What to Consider When Adding A Fitness Section To Your Martial Arts Gym

Many facilities these days have seen the benefit of adding fitness into their academy’s offerings. Whether it’s fitness programming or simply an area of the gym where members can lift weights, do cardio, or stretch, having an area dedicated to fitness can help add new members and improve membership retention. Adding a fitness section has many benefits, but what should gym owners consider before installation?

Find the Right Flooring

Your gym’s MMA or martial arts mats also function as a great surface for lifting weights. If you’re able to take a section of your current matted flooring and dedicate it to fitness, you’re in luck. Zebra mats are made of durable vinyl that not only holds up to years of wear and tear from training, but can also handle the contact of weights and fitness equipment. The density of the open-cell foam in Zebra mats also allows them to absorb the impact of dropped kettlebells and lifting plates without damage to the mats or the floor beneath.

Stability is also important when lifting weights or doing cardio, and Zebra mats will provide you with a stable surface to maintain safe fitness standards for your feet and ankles. Rubber flooring is also a second option for fitness areas. While rubber flooring provides less cushion, it can be a less expensive option for gym owners who need to buy additional flooring for a fitness section. Zebra offers rubber puzzle tiles that make for a quick and easy installation.  

Find the Right Space

How much space is necessary for a fitness section in your gym? This is entirely dependent on what you plan on using the space for. In smaller gyms, a 10×10 area is enough for a bar and plates, as well as a selection of kettlebells, both of which will allow your students to undertake a comprehensive fitness regimen of compound lifts as well a smaller muscle exercises. Kettlebells also provide a strong cardio workout when used in a HIIT routine. If you own a larger school and are looking to put in a more comprehensive fitness section that might include monkey bar rigs and/or heavy bags, you’ll need to consider not only the dimensions of the equipment but the space required around the equipment in order to perform the exercises safely and effectively. 

Find the Right Equipment

Outside of flooring, the ultimate question for a fitness space is “what should I put in it?” This depends on many things, including the space you have available and the goals of the space. Are you adding the space so your martial arts students are able to increase their muscular endurance and cardiovascular ability for their training, or are do you intend to add fitness to your academy’s program offerings? For the former, a simple bar with plates in a few different weights, as well as a variation of kettlebells, may be more than sufficient. If you’re adding to fitness to your gym’s program offerings, you will want to make more of an investment in equipment. Zebra has monkey bar rigs available in several different sizes that will allow your students to participate in more serious lifting, as well as a larger variety of exercises.

A heavy bag rack, if you don’t have one already in your gym, will provide you with the ability to have many students in the same space for a cardio kickboxing class. This can also increase the variety in your gym, especially for jiu jitsu and traditional martial arts gyms like taekwondo, karate, and aikido.  

Considering adding a fitness section to your gym? Contact Zebra to discuss the benefits, receive advice on design, and get a quote for flooring and equipment.