Shannon Cauley, the fitness director at The Houstonian Club, shares tips for designing the best functional training space in your facility.
Functional training is a great way to help your members do everyday activities with more efficiency and less injury. Here, Shannon Cauley, the fitness director at The Houstonian Club in Houston, Texas, shares in her own words what is needed to create the best functional fitness space in your facility.
Keys to Success
The keys to designing your functional space are knowing your membership, having a strategy for how to utilize the area and not overcrowding the space with too much equipment.
We designed our space thinking about how a trainer and member would use it. Our main fitness floor doesn’t really have any open space, so we made sure this area had a lot of open space and the equipment was placed on the perimeter to free up the middle. We want to be able to offer performance training for both children and adults, so we definitely made sure it was set-up for this as well. We hope this area will attract members wanting to take their fitness to the next level.
Laying Out the Space
This is where you can get creative. Depending on the size and shape of your space, you can do whatever you want, which is really fun. You can create workout pod areas or just lay it out so you are maximizing every inch of your space and have equipment in areas that will be used. The layout is really personal preference and depends on what the goal is in using the area. We want open space, which we are lacking on the fitness floor, as well as a straight away so a sled can be pushed or sprints can be done. We want to be able to use it for personal training, regular member use and specialized programming.
All equipment is functional. I think leaving this area open with free space to be creative is the key. We tend to overcrowd our facilities with so much equipment and then have no space for any kind of body weight exercise. Keep it simple and utilize new and familiar equipment.
For our new space, we have laid out a great plan which includes Power Plate, Technogym SKILLMILL, SkiErg, a slam wall, a 21-foot versatile jungle gym, boxing bags, a Torque TANK, rowers, VersaClimber, glute drive, platform with a jammer arm, weights, Escape Fitness TIYRs and boxes, kettlebells, battle ropes, and so much more.
Last Piece of Advice
Have fun with this, get creative, talk to other facilities that have added a functional space and definitely talk to your personal trainers about the layout since they are the ones using the space. All of this helped us tremendously and made us feel confident with the equipment layout and choices we’ve made.