From spinning to Pilates, fitness classes are filling up fast in these newly redesigned facilities.
Members looking to make health and wellness a priority this year can do so right on campus. With more clubs focused on fitness these days, newly renovated spaces are making room for personal training, group exercise classes and expanded programming for mind and body. Suddenly, New Year’s resolutions are becoming a whole lot easier to keep.
Refreshed and Revived
To address the growing interest in health and wellness among its membership, Phoenix (Ariz.) Country Club renovated its outdated fitness center and group exercise spaces this past July. “The last time our fitness center was remodeled was 2009, and we were ready for a complete overhaul,” explains Director of Sales & Marketing Shannon Landers. The end result has enabled the club to broaden its fitness offerings, including group classes and personal training.
The redesign project, which lasted three weeks, was a team effort with Technogym, whose benches were added to the group exercise room. Older carpeting was replaced with rubber flooring, chosen for its thickness and safety, particularly when weights are inadvertently dropped. “The flooring has a soft ‘give’ for high-impact activities or plyometrics done by members,” says Landers.
Within the 6,275-sq.-ft. fitness center are performance treadmills, rowers, two massage tables, two Rogue Echo bikes, a True Stretch Cage and a dedicated space for agility workouts. Each of the 1,019-sq.-ft. classrooms can be opened to accommodate a larger setup. Soundproofing will be integrated in this studio space next year, while lighting will be updated in the group exercise room and fitness center.
Since the renovated spaces’ opening, the club has experienced an uptick in member usage, particularly among the younger demographic. “Adding a squat rack and a designated area for heavier lifters has made a huge impact,” notes Landers. New equipment has not only benefitted members working with personal trainers, but has enabled the club to expand its group exercise programming. “We can better serve our members, ranging from the general population to members with sports backgrounds,” she adds.
A Tale of Two Studios
Creating two distinct fitness spaces—each tailored to different workout regimes—prompted The Olympic Club in San Francisco, Calif., to overhaul its facilities. According to Athletic Director Nick Lusson, both areas were overdue for a refresh. “As the club was coming out of Covid, it was clear that we needed to invest in our group fitness studios to bring them up to Olympic Club standards and create an atmosphere that was attractive and safe for members to return to,” he says.
The newly renovated group fitness and yoga studios were reintroduced to members last May and have since become well-frequented.
Previously designed as one large room—and now separated by a permanent wall and door—each of the 900-sq.-ft. fitness zones are laid out by activity. The spin studio is stocked with a fleet of new bikes positioned near three large monitors, enabling instructors to utilize interactive rides, class competitions or metric tracking. In contrast is the open floor plan in the yoga studio, where mirrors on two walls do double duty: providing illumination and serving as a backdrop for dance classes and future rowing classes.
A major factor that impacted this redesign was member safety, particularly following the height of the pandemic. “Ultimately, it was—and still is—a tough sell for many to be in an enclosed space with a group of people, breathing hard and sweating for an hour,” explains Lusson. He credits the club’s facilities crew for adding new vents and filters throughout the studios for increased sanitization.
Another challenge that arose during construction was sound and its intended result. “You want a spin studio to be loud and energetic, while you want the yoga studio to be a sanctuary,” notes Lusson. To manage these competing vibes, the team devised several sound-mitigation strategies, including soundproofing in the walls, a waterfall in the yoga studio to create white noise, sound panels on the spin studio ceiling and the placement of speakers in the spin studio that reduce crossover noise.
Lighting also came into play when distinguishing the group fitness and yoga studios. Two sets of programmable LED systems on the ceiling provide appropriate lighting for the intensity of spin class. On the flip side, the yoga studio contains recessed indirect light for a more calming effect. Lusson notes the equally important “functionality of doing poses on your back, but not looking into direct light.”
Smart design choices such as these have enabled The Olympic Club to enhance its fitness offerings. Usage numbers have risen steadily since last spring, with some areas exceeding pre-Covid numbers. Spin classes are held in a setting conducive to intense workouts, while yoga classes benefit from an a more thoughtful design. “[This] is creating a more optimized experience and something our members and staff are proud of,” notes Lusson.
Going Beyond the Green
While golf may be the main draw for members at Firestone Country Club in Akron, Ohio, it’s not the sole focus of fitness-minded players. In fact, the increasing awareness of golf performance’s connection to overall health and wellness prompted the club to build a new fitness center, which was unveiled in August 2021.
“We saw an opportunity to add a valuable amenity that would serve as a benefit to members and guests, while supporting the growing relationship between golf and fitness,” says Corporate VP of Fitness Michele Meleski.
To maximize the output of its 940-sq.-ft. space, the design was tailored to golf performance components that would improve overall movement and mobility. The club worked with Technogym to formulate a floor plan divided into two zones—cardio and functional training/recovery—housing six cardiovascular machines, free weights and a stretching section. Also of note is the center’s recovery station, featuring percussive recovery equipment, self-myofascial tools and a stretch cage. As further evidence of its commitment to fitness, Firestone’s guest suites contain Theragun Wave Rollers to provide in-room fitness amenities.
With such attention to detail, the club also personalized its fitness facility to make members feel more at home.
“We wanted to create a welcoming space that spoke to the iconic nature of Firestone, so we incorporated wall graphics of the course and flat-screen televisions that offer golf-specific workouts,” adds Meleski.
Now that Firestone members have been able to take full advantage of the fitness center, their positive experiences both on and off the course have cemented the club’s reputation as a full-scale golf and fitness facility. “Members have migrated their personal workouts to the club, engaged in pre-round preparations and, with a TPI-certified instructor on staff, gained insight on best practices to integrate a tailored fitness program into enjoyment of the game,” notes Meleski.
Summing It Up
> Fitness centers are being restructured to better serve member need for more room and enhanced programming.
> Mapping out separate zones for different fitness equipment promotes safety and ease of use.
> Lighting and soundproofing choices vary, based on group exercise classes or personal training.
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