Access Control Systems for Gyms and Fitness Centers

EA Tripod Turnstiles | Security Turnstiles Manufactured by EA Group UK

Are a gym or fitness center business owner? It’s important to give your members a convenient way to enter your gym. At the same time, you want to have great security and avoid issues like trespassing and theft. That’s why access control is the go-to security system for gyms and fitness centers.

Top Benefits of Access Control for Gyms

When looking for security systems, the benefits of access control systems for gyms and fitness centers are hard to ignore! Consider these advantages that access control systems can offer your business.

1. Touch-less entry

These days, it’s important for gyms to ensure members and visitors of their health when they enter and leave. Fitness centers are choosing to avoid entry points that require their members to touch surfaces and expose themselves to germs. Access control systems allow members to easily enter and leave the building without having to touch any surfaces.

2. High-grade security

Gyms and fitness centers are businesses that run the risk of physical security threats. For instance, they are challenged with the possibility of unauthorized entry and trespassing, as well as vandalism and theft. It’s very important for business owners to get a high-grade security system. Doing so can deter trespassers and make it difficult for them to enter.

3. Integration with gym memberships

One of the top benefits of using access control systems at your gym is that it allows easy entry. Access control systems integrate with your members’ membership cards or keys. They can simply use their card to access the facility when they arrive. Also, if you have membership restrictions, your access control system will enable or disable entry accordingly.

4. Manage capacity limits

Your gym will most likely have capacity limits. Your access control system will help you manage this automatically. The system can count how many members are using your facility at a time. This way, you will never have to worry about disregarding guidelines or disobeying the law.

5. Anytime access

Some gyms allow members 24/7 access, but only have an in-house staff during certain hours. Your access control system will act as an automatic security guard which allows or disallows access after hours, during holidays, and more.

6. Cost-effective

Hiring a 24/7 security guard can be extremely expensive for your business. Access control systems can help you save money on your security expenses by enabling a digital security system rather than a full-fledged security staff.

7. Integrated Time and Attendance Needs

Did you know that many access control systems have a built-in time and attendance tool? This allows your staff to easily clock into and out of their shifts as they enter and leave the building. The best part is that this can be easily integrated with your back-end systems so you can always get real-time data about your employees’ shifts.

8. Multi-location compatibility

Many gyms and fitness centers have multiple locations. They need a multi-site security system that they can manage from a single remote location. Access control systems have a cloud solution that allows multi-location gyms to utilize an integrated security system using a single off-site server. This makes it much easier for the business to oversee security at every location.

Best Types of Access Control Systems for Gyms

There are many different types of digital access control systems that can be a good fit for gyms and fitness centers. Your choice of system will depend on your budget, preferred method of entry, ease of use, and level of security. Keep in mind that there are different types of both readers and doors that you can choose from. Let’s first look at different types of access control readers, then consider door types.

Types of Readers

1. Card access or key fob

Card access is one of the most common forms of access control for gyms. They are inexpensive, integrated with gym memberships, and easy to use. Cards and key fobs can be used with doors connected with magnetic swipe/touch readers. There are also proximity readers that allow members to hold their key close to the reader for touch-free access.

2. Mobile app with barcode reader

One of the most modern digital access control systems are barcode readers. This system integrates with a member’s mobile app where they have a custom barcode. The gym member simply needs their smartphone to enter the building, making this an extremely convenient and cost-efficient system to use.

3. Keypad readers

Gyms can implement doors that require a passcode using a keypad to enable entry. Essentially, a gym admin will set a passcode that is given to each member when they sign up for a membership. Then, they simply enter this code when they arrive to open the door. One potential downside to this system is that it does not technically enable touch-free entry.

4. Biometric readers

Biometric readers are one of the most high-grade forms of security. This is because they require your members to enter their palm or fingerprint to allow entry. Keep in mind that these systems do require each member to touch the reader to gain access. However, it’s virtually impossible for trespassers to gain unauthorized access.

Types of Doors

Remember in addition to reader types, there are also different types of doors to allow entry. This is important to consider because they make a huge difference in terms of security level, appearance, and ease of use for members. Let’s analyze each type of door by these characteristics.

1. Tripod turnstiles

Some gyms use turnstile doors, which require a card key or key fob to release the turnstile. They are about waist height, so they are not fool-proof when it comes to unauthorized entry.

Security level: low

Appearance: good

Ease of use: high

2. Full-height turnstiles

As opposed to tripod turnstiles, full-height turnstiles have a higher level of security and have a higher chance of preventing unauthorized access. However, they are not as easy to use compared to tripods.

Security level: high

Appearance: poor

Ease of use: low

3. Interlocking doors 

Interlocking doors (aka “speed gates”) are digital doors that open and close. They can be made of many different materials (ie. glass, metal, etc.) and are unlocked as your members gain access through the reader. They allow a high level of security while giving your gym’s entry area an attractive appearance.

Security level: high

Appearance: good

Ease of use: high 

How Much do they Cost?

The cost of a gym or fitness center access control system will depend on a few different factors.

  • Number of entryways (doors)
  • How many members will need access
  • How many staff members will need access
  • Your type of security system

Take a look at the cost ranges below, depending on the number of persons who need access.

150 or fewer people$1500-$2500 per door
150+ people$2500-$3500 per door

Keep in mind that there can be additional costs for your gym access control system, such as:

  • Customized access for each door
  • Customized software needs
  • Door hardware
  • Card keys or key fobs
  • Set-up and installation
  • Maintenance fees

Other security needs for gyms and fitness centers

Keep in mind that gyms and fitness centers typically have more security needs than just access control systems. Chances are, you want to set your gym up with the best security system possible. Therefore, you should consider adding additional security devices outside and inside your gym. Take a look at these 6 ways to improve your fitness center’s physical security.

You will likely also need video surveillance in your gym to create the most secure environment. Take a look at these reasons why you should consider installing security cameras. Keep in mind that it’s often not enough to install one set of security cameras. Consider adding video surveillance in:

  • Parking lots
  • Vestibules and entryways
  • Lobbies 
  • Workout spaces
  • Exit doors

Security System Suppliers For Gyms

There are many access control security suppliers who specialize in helping gyms and fitness centers. Before making a purchase decision, make sure to consider the top access control suppliers. The following suppliers have years of experience providing businesses like yours with high-grade security systems.

SupplierTop FeaturesPricing
Kisi - Digital visitor log
- Door timer and scheduler
- Temporary digital guest passes
- Mobile or card keys
- Remote unlock
- Multi-site compatibility
- Integrations available
Hardware: starting at $599 per reader

Software: pricing based on your gym’s needs
VizPin - 24/7 security
- Recent activity logging
- Simple installation
- Mobile app
- Cost-efficient 
Hardware: starting at $299 per reader

Software: pricing given when requesting quote
OpenPath - Mobile access credentials
- Cloud-based software
- Remote management
- Multi-site flexibility
- Smart integrations
- Real time visibility
- 24/7 security and support
Unavailable. Must request a quote.

To get a free customized quote for your gym access control system, 360Connect can help! Use our free comparison tool to compare gym access control systems from top-rated suppliers.

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