“Think of it as a 55,000-square-foot playground for adults.”

-Karin Olafson

There’s a new fitness centre in northeast Calgary. You’ll get a great workout, but it will remind you of the days when you played on the school playground during recess. InjaNation is a ninja warrior- and obstacle race-inspired facility suited for competitive athletes, Calgarians looking for a workout and families.

The 55,000-square-foot space officially opened on October 29, 2016. InjaNation’s three co-founders, Tim Ritchie, Mike West and John Kennedy, wanted to open a fitness centre that offered something fun and something different. And InjaNation delivers. The venue has several obstacle areas inspired by American Ninja Warrior and military obstacle course racing. There are also climbing walls, trampolines and weights for dryland training.

It caters to all abilities and ages. There is a play area for toddlers, a course for kids and courses for adults. When designing the courses, there was input from local athletes and Olympians including Jessica Zelinka and Faye Stenning to make sure the courses were challenging, but also doable. And, the co-founders visited 60 similar locations across North American to learn what works well and what doesn’t.

The venue can fit up to 375 active participants. There’s also seating for up to 100 people, which will be used when competitions are held here. Leslie Stempfle, the Manager of People and Performance at InjaNation, says there are plans to hold monthly, community competitions starting in December and larger scale competitions in the future.

It’s about the training (and the fun) at InjaNation, but safety comes first. Currently, InjaNation has more than 100 staff. Depending on how busy the facility is, there will be between 20 and 40 staff supervising the obstacles. Staff do all the harnessing for climbing obstacles, and offer advice and coaching tips. By March, there will also be training programs, dryland programs and multi-week development programs offered by staff for kids and adults.

One-hour general admission during peak hours (all day Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays) is $19.95. Grippy socks for the trampolines cost an extra $2.95, but they’re yours to keep. There’s also plenty of free parking close by.

InjaNation celebrates its grand opening on Saturday, November 19. As well as a celebratory event, this is a charity event. Big Brothers Big Sisters volunteers will be able to visit the facility for a free, VIP experience before the centre opens up to public at 10 a.m. Also, $5 from every guest’s admission on Saturday will be donated to Big Brothers Big Sisters. Special, grand opening activities include competitions every hour, gifts and draw prizes. The special event runs from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m.

102, 52 Aero Dr. N.E., 587-353-4652, injanation.com

See the Avenue Magazine Feature here.