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How to Start a Gym Business in Nigeria.

September 30, 2021by ServoNG0

How to Start a Gym Business in Nigeria.

There is this erroneous notion that fitness training and the gym is meant for only fat or weighty people. Body fitness and various kinds of exercises ensures that the body and mind is always in good shape. Research has shown and proven that those who engage in exercises and body fitness regimes tend to be more healthy. When exercises are not mandatory, it can be fun. If you want to be physically and mentally healthy, you must engage in exercises. The beauty is that you can, in fact, make a living out of it. It is usually said that health is wealth; even as many people in this corner of the world believe fitness and exercise is only meant for big sized people which is hardly the truth. Fitness and exercise will promote a healthy life for everyone. For example, daily exercises will allow for free flow of blood in the veins. It caters well for  the heart; even an hypertensive patient who exercises often would most often than not stay healthy and fit. Body fitness  is good for everyone. Would you love to invest in a gym or fitness business? Or are you thinking of a business to invest in? You are not taking a wrong path if you choose to invest in a gym or fitness business. Just like other businesses, all you need do is follow the right steps.

In an environment like Nigeria’s where the stress levels has become very high, the least any right-thinking person can do is to create avenues for relaxation and engage in activities designed to keep all the organs in their bodies working properly; especially through maximum blood circulation. In this corner of the world, more people are beginning to realize the importance of keeping fit, not just as a way of life but also to stay healthy, live longer and be happy. These days, it is common to see people walking long distances or engaging in one form of exercise or the other to achieve these objectives. The trend has also ignited the business sense in some people, who have seized the opportunity to set up gymnasiums for business purposes. In this wise, gyms are no longer seen merely as a series of rendezvous for sports enthusiasts but have become serious business concerns, where investors target to earn good income.

                                    Types of Gym Business You Can Start in Nigeria..

There four types of gym businesses you can engage in depending on your resources and time. They are discussed briefly below as pronounced by Friends Impact:

1. Full Scale Coed Membership Gym:

The standard in the fitness industry, a coed membership gym is one that is open to men and women and offers a wide variety of equipment to suit the different training preferences of various people.  Although a varied selection of equipment is needed, a coed membership gym does NOT need to be large.  Many of these types of gyms are extremely profitable in a room size of 185 to 288 meters squared.  A gym of this size can be run very efficiently without excessive monthly operating costs or the need for additional equipment.

By working with a New Gym Specialist, you will get the proper amount and variety of equipment to help assure that you meet the needs of your members without overspending. Nigeria’s growing population and nearly 50/50 male to female split make it ideal for new gyms.  Here are some facts about the Population of Nigeria –

  • With around 190 million people, Nigeria is the 2nd largest country in the entire African continent
  • Nigeria has the MOST inhabitants of any African nation
  • Roughly 18% of the continent’s population live in Nigeria
  • Nigeria has 8 cities with over 1 million people
  • Lagos is the most populous Nigerian city with an estimated 15 million people
  • Nigeria is the one of the most populous country in the world
  • Nigeria has had a 60% growth rate over only 2 decades

These above facts show the growth and density of the population of Nigeria.  Along with this growth comes the need for modern equipped gyms to satisfy the demands of the modern Nigerian culture.

2. Sports Performance Training Facility:

Nigeria boasts a large youth population, with more than 90 million people falling into that category.  Only China and India have a larger youth population.  The youthful population presents a great opportunity for gyms catering to athletic performance either to enhance youths for school athletic programs or to engage youths in healthy lifestyle choices.

Soccer is the number one sport in Nigeria, but boxing, (both standard and Dambe martial arts boxing also known as traditional Hausa boxing), rugby and various track and field events are all sports that Nigerians regularly partake in.

This combination of a youthful population and a culture of athleticism creates a genuine need for sports performance training facilities throughout the country. A sports performance training gym requires a different mix of equipment than a standard membership gym and your New Gym Specialist will create a Complete Gym Package that specifically fits the needs of your sports performance training facility.

3. Apartment Complex Gym

Urban cities like Lagos and Abuja are experiencing a significant growth in housing.  Lagos is already known as a bustling business center with a fast paced community. Apartment complexes in these cities are being built or renovated to accommodate the growing population and need for modern housing.  Apartment buildings that allocate a room for a fitness center have an added incentive for people to choose to live there. Modern apartment complexes in Nigeria need modern gym equipment to attract and retain residents. An apartment fitness room with the right type and amount of equipment creates profit for the apartment complex owner by creating an environment where people want to live. It also allows the owner to charge somewhat more per apartment rental because of this modern amenity.

Although smaller than a standard commercial membership gym, an apartment complex gym still needs a certain mix of the right type of equipment to function properly.  Your New Gym Specialist will create the right Complete Apartment Complex Gym Package for you.

4. Intimate Personal Training Studio:

The economy of Nigeria continues to be on the rise.  In fact, Nigeria is listed as one of the “Next Eleven” economies set to become the biggest in the world.  In the Ikoyi area of Lagos alone, the high level of urbanization has attracted a higher income level and upscale housing.  This type of upscale clientele calls for smaller gym centers and often a more intimate, boutique style of one-on-one training.

These intimate personal training studio gyms focus on individual attention to a client’s personal fitness goals by using private or small group training sessions.  The space required varies depending upon how many clients or trainers the studio will have, but the need for certain fundamental pieces of equipment is the same and it is essential to use State-of-the-Art equipment that features upscale aesthetics and high end functions.    Here again, the use of a New Gym Specialist is important to assure that you get the right equipment for a personal training studio environment.

With a young, growing population, a rising economy and an interest in sports and athletic achievement, Nigeria has it all for anyone today who wants to enter the fitness industry as a gym owner.  These above 4 types of gyms are ideally suited for the Nigerian market.  By exploring your local area, you will determine which of these types of gyms is best suited for your area and for your budget.  Whichever type of gym you decide upon, now is the time to take advantage of the great opportunity to open a successful gym in the country known as the “Giant of Africa.

                                 Guide on How to Start a Profitable Gym Business in Nigeria.

Starting a gym business is not easy as it is with other businesses. According to Information Guide Africa, the following are a step-by-step guide on how to start a lucrative business in Nigeria:

• Get trained:

First of all, you need to pass through the proper training and experience that will qualify you to start your own gym. As you should already know, your clients won’t just be counting on you to look great, but to also keep their bodies healthy and safe using their services. There are different personal training you can choose from, and they all come with their own certifications. The choice of training to pass through should depend on certain factors like your locality and target market.

• Carry out a market survey/feasibility study

This is a very important step and will determine the how far you go in the business. While carrying out a feasibility study, you won’t just be choosing a location, but will also be carrying out a demographic outlook of the inhabitants. Things you should pen down include the notably dominant class, gender and even age grade in the region. A region with a large concentration of youths will be very ideal for setting up a gym house.

• Choose a brand name

In choosing a name for your business, you can start by considering the nature of the business. Your choice name will act like an extension of your brand, representing you in your absence.

In choosing a name for your business, you can decide to explore any of the following options:

  • Use your (the founder’s) name ie 20th Century Fox (William Fox)
  • Describe what you do ie Skype (originally the idea was ‘Sky peer to peer’)
  • Make up a word ie Google (derived from ‘googol’ which means 1 followed by 100 zeros)
  • Take a word out of context ie Apple (according to Steve Jobs, he had just come back from an apple farm, and thought the name sounded “fun, spirited and not intimidating.”)
  • You can also describe an experience or image

• Register your business name

After creating your brand’s name, the next thing in line will be to register it the the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC). The CAC was formed in 1990 as an autonomous body in charge of regulating the formation and management of companies in Nigeria Their services include registration of business names and incorporation of companies. Registering your business with name has many benefits especially in building a reputation with your customers. It’ll also be useful if in the future, you want to access any government contracts or loans from the various financial institutions.

• Prepare your business plan

Your business plan is a written description of your business’s future. It will contain what your plans and the methods you intend carrying out plans. For example, a business plan for your gym business should contain your business goals (both long term and short term), capital ( and how you intend raising them), equipment, location, how you intend earning (i.e. membership fee), miscellaneous costs among others.

• Get financed

Depending on your scale, you will be needing between ₦1 million to ₦5 million to get started. A good percentage of the money will go into renting a space. You’ll also need to acquire (or rent) some equipment and advertise your new business. Different ways of raising capital for your business include personal funds (i.e. savings) and loans from financial institutions. You can also borrow from your friends and relatives who’d be interested in helping you set up the business.

• Rent a space

The space will be taking a good cut from your budget. You won’t just be going for any room, a standard gym house should be around 30m by 20m or more. If you’ll be launching your business in developed cities like Abuja and Lagos, you might have to budget between ₦500,000 to ₦1,000,000 per annum. You can go for a spacious room, with if possible, small sections for offices and private gym sections. In addition to these, a standard gym house should also have a rest room (British English), where trainers can rest in-between and after sections.

• Acquire the necessary equipment

Some necessary equipment that you’d be needing in your gym house include:

  • Dumbbells
  • Motorized & Manual Treadmills
  • Ski machine
  • Exercise mats
  • Weight pile
  • Stepper boards
  • Indoor cycles
  • Ellipticals
  • Ankle weight
  • Skip-rope
  • Rowers

These equipment come at different prices, and if you intend purchasing all, you will have to budget more than ₦2 million. Check the prices of the equipment on Jumia, it’d help you in estimating the actual market costs and you can also purchase them there too. Also note that the equipment can be hired on lease at more affordable prices. If you don’t have enough funds, I’d suggest you go for his option and upgrade in the later run.

• Hire professionals

Your scale will determine the number employees you’d be hiring in the early stage of your business. Your employee should already have an experience in fitness training and in addition, be passionate about the job. You can also consider hiring someone to take on the marketing role, the person will be in charge of managing the release and spread of information between your business and your customers.

• Promote your business

Thanks to the internet, you don’t need to spend millions in promoting your business via the various social media platforms and other platforms. You can target your locality with Google and Facebook ads at very affordable rates. Alternatively, you can promote your business offline by printing and sharing banners and flyers around your business location.


If you can put your acts together, gym business is a business that can provide a launching pad for your financial liberation in Nigeria. Body fitness and exercises are for everyone who cares for his/her physical and mental health. Body fitness and exercises are as important as food is to the body. Hence, this is a kind of business that already has a functional market for everyone who wants to start-up a gym business. A gym business guarantees you customers especially as more and more people are becoming aware of the importance of body fitness and exercises.

Membership registration in gym houses across the country requires daily, weekly or monthly payment. How much you pay is virtually determined by the area of your residence. Those in cities like Port Harcourt, Lagos, Abuja, etc. will charge higher than the gym houses in Yenagoa, Kaduna or Oyo. By and by, it is important you apply for one.

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