Gym Planning

Everything You Need To Know About Setting Up An Office Gym

Specialized makes bikes. But not just any bikes. They make world-class bikes for world-class riders. They love, live and breathe cycling.

To say that they’re passionate about riding – doesn’t even come close.

Everyone who works At Specialized is a cyclist and speaking to the team in their London office, it’s clear that they’re out on their bikes at least once a day, if not more.

So, where do office gyms come into all of this? And of all people, why would a group of super fit cyclists want an office gym?

We’ll tell you.

The problem

Before Mirafit got involved, Specialized had an office gym. And in fact, it had been there for about five years. Staff could use it, but the truth is, they just didn’t.

“There’s a log book in the gym and over the last month only two to three people have used it – max,” says Andrew Richardson, Digital Content Developer at the London office.

Looking at the range of equipment available, there wasn’t much to get their teeth into. Just two cycling stations, a bench press and a few other weights which were starting to show their age.

It was clear that given the choice, they’d always much prefer to head out on their bikes than work out in the gym.

But there were definitely times when an office gym would have proven really beneficial to the team.

Andrew explains that very few cyclists actually use a gym, but that can make their upper bodies really weak. So, working out in the gym can really help them maintain good posture when they’re on their bikes.

“Their legs and core are strong but their posture on the bike can really deteriorate because they don’t have a strong upper body,” he says.

“Also, when you’re in one position all the time, your hamstrings start to shorten, so cyclists need to do a lot of strength and mobility work on their legs and backs.”

The British weather could also sometimes prove an issue: “There was one day when around eight of us were about to head out for a ride, but it was chucking it down with rain. We actually said to ourselves, ‘why are we doing this? Why don’t we just have a gym, so we have the option of doing something different?’.”

It was that same afternoon that Andrew went to his MD and asked for some new equipment for the gym.

“Our MD just said, ‘That’s a really good idea’,” says Andrew.

And the rest? Is history.

The solution

With the company’s backing, Andrew was then tasked with finding the equipment.

“After about five minutes of searching, I found Mirafit online. We bought some stuff and it arrived within a couple of days,” he says.

“Initially we just bought a squat rack and a few other things.

“We then put it together – which took us about an hour – and we haven’t looked back since.”

After trying out the first few bits of kit and loving them, the team then put in another order.

Their Mirafit kit list included:

Mirafit gym equipment list sent to specialized for their gym

They also got some gym storage including a Vertical Dumbbell Stand and a Horizontal Plate and Bar Stand.

“We’ve recorded how many people have used the gym and in the past six weeks, we’ve logged 453,” says Andrew.

Compared to their previous stats, it’s off the charts, which is really fantastic news for both Mirafit and the team at Specialized.

“Most people do strength work over their lunchbreak and then we do HIIT in the evenings.”

Andrew explains the team has been getting a lot out of the new equipment with the Half Power Rack and the Landmine proving some of the most popular pieces of equipment. The Kettlebells, Battle Rope and Plyo Jump Box have also been really beneficial to the team’s training, especially when doing HIIT.

“If you sit at your desk, everyone asks, ‘Why aren’t you in the gym or riding your bike?’.”

“We have everything you could think of – it's the most amazing gym ever,” says Andrew.

The benefits

Specialized workplace gym showing a range of Mirafit gym equipment

It’s clear from talking to Andrew that the benefits to the team’s overall strength and variation in training has had a huge impact on everyone.

“People are getting stronger and personally, my squats and bench presses have gone up so much. A lot of people are doing back strengthening as it helps them with racing and they just feel stronger and more stable on the bike,” says Andrew.

There have been other, positive knock-on effects too.

“It’s really helped with motivation in the afternoons. If you have been sitting at your desk for five hours and then all you do on your lunchbreak is look at your phone for an hour, you’re not really doing anything beneficial. But if you go to the gym for an hour, it clears your head which is especially good if you’re typing or emailing or day. It gets you out of that space and resets your mind for the afternoon,” says Andrew.

He explains how supportive the company is of the staff doing exercise on their lunchbreak, which has also really helped. The incentive is that if they use their lunchbreak to train or go cycling, they get an hour and a half for lunch, rather than just an hour. So, there’s the extra motivation to train during the day too.

But it’s more than just fitness levels which have improved since their gym got an upgrade.

“Each week we have a staff meeting where people say what’s going on and if they have any worries. It just means we can all help. So, if someone is feeling down, we sit with them. That has gone down massively though since getting the gym.

“I think it’s because before Christmas, people couldn’t get out and ride, so they were feeling trapped indoors. But now, there’s a real sense of wellbeing within the company,” says Andrew.

“We all do cycling, and even though we love it, the gym helps you get your head away from it so you’re more excited to go cycling.

People are getting to work earlier and just feel happier. You can tell there’s more inclusion and more people are feeling fired up and ready to go,” he says.

Andrew is also a big believer in office gyms helping to build a more general sense of wellbeing in the workplace.

“I think office gyms in general add to that trust that you have in your employer, so you have more trust in your work place,” he says.

“Plus, it saves employees so much money.”

We’re here to help

If you’re thinking about setting up an office gym like Specialized, but are not sure how to go about it, our friendly team of experts is here to help.

Browse our Product Help Centre to get any information you need about our products including what it’s all used for and which bits go with what.

Or you can send us a message and we can also help you pick out the right equipment for you and your team.

For larger projects, you can even speak to one of our product experts to get advice on layouts and storage.

Send us an email at support@mirafit.co.uk or send us a message on Instagram @MirafitOfficial and we’ll get back to you.