CrossFit fever has swept the nation. Before public gyms, CrossFit was primarily used by police, military, and special operations outfits as a quick and challenging way to build both physical and mental toughness. Today, this integrated style of exercise has grown in popularity among men and women of all ages and backgrounds who want to increase strength, speed, and stamina.
Gym mats and other protective gear are a necessity for CrossFit gyms. CrossFit routines (or WODs – Workout of the Day’s) often involve performing numerous exercises in a sequential manner without pausing for rest. Most exercises require weighted bars and/or dumbbells, and almost every exercise is performed in an explosive manner. Like kettlebell studios, CrossFit gyms need the right kind of mats and gym tiles to prevent floor damage and prevent athletes from sustaining serious injury.
The first thing to consider when investing in mats for your CrossFit gym is impact resistance. As mentioned, many CrossFit exercises involve explosively lifting and dropping heavy weights. Those weights can range from 50 to more than 400 pounds, depending on the gym and the Workout of the Day. With so much weight moving up, down, and horizontally, it’s easy to imagine how floor surfaces could take a serious beating.
Many CrossFit gyms have an industrial feel. Concrete floors, garage doors, and unfinished ceilings create an ambience that shatters preconceptions of what a “gym” should feel like, reminding attendees that classes are all about fast, efficient, and high intensity total body training. Despite such a theme, gym mats are still needed to protect floors from accruing damage.
Shock absorption is another variable to consider when evaluating mats for your CrossFit gym. Whereas above we discussed impact between free weights and the ground, here we’re talking about the impact that occurs between floor and athlete.
In addition to explosive free weight exercises, CrossFit workouts also involve total body exercises like jump squats, wall ball tosses, and other exercises that involve aggressive jumping, squatting, and lunging. Without mats, the impact from these exercises can injure muscles, joints, and tendons. Gym mats do more than simply protect athletes from injury, however. By improving traction and reducing shock, mats also help athletes to push their bodies and get more out of each workout.
Recommended products: Everlast rolls/ tiles, or Mega Lock Gym Tiles.
Another variable to consider when shopping for gym mats is speed. Is the area a place where jogging, sprinting, or jumping rope is going to be performed? If so, it is worth considering that thick gym mats might actually impede performance. More energy is needed to overcome mats when they “give,” which can ultimately disrupt fast-paced exercises.
In areas where CrossFit athletes are training for speed, it’s worthwhile to explore matting options that offer minimal shock absorption. These mats might be thinner or less shock absorbent, but they will still provide floor and athlete protection without disrupting performance.
Recommended products: Equinox gym mats, available in piece-together segments that can easily be combined to cover large areas seamlessly.
Health and Hygiene
Not all areas of your CrossFit gym will be intended for exercise, however. Many facilities feature showers, locker rooms, and changing areas as added amenities for patrons. In these areas, a special type of matting or tile product can be used to reduce slips and improve overall facility hygiene.
Recommended products: Visit our locker room matting online store to shop a variety of soft yet durable mats and tiles made with drainage and hygiene in mind.
Own a CrossFit Gym? Contact Us!
For more than 30 years, Eagle Mat and Floor Products has been a leader in the rental and sale of commercial safety matting. We are pleased to offer industry leading gym mats, tiles, and rolls that protect floors while helping athletes to perform their best. For more information, contact an Eagle Mat sales representative at 1-877-333-1018.