New Functional Training Space at Texas Tech

Texas Tech

How can we better serve our students? As campus recreation professionals, this is probably a questions that you ask yourself often, constantly searching for ways to better meet the needs of the campus population. After evaluating trends in the industry, PeeWee Roberson, the director of recreation at Texas Tech University, decided to make an innovative change to their recreation center.

Recently, the department repurposed several under-utilized racquetball courts into a new, cutting-edge functional fitness training facility. The department began offering CrossFit within the facility a few years ago, even becoming officially affiliated with CrossFit. According to Roberson, this was a huge hit with students, so when they noticed that the trend was moving toward functional, high-intensity, interval training, they wanted to offer that option to students as well.

“The trend in fitness is moving toward functional training,” said Roberson. “The high intensity interval training where you can do weights, cardio and everything all at once. We knew the students loved CrossFit and the other HIIT programs that we had, so we wanted to figure out how we could incorporate this. Knowing that racquetball has gone down in usage over the years, we decided to take two racquetball courts, take the center wall out and change it into a new fitness room.”

The new 40’ x 40’ Raider Escape Room is filled with Escape Fitness equipment, the focal point being the Octagon Hub Training System frame. “The room has an Octagon, which is a piece of equipment that has a number of apparatuses around it, then it is attached to monkey bars going across the room and on the very end we have storage for all the equipment,” said Roberson. “At one given time we can put 18 or 19 people around the Octagon and everyone can be using an additional apparatus for an exercise.”

Other equipment includes: Plyosoft Boxes, TIYR, Corebags, Bulgarian Bags, Sandbags, Core Momentum Trainers, GRIPRs, Vertballs, Slamballs, Medballs, Kettlebells and a Speed Resister.

For now, Texas Tech Campus Recreation offers six small group training classes a week in the room, which have been a hit with students. According to Roberson, students love being able to have a cardio workout and strength workout combined into one high energy class. However, the Raider Escape Room is not limited to small group training, the department also uses it for personal training. “It is a big area for our personal trainers to use with clients because many clients do not want to work out with other individuals in the rec center,” added Roberson. “Now you can put two or three other trainers with their clients in the room at a given time and it is still like you are by yourself.”

Students, faculty and staff have had a positive response to the Raider Escape Room. Roberson explained it is essential to expand programming and offer something new for the campus community. Do you have new programming or spaces that enhance the recreation experience for students? Please share it by emailing,

Emily Harbourne was a previous editor for Campus Rec Magazine.

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