The growing demand for functional training spaces for high-intensity interval training (HIIT) is seeing health clubs, athletic training facilities and specialty fitness studios creating dedicated functional training areas or rearranging equipment layouts to design specific training spaces for individual workouts, one-on-one sessions with a personal trainer or small group training.
Coupled with exercisers’ greater expectations, as they seek well-equipped, attractive, safe, and private or semi-private spaces to participate in less traditional workouts, there are more options than ever for functional regimens and HIIT, in terms of equipment, accessories, storage, lighting and flooring.
Leading athletic performance company PLAE sees that while CrossFit has embraced a bare-bones gym environment, aesthetics are definitely important to differentiate a facility and drive membership, adherence and retention.
The US-based company street that in these considerations “it’s important to carefully consider the place where all the action begins”, namely the floor and are seeing an increasing use of turf in these indoor spaces.
They explain “no longer just associated with outdoor football, soccer and baseball fields, synthetic turf is gaining ground indoors as well. Facilities seeking something other than traditional rubber flooring are finding that turf offers valuable benefits for indoor functional and HIIT workouts.”
They advise how synthetic turf can be a smart choice for any fitness or athletic centre:
Durability - Turf is designed to take rigorous beatings, day in and day out, and resist wear and tear. It can withstand heavy sled pushes and pulls, high foot traffic, dropped dumbbells and barbells, and more - without indentations, streaks, cracks and stains. High quality turf also does not develop tears, holes or divots or ruts from equipment.
Shock-absorbing - Turf with a padding underlayment is effective in reducing pressure on the joints and minimizing shock to the ankles, knees and hips - which is critical in HIIT’s high-impact, repetitive moves. For athletes, this cushioning can minimise impact of falls and help reduce risk of injuries.
Versatile - For speed and agility work, turf is easier to run on than rubber, but also adds valuable traction and resistance to sled work to promote stronger performance. And for athletes accustomed to playing on real grass or turf outdoors, this is an ideal indoor training surface. It offers sound-dampening for plyometrics, weight training and battle rope exercises. Plus, turf can accommodate virtually any type of training activity - including strength & conditioning drills, cardio, calisthenics/body weight work and free weight exercises.
Aesthetics - A burst of green adds vibrancy and energy to any training facility or health club. Plus, turf is made to look good at all times, without the need for constant cleaning, so it presents a professional, clean aesthetic. Furthermore, adding turf to a section of the gym establishes a standalone, special training area, which increases overall appeal.
Customisable - Turf comes in a variety of colors, pile heights, yarn compositions and backings, which can be combined for specific training preferences. Some versions use rubber or cork infill and padding, and some don’t. Incorporating inlaid lines, hash marks, numbers or logos facilitates training sessions and delivers brand reinforcement.
Simple to maintain - Unlike hardwood or rubber floors, there are no time-consuming cleaning or maintenance requirements, which saves time and resources. Simple cleaning and periodic brushing maximize ease of ownership.
Safety - Quality turf is slip-resistant and non-abrasive, and less likely to cause bruising or skin breaks. Additionally, more than 50 independent studies from groups such as the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission have validated the safety of synthetic turf for any public health concerns.