Wasps rugby on professional set up in the gym

Matrix Fitness UK is the official gym equipment supplier for rugby union team, Wasps. Through a partnership announced in July 2016, Matrix supplied an extensive range of advanced fitness equipment including cardiovascular equipment with live data functions, plate-loaded weights and Olympic-standard free weights. The installation is used for strength and conditioning training as well as injury rehabilitation and prevention programmes.

Wasps rugby Performance Co-ordinator – Trystan Bevan, gives his advice on some guiding principles regarding a professional set up in a gym as part of our Fitness Friday.

1. The Flow
a) Firstly there would be a “monitoring” area where people would weigh and assess their flexibility using things like a sit and reach. Also, a few iPad stands where you could download apps that monitor this for you and a force platform.
b) A mobility area (soft matted) with foam rollers and maybe some balance boards. Maybe a Pilates reformer here also.
c) The cardio area follows this- not only for a pre-weights warm up but a training area in its own right. This is ideal for the spin studio with the wide screen.
d) Weights room. This is where there are platforms and weight racks and dumbbells, this area ideally would have a track type area within it where people could do prowler pushes, box jumps or plyometrics.
e) Finally, the plate loaded area where people can do “session finishers” (i.e. high rep work) in a safe environment where there is no need to have someone spot them with those machines.
2. Equipment Choice.
Doubling up on some of the core equipment is a necessity. There is nothing worse than having a great kit but only one or two people can use it at a time. Core equipment for me would be bikes (10+), treadmills (3+) and also some ancillary equipment such as the step machines (climbmills). These climbmills are about to come back into vogue in a big way over the coming years (if there is a trickle down effect from Pro sport to mass use via social media exposure).
3. Weights.
a) I would double up on all dumbbells.
b) Having many weight racks and platforms is also useful (we have four, looking to expand to 6+ in the new facility) which then can accommodate 3 per platform at any time which increases the footfall use at any time in the gym. Having the J-Hooks for both ends of the racks also is important so that people can use inside and outside the rack at the same time.
c) Having plenty of space in the performance weights area is a necessity, however, this is simply not needed in the CV room or the plate loaded rooms. In fact, we have found that squeezing machines close to each other in the CV room and overloading the area actually creates an “intensity feel” when there are many people in there at the same time. This may seem a bizarre notion but it definitely exists.

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