Five Steps to Creating a Functional Training Space in Any Facility
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Five Steps to Creating a Functional Training Space in Any Facility

When you walk into the gym for a workout, how do you want the facility to make you feel? While stuffy and crowded are likely not the words that come to mind, unfortunately, that is the situation in many traditional fitness facilities today. Packed to be the brim with unused, bulky stationary equipment, it’s time to rethink how floor space is used and revamp our gyms. Just as you want to walk into the place you train and feel a sense of spaciousness, you want members to want to walk into your facility and feel inspired, and excited to be there.

With specialty fitness clubs offering highly engaging atmospheres and unique training opportunities, it’s important for more traditional fitness facilities to keep their spaces relevant in order to attract and retain members. The solution? Incorporating a simple functional training space into your facility. When integrated correctly, functional training can free up floor space, creating an open and exciting atmosphere within a fitness facility.

Easier said than done? Not necessarily. While incorporating functional training into a facility that is still packed with more traditional fitness equipment such as selectorized machines may seem daunting, creating this space really comes down to 5 key steps, all of which are attainable for almost any club.


Step 1: Designate and Clear Space in Your Facility

Despite what might come to mind when it comes to creating a functional training area, in most cases it is not necessary to create a completely new room, add walls, or fully remodel in order to provide a top-notch functional training experience for your members. Simply begin the process by assessing where in your facility this area could exist. Look at the corners and along the edges of your facility. Is there a space that is being underutilized or crammed with unused equipment?

Once you’ve designated an area, it’s time to take a serious look at your current equipment. Often times creating a functional space is a matter of rearranging existing equipment or completely eliminating unused equipment in order to clear an open area for functional training. Do you have multiples of the same type of machine that you could pare down? This step is key in clearing space for a more open and exciting floorplan. Swap out products that only allow for one-two movements per machine for pieces that offer more training options, such as soft-sided plyo boxes, and lifting racks.

Swap out products that only allow for one or two movements per machine for pieces that offer more training options, such as soft-sided plyo boxes and lifting racks.

Step 2: Determine How Much Space You Need

The floor space you dedicate to functional training can depend on a number of variables, including how large your facility is, how high the demand for functional training is in your facility, and more. To simplify determining the amount of space you need, a good rule of thumb is allotting for a minimum of 50 square feet of space per person you would like to have working out in the space at a time. For example, if you expect to have a class of 10 people training at a time in the space, you would want to plan for a space of at least 500 square feet.

Step 3: Create a Functional Feel

Incorporating just a couple key elements into your new space can transform a bland training area into an exciting, and unique space. Once your space has been designated, consider adding mirrors, a distinct color carpet or turf, and inspirational signage on the walls to motivate and set the tone. Though they may seem minor, these elements will help distinguish the space from the more traditional training areas of your facility. Incorporating a TANK™ training zone with turf creates a performance training feel and a clear distinction between other areas of your facility.

Incorporating a TANK™ training zone with turf creates a performance training feel and a clear distinction between other areas of your facility.

Step 4: Choose the Right Tools

Now that the vision of your functional training area is coming to life, it’s time to fill it with the right tools to engage your members and keep them coming back for more. Unlike traditional pieces of equipment such as selectorized machines, bars and bumper plates, etc., each of the tools in the following list take up very minimal amounts of space while providing endless training options. Aim to include pieces that offer a wide variety of usage and are intuitive to the end user. Some tools that fit this criterion are:

    • Slam Balls
    • Medicine Balls
    • Wall Balls
    • Dumbbells
    • Kettlebells
    • Stability Balls
    • Combat Bags
    • Suspension Straps
    • Pull-up Bars
    • Suspension Bars


Step 5: Utilize a Functional Storage and Suspension System

One of the biggest perceived obstacles when it comes to incorporating functional training into an existing facility is how to store the various tools and keep the space feeling organized. Because many of the functional training tools such as kettlebells, combat bags, and medicine balls, are smaller, loose items, facilities often struggle to find a home for them within their facility and as a result, training areas can become cluttered and feel messy. This is where incorporating a functional storage and suspension system comes into play.

When it came to a functional storage and suspension system solution in the past, facilities would often opt for center-space equipment that was designed for users to rotate around while training. While this setup could aid in creating a distinct training area, it oftentimes takes up too much unnecessary floor space and becomes unorganized. Instead, opt for a sleek wall-lining system that will open up more space for training, classes, and other equipment, while simultaneously providing more storage and unique training options. Overall, incorporating a wall-lining system will allow facilities to create a more open feel within their space that will promote more functional training.


The X-CREATE takes the features of an ideal storage system and merges it with endless training possibilities. Whether your facility needs a clean and organized storage solution or a sleek system for functional training, with a low-profile design that utilizes wall space instead of floor space, X-CREATE gives unlimited customization and allows facilities to maximize their area’ s potential.


Creating a functional training space in your facility is not only necessary and attainable, it will be beneficial for your members and the overall feel it gives your space.

Need more guidance in designing your training space?

For a free and custom functional training floor plan, contact X-TEAM Design at Torque Fitness at To learn more about X-CREATE view more here or call (763) 754-7533.