loose fittings, bolts, nuts, and screws
  • Apply an upholstery protector to all upholstery and seat pads
  • Check upholstery for damage
  • Check cable fittings on strength equipment


  • Check all frames for stress fractures
  • Check pull-pins for bicycle seats
  • Check pull-pins for strength equipment
  • Grease linear bearings on smith machines and leg presses

Having paperwork to back up everything you do is always useful, especially if you end up dealing with a litigious client. Keep a full record of when all inspections take place. Be sure to write down any issues found as well as how they’re dealt with. Keep all paperwork relating to how the equipment was repaired or replaced.

Protect With Liability Coverage

Even the most careful and diligent gym owner can have an accident or injury on their premises. That’s why an extra layer of protection is never a bad thing. XINSURANCE can provide you with solutions to customized gym and fitness center liability coverage, so you never have to worry about the stress of a lawsuit.

To find out more about XINSURANCE and their liability coverage get in touch today:

Proper gym equipment maintenance is essential for safety and to lower your risk. XINSURANCE can level up your risk protection with their liability coverage solutions. Be the best gym in town and call today.

Rick LindseyAuthored by Rick J. Lindsey, President, Chairman, and CEO of XINSURANCE

Rick J. Lindsey hails from Salt Lake City, Utah. He began working in the mailroom of his father’s Salt Lake City insurance firm, getting his introduction to the business that became his lifelong career. Rick J. Lindsey quickly rose through the ranks while working in nearly every imaginable insurance industry job. As an entrepreneur, specialty lines underwriter, claims specialist, risk manager, and a licensed surplus lines broker, Rick J. Lindsey is highly skilled in all levels of leadership and execution. As he progressed on his career path, Rick J. Lindsey discovered an urgent need for insurers willing to write policies for high-risk individuals and businesses. He was frequently frustrated that he could not provide the liability protection these entities desperately needed to safeguard their assets. He also formed the belief that insurance companies acted too quickly to settle frivolous claims. Rick J. Lindsey decided to try a different approach. He started an insurance company and became the newly formed entity’s CEO. This opportunity has enabled Rick J. Lindsey to fill a void in the market and provide a valuable service to businesses, individuals, and insurance agents who write high-risk business. XINSURANCE also specializes in helping individuals and businesses who live a lifestyle or participate in activities that make them difficult for traditional carriers to insure. If you’ve been denied, non-renewed, or canceled coverage, don’t give up quite yet. Chances are XINSURANCE can help.