Access control system

How to use an access control system not just at your gym's reception desk

How to use an access control system not just at your gym's reception desk
Written by COSMIN Published on 2021-05-21 4 minutes read

I'm certain that if you ever considered installing an access control system at your gym, you plan to do that at your club's entrance, right?

Such a system can also be used in various ways, in different parts of a fitness club, not just at the entrance.

Once you install turnstiles or automatic speed gates at the gym's entrance, your members will get used to this access system, and you can extend its features in other areas of your club.

These solutions are extremely useful for fitness clubs that provide various services and memberships with different access levels.

Suppose your fitness club offers memberships that only include access to the gym area and memberships that include access to other services, like the pool or group fitness, at different prices. Then surely, members with only gym access should not have access to the pool area or Group X studios.

With an access control system, you can restrict member access, depending on their active membership, without having your staff constantly policing entrances.

Access to group X studios, based on bookings

Suppose you are using a group fitness booking system. In that case, it's even more important that only members with a reservation can enter your group fitness studios. More so if you have memberships only for these services.

With an access control system mounted at the entrance of each studio, you can ensure that only members with a booking for the next class can enter that studio.

This system is even more useful if you sell memberships with various class access. For instance, memberships with a number of entrances to yoga classes.

This way, the member books their desired class, which means they have the right membership for sure. Otherwise, they could not make the reservation. Then, several minutes before the class starts, the member scans their card or the QR code in the app to enter the class studio. Without a valid booking, the door won't open.

This way, instructors don't have to check each member's booking or membership.

You will also avoid unpleasant situations, like when a member is kicked out of the studio because they don't have the right to attend a class. You don't run the risk of members with cheaper membership accessing services they haven't paid for.

With an access control system, you can also solve the issues of members arriving late to class in a more elegant manner. For example, if you only allow entrance into the studio until a few minutes before or after the class is set to start, you can configure the system not to allow access. This way, you can solve any issue that might be embarrassing for instructors and other members attending classes.

Since the system is fully automated, there are no exceptions for anyone, and members should have no reason to be upset.

Member app

Access to the pool based on a special membership

If your gym also has a pool, but not all your memberships provide access to it, then surely it's pretty challenging to keep track of people accessing that area.

That means you must constantly check the membership of everyone entering the pool area, which cannot be pleasant for anyone involved.

A simpler solution would be to install turnstiles or automatic speed gates at the pool entrance. Then, the access control system should only allow entry to members with a valid membership that also checked in at the front desk.

This way, neither you nor your team would have to worry about members who try to trick the system.

To make this more convenient for your members, you can provide them with RFID bracelets that can be scanned at the pool entrance. These bracelets are usually waterproof, and they can easily be worn at the pool.

My advice is to configure your access control system at the pool to allow access only to members that checked in the gym beforehand.

Otherwise, members with a cheaper membership can borrow the bracelet or the membership from friends with pool access and enter that area without permission. When a member checks in at the front desk, your staff will confirm their membership and identity.

SPA access based on dedicated membership or scheduled session

A similar system can also be implemented in the SPA area. This is mainly if you provide access to a jacuzzi or sauna to members with a special kind of membership.

You can install turnstiles at the entrance of this area, and only members with the suitable membership that also checked in at the reception desk can enter.

For massage services, you can restrict access only to members with an upcoming scheduled session. This way, you ensure that people who don't belong in that area don't have access, and you avoid unpleasant situations.

turnichet sala fitness

Staff only access

An access control system can also be used for your staff and the areas where only they have access.

If you have a room or a dedicated staff locker room, it's crucial that only your team can enter there. Instead of your staff carrying a key, you can install an access control system that requires a staff card (digital or physical). Then your team is assured it can leave its belongings in a safe place, and you will always know who entered and left that room, based on the staff card used.

A quick catch-up...

A useful access control system can be used at a fitness club in many ways. You can set up several access flows for members inside your club, as long as it's integrated with your member management program and can be used with member cards and QR codes in an app.

The most significant benefit of such a system is that you are always confident that your members have access only to the services included in their membership. You can also easily avoid awkward situations in which you must check their membership or even make them leave certain areas of the club.

With an access control system, you will make a great impression on your clients because they won't have to be checked by your team every time they go to a class or pool. In addition, they won't witness other people accessing services they haven't paid for.

Other resources that will help you install an access control system at your fitness club:


Cosmin has the unique ability to provide not only the best solution for his clients but also to help them make the most of the tools they have. He spends his time in gyms and fitness centers, not only training but also observing and researching every operational aspect of this business.

Fitness Business Romania
Fitness Business Romania

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