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Transforming Island Health & Fitness Into a Cutting-Edge Functional Training Facility
Since the completion of this project Island Health & Fitness has had the largest increase in memberships ever, despite the pandemic.
Island Health & Fitness in Ithaca, New York, is a state-of-the-art 65,000 square foot complex. It is the region’s premier medically-based health and wellness facility that provides innovative, whole-health programming to the community.
The client’s main goal was to reinvigorate the facility and tailor their offerings to attract a younger demographic in the region, which is home to Cornell University and Ithaca College.
Both the fitness equipment and the layout of Island Health & Fitness was very antiquated, so they partnered with Escape Fitness and Advantage Sport & Fitness to breathe new life into the gym.
Aside from rethinking their current equipment inventory, our team also delivered gym design solutions to create an environment that inspires.
One of the first things gym-goers and members notice when walking through the doors of a club is the equipment. We brought in new modalities and functional fitness tools to replace the selectorized equipment they had.
The main challenge the client faced is that they were very comfortable with their cur+rent clientele who were using the outdated equipment on the training floor. They were concerned that their members, who were happy doing the same routine over and over again, would fight the change. That meant we needed to deliver an inviting and inclusive environment for the current demographic while also ensuring that the younger demographic they were trying to attract would be engaged on the training floor.
Escape designed a custom Octagon training frame to fit their space that featured a variety of accessories and attachments. The client asked for access to monkey bars and we integrated the bridge into a linear frame that stretches the length of the facility versus taking up a ton of square footage.
Functional equipment included:
- Bulgarian Bags
- Competition Kettlebells
- And more!
Behind the track, we developed a turf area to allow space for user to train with the Quad Sled and all of the functional tools Escape is known for.
In the end, the space was transformed into a cutting-edge functional training facility.
“Advantage originally installed strength equipment at Island Health & Fitness about 15 years ago when the club first opened. The goal in 2020 was to update the entire strength floor and we wanted the update to reflect what's changed in the marketplace of strength conditioning," says John Murray, Owner of Advantage Sport & Fitness. "Strength training used to look like everybody seated at a machine. Later, selectorized or plate loaded machines became most popular, and now a high percentage of people are doing exercises that we would call 'ground based,' standing on their feet. We included functional fitness and weightlifting equipment in the redesign due to the increasing popularity of CrossFit and boutique studios and installed all-new rubber flooring with inlaid lifting platforms to accommodate that style of training. The updates we provided created a facility that is drastically different in terms of what it offers members. My understanding is since the completion of this project they've had the largest increase in memberships ever, despite the pandemic.”