Functional Training at University of Pennsylvania

functional training

The Penn Campus Recreation Center at the University of Pennsylvania recently remodeled their multi-purpose room into a total functional training room. What once was a room that housed a small amount of cardio and strength equipment, has been turned into an area more apt for plyometric and body-driven exercises.

Scott Transou, director of facility operations and member services, explained it was important to the staff to keep the area as energy efficient as possible. They housed the area with machines that require a small amount or no electricity to run. “I wanted to go with a green theme in the room and stay away from electrical as much as possible,” said Transou. “We have momentum driven treadmills, Assault bikes, rowers and Cross Trainers that don’t require electricity and it is all so it sticks with the theme of functional training.”

The top deck of the facility is situated for mainly stretching, along with small hand weights, ab equipment and a couple of heavy bags. Transou said they have plans to put a multi-station exercise piece used for battling ropes or TRX straps in the third area along with an overhead suspension training system, tires, jump boxes, sleds and medicine balls.

The hope of the third area is to drive revenue to the Penn Campus Recreation center through small-group training classes.“Not only can members use the equipment when they want, but we can drive revenue into that room to help pay back the expenses through some specialty small-group training classes that we hope to offer,” said Transou. “The small group training is an effective and efficient way of utilizing not only your trainers, but drive your revenue as well.”

The majority of the flooring in the room is MONDO flooring, but there is also a section designed with a turf flooring. The rec center puts the flooring to use as a branding strategy. “We did a split P on the flooring and on the turf to give us a little branding in there and we are going to do some branding on the walls too, so that everyone knows where they are and that the room is a part of Penn,” said Transou.

A benefit to creating a functional training space is different styles of equipment can be used other than the general equipment used in the main gym areas at campus recreation centers. “We are bringing in different types of equipment from partners that we work with, like Life Fitness and Precor,” said Transou. “It isn’t equipment we would normally house in our gym, but they are going to let us try it out in the new room to expose our members to different stuff and get feedback to see if we want to procure those particular pieces.”

Since recently opening the room, the University of Pennsylvania has received a large amount of positive feedback. “They like the turf area, they are getting excited about small-group training possibilities and overall, it has been a great deal of positivity from the students,” said Transou.

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