University of Georgia Functional Training Room

Functional Training Room

There is no denying that functional training is one of the top fitness trends. And with the explosion in popularity of CrossFit, bodyweight training and High Intensity Interval Training, it is safe to say, the format is here to stay. In order to incorporate functional training into its offering for students, the University of Georgia Department of Recreational Sports recently opened a Functional Training Room at the Ramsey Student Center.

“We knew that group fitness trends proved that some sort of functional training space was not a passing fad, but an evolution in fitness demands,” said Lance Haynie, the associate director for programs at the University of Georgia. “From there, we worked with our team to brainstorm the creative elements of what the space could be and how that could allow our program to be an example for others to look to.”

According to Christina Reynolds, the public relations coordinator, over the past year the department has made some extensive renovations and improvements to the Ramsey Student Center. One of these improvements included transforming an underutilized martial arts studio in the new Functional Training Room.

Features of the room include:

  • A 18mm rubber floor designed to be a lifting platform anywhere in the room
  • A sleeve of turf for tires, sleds and other speed and agility exercises
  • Two full squat racks
  • A quad station
  • Monkey bars
  • Hanging punching bag
  • Various equipment including sand bags, Bulgarian bags, slam balls, kettlebells, corebags, GRiPers, medicine balls and much more

“Functional training has grown in popularity and demand,” said Haynie. “We feel this highly visible sign of commitment to this demand will increase our patronage and subsequent user experience. Being in a space like this that encourages activity and movement provides a user experience that is very powerful.”

Even though the functional training room just opened, students have already started to convey positive feedback. “Students are excited to get the opportunity to get in the room and the patrons that have used it already are raving about how much fun it is in there,” explained Scottie Gray, the assistant director for fitness and wellness at the University of Georgia. “We are ecstatic to continue to get more and more students in the room and experience all it has to offer.”

In case you are considering building something similar at your recreation center, both Gray and Haynie offer of few pieces of advice.

  • “Plan as far ahead as possible for a renovation like this,” suggested Gray. “The process itself doesn’t seem too daunting or long; however, there are many moving parts when a facility and program renovation of this nature takes place.”
  • “Expect the unexpected when the process starts,” added Gray. “Be prepared for all scenarios from the best-case to the worst-case.
  • “Be prudent and ensure that your patrons want and will respond to this type of facility,” advised Haynie. “Some things work in some places, but not everything works everywhere.”
  • “Once it is established, work very closely with your fitness or strength and conditioning staff to ensure that you have a program offering plan for the equipment you are purchasing,” explained Haynie. “The types of classes that we knew people wanted drove our decision for equipment selection. I think many people get that process backwards and end up with equipment and facilities that they don’t know how to program effectively.”
Emily Harbourne was a previous editor for Campus Rec Magazine.

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