Functional fitness is defined as training that readies the body for our daily activities, and it’s a massively growing trend in gyms and campus rec facilities globally.

Andrew Gavigan, Aktiv Director of Education, spoke with Campus Rec Magazine about best practices in design toward creating the best user experience.

He shared that finding the right balance of space allocation, trends and technology that will sustain the test of time are all key.

One of those is making more space for dynamic movement modalities such as Yoga, meditation, barre and HiiT training. “Managers and directors are decreasing their cardio machines by in some cases as much as 25%, according to trend reports from various industry groups,” said Gavigan.

Floorplan changes campus rec professionals should consider:

  • “Having the right piece of equipment is merely the first step. A kettlebell isn’t living up to its value unless someone picks it up. Creating a space that is functionally accessible with all the right tools and the room to perform dynamic movements matters, too.”
  • “Everything should be stored in its proper place and easy to find. The area should be clean and inviting, the movement space needs to be clearly defined, and participants need to have enough space to feel comfortable, yet still be part of the group community.”
  • “The space also needs to be perceptually approachable. No complicated storage procedures, easy and intuitive guidance, and a variety of both novel and recognizable exercise equipment.”
  • “Finally, spaces that can flex to facilitate multiple trending modalities will stand the test of time.”

4 Best Practices for Campus Recreation Professionals to keep in mind when it comes to creating a welcoming functional fitness space:

  1. “Begin with the experience you want to create, and then design and add products to facilitate that.”
  2. “Make sure the space is physically approachable for all: There is enough space to accommodate different modalities and movement styles, there are zones that are intuitive in terms of use, and the right balance of accessories, products and open areas is on point.”
  3. “Be mindful of future shifts in trends, and design and build toward being easily able to flex and accommodate.”
  4. “And finally, communicate and share the values of the space to faculty and students, and use this messaging to drive engagement.”

You can read the full Campus Rec Magazine article here.