How to Improve your Fitness Space

How Radical Change can Produce Wild Results

Earlier this year, the doors opened on a big fitness transformation at Kansas State University (K-State). What used to be five racquetball courts at the Chester E. Peters Recreation Complex had been completely made over, reconstructed and tied together to create five Performance Zones where students and faculty have since discovered a new enthusiasm for fitness.

The Performance Zones idea was the brain child of the K-State Recreational Services team, who set out to create a new fitness experience that would be more engaging, serve more diverse needs and be more popular than the existing racquetball courts. The idea, motivation and space were supplied by the K-State team, but they needed an equipment and fitness design expert to bring the whole thing to life. The resulting relationship produced results beyond expectations, and the success continues to grow.

“Training areas like this have not been available to our students before so they are very happy with the variety,” said Steve Martini, Director of the K-State Recreational Services. “This space allows for more growth in our facility and opens it up for more fitness programming.” High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) classes and specialized training and conditioning options are only some of the possibilities that the Performance Zones allow.

The five zones create a different fitness experience in each section.

Zone 1 is purely Power, presenting an area where CrossFit-style training is right at home. The Hammer Strength rigs and accessories create a wide range of muscle-building opportunities where group classes or individual workouts are equally supported.

Zone 2 helps build Strength. There’s a bridge with open floor space where traditional weight lifting is often on display, while Ninja-warrior-wanna-be’s are working on grip strength and unconventional fitness regimes. From tire flips to med ball exercises, body weight workouts to TRX suspension training, the Strength zone is trendy and popular due to the strong variety of choices it offers.

Zone 3 is all about Intensity. This is functional circuit training at its finest. Either alone, in pairs or in larger groups, this zone will put your stamina to the test.

Zone 4 is for those wanting to Train, to break down movements to basic forms and rebuild fitness foundations from the ground up. Boxing bags, medicine balls, TRX suspension training, and power pivot options attract group classes of all levels to this space.

Zone 5 focuses on Speed. More of an individual training area, this is where personal bests are accomplished and then topped, time and time again. The unique turf floor underlies sleds, TRX training, functional fitness equipment, tire flips, medicine balls and other options to give visitors all the tools they need to get faster and better every day.

K-State’s recreation facility has approximately 4,500 users per day but that number is growing. The usage with the Performance Zones averages about 1,000 users per day, orders of magnitude above what the racquetball courts were attracting. “Anyone who has a membership to our facility has access to the space,” said Denise Simonds, communications and marketing assistant for Recreational Services at Kansas State University. “We have seen an increase in the numbers of users within the space since the opening. The numbers continue to go up.”