By Jordan Fitness Director of Education, Allan Collins


1 - User Demographic?

For any product that a business wants to promote or sell, they have to look at the demographic they are trying to attract with it. If you are converting an area within your facility to a functional space, then what is the main demographic of your members that you want to “push” to use it? A functional area for an older customer group, would be slightly different than that of a younger group. This also applies to difficulty as well, as some rigs are set up for challenging Crossfit style workouts, which many average gym users would find impossible,


2 - Changeability?

How easy it is to change the layout of your new facility or functional area? Everyone gets bored after a while, and if your space looks the same in six months, the users will start to get bored - even if they can’t identify why. We recommend painting a wall a new colour every other month (this shows members you are continuing to invest in your business), new wallpaper designs every 6-12 months, and changing the layout of your training area.


3 - Add ons?

Does you functional training rig allow you to “add on” sections as you wish? Or change the arrangement of monkey bars? Do you have the space or budget to buy some new equipment every quarter (even if it’s just a few hundred £s)? As new products are unveiled at our annual tradeshows, it is better to be able to have new “toys” for your training team and members to play with to offset the boredom factor.


4 - Space?

The main issue that trainers complain of is a lack of space. It is critical to move and perform our nine movement patterns for good functional training (and therefore results), but many club managers just “stuff” equipment into a functional space to fill the area. It is much better to have equipment stored at the side, on racks, or on the walls, to free up the actual training area to its fullest potential. Whether it’s a kettlebells session, pad work, plyometrics, strongman or vintage training, or just playing with the ropes, your PTs and members will have the space to do what they want.


5 - What’s this for?

You have to know what equipment is good for, before you buy it! Your sales team needs to know what it is to sell it to members! Your fitness team needs to know how to use it to get results safely! And, your members have to be shown and persuaded to try new things to get the results they want! Building a new functional area or facility is not enough - you have to educate buyers, sales, fitness and members to get the most out of your new functional investment.


Allan Collins is Director of Education at Jordan Fitness ( and author of the new Complete Guide to Functional Training.



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