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Carroll County Rec Department Chose Us!

CarrollCountyGymnasticsFacilityYou don’t have to have the lung power to hit all your birthday candles at once or wait ’til you trip over a giant, four leaf clover, the gymnastics gym of your dreams is available at this number: 1-800-241-9249!

Carroll county recreation department made the call and after 2 years of careful planning with 40 year veteran Mike Raines and his right hand man, Grant Coulter, also a former gymnastics coach with over a decade in the gymnastics equipment manufacture and gym design business, Carroll County gymnastics’ custom dream gym became a reality.

Melissa Ryans of the Carroll County rec department says, “GMR exceeded our expectations for the ideal gym we envisioned; one that met the needs of our athletes as well as our CCRD staff. The contractors effectively communicated with out throughout the whole process and were extremely helpful in making sure all of our expectations were met. Pleased is an understatement for the gratitude we have for GMR for building us our dream gym.”

Mike and Grant even made the trip down to Carrollton to oversee and install everything themselves!

The seeds of the whole thing sprouted in a little 3D rendering software program Grant configured that knows every dimension of any piece of gymnastics equipment you could wish to fit in your gym. Having both been coaches, Mike and Grant understand just how important gym club real estate is in your facility. They know how space and equipment collaborate to keep gymnastics classes running efficiently and they know how to flow both to keep your gymnasts safe.

After the custom blueprint came the install. Carroll County Rec department built a giant L shaped pit and dropped a tumble track they’d used above ground into a trench. Mike and Grant worked with the contractors to ensure that all the dimensions were right, in the correct spot and at the proper depth. The devil doesn’t end up in the details when you stay on top of them. Everything’s got to sit and fit in just the right spot when it comes to trampoline beds in a pit.

Carroll County went with ByGMR’s signature sag bed system. The frame is mounted just 2 feet from the top, which lets you sag the bed into the pit like a net. It’s way easier to climb out of than a regular bed which usually sits four feet from the top.

A sagged bed allows for more action when the gymnast enters it at speed providing a smoother, more decelerated landing. That greater range of movement also helps prevent wear and tear on your pit cubes because they don’t get packed down like they do with a regular trampoline bed which is strung tight to hold up the weight of the cubes. On that note, it takes more pit cubes to fill a regular trampoline bed system. Paying for fewer pit cubes that last longer in a pit that’s easier to climb out of: that’s a 10.0!

Carroll County wanted a spring floor extension so their athletes can tumble into their 18 x 18 x 6 foot L-shaped pit with a 7 x 14 foot in ground trampoline in it and resi pit attached. The double L based single bar trainer is usually reserved for T-shaped pits, but using the L’s let us bring their spring floor extension closer in. Custom design + custom equipment makes your gym a well-oiled machine. Customization at every level is one of the benefits of working with ByGMR: gym designers and equipment manufacturers.

We made all their training mats, spotting blocks and inclines in their custom colors of purple and lime green, so they would have “something different”. We were also proud to install all ByGMR equipment including vault table, single bar trainer, unevens, balance beams, tumble track and spring floor making Carroll County recreation departments’s new custom gymnastics gym an affordable resource for the community and its athletes.

The Battle of Bull Run

Pardon us while we BRAG (Bull Run Academy of Gymnastics) about our latest Sag Bed Pit System install:

It went like clockwork.

We worked with the owner, Mary and Drew Henry, for over a year to plan everything down to the most minute detail. Every spring, pad and piece of foam was cut to spec, made in the color of your choice and right there when and where we needed it because we offer a Total Turn Key System. We talk about how important it is to plan ahead in our Call Before You Dig post. We can’t emphasize it enough. If you’ve ever put together a piece of IKEA furniture, let alone cut a hole in your floor and filled it with a trampoline bed and foam, you’ll know what it means to have everything at your fingertips fit to form.

When designing their new gymnastics pit, we talked with the Bull Run’s owners about what they wanted to train into it and what they were looking to get out of it, besides safely decelerated gymnasts.

They said they wanted one big, mega, multi-purpose pit to train vault, rod floor, beam dismounts, spring floor, a tumble track, a single bar trainer and a 7ft x 14ft inground trampoline. Basically, everything leads to this pit. We said: Okay, we got you.

They said they wanted their pit to be on par with big gymnastics star universities like University of Florida, LSU and UGA. We said: Cool! We designed the gyms for UGA and LSU. We did LSU’s custom pits and mats in 2016?

Now, Bull Run Academy of Gymnastics in Warrenton, VA is the only independent, non-university gymnastics training facility with an 8 foot trench bar mat like those found at the top shelf, college gymnastics programs.

Their shiny new all-purpose, gymnastics pit measures 19ft x 34ft x 7ft deep. Most pits are six feet deep, but they wanted a college degree trench bar mat, which is 7 feet tall, so they dug the pit sized to accommodate it. Their pit also features a shallow, resi pit area connected to it, that you see is set up on the specially designed deck in the photo below.

bull run first pic

Some gym owners build the different levels into the actual pit pit or hole. Bull Run wanted to do it differently so they built a deck for their 24inch resi mat. This pit is also unique in that the trench bar and its massive mat are on the other side of the resi pit.


Retro Fitness! Getting Your Pit in Shape!

Not every pit project is a fresh concrete pour or a big spankin’ new set of concrete block walls. Sometimes, you put a new spin on what you’re already workin’ with.

That’s what our friends at Midwest Twisters did out in Hartland, WI. 

“It’s the easiest install and the best pit system I’ve ever seen. Your pit system is great. It fixes every problem with the old, full tension tramp systems. It is much ‘softer’. Now, I have one more thing in the gym exactly like I want it,” Justin Slife owner of Midwest Twisters.

Justin wanted a complete redesign for the hole he already had in his facility. He had built 2 platforms for drop in trampolines. He had some resi pits and he had one 9.5ft x 14ft foam pit. That pit was the old style, tight trampoline bed that everyone used before By GMR came out with our innovative Sag Bed Pit System. The old style trampoline bed system sets the trampoline bed further down the wall and strings the trampoline very tightly to support the weight of the cubes. Theirs was set 4 feet down. With age, as happens to us old gymnasts, too, the springs had gotten stretched out.

To combat nature’s inevitable forces, Midwest Twisters did what many gymnastics gym owners have had to resort to: under-pinning their foam pit trampolines with foam pylons to support their trampoline bed.

Twisters BeforeAs is the case with that type of work around, it just wasn’t giving them the deceleration of forces they need from their gymnastics foam pit. So, they called us to upgrade to our Sag Bed Pit System and get some help with redesigning their gymnastics pits to improve function and flow.

They decided to convert some of the space in their gymnastics pit hole to a 9.5ft x 30 ft x 7ft Sag Bed “Skinny Pit”.

To us, anything less than 12 feet wide, we term a “skinny pit” because the frame is installed 3 feet down from the top. You see, the wider the pit, the more the pit will sag. So, if a gymnastics pit is wider than 12 feet across it will sag more to cover that area. To compensate for that width and sag, we install the frame a foot higher.

Let’s look at some pictures!

Pic 1



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!


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.