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Noise Control in Gyms: Bringing the 1st UFC FIT in Shanghai to the Next Level of Training Experience

In this article, discover how Delhom Acoustics designed the acoustics of UFC FIT Lanhai, to support the project’s vision of accomplishing a high-focus & high-performance training environment in their newest facility.

What was UFC FIT’s vision for this project?

The strong growth in the local fitness market and UFC’s rise in popularity in China gave way to a massive endeavor: the rapid development of UFC FIT across the country. The first gym of its kind, located in Lujiazui, Shanghai, recently opened its doors to the public, placing itself as a premium gym to serve the general public.

The goal of the newest training facility was simple: to become the first gym offering the highest levels of well-being for members training in their facility. To achieve this, UFC FIT aimed for the RESET Certification. By adopting a holistic design approach to the project, they integrated air, water, energy, materials, & acoustic comfort in their design, turning their gym into the world’s 1st facility to be awarded four accreditations from RESET certification.

Before we go any further, it is important to understand why noise control in gyms is a major element that impacts a member’s performance. Only one fact is enough to explain this: studies show that excessive noise levels increase heart rate & blood pressure levels. This is far from ideal for anyone working out at a gym.

Photo Credits: UFC FIT

What were the main noise challenges encountered in the project?

Conducting an acoustic study for this UFC FIT project was an interesting challenge for our acousticians that they enjoyed taking up. Far too many gyms are still very noisy to this day, and it is difficult for users to be able to achieve peak performance due to a bad sound environment.

To start working on the project, our team had a look at the layout and the room types. We set acoustic targets that had to be optimized for each space.

Since each space has a different function (strength, cardio, group class, functional training, bag rack, youth, front desk/reception, etc.), the acoustics had to be well thought out before even discussing the types of treatments that could achieve each acoustic target.

Photo Credits: UFC FIT

In a full-service gym, there is constant simultaneous training in adjacent rooms. For example, while one room is dedicated to the striking part of the sport such as boxing or Muay Thai, the room next door is focusing on yoga and other training classes. One room’s activity can be disruptive to the other, so for that reason, it was essential to control the sound insulation of each room, as the people working out in the open space certainly don’t want to be distracted by music coming from adjacent rooms. To achieve this, the proper implementation of acoustic seals & glazing partitions is paramount.

Additionally, there are large areas equipped with sound systems, including the cardio area and the group classrooms or the bag rack area where instruction is taking place. The cardio area needed to have good music and sound while the training areas focused on a good speech intelligibility for clear communication between coaches and fighters.

What and where are the acoustic solutions of the project?

The entire acoustic design was thought of in a way that could be incorporated into the building without people realizing that there are acoustic treatments integrated in the first place. Once we conducted our study, we advised UFC FIT on the acoustic solutions to integrate, as well as the quantity and location of the treatments.

The large open ceiling areas were coated with flocking spray, an absorbing material that has a finishing look of concrete. This helped reduce the unwanted echoes to just the right amount.

Photo Credits: UFC FIT

On the walls, there are many decorative panels and felt finishes, made from recycled plastics, combined with organic fiber for greater absorption. The PET-printed wall panels, coupled with the organic coconut fiber, also offer absorption properties to control unwanted noise.

The magic behind these types of treatments is really the invisible comfort that it brings to the users. Nobody knows they serve a double purpose: both visual and acoustical!

Photo Credits: UFC FIT

It’s time … to witness the power of acoustics!

It isn’t every day that a gym facility pushes the well-being aspect of their fitness center to the next level. We are very happy to have brought our acoustic know-how on this project, to support the community in achieving their fitness goals! Once the project construction was over, we were extremely proud with the results:

  • Whether you’re working the bag, stretching or in the bag rack area, you need to focus. With the acoustic comfort in this gym, we have reduced the noise distractions for you to achieve higher levels of concentration.
  • Reducing the noise levels inside the gym is also better for your heart and your breathing and therefore your endurance.
  • Having background music is always great to pump you up during training. With the right acoustic design, we managed to make sure you can clearly hear the music, instead of an echoey noise mixture!

Photo Credits: PureLiving

“We were able to truly experience the benefits of the acoustic design implementation”

Eugene Wang, Director of UFC FIT – China

We would like to give a big thank you to Eugene Wang, director of UFC FIT China, for his trust in our expertise, to PureLiving, our partners on this project who worked on the water & air purification elements, and Xu Studio, the designers of the project who helped us integrated acoustic elements in their design!

Get in touch today to find out how our acoustic engineers can match the interior design intentions and transform your sports center: