Gyms can sometimes be noisy regardless of the exercise machines you are using. The machine’s movements cause some sounds which sometimes can be disturbing.
If you are planning to set a gym at home or in a building with other residential rooms, then it is good to regulate the noise to avoid problems with the neighbors or the family members. This is important if you or the users like doing exercise very early in the morning or late at night.
Causes of noise in the gym
There are several causes of noise in the gym. Dropped weight most of the time are the main causes of noise even though they appear to have a small weight. Moving for a couple of feet may create a lot of vibrations which can sometimes be heard in the neighbouring rooms.
Noise comes as a result of the weight exerted on the floor since all the energy from the falling movement is transferred to the floor. If the floor is concrete, then no noise will be absorbed, so it causes a big impact over a short time creating a lot of noise.
Running machines can also create some noise because of the feet hitting it severally. Both the running machines and the dropped weights when combined can cause a very noisy environment that’s why you need to soundproof your gym to reduce the noise coming from it.
How To Reduce Noise In Gym (Post Construction)
Soundproofing your gym is essential and makes the members more comfortable while working out and also reduces disturbances to the neighbors. Here are some ways you can reduce noise in your gym using available noise-reducing materials.
1. Use of bumper plates
Athletes mostly use bumper plates for weightlifting during exercise. They are weights designed to be dropped and are thicker than the iron plates because they are made of a steel hub surrounded by a solid rubber. This means that when dropped down they will bounce without damaging the floor and produce less noise.
Using bumper plates in your gym will reduce the noise and vibrations produced by the dropped weights. You should provide the plates in any part of the gym where the people exercising are likely to drop a barbell such as:
- At the Snatches.
- Shoulder presses.
- On the deadlifts.
- Bent over rows.
2. Minimize the echo
Big gym rooms can sometimes produce a lot of echoes, and this makes all sounds in the gym to be amplified. One hears several sounds produced by a single loud bang made by someone after dropping the weights instead of hearing it once.
Echo is common in many gyms since many hard surfaces produce sounds that bounce off. If your gym produces a lot of echoes, it is good to reduce it for the room to be quieter.
Most of the echo comes from the walls, and you can follow these steps to minimize it:
- Look for acoustic foam or sound panels.
- Mount the foam or the panels on the walls of the gym.
- Make sure you cover as large area of the walls as possible.
- Test whether the echo has reduced, if not yet add more foam or panel on the walls.
The advantage of using acoustic foam or the acoustic sound panels is that they are all soft and this means that the sound produced in the gym will not bounce back quickly.
The foam and bounces inside it absorb the sound waves then hit the wall on the other side and bounce back through the foam. Most of the sound energy is lost before it gets back through the panels or foam.
You can also use hanging baffles by hanging several of them on the ceiling. Since they float freely, they help reduce the echo in the room. The sound from the machines will hit the baffle which is made with a sound dampening material which absorbs the noise; hence the sounds will not bounce from one wall to another.
The baffles are cost-effective, and you can put them in a design making the gym to have some sense of style. Apart from covering the walls, you can also use a rubber carpet to cover your floor to minimize the echo.
3. Use the best flooring in your gym
Right flooring contributes a lot in noise reduction in a gym and thus using the correct floor in your gym can help reduce the sounds produced. You can use a rubber floor because when weights are dropped down, they stop faster than on a floor without.
This is because the falling speed is reduced since they do not fall on a bare floor. Instead, they hit the rubber which absorbs the sound.
This reduces the noise that would have been produced by increasing the duration taken by the sound meaning that the noise will be of low frequency instead of producing a high impact sound for a short period. The volume of the energy is dispersed over for a long duration into the floor thus reducing the noise produced.
4. Set weight lifting area aside
Installing the weight lifting platforms in an area designed for lifting heavy weights help to reduce the noise produced by the weights to the users in other areas of the gym.
The platform should have a central wooden area where the user stands while lifting the weights. On both sides of the workplace several inches, thick rubber mats and should be more thickly than those of the gym floor.
When the weights are dropped on the rubber mats, they absorb more impact than the standard rubber floor since they are very thick. If you are not able to afford the professionally built platform, you can build one which is not very difficult and expensive.
5. Separate the gym equipment
Separating the gym machines from the floor will reduce the impact made by the vibrations and stop their movements through the floor. The best way of decoupling the exercise machines is to fit them with shock absorbing pads on all their feet.
Fitting the pads to the treadmills will further absorb the impact and reduce the sounds produced by the user when running on it. Equipment such as rowing machines makes less noise than the treadmill. However, if you want to reduce their vibrations, you can put them on an anti-vibration mat mostly used under the washing machines.
6. Use quiet exercise equipment
Most of the gym machines are designed to produce a lot of noise. Some equipment even after decoupling from the floor if not well designed, they will still make a lot of noise when someone is using them. With such machines, there is no shortcut but to face the fact and soundproof them.
However, you can consider changing your machines to quieter ones which are designed to produce less noise. With these types of machines, you will not need to soundproof them or the room since they produce little noise when one is using them.
7. Soundproof the door of the gym
Some of the noise might be passing through the door to the outside. For you to reduce it from coming out of the gym, you can consider soundproofing the door to keep you from disturbing people in the neighboring rooms. This way there will be little or no noise coming from the gym.
How To Soundproof A Gym (Pre- Construction)
If you want to achieve the “soundproofed gym” status, the best option would be to start soundproofing project before or during construction. Constructing your fitness centre with soundproofing in mind, you will be able to incorporate some powerful noise proofing material that won’t interfere with the interior design of your gym. Below are some approaches you should consider:
If you’ll be building walls that surround the fitness center, it’s recommended to incorporate soundproof insulation that will help in reducing external noise.
This is also a good solution for homeowners as this insulation will also have thermal benefits besides sound dampening.
Soundproof insulation is also great for professional gyms and larger businesses looking to cut down the sound they’re producing to manageable levels. You will need to fill the space between the cinder blocks and drywall with soundproof insulation, and you will notice a significant difference.
If you’re still in the construction phase, the best way would be to isolate the gym walls from your neighbors. This will ensure that you don’t put loud fitness center next to your neighbors or places that need peace and quiet and this way, you will minimize the amount of soundproofing you’ll need to do later.
Additionally, if you’re starting a home gym, you can place it away from bedrooms and study rooms. Also if you’re building a hotel, ensure that the gym isn’t directly next to the guest rooms.
For commercial gyms, make sure that the walls detached and that the fitness center isn’t sharing any wall with any other building.
Soundproofed floor underlayment
During the construction phase, most floors require some sort of underlayment. In this case, you can plan and have a noise reducing underlayment installed. This process can be quite a challenge when done post construction and hence tackling it during the construction phase is highly recommended.
Final thoughts on gym soundproofing
Many designers may sometimes forget to soundproof a gym since at. First, they may not see the need, but once the users start lifting the weights and using the treadmills at high speed, you will see the need for looking for ways of reducing the noise coming from the machines.
This way you will not get complaints from the neighbors on the noise coming from your gym and this way you will have a good relationship with them. Interested in more of my articles? Why not read my guide on how to soundproof a tent and how to soundproof basement using affordable materials.