24/7 Gym Access Control & Entry Systems Guide
Ultimate Guide to Gym Access Security
Controlled access is an essential part of running any gym. Not only is it vital to ensure the safety and security of the facility at all times, but members pay for an exclusive gym experience. They are willing to pay a premium for that safety because knowing they (and their belongings) are safe takes away an underlying sense of uncertainty, and allows them to focus on their fitness experience exclusively. While 24-hour gym access is a great marketing tool to attract new members and grow gym profits, longer operating hours means more security is needed. This guide will take you through the benefits of 24-7 gym access control systems, the latest security options available, and how to optimize your touchless gym access control for the best security and convenience, without incurring cost.
Benefits of 24 hour gym access control
1. Better security at the gym.
People want to work out at clubs that not only have all the equipment they need, they also want to feel safe. Because gyms are often a target for theft, a gym security system is a must for keeping both equipment and personal items secure. With advanced 24-7 gym access control systems, your facility stays protected at all times, even with minimal on-site staff.
However, not all 24-hour access control systems offer the best security for gyms. Unlike offices or commercial buildings, gyms also have to worry about membership fraud. That’s why you should use some form of identity verification alongside a mobile-based keyless entry system for your business that can be configured to require a facial recognition or fingerprint scan on the phone prior to entry.
Another way to increase security at the gym is to use an access control system that allows administrators to set specific permissions for staff or membership levels. With custom permission, gyms can offer tiered access based on membership levels, and ensure that offices are only accessible by authorized gym staff.
24-hour gym access systems also mean managers need to be able to triage security issues in real-time, as they happen. A gym access control system with real-time alerts and video surveillance keeps managers on top of what’s happening at the facility, even when they aren’t there. Gym video surveillance solutions that alert against tailgating will prevent people from sneaking in behind paying members, allowing on-site staff to mitigate the situation before it becomes a problem, too.
With end to end remote control of access wherever you may be, clubs no longer need staff at the entrance allowing team members to get more done while they are on the floor. And this Patented Triple-Unlock technology and cloud-based software ensures the door is functioning, even if the internet isn’t. Indeed the security and safety of members is not compromised.
2. Added convenience for members.
People’s schedules vary widely, which often affects the time of day they choose to work out. With 24-hour gym access, people don’t have to bend their schedules or rush to get their workout in before the gym closes. 24-hour gym access is something many members actively seek out in a health club, so having a gym security system that can accommodate a 24-7 schedule without compromising convenience helps fitness clubs stay competitive.
A mobile-based gym door access system enables users to unlock the door and enter the gym just with their smartphone. Using a mobile credential, rather than a gym swipe card entry system, means guests don’t have to interact with a staff member to check in, either. Paired with a fully digital registration and check-in process, gym members can easily sign up for specific hours, check in for classes, reserve amenities, and adjust their membership, all on their phone. Especially for the post-covid customer, the leek, modern, hands-free experience offers the ability to unlock the door without touching any device.
And providing Clubs with these superpowers needs us to always be reliable and available. So customer care is only one phone call away. Operators and members feel reassured knowing they are able to call ABC 24/7 with any questions or concerns about their ABC Door Access product.
3. Attendance tracking and occupancy analytics.
One of the benefits of a gym door access system is the ability to record entry activity for members. For fitness club management, this means knowing how many members are using the facility and when. Gym occupancy data can inform decisions about capacity for social distancing, giving gym managers a visual snapshot of hotspots and peak hours for overcrowding.
Attendance tracking also provides valuable insights to optimize staffing, manage concessions, and inform maintenance schedules. In terms of ROI, occupancy and attendance data from a 24 hour gym door access system can also help gym owners and operators find ways to relieve congestion during busy hours, incentivizing less popular times and classes to reroute some foot traffic.
Furthermore, for clubs optimizing their operations and inventory, The Openpath interface allows for robust reporting around access analytics. The solid integration between Openpath and ABC allows real-time member additions, updates, and access logging.
4. Integrated membership experiences.
With 24-hour gym access control that runs on an open platform, club owners have the option to integrate user credentials with membership management. Integrated systems, such as ABC Fitness Solutions and Openpath access control, give administrators greater visibility and control over their facilities with less investment. One of the key benefits of an integrated security and management system is having access activity directly connected to membership billing. This can prevent overdue members from accessing the gym until their account is settled, and automate access based on membership levels so staff don’t have to constantly monitor for people trying to sneak into classes they haven’t paid for.
Utilizing information such as attendance, concession purchases, and visitation patterns, gym managers can also proactively personalize offers for members to boost retention rates. Examples include discounts on classes or concessions, billing reminders, and marketing to members who may benefit from personal training or a different membership tier.
Whether an operator/authorized employee is at the front desk, on the facility floor, or at home, they can remotely grant or deny access to anyone attempting to enter the facility. Authorized users can lock and unlock doors remotely—perfect for letting the ad-hoc delivery or maintenance person in. And given the varying regulations around staffing during this pandemic, this capability continues to support clubs being conscientious about the amount of staff within the facility at any given time.
5. Improve ROI and productivity.
When your gym access control system takes care of security for you, gym staff can focus their attention on more important tasks. When staff aren’t constantly tied to the front desk, they have more freedom to assist members elsewhere in the facility and ensure a better overall gym experience, which in turn reduces staffing costs and member turnover.
In addition, mobile gym entry systems eliminate the need for physical credentials such as swipe cards, ID badges, or gym key fobs. People are more likely to lose their gym key card than their phone, and replacing these individual credentials for staff or club members adds up over time.
Future-proofing gym entry systems
While there are a variety of 24-hour access control options available for gyms and fitness clubs, many gym door access control methods used in fitness centers offer convenience and reliability at a steep cost. When it comes to future-proofing the gym environment, the fitness industry needs technology that is cost-effective, without compromising on convenience, security, or reliability.
The challenge: Expensive, unreliable, and outdated systems
One of the most commonly used gym security methods is staffing a front desk or reception area. However, this results in increased staffing costs for a 24-hour gym, and often just doesn’t make sense during off-peak hours when attendance is low. Many gyms turned to alternative security methods to admit members without the need for a 24-hour desk staff, such as gym swipe card entry systems and key fob systems for gyms, which still require members to have a physical credential to enter the facility. While gym swipe cards and key fobs help reduce staffing cost, they have many disadvantages.
First, they lack convenience and security. Members still need to remember their card or fob, and staff will need to be on-hand to let in members who’ve left their credential at home or in their car. Both swipe cards and gym key fob systems lack two-factor authentication, so anybody who has the credential in hand can gain access—even if it’s not theirs—making these access systems prone to fraudulent use. Plus, cards and fobs are easily lost and stolen, which leaves your facility open to whoever happens to pick up the credential.
Gym swipe cards and key fob entry systems require more management and can also incur more costs. Each gym location needs to keep enough cards and fobs on-hand for new members, and to replace lost credentials. From a gym management perspective, swipe cards and key fob gym entry systems often lack the more advanced functionality and software features needed to efficiently run a fitness club, such as remote access and remote unlock, instant credentialing, and detailed reporting.
The solution: Touchless and mobile gym access control
In the post-COVID gym era, gym-goers are looking for high-tech, low-contact options. They want a safe, secure, and modern gym experience, without the added hassle of touching anything extra, or fishing in their gym bag for a badge or fob. That’s where touchless gym entry and mobile access control come into play.
With mobile gym access, members just need their smartphone in order to enter the facility. A mobile 24-hour gym access control system uses an app or QR code, rather than a physical credential. One of the biggest benefits of a mobile-based gym door entry system is the enhanced security. Mobile systems take advantage of the biometric and two-factor authentication already built into the phone (such as FaceID and passcodes), which helps prevent fraud at the gym. Mobile credentials are easier to manage, with gym access control systems using cloud-based software for fully remote access 24/7.
A mobile gym door access system can also help reduce congestion at the door thanks to touchless entry. With a touchless gym entry system like Openpath, members can just wave their hand by the reader to unlock the door, without having to take out their phone or open the app. This fast, efficient entry method also reduces germs at the gym, reducing the common touch points that need to be cleaned and sanitized.
For gyms that want additional safety measures in place, a cloud-based and interoperable system like ABC Fitness Solutions offers more options to connect gym video surveillance, or install gated gym access like touchless turnstiles.
Creating safer, more secure gyms
Ready to improve security and safety at your fitness club? An integrated access control and gym management solution gives you greater control, visibility, and flexibility to offer 24-hour gym access, while still keeping the facility secure.
Upgrading your gym access control systems is easy with ABC Fitness Solutions and Openpath. Openpath uses standard wiring, making installation quick and efficient. Plus, the fully integrated system is easy to configure, with an intuitive dashboard and mobile app to minimize the need to train staff and members on the new access control system.
Talk to one of our experts to see how Openpath access control and gym management from ABC Fitness Solutions can work for your facility.