University College Birmingham (UCB) has completed ‘Phase 2’ of a £100 million facility investment, which included a bespoke strength and conditioning teaching facility and a commercial gym.
“Functionality for both the student gym and the human performance centre was key, but the visual impact was also a driving factor.” Elaine Limond, Assistant Dean (Sport) at the University, explained. “We chose to work with Matrix Fitness as their tender demonstrated the added value they brought to their clients as well, their experience working with universities and their understanding of our vision.”
The new commercial gym has a mix of Matrix Fitness cardio equipment, equipped 7xi consoles, the Matrix Versa Dual Strength series of resistance equipment and due to student demand, an increased free weights area and functional training space including a Matrix Double Mega Rack.
The teaching space comprises a 550m2 Human Performance Centre (HPC) and 70m2 Human Performance Lab. The HPC includes a multitude of elite performance equipment and for teaching purposes, incorporates two 84” computer screens to show live data from the force plate.
“Both facilities are on the top floor of a stunning new building,” Limond continues. “The power racks run down the full length of a glass wall and are the first things visitors see, creating an impressive visual. Our staff and students love the new offering and gym memberships even increased by 50% in the first week of opening.”
Due to the differing demands of the two facilities, and the visual impact the University College Birmingham team wanted, Matrix Fitness supported with planning, solutions to build as well as equipment layout and selection.
“The Matrix Fitness team were supportive throughout and responded quickly to all our needs,” Limond explained. “They brought our vision to life and offered valuable insight throughout, even making suggestions for things that we hadn’t even considered. With their support, we have been able to futureproof but still offer flexibility as sport is a growth area within the University.”
“The Matrix equipment fitted the bill of what we needed functionally and visually and users have commented on how easy and interactive the Matrix 7xI consoles are to use.”
These new facilities give students insight to elite performance methods in preparation for their careers after graduating and attracts a range of athletes who are excited to train within the centre, further supporting student development.
Stephen Nutt, Head of Sales – Education at Matrix Fitness added: “This wasn’t just about gym equipment, but about supporting a team from start to finish of an incredibly visual install. The University College Birmingham team also involved their academic staff in the development which was a refreshing approach – lending itself to the design of elite performance facilities in record time.
“At Matrix Fitness, we like to take on partnerships, providing guidance and expertise in any aspect we can, from the initial design to the day the doors are open.”