Recreation Management Rec Report - The Newsletter for Recreation, Sports & Fitness Facility Managers

Feature Story

January 2017

Texas Tech Focuses on Functional Fitness

By Dave Ramont

When it comes to fitness and working out, not everyone is training for the next marathon or playoff game. Some prefer to focus on functional fitness, which refers to exercises that improve daily activity. These activities might include running up and down stairs, pushing a lawn mower or shopping cart, gardening or shoveling snow, riding a bike, or keeping up with a toddler. Functional fitness challenges balance and coordination, while simultaneously improving strength and range of motion.

Peewee Roberson is the Rec Center director at Texas Tech University (TTU) in Lubbock. He describes functional fitness as training in a circuit with very little rest, similar to HIIT (high intensity interval training). He points out that cardio training doesn't hit the weightlifting aspect, and weight training focuses on strength, not cardio. "Functional training does both at the same time," he said.

And now, Texas Tech has introduced the Raider Escape Room, a functional training, personal training, and athletic and sports-conditioning facility. Decked out in the TTU Red Raiders official red, black and white, the 1,600-square-foot space features a 5-by-20-foot Speed Track for Escape Quad Sled and TIYR use. Escape Fitness provided other functional training equipment, including a 15-foot Octagon Hub Training System frame with three Hub Storage Walls, Plyosoft Boxes, Sandbags, Corebags, and Bulgarian Bags. There are Core Momentum Trainers, GRIPRs, Kettlebells, Slamballs, Medballs, Vertballs and a Speed Resister.

The University converted two unused racquetball courts into an indoor cycle zone, and two more into the Raider Escape Room. Partnering with Escape Fitness and Marathon Fitness, TTU set out to develop a unique workout area utilizing equipment that's different from traditional strength and cardio machines.

Christopher Eyre, West Coast account executive at Escape Fitness, believes that students want to have fun while getting fit, and said they wanted to create a colorful, dynamic space where students would want to spend time and work with the best trainers. "For Texas Tech to offer this area, solely designed for functional training, is exciting for everyone."

Athletes at TTU have their own workout space, according to Roberson, so therefore students, faculty and university staff have the opportunity to use the Raider Escape Room. The space works well for small-group training and for personal trainers, without disrupting cardio or weight room users.

Christa Davis, president of Marathon Fitness, said it was a wonderful experience to help Texas Tech bring their concept to reality. "They are innovators and are always looking at ways to enhance the student experience. We are anxious for them to put the training and systems into action. They will definitely put the FUN in functional!"

Roberson, the vision behind the recently opened facility, is very pleased with the new equipment, and mentions the Rope Pull, Slide, and Slamballs among his favorite items. He said the student body is learning more about the opportunities every day, and so far feedback from users has been excellent.

Recent Rec Report Feature Stories

Preventing Pool Closings - January 2017

Majority of U.S. Households Visit Attractions - January 2017

City of Henderson Awarded for Water Safety Programs - December 2016

Grant Brings Outdoor Fitness Area to Park - December 2016

Alliance Recommends Actions to Improve Kids' Activity Stats - December 2016

Retractable Enclosures Help YMCAs Cut Costs, Boost Membership - November 2016

Huge Project Seeks to Rebuild Monarch Habitats - November 2016

Report: Camping More Popular Than Ever - November 2016

ACSM Predicts 2017 Fitness Trends - November 2016

CDC: More Than One-Quarter of 50-Plus U.S. Adults Don't Exercise - October 2016

Park District Recognized for Collaboration Efforts - October 2016

Americans Support Increased Local Funding for Parks & Rec - October 2016

High School Sports Participation Up for 27th Consecutive Year - October 2016

National Park Service Celebrates 100 Years of Successful Partnerships - October 2016

Study Shows High Obesity Rates Among Student Athletes - September 2016

Forest Service Celebrates 100-Year-Old Campground - September 2016

Study Shows Artificial Turf Composition Influences Injury Prevention - September 2016

Study Shows Artificial Turf Composition Influences Injury Prevention - August 2016

Council Announces Release of Second Edition of Model Aquatic Health Code - August 2016

Study Finds Seniors, Women Less Likely to Use Parks - August 2016

Level Up Your Park With Pokémon Go - August 2016

Research Shows Light Pollution's Impact on Night Sky - July 2016

Trail-Oriented Development Eases Congestion, Encourages Activity - July 2016

Nonprofits Aim to Boost Inclusive Fitness Opportunities - July 2016

Research Shows Benefits of Nature for Older Adults - June 2016

Destination Play Comes to Draper, Utah - June 2016

New Report Breaks Down the Data on City Parks - June 2016

Virtual Reality, Immersion & Interaction Lead Amusement Park Trends in 2016 - June 2016

National Leaders Team Up to Promote Physical Activity Plan - May 2016

Growing Economic Confidence Means More Visitors for Attractions Industry - May 2016

SHAPE America Recognizes Just Dance School of the Year - May 2016

Surgeon General Visits Gregory Gym in Austin - May 2016

Are States Dropping the Ball on Keeping Kids Active? - April 2016

U.S. Masters Swimming Campaigns to Reduce Adult Drowning - April 2016

Grants for Urban Outdoor Recreation Available - April 2016

Physical Education Program Grant Competition Opens - April 2016

Nature Play Comes to Wildwood - March 2016

Miracle Swimming Opens First Pool Dedicated to Those With Water Fears - March 2016

Managing Concussion Risk: Communities Switch From Contact to Flag Football - March 2016

Gallup Study Looks at Long-Term Well-Being of Former Student Athletes - March 2016

Purdue University Simplifies & Boosts Security - February 2016

Fitness Fosters Better Mental Health - February 2016

Restricting Diving May Have Little to Do With Preventing Injury, Study Says - February 2016

National Parks Work to Protect Bats and Their Habitats - February 2016

USTA Helps Communities Boost Tennis Participation - February 2016

Organizations Aim to Clarify Dangers of Hypoxic Blackout - January 2016

NRPA Receives Grant to Celebrate Those Advancing Health Equity - January 2016

Expanding Education on Concussion in Sports - January 2016

Omnibus Budget Boosts Funding for National Parks, Extends LWCF - January 2016