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New Pits on the Block

We at By GMR have had the pleasure of working with the good folks at Bull Run Academy of Gymnastics out of Warrenton, VA, on putting together their beautiful new gymnastics gym. They gave us the dimensions of their building and the list of equipment they have and what they wanted to add and asked us to help them design the best, most safety conscious and space efficient layout for their facility. We discussed the pits they wanted and — very importantly: what types of skills they wanted to train into those pits and how they wanted them laid out.

We talked gymnastics gym design. We talked gymnastics classes. We talked gymnastics gym flow.

We then came up with a blue print of all the equipment and mats for the gym itself. We provides them blueprints of the gym with the pits. We provided blueprints of the pits only to their contractors. We also provided several 3D rendered views so the gym owners could see what their gym would look like from all the vantage points they wanted.

If you’ve been following this blog for any length of time, at all, you may have picked up on the fact that Mike is a bit of a gymnastics pit design nerd. This is literally the 6th post we’ve done on the subject, lol.

But, there’s a lot to dig into on the topic! What’s special about this particular gym pit post is that this one offers photos of a gymnastics pit made with concrete blocks rather than poured concrete! Also, it offers a good look at the beginnings of a gymnastics pit in its early construction. So without further ado…

Trench 1

Here you see the single bar trainer and trench pit leg attached to a 24 inch resi pit. It will contain a 8ft x 18 ft curved trench bar mat. In this instance, they made the entire trench 7 feet deep and built a wood platform for the resi, to sit on. The wood you see here is a temporary framing that helps keep the walls straight while they dry. All of the concrete blocks are filled with concrete and reinforced with rebar. As it should be with every pit, they are built in accordance with their local building codes. 

Pit 1, 2

This photo shows the main pit which is 18 ft x 34 ft and 7 feet deep. The pit only needs to be six feet deep, but the wanted it to be 7 feet deep to accommodate the trench bar mat.

Pit 1, 3

This photo offers a really good top view of the concrete blocks filled with concrete and their rebar reinforcements. You can also see how they are tied into the concrete floor via the rebar and the poured concrete. We can’t stress it enough. Check your local building codes! We know of a gym that didn’t build to code and they had to scrap everything and start over. Don’t let that happen to you!

Pit 1, 3jpg

A little more light in the above photo shows the concrete block walls, the rebar and the poured concrete into the blocks. If you look closely, at the bottom, you can see rebar going across the bottom, as they wait for those walls to get good and dry before they finish up and pour the floor.

Pit 1, 4

Above, you see the wood framing surrounding the top edge of the last layer of concrete blocks where it meets and ties in the concrete floor. Contractors will pour the concrete over the rebar reinforcements. When the wood is removed what will remain is the flat plane of the top of the wall of the pit!

Pit 2, 1

What you see here, above, is where we will be installing an in-ground trampoline pit with an open into the main pit. We’ll be fabricating a steel beam to go at the end to serve as the end of the trampoline frame, so it can fit at the open end that spills out into the main pit. Gym owners attach their trampoline to their foam pit so they can do drills and train trampoline skills into the main pit.

Pit 2, 2

Here, they’ve got the floor poured and tied into the concrete walls of the main pit.

Pit 2, 3

Single bar trainer trench poured and tied into the floor.

Pit 2, 4

As with a poured concrete wall pit, you want everything smooth, straight and even.

Pit 2, 5

Here, the contractors are smoothing out the concrete on the floor of the main pit. Nice, before and after shot of the pre-pour rebar reinforced raw floor juxtaposed with the smooth concrete floor next to it.

Check back for updates in a future post on the next steps in our Sag Bed Pit System install!


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