Case Study

Plymouth YMCA

CardioWall Brings Plymouth YMCA’s Functional Fitness Studio to Life

The YMCA in Plymouth, UK has installed a pair of CardioWalls as the centrepiece of their new functional fitness studio.


The YMCA in Plymouth, UK has installed a pair of CardioWalls as the centrepiece of their new functional fitness studio. These are now being used to great effect by a wide variety of users from age 8 - 80, including young people, GP Referrals, people with disabilities and PT clients.



"The CardioWalls have been among the most used pieces of apparatus in the functional fitness area of our gym. They’re popular with people of all ages and abilities – providing a motivating and accessible alternative to structured exercise machines. We’ve used them with everyone from our older members to school children, from people who just want to improve their fitness to people with disabilities or with specific health needs, such as cardiac rehabilitation."



Gym Manager, Plymouth YMCA



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This case study provides some insight into how CardioWall has helped improve motivation, engagement and inclusivity amongst diverse customer groups that use their functional fitness studio.


"It’s something different. CardioWall gets people exercising without realising they are exercising. It is bright, bold and noisy; it encourages play and competition in a way that can really help build confidence."


CardioWall at Plymouth YMCA
CardioWall at Plymouth YMCA
CardioWall at Plymouth YMCA

Engaging Diverse Customer Groups


“What makes the Plymouth YMCA different is that we deal with a wide range of customers,” says Neil Talbot, Fitness Manager. “For example, we offer personal training, we deal with exercise on referral and we work with children and those with disabilities. We want offer the local community a different, more exciting way to exercise and a more affordable, less intimidating way to enjoy the benefits of exercise.”



Why the CardioWall? 


The CardioWall is at the heart of the YMCA's innovative and motivational approach to fitness. “When we were deciding to increase the size of our gym, we wanted to fill it with something different, something fun, that was more functional,” explains Neil. “We decided that instead of having additional treadmills or structured exercise machines, we would open up a functional area with the CardioWall as a focal point.”



Adding a New Dimension


From a trainer’s perspective, the CardioWall adds a new dimension to the gym that can be used in many ways. “The scoring makes it competitive,” observes Neil. “People can play against each other or try to beat their own scores.”



Fun and Rewarding Environment for All Ages and Abilities

The CardioWall has been among the most-frequently used pieces of apparatus, bringing the new functional fitness area to life and making it more inclusive. The versatility of the CardioWall makes it popular with people of all ages and abilities. Just how wide-ranging the appeal of the CardioWall has proved to be is something Neil admits he did not anticipate at first.


“I was initially surprised to see how popular it was among our 60 plus age group," he said. “But we quickly realised that the CardioWall was offering an easily-accessible way into exercise that was much less intimidating and less monotonous than the options found in a standard gym. It’s excellent to have a piece of equipment that caters for everyone - it’s a brilliant investment. Since we incorporated this functional fitness area with the CardioWalls, we’ve seen our footfall increase by about 120% - it’s been an amazing first 12 months.”


"Because the CardioWall can be used for a multitude of exercises, its versatility is almost limitless. I often use it for exercises with medicine balls or boxing gloves, while others might use it for a warm-up, or as part of a full-body workout routine."



Who Benefits from the CardioWall?


School children and youth groups: "It’s something different," notes Mark Rowles. “Children are used to doing very traditional forms of fitness in schools; this is something that just excites them and therefore the CardioWalls are the first pieces of equipment that they go to every week.”


People with disabilities: “This piece of equipment means that we can get more young people to feel that sport is for them and not just for people who are able-bodied,” adds Mark. “For example, the CardioWall practises hand-eye coordination and this really helps in terms of the day to day life skills vital for these young people with special needs.”


Personal training: “PTs find their own ways of using the CardioWall,” says Neil. “They’re using gloves, medicine balls, rubber kettle bells. Also the competitive element means clients are coming back for more and PTs keep the retention.”


Exercise on referral: Stroke survivors, cardiac patients, patients with motor neurone disease and the morbidly obese have all benefitted. John, a regular referral client, endorsed the product warmly: “It’s a fairly testing exercise that has improved my mobility.”



Rugged Interactive founder Simon Heap, who designed and produced the CardioWall added, “We applied the latest thinking in sports technology and gaming to create a motivational fitness experience in the CardioWall. The close collaboration we've enjoyed with the Plymouth YMCA meant that we were able to customise a version of the CardioWall that fits their vision for an inclusive, fun and high-quality functional fitness area."


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