In part 1 of this series, we discussed the basics of creating a strategic plan to develop your dream weight room that best suits your population and your plan to train your athletes and students. This time around, we are going to discuss the different steps you should take when remodeling or seeking to build a new facility, and how to start your strategic plan on great footing (i.e. flooring.)
By now you should have given a lot of thought to analyzing the purpose of your weight room and the needs that you, your population, and your facility have to meet the purposes you have identified. If you need to review my suggestions on defining the purpose of your facility and conducting a needs assessment, please navigate to part 1 of this series.
Moving forward, we have two very divergent paths that each of us will take when designing the facility that meets all of our needs and dreams. For a large segment of those reading this article, you will have to remodel or redesign your weight room or training facility because the budget for your facility will not allow for new construction. A fortunate few, myself included, will have the opportunity to build a new facility although budget restrictions will always put limits on what you can and will do in your new build. Collectively, we can all follow this basic plan when building our strategic plan to remodel or build our weight room or training facility.
If you have the ability to determine exactly how big your facility is going to be and exactly where it is placed without answering to anyone else, then you are higher on the food chain than most of us that will read this article. Some of you like myself will be asked for input, but the final decision will rest with someone with a bigger desk than yours. So, identify what you can and can not control, don’t sweat things that you can’t change such as size of the room, etc.
Start with a basic drawing of your weight room as a blank slate. No equipment just walls and measurements. If you are building a new facility, then obviously an architect will be involved so you can work off of those plans, but if you are remodeling your own room, then use an app such as MagicPlan on the iPhone to quickly measure and map your space.
Stand in your room and see it as an empty space. Start to visualize where you would place equipment and what equipment you would want and need if you were starting from scratch. Now perhaps you aren’t starting from scratch, but I think it is valuable to have that vision of exactly what you would want if you could afford anything. Ask yourself this one crucial question: “How can we safely utilize as much of this space as possible?”
I highly encourage you to visit the NSCA Strength and Conditioning Professional Standards and Guidelines document that you can find here. Specifically, look at Standard 4: Facility & Equipment Set-Up, Inspection, Maintenance, Repair, and Signage. This standard gives you some great guidance on safety, utility, and all manners of facility management.
Many of the strength training and conditioning equipment companies vying for your business have any number of great tools, graphic designers, and brilliant minds to help you turn your vision from something in your mind into a design that you can see on paper. For example, I found the help of the great people at Sorinex and Legend Fitness to be crucial in helping me put my vision on paper.
In a remodel or a new construction project, you are going to have roadblocks. If you have a mindset of flexibility and creativity going into the project, then you are going to be able to handle the inevitable roadblocks you will face more productively.
Finally, as we are talking about the foundation of your strategic plan in remodeling or building a new facility, I think this is the right time to talk about the foundation for your training: your training surface or floor. Here are some key points I think you must consider when choosing your surface:
Here are some key points I think you must consider when choosing your surface:
Next time, I’ll be discussing “Part 3: ”Choosing the Racks, Rigs, and Machines to Fit Your Dream Room.” We’ll discuss how to fill your room with the right structures to fit your needs and purpose.
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