Barry’s Bootcamp red. SoulCycle’s black-and-yellow. Orangetheory’s hue is so essential to the brand it’s actually part of its name. In the competitive niche of specialised fitness studios, if you want to push your brand forward, a signature programme alone won’t cut it: in today’s environment, gym owners have also benefited from enveloping the entire experience in a signature colour.

People join [a particular gym] because they want to belong to a tribe, and tribes communicate via symbols and colours

Mais Fitness, a new health centre in Portugal’s Torres Vedras, excels at it. Designed by Almada-based Estudio Amatam, their chosen mellow yellow runs through every nook, room and hallway in the large space – that’s more than 1,100 sq-m worth of blond pathways.

‘Our main challenge was the creation of a spatial image identity for this and for future Mais Fitness gyms,’ explained Amatam’s João Amaral. ‘People join [a particular gym] because they want to belong to a tribe, and tribes communicate via symbols and colours. This was the language we proposed, in order to affirm the Mais identity.’

The studio decided to convey the principle of what they call ‘a democratic premium’: an elegant choice of materials, a generous distribution of spaces, but with a touch of irreverence in the details – Amatam specifically manipulated the ceramic-tile patterns to add winks, and decided to make the male and female changing rooms as gender-neutral as possible.

In Portuguese, ‘mais’ means more, and the studio decided to have this element as present as possible: they turned the plus sign into a motion and direction element inside the gym, as if it were a tactile intensity measure. But then, less is also more: the intensity is reduced in key spaces, like the corridors – spots meant for decompression – and the lounge, where the ambience becomes lighter, whiter and dimmer.

In the fitness studio itself, grey promotes focus on the workouts, while the darkest of shades and strips of nylon mesh were used in the underground space to create a contrast with the yellow – a challenging hue for a challenging environment. As Amatam’s Manuela Tamborino explained, ‘by adding the yellow here, even though it’s a space with a different energy, we wanted to communicate the notion that we’re still inside the gym, and that the only thing you need to follow is the colour in order to return to the light.’

And for gymgoers looking for the most specialised of fitness and wellness programmes, following the colour is a great piece of advice.