In the world of weight training and fitness, creating a workout environment that includes state-of-the-art equipment and room to move is vital to its success. Indiana University (IU), Bloomington, has accomplished that with its new 25,000 square foot weight room. It is almost five times the size of the previous location.
Designed with Mondo flooring, the new facility has been welcomed by students and faculty alike. With the installation of Mondo Inlaid Platforms, athletes can execute their weightlifting routines in the same way they do on traditional raised platforms. However, the Mondo Inlaid Platform is safer with no chance of tripping or falling, it is easy to maintain and can be used for a variety of exercise routines.
In many gyms, men and women who are serious about weight training have to use raised platforms in one area of the room. This is done primarily to minimize damage to standard surfaces with the sudden impact of weights being dropped. The Mondo Inlaid Platform flooring has eliminated the raised surfaces, opening the workout area and also reducing bottom line in costs.
“Our whole floor is flush and seamless, including the area where the athletes stand for strength training movements,” says Mark Wateska, assistant athletic director for strength and conditioning.
“We bought 20 Inlaid Platforms and incorporated them into the overall flooring. This saved us about $40,000 compared with what we would have spent on the same number of eight by eight wooden platforms.”
Within the IU athletic department, there are 24 sports engaging 650 athletes. At any given time, this workout facility can have over 100 people in the room. “The Inlaid Platforms gives us well-defined workspaces for when we do certain moves in the weight room. But we are not locked into that configuration given the flat, seamless design,” says Wateska.
The floor is subjected to constant, daily rigors and it has held up very well, says Wateska. There is a constant flow of people in the room for 12 hours a day. One area at the IU facility is used for traditional weight lifting. Another smaller area is used for flexibility, quickness and agility. The flat surface will allow athletes to do exercised such as walking lunges,
The facility houses approximately 150 pieces of equipment, over 11 tons of dumbbells and over 40 tons of free weights for IU athletes to use.
Different color patterns are used to designate the workout area, which has significant grip and feel so athletes are not slipping.
The primary use of the IU weight room is for intercollegiate athletes, but Wateska also sees use for Mondo flooring in other locations. “This flooring would be an excellent choice for any commercial gym or exercise facility. Even in our facility, we have stair masters, bikes, ellipticals, treadmills and a tremendous amount of weight lifting equipment. Mondo flooring stands up to all of this traffic.”
Inlaid Platforms are made from durable Mondo’s Sport Impact and Ramflex vulcanized rubber flooring and are specially designed to withstand heavy static and dynamic loads, such as free weights and cardiovascular equipment.
Wateska says his prior experience with Mondo flooring was a major consideration in Indiana University’s decision to install Mondo Inlaid Platforms. This choice was determined because of the floor’s feel and performance. “There’s good rigidity to it, but it has a little play to it which allows us to do a lot of exercises with minimal impact to the athletes’ joints,” he says.
Wateska often sees examples of Mondo flooring in other locations. “I've traveled with our teams to several other universities across the country, and I’ve even seen Mondo flooring installed in the locker rooms. In many cases, the athletes are wearing cleats. This means the floor has to be very durable.”
Like all Mondo flooring products, the Inlaid Platforms are easy to clean with standard soap and water. “As you can imagine with the room of this size, ease of cleanup is crucial. And for sanitary conditions, Mondo flooring is the best.” Wateska says the antibacterial and antimicrobial properties of this flooring are very important. “Anytime you get a lot of people working in a hot, sweaty, humid environment, it creates a breeding ground for bacteria.”
The IU floor is cleaned every day, and a machine is used once a week for a deep clean. “You can use common cleaning products and they do a great job. We try to minimize the spread of colds or other bacteria in these workout rooms,” says Wateska.
The center is located on the bottom level of the new athletics facility, with glass windows looking out to the field. When people walk into the Indiana University weight room they are immediately taken by the intricate design of the Mondo flooring, which has the IU logo set seamlessly into the Inlaid Platform.
“If I was to design this over again, or go to another university, my choice in flooring would still be Mondo,” says Wateska.