We understand that you are afraid of trespassers into your gym facility. That is why it is important to have tight security in your gym. However, keeping your security strong all the time may seem pretty difficult at this moment. That is why your ultimate solution for robust security is “Access Control System.”

The trend of using access control systems to ensure decent security has been increasing wildly. According to DataHorrizon, the global market size of access control systems was valued at 9.4 billion USD in 2022 and is expected to reach 20.5 billion USD by 2032, growing at a CAGR of 8.2%.

Since there are many options out there, it is important to think it through while implementing a gym security system. From mechanical locks to key cards and biometric systems, there is a wide variety of security systems you can choose from. So, choosing the right type for your business can be quite challenging. No worries!

In this blog post, we will discover the commonly used types of gym access control systems and which one to choose for your business. So, without further ado, let us dive into the details.

Commonly used types of gym access control systems

There are several types of gym access control systems that are commonly used in gym businesses. So, let us have a glance at what we have:

Mechanical lock

Mechanical lock

Mechanical locks are conventional lock and key method that have been used for decades to ensure security. In this access control system, you require a physical metal key that is used to turn a cylinder. Since there are multiple series of pins inside the cylinder, they need to be aligned properly by turning the key so that the door can be unlocked.

When it comes to pricing, mechanical locks are comparatively inexpensive and very easy to maintain and install. However, they are not as smart to provide enough security for gyms. In addition, mechanical locks do not allow you to track activities, making it vulnerable to tampering.

No power dependencyInefficient and slow
Easy to installNot up to the modern security demands
Require less maintenanceNot suitable for emergency access

Keypad reader

Keypad reader

Keypad readers are a keyless system of access control that is just a step forward from mechanical locks. In this access control method, each individual is assigned a unique code that they need to press on the keypad to make an entry. Furthermore, keypad readers provide a moderate level of security since PIN sharing can cause trouble.

In addition, keypad readers do not provide any real-time tracking and monitoring, making it difficult to comprehend any serious situation. Also, you can not integrate your software with the keypad reader access control system. So, you do not have complete control over your gym’s accessibility.

Easily interacts with electric and magnetic locksNo multifactor authentication
Unlimited access levelsProne to keypad tampering
Remote managementLimited user identification

NFC system

NFC gym access control system

The Near Field Communication (NFC) system uses high-frequency radio waves in order to validate and authorize access. In this access control method, the information is exchanged, making it between the tag and the reader. When the reader scans the information on the tag, it verifies it through the database saved in the system. So, the system sends the validation signal, and it opens the door to authorize entry.

In addition, the NFC access control system is considered to be secure since it requires the users to have the proper credentials to access the system. Moreover, it eliminates the need for physical keys and cards, freeing the users from any hassle.

Detect fraudsters in real-timeProne to battery issues
Accurate data entryLimited reader range
Boost customer acquisitionData privacy concerns

RFID system

RFID gym access control system

Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology uses radio-frequency signals to verify the information, just like the NFC access control system. In this access control system, electromagnetic waves are used to capture and read data. Since the RFID system comes with one or two antennas, they emit radio waves and receive signals from the RFID tag to authorize access.

In addition, the RFID system is incredibly easy to use and does not require physical contact between the tag and the reader. Lastly, this access control option is cost-efficient as it only needs a small amount of power, and the installation process is also inexpensive.

Practical and versatileNo visit management
Easy to replaceHas to be replaced frequently
Easy to implementCan be cloned

Key fob system

Key fob access control system

A key fob or a hardware token is a compact device that is used to access physical objects and buildings. In this access control method, the key fob is equipped with an RFID chip and an antenna inside the remote control. So, the reader detects the radio-frequency waves from the RFID tag in order to validate the information stored in the database. In addition, a key fob system provides one-factor authentication to ensure tight security.

Besides security, the key fob system provides convenience since it is easy to use and carry around. In addition, everyone has personalized access, offering real-time tracking and monitoring of everyone’s activities.

More flexible and secureCan be stolen or misplaced easily
Can be reprogrammed easilySingle-factor authentication
Very convenientLimited user identification

Mobile check-in

Mobile check-in system

Mobile-based check-in allows gym access with a few clicks. In this access control method, the users need to install an access control application into their mobile phones and allow it to communicate with the reader installed on the door. Basically, the smartphone works as access credentials in the mobile check-in access control system. Another exciting feature about mobile check-in systems is that some of them allow seamless integration with smartwatches as well. So, you can simply access your gym by validating your identity through your smartwatch.

Moreover, mobile-based access control systems are very convenient because you can simply authorize with your smartphone. Also, it reduces security threats since everyone keeps their mobile phones to themselves. Lastly, it is a cost-efficient and scalable option.

Multi Factor authenticationInitial setup cost
Remote management Network authentication
Provide real-time trackingDependence on mobile devices

Magnetic swipe card

Magnetic swipe card

Magnetic swipe cards are a very popular access control system used in gym businesses. In this access control method, there is a card, just like a credit card, with a magnetic strip on it. The magnetic strip is equipped with a specific code for each individual. When the user swipes the magnetic strip card, the reader scans the information stored in the chip and verifies it from the database. Once the credentials are verified, the system automatically unlocks the door.

The magnetic swipe card system is very convenient and viable since each card is chipped with an individual’s credentials. This way, the owner can maintain the security at an affordable cost without any hassle. 

Easy to implementLimited storage capacity
Inexpensive to produceUnable to support MFA
Data can be altered easilyProne to damage

Barcode scanner

Barcode scanner access system

A barcode scanner is a commonly used type of access control in many gym businesses. In this method, the scanner is programmed to read access credentials through the barcodes mentioned on key tags, ID cards, or other types of credentials. Whenever a barcode is scanned, the system verifies it with the information stored in the database. Once the credentials are validated, the reader commands the system to unlock the facility’s doors.

In addition, the barcode scanning system is very affordable and secure. Moreover, you do not need to memorize your credentials while using the barcode scanning access control system. Lastly, it also helps to reduce the risk of data breaches and hacking.

Accurate capturing of dataLess secure
Reduce labor costsCan be easily forged or reproduced
Quick identificationReduced range to scan

Biometric system

Biometric accecc control system

To ensure the highest levels of security, a biometric access system is used. In this access control method, the system requires fingerprints, facial recognition, or retina scans in order to authorize access. To set up a biometric access system for your members, you need to add their physical identifiers into the system so that they can verify their identity to access the gym facility. So, whenever the system does not recognize someone’s identity, the access is denied, making it a secure access control system.

Leveraging a biometric system, you can also keep a check on the members’ activities. In addition, if someone tries to access the gym and makes multiple failed attempts, the system alerts you to prevent tampering.

Faster authenticationFalse positives and negatives
Can not be stolen easilySystem can get hacked easily
Real-time activity trackingVery pricy

Which type of gym access control should you choose?

Every type of access control system has its own benefits and drawbacks. However, to choose one, it is important to understand your business needs. You can start by considering some questions, including;

  • What is your preferred method of entry?
  • What level of security do you want in your gym facility?
  • Do you want real-time monitoring and tracking?
  • What is your budget to implement an access control system?

Considering these questions, you can comprehend the best type of gym access control system for your business.

Bottom line

For streamlined running of your business, it is important to ensure tight security so that your customers can rely on you. For that reason, you must be aware of the types of gym access control systems so that you can choose what fits your gym perfectly. So, consider the above types and comprehend what level of security you want to incorporate into your business to make the right choice.