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The Questions You Need to Ask to Implement Rigs at Your Fitness Facility


About the Author: Keith Smith is a Life Fitness Academy (LFA) Global Master Trainer based in London. He has been a part of Life Fitness for more than 20 years.

Performance small group training has been gaining popularity quickly at fitness facilities. Rigs can serve as a centerpiece to this exciting type of programming.

There's a vast amount of rigs and rig configurations available to choose from, and deciding on the type of rig could lead a facility to the point of ‘choice paralysis’, or even more disastrous, making the wrong rig decision. Several factors need to be considered and questions answered when deciding on the right type of rig for your facility and your training philosophy.



  • Is your facility about developing performance or is it about encouraging participation?
  • What is the demographic of the members—active agers, millennials, etc.?
  • Is the mission to support experienced exercisers or is it about supporting individuals returning to, or just beginning to, exercise?
  • Is the addition of a rig meant to encourage new members or to keep up with industry trends?


Keep in mind your facility culture or message. A facility that stresses performance and has a young, athletic and experienced exerciser base will have different needs for a rig configuration and programming than a facility with inexperienced exercisers.


Veteran exercisers may already be familiar with proper OIympic lifting form and therefore require little guidance during a group workout. New exercisers need instruction from experienced trainers, which takes time.



  • Will the rig be the focal point of the facility?
  • Does the rig need to be positioned against a wall?
  • Is there enough ceiling height for more complex rig activities to be performed effectively?
  • Can the rig be positioned with enough space to allow a trainer to observe the exercises fully?
  • How many exercisers do you plan on training at one time?


If space is not an issue, rig configuration options are endless. But when space is limited, it dictates how the rig must be set up. Rigs can be configured in varying sizes to accommodate any space or small group training class size.


Hammer Strength HD Athletic Rigs can be used as the centerpiece of a room to create an exciting training area.

HD Athletic Perimeter Rigs save space by allowing for placement against a wall.

HD Athletic Bridge, a Hammer Strength rig setup that's coming soon, creates an overhead training space, which allows for a large group exercise beneath it.



  • What training activities do you plan to use the rig for? Strength training, traditional exercises, multiple people performing the same exercise, multiple bars moving at the same time?
  • Is the primary use of the rig for group training?
  • Does the rig need to be customized for specific training applications?
  • Does your staff have the knowledge, skills and confidence to deliver small group training activities to members?


Nearly limitless custom configurations mean that rigs can be created for a wide range of training modalities. And rigs can be easily outfitted for both group training and individual workouts. It's important to keep staff trained so that they can offer exciting and effective small group training options to exercisers.


With bars and ample bumper plate storage, a rig can be well-rounded Olympic strength training area. By adding training options like kettlebells, medicine balls and resistance bands, you can greatly expand the offering and appeal to a wide range of exercisers.

There are plenty of options when it comes to choosing the rig to build your small group training around.

Training rigs
Small Group Training
functional training
Keith Smith


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