Opinion: new weight room could use some work

Alex Van Den Top – Staff Writer

Cards on the table: I am not a workout junkie by any stretch of the imagination. But I am trying to get in a little better shape for a Disney trip that I have coming up in May. And if anyone thinks they’re going to cut in front of my 9-year old cancer surviving nephew, they’re catching a body.


I haven’t done weight training since the whole “renovation” thing, and I am a little curious to see what has changed. My curiosity is soon met with a sorry excuse of a renovation.

Curiosity is replaced with frustration. A lot of it.

Unless you like lifting at ungodly times of the day (6 a.m. or 10 at night, which is sometimes what works best for the schedule), you’re more than likely going to be waiting for a machine, bench, area to lift, place to breathe, personal space, etc. What used to be diversified foot traffic to two locations—the main facility by the desk and the weight lifting area at the south end of the Rec Center—has been merged into one uncomfortable, sweaty mosh pit between the times of 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. at the main facility. The “beach” (the south end weight area) is all but gone and has some sitting benches spread out over way too much space, which means everyone who wants to weight train is corralled into one area. But hey, at least the athletes get their own space to do athlete things, right? Right!?

Not so much the case.

I have heard multiple complaints by common-goers of the Rec Center that the football, baseball, fill in the blank, are usually loud and disruptive for people just trying to get a run in on the treadmill. Hey, if you don’t like noise, don’t go to a rec center. But then I went. Football players can be seen frequenting the machine room. For the few of you who don’t know, that room is adjacent to the main weightlifting area. Members of the community and everyday students do cardio on the ellipticals, treadmills and stuff in there. And then various athletes come through, weigh themselves, flex their guns in the mirrors, scream and hype themselves up. Athlete things. In the non-athlete exercise area. I can see why people aren’t impressed.

Yes, I get that we’re kind of in the transition phase of the renovation, and that means some discomfort, but I’m angry about it and I get in the Rec Center for free. Some community members have to pay to use the rec center, and they definitely got the short end of the stick. A new area is going up for student-athletes only, and oh, by the way, you get the leftovers. Not cool.

It isn’t difficult to order more equipment. It isn’t difficult to set it up. Yes, it costs money. People pay money to be there. Respect the community enough to at least put a freaking $17 scale in the athlete weight room so people can run on the treadmill in peace. Have the decency to put in at least the minimum amount of effort.

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