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It Dawned On Us…

What our coaches and athletes need is a multi-purpose training mat which features a built-in 24 inch high spotting block attached to an incline that transitions down to a lower end that is still 12 inches high.

Most wedge shaped mats of this shape transition all the way down to a 2 inch lower end. However, our new “Dawn Mat”, named after Coach Dawn Campos who came to us with the custom matting request, allows a soft, skill cushion to be positioned at the end of the incline.

That 12 inch low end butting up to the softer skill cushion matters because it allows for that softer landing so important to gymnastics drills and new skill acquisition. The Dawn Mat can be used in the either the horizontal or vertical position for training variety of optional and compulsory skills!


Who You Gonna Call?


Mike Raines.

39 years in the gymnastics equipment manufacturing business + 17 years coaching men’s gymnastics + 7 years as a competitive gymnast + 4 years judging men’s gymnastics…

Gives Mike a edge others just can’t offer.

Mike’s designed and helped gym owners design hundreds of gymnastics gyms over what will be 40 years this September. He would like to share the benefit of that experience with you. He loves this stuff!

Mike said, “Let’s write a blog post about how people can call me on my cell, anytime. I don’t have office hours.”

I said, “Well, Mike. We probably shouldn’t put your cellphone number on the Internet. There are programs that scan for stuff like that; plus, it’s the Internet, things can get weird.”

So, we decided we’d write the post to say that folks who have gymnastics gym questions can call the office number 1-800-241-9249 ext. 226, and from there, they can get his cell, if you need to reach him after regular business hours. Though, truth be told, you might reach him at his extension on the weekend, anyway. He’s often there on a Saturday when it’s quiet.

Of course, if you’re one of those people who hates the phone, he’s available via email, too!

Some of his 39 years in the gymnastics equipment industry include the 17 years he spent in a gymnastics gym coaching men’s gymnastics and his 4 years judging. He wanted to be sure and say that some of the aforementioned years were concurrent.

Mike: “I’m not Methuselah!” Lol.

Those years did teach Mike how gyms work; how they work best. When you own and operate a gymnastics gym, you want life in your club to flow! A gymnastics gym is a dynamic place: with its classes, kids and coaches; parents, parties; sales and merch; meets, events; everything from elite athlete training to recreational fun and parents nights out and all that a gym brings to a community, a gym’s got to run like a train station in Zurich.

Safety is just as mission critical to the gym, as it is to a train station when you’ve got tons of kids going as hard as they can, in all different directions. The marriage of gymnastics equipment manufacture and coaching taught Mike how to operate a gym safely. A big portion of your gym’s safety lies in a gym’s design and the way your equipment is laid out across the floor plan.

Buy the right equipment. Get it laid out for maximum efficiency and safety. Get it installed properly. Keep it maintained safely. Call Mike.

Got questions about what you need for your cheer program? Your kid’s rec program? Preschool, martial arts, dance, barre fitness, dance? Ask Mike.

If you’re putting in a new pit and need the specs for the concrete or you want to upgrade from the outdated, tight trampoline bed to our Sag Bed Pit system for better deceleration, Call Mike.

Mike can help you figure out which mats are right for you, source the right part for those AAI or Spieth America bars that need tweaking — we sell By GMR as well as all the major manufacturers of gymnastics equipment—. He’s an expert in logistics and can get you what you need – fast – the cheapest way possible. He can easily walk you through an installation.

Mike’s nigh on 40 years in gymnastics will make you feel right at home asking that complex question that can’t be categorized, but will make total sense when you lay it out with Mike on the phone.

Don’t Break Your Mother’s Heart.


With every gymnastics pit system we design or sell, we always send along a gym pit warning poster that lists pit safety protocols. We recommend gyms, clubs or schools that train gymnasts using a gymnastics pit post these safety protocols near their pit, so that coaches and gymnasts will see it and be reminded that training acrobatic skills into a pit can be dangerous and is not to be taken lightly just because it’s commonly done in the sport of gymnastics.

Several of these protocols are self-explanatory, but some of the reasoning behind them might not be so obvious to the newbie coach or athlete or to their parents, so we thought we’d do this post to talk a little about our gym pit safety protocols and what reasoning lies behind them in the hopes that knowing they WHY behind these safety principles will help keep more folks safe out there.

  1. Use the pit only under supervision of a gymnastics professional.
  2. Always make sure the foam is adequately fluffed before using the pit. There should be a mountain of cubes to the point of overflowing the edge of the pit. The foam should be fluffed up after every 3 to 5 entries.

If your pit doesn’t look like a mountain of cubes, then that could indicate the cubes are compressed or that you don’t have enough cubes in the pit. Having a pit which doesn’t have enough cubes or whose foam pit cubes are compressed will not displace or absorb the incoming forces of the gymnast’s body and thus will not offer the cushioned landing or slowing down that a pit is there to provide. Landing into a pit full of compressed foam cubes would be like landing onto just a big block of foam.


We’ve Set a New Bar!

Bar Texture

New to the meet circuit, Gymnova has put out a new FIG approved uneven bar rail!

It’s a natural fiber rail that doesn’t take much prep to be bold swing ready. It holds chalk really well and requires less of it. It can even be cleaned with water!

Check out that texture!

It’s composed of natural fiber and resin wrapped around fiberglass at a diameter of 39mm. This new texture gives a great grip that can take swing after swing after swing without showing wear. That means less wear and tear on the hands of your gymnasts!

It’s made by Gymnova and currently fits only Gymnova uneven and high bar equipment.

Look for it at the European Championships in Glasgow this August 2018!


Vault: No more horsing around

MikeWthHorseMike Raines, CEO and founder of GMR Gymnastics sales was a gymnast from age 13 until his college years. Alas, Mike was forced into retirement when his shoulder gave out from too many inverts in college.

Moving from doing gymnastics to coaching and installing gymnastics equipment for another company, Mike decided to start one himself. From then, he’s been a gymnastics equipment nerd since he designed and manufactured his first Mushroom™. Mike’s love of making and innovating equipment will never fade!

Mike also enjoys collecting old gymnastics equipment. He’s interested in gymnastics history and studying how the sport and its equipment has evolved over the years and how new technologies and techniques interrelate as the sport continues to grow.

Mike had been on the hunt for something special to put in the foyer of GMR’s Lithonia, GA headquarters when a former employee told him of an antique vault buck at a thrift store.

HorseFootYes! That something special had finally found him!

Hailing all the way from the 1920’s this antique vault horse is a beaut! It was made by Adec Sport, a Belgian company that’s still around today. It’s a seriously, solid hoss of a thing, probably weighing a good 75lbs, with a body made out from suede leather. The legs are telescopic, making its height adjustable. Mike, “It’s feet are shaped like actual hooves!” That’s true. It’s a trip: It’s feet look just like those of a real equine being.