School Gyms

Recent research has shown that the primary way used by adults to regain and stay in shape after school is through gym equipment and fitness type exercises and not sport. It therefore follows that teaching young adults how to exercise safely and correctly on good quality fitness equipment and gym equipment will stand them in good stead later in life.

For many years it was assumed that simply helping children to develop some sort of sporting skills at school level would be enough to set a foundation for health in later life. It has now been widely accepted that this assumption was baseless.

Many adults involved in contact sports were forced to drop these sports from their lives due to injury and incorrect rehabilitation practices. Sadly this situation could have been prevented.

Gyms and Health Clubs The Best Options for Adult Fitness

School Gyms

School Gyms

Recent research has shown that the primary way used by adults to regain and stay in shape after school is through gym equipment and fitness type exercises and not sport. It therefore follows that teaching young adults how to exercise safely and correctly on good quality fitness equipment and gym equipment will stand them in good stead later in life.

The prevalence of obesity and diabetes amongst children of school going age is also well known and documented in south Africa. Although Urbanisation and hyper availability of undesirable foods no doubts contributes to this, the role of exercise cannot be ruled out.


Providing fitness facilities at school level therefore alleviates many of the imbalances caused and may well alleviate many of the following issues which have been in the increase in schools over the last few years

Structured Fitness Programs helps with the following

  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Hyper tension
  • Body dysmorphia
  • General fitness levels
  • Confidence and self esteem
  • Sports specific performance
  • Weight management

Some of the lesser known benefits of regular exercise are

  • Increased IQ scores
  • Better concentration
  • Anti Depression effects,
  • (many depression and exercise studies have demonstrated regular exercise to be at least as effective as many anti depressants.)

What might a school fitness facility look like?

School Gym

School Gym

There are three basic areas or activity to the standard gym environment:

  • Cardio Vascular, (including treadmills, bikes, rowers and elliptical trainers)
  • Strength Training, (Including free weights and circuit)
  • Core and flexibility, (including balls, mats, medicine balls and suspension training)

These fundamental training objectives can be achieved through either individual exercise programs, (such as weight training and circuit training) or through group exercise (such as Spinning, aerobics and yoga).

If you want to put in treadmills into a school gym then we would always suggest buying a minimum of two treadmills, preferably three.

Cardio Vascular Equipment is always cost dependant.

Spinning bikes are good option for schools gyms because of the low maintenance.

In closing the discussion on treadmills, although they are often first on the shopping list they are by no means the be all and end all of a gym, especially where budgetary constraints exist.

We have set up small commercial gyms for as little as R75 000. Schools around the country have spent anything between R750 000 to R1 500 000.

Circuit Training (performed with weight training and selectorised equipment)

Circuit training is a form of conditioning combining resistance training and high intensity aerobics. It is designed to be easy to follow and targets strength building as well as muscular endurance.

Circuit is one completion of all exercises in the program. When one circuit is complete one begins the first exercise again for another circuit. Traditionally the time between exercises between exercise is short, often with rapid movement to the next exercise.

A typical workout would utilise all of the muscles, create a cardio vascular training response in 25 to 30 minutes. This is the simplest training area for those pressed for time and who don’t have the inclination to get involved in complicated programs.

Advantages of the Super Circuit include:

  • an effective means of improving strength endurance and muscle endurance
  • may be easily structured to provide a whole body workout.
  • encourages group participation
  • beginners find this form of exercise easy and non intimidating
  • can be customised for specificity and is easily adapted to various sports
  • potential burns more calories than conventional aerobic exercise or strength training.
  • “Its the most scientifically proven exercise system, it is time efficient and incorporates strength, flexibility and cardio vascular exercise in the same workout”. (Cooper Institute Dallas).

Selectorised Equipment

Leg Press

Leg Press

Although the circuit training area provides an exceptional workout, many individuals either want or need to customise their own workouts according to their unique situation.

Both the Selectorised area and weight training area allow for personalised programs.

These machines are designed with a weight stack which means that choosing or “selecting” the correct resistance is both fast and easy. Many machines offer movements which are difficult or impossible to duplicate with free weights

Examples of Selectorised machines would be leg extensions, leg curls and lat pull downs.

Weight Training

Axle Bar

Axle Bar

Both weight training and resistance training build strength and size to muscles.

Weight training involves the use of barbells, dumbbells, kettle bells as well as some machines specially adapted to work with weight plates.

Members training in the weight training area normally exercise individually or in pairs.

Rehabilitation often involves using weights or “free moving weights” as this encourages the development of functional movements. In addition free weights offer and free range of motion not experienced with machine operating on a fixed plane of motion.

Group Training (Aerobics, Yoga, step)



Group training is defined as a group of people gathering together for the purpose of receiving inspiration and guidance in terms of some specific exercise protocol.

Many members are motivated by exercising with other members, hence the popularity of group training classes such as Spinning, Aerobics, Yoga.

Group training means many people training at one specific time being instructed by one person.


Indoor Cycling

Studio Cycling

Spinning is technically a group exercise performed on specialised exercise bikes called Spinning bikes. Although the word “Spinning” is actually a trade name and reserved only for a certain make of bike. You can find the same type of bike under Studio Bikes or Indoor Bikes.

The classes are normally 45 minutes long and performed to music and instruction. This is a high intensity exercise and is ideal for weight loss, muscular endurance and building of lean muscle.

Core and flexibility training.

Flexibility Training

Flexibility Training

This is often overlooked in corporate fitness facilities.

The areas is classically a relaxing environment separate from the other training areas. Equipment found in this area includes physio balls, medicine balls, bosu balls, mats and Pilates rings.

The core of your body is one of the first steps towards an upright posture and avoiding potential back injury

The advantages of working with flexibility include

  • increase of supply of blood and nutrients to joints
  • increase in neuro muscular co -ordination
  • reduces soreness
  • improves balance
  • decrease risk of lower back pain. This is prevalent in office workers
  • reduces stress in the muscle
  • increases physical performance
  • decreases risk of injury

Our  Corporate and Gym portfolio includes

  • Airports company South Africa
  • South Africa Police Services
  • St Andrews College
  • Nedbank
  • Body Culture Health and Wellness Centre
  • G. Jansen High School, Boksburg
  • Own Haven Corporate Gym
  • Stellenbosch University
  • The Sports Science Institute (Cape Town)
  • Newport Construction (Port Elizabeth)
  • De Beers
  • Anglo Platinum


* Results vary from person to person.

We don’t guarantee results.

Weight Loss is a result of following a kilojoule or calories restricted diet and making a number of lifestyle changes.

 For the full weight loss disclaimer please click here

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Hi! my name is Miles Harrop. I am an educator, writer and life coach specializing in fitness, wellness, human behaviour and brain based coaching. I help you to transform your body by helping you buy the right gym equipment first time around, and to learn how to "change your mind" so that you can transform your body easily and effortlessly. Let me help you achieve your goals today!