How to Properly Set Up a School Weight Room

cleaning rubberFor schools looking for ways to increase fitness among students, one approach many institutions end up taking is the installation of a weight room. Weight rooms can be open to students before and after school, and having them as a part of gym class can help students learn the correct, safe ways to use equipment — rather than just assuming they can figure it out. Weight rooms are important for off-season fitness routines for several different sports.

Currently, about 82% of U.S. high schools have a gymnasium, and 79% have a weight room. If your school is considering installing a weight room, there are a few things they should keep in mind.

How to Organize the Weight Room

  • There are certain machines that are more popular in the weight room than others. Popularity needs to be balanced against usage, too: while many students might enjoy using the treadmill, there shouldn’t be so many treadmills taking up space that it’s impossible to get a full cardiovascular routine in.

  • Crowding a weight room is not a good idea. When machines are placed too close together, the likelihood of injury increases.

  • Why do so many weight rooms have mirrors? Mirrors allow those working out to easily check their form. Have mirrors along at least one wall of your weight room.

Important Safety Basics Kids Need to Learn

  • Understanding how to use the equipment properly should always take up Day One of any weight room. This can be as specific as knowing how to use the smith machine, or as general as knowing that decline sit ups can’t be done on the incline bench.

  • Spotters are individuals who watch others performing free weight exercises. Spotters can assist with form, or help relieve weight so as to prevent injury from heavy barbels.

  • Everyone’s training program is different. Whether it’s speed, repetition, weight, etc., many experts recommend not increasing by more than 10% of what your body was used to before; otherwise, you risk injury and overloading.

Taking Care of the Workout Room

  • After usage, students should be taught to wipe down equipment with anti-bacterial sprays or foams, and a clean towel.

  • Cleaning rubber floor mats on a weekly basis is important. Otherwise, the rubber athletic flooring can become damaged over time. First, the floor should be swept in order to get rid of debris. Then, rubber floor cleaning products should be used to ensure a safe, clean surface.

Do you have tips for cleaning rubber floors or preparing weight rooms?

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