Plan Your New Weight Room
Coaches and Athletic Directors...Our company can design and layout your new weight room, we do this for high schools and also colleges.
We help develop the floor plan for the best flow and use of space. Our team provides several solutions for your new weight room or renovation as well, from flooring to all-rubber platforms, strength equipment and all of the accessories like bumper plates and bars.
We also provide services to create the branding with your school’s logo or mascots throughout the weight room and into the locker rooms if needed.
All of this is presented in a final 3D photorealistic rendering to allow you to share with your faculty and staff, as well as boosters and within the community for added support. Our images look amazing and represent your facility and are on brand.
Planning Your New Weight Room
Planning is the first step in designing your new weight room. All steps are critical to the success of completing the journey of adding a new weight room, rebuilding or renovating an existing weight room. It's a great deal more involved than simply determining how many square feet or meters you will need, what color if any and if you plan to use rolled rubber products or interlocking tiles for your new or renovated weight room flooring.
In the planning step, you will need to determine these key elements.
- New or existing construction
- If existing construction, what will you keep in place? Strength Equipment, Flooring, Cardio, Lifting Platforms
- Space needed to accommodate your athletes
- Programming needs - strength, agility, speed, special needs
- Weight room layout - Strength, Agility, Flexibility & Warm-up
Some of the statements made in our articles are going to sound obvious, but it is better covered here than not, and leave you without a clear picture of the steps required to see successful outcomes in your new weight room or renovation.
Existing facilities in need of an overhaul could require less funding and can be completed much quicker than if you were staring over or simply building a new facility from the ground up. So funding, getting board approval to start new construction, city/county permits for building, additional insurances to cover construction are costly and time consuming. This said, you will finish a renovation much faster than a new build.
Space needed: this is key in getting the most of your new or renovated weight room. There are three factors that can dictate what space you will be working with.
- Space available
- Number of athletes needed to service
You always start with the space available and work backwards if you do not have the luxury of building what is needed. That is another article where we can cover optional space planning. Your budget or proposed budget will certainly have an influence in what size of weight room you build or renovate. Lastly, a very important figure to consider is the total number of athletes and scheduling you are able to navigate to accommodate that number of athletes. This will impact the layout, configuration and equipment selection.
Note: in high schools, it is important to consider other areas or specific scheduling for incoming and current freshman athletes.
If you are renovating or reconditioning your current space, you will need to create a list of what you must keep or plan to keep from the existing, to know what you much budget for with the new incoming. Will you keep some or all of your current strength equipment. If you replace your equipment, you should consider replacement programs that certain manufacturers have in place to help schools with their budgets by offering credit for existing equipment exchange or refinishing. If you provide cardio equipment, that is typically a replacement in most renovation or refinishing projects. Cardio does not hold up like strength equipment, so that is usually replaced at this point.
Another real important reason or cause to explore is weight room flooring replacement. Many older high school weight rooms have bare concrete and/or livestock stall mats for the weight areas, or they may have a thin 6mm or 8mm (5/16") recycled rubber flooring that has been down for years. In most cases, weight room flooring is not usually "top of mind" or a priority in the planning stages. Flooring is a critical part of the decision process, as most likely it is not the focus among coaches and athletic directors. Obviously, the safety of their athletes is most important to them, however unless coaches and athletic directors have been educated in flooring solutions or choices available today, they simply don't make it a priority.
Flooring can provide several properties that are crucial to the safety and performance of your athletes and the training environment.
- Force Reduction
- Energy Restitution
- Traction or Coefficient of Friction
- Sound Reduction
- Vibration Reduction
Reduces strain on lower extremities, you can think of this as shock absorption. Most facilities have flooring ranging from a value of -0.01 to 11 % force reduction. There are excellent products available to deliver in excess of 35% to 45% force reduction and provide a great sound and vibration absorption as well.
Energy Restitution: This is energy return, which is like a rebounding effect on the athlete. Typically the higher Energy Restitution, the lower the Force Reduction. It is important to reach a good balance of the two indicators.
Traction or Coefficient of Friction
Traction or Coefficient of Friction is important for three strong reasons. (1) skid resistance is important in athletic and activity areas for obvious reasons, we do not want slip and falls, especially where floor surface may become wet with humidity, sweat and water. (2) Coefficient of Friction is important as with most athletic programs, you have injuries. Athletes negotiating while walking with crutches or other aids, do not want their feet or their aids sticking or tripping on the floor because it is has too much friction. (3) as athletes train, squatting, plyometrics and other intense activity, you do not want the athlete to lose footing and slip or lose their "base" footing.
Sound & Vibration Reduction: sound and vibration is not a concern typically, as many times it does not impact other areas of the school. The fact is, many coaches and athletic directors do not know there are options available that will reduce both sound and vibration significantly.
Cleanliness is important so that the flooring offers a surface easy to clean and does not promote bacterial.
Aesthetics: let's face it, everyone likes have a motivating and attractive place. Different flooring can provide color and surface feel that will change the entire look and feel of our renovated or new weight room.
Programming needs are extremely important when planning your weight room. Do you intend to use your weight room for strength training only, or are you planning to use it for warm-ups and flexibility? Do you have enough space for a section or strip of synthetic turf to allow your athletes short indoor sprints and activity pushing a sled on turf? Will you plan to use your new space for plyometrics and agility?
What are your plans for strength platforms? Will you use existing traditional weight lifting platforms that are between 2" and 4" tall, with metal frames, wood centers and rubber drop zones, or inset-flush platforms, or something different?
A newer alternative that offers safety and a custom fit would be all rubber custom weightlifting platforms with inserts for you racks? These all rubber weightlifting platforms are just 20mm thick with molded in transitions for safety. These are all good points to consider and we will cover this in a later article on Weight Lifting Platforms, providing all of the pros & cons of each.
In conclusion, this article covers the high points of planning a new or renovation of your weight room, but there are several details that are simply too many and are relative to various facilities to cover here.
We can help you plan your facility, new or renovation, help you with the professional layout you will need to convince the stakeholders in your school's organization and outside for grants, bonds and booster support.
We can also help you share your vision, by sharing realistic designs and photorealistic images to help move decisions in your favor. Adding color, school logos or mascots and equipment to various space sizes and designs. This is a service we provide to schools in advance of any funding or money changing hands.