By: Shannon McHale ’15, CRS Weight/Fitness Supervisor
If you, like most college students, didn’t spend your summer reading up on the latest school facility news, you were probably surprised on your first visit back to the Eppley Recreation Center weight rooms.
While you were on break, we did a complete overhaul of both the upper and lower weight rooms. Old machines are gone, replaced by newer equipment, and the stuff we kept is totally rearranged.
As always, our goal is to better serve our patrons – and despite some initial shock, we think you’ll like the direction we took.
If you’re still skeptical, below are five things you need to know about the new weight rooms that might just change your mind.
1. It’s streamlined to make your workout go smoothly.
The upper weight room (UWR) now houses all pin and plate-loaded machines, as well as a stretching area. The small free weights area is still standing, and is neighbored by brand-new sturdy plyometric boxes.
Why it’s better for you: The machines around the perimeter of the UWR guarantee a full-body workout if you complete most exercises. Starting with the leg press in the corner, traveling along the railing and then the outside windows, you should hit your upper body, lower body, and core.
We’ve also focused on training staff on all equipment in the UWR. While weight room staff still aren’t allowed to assist you with free weights or plate-loaded machines, the assistance they can offer you on the rest of our equipment is better than ever before. Staff in this area are focused on safety, but also instruction.
The lower weight room (LWR) is home to the squat racks, benches, presses, and dead-lifting mats. The free weights are still by the mirror, and everything else remains untouched.
Why it’s better for you: It’s a one-stop shop for the big-kid lifts – bench, squat, overhead press, and dead-lifts. Bonus: the squat racks are now downstairs, so you won’t have to walk down the stairs after a tough leg day.
By grouping the equipment for heavier lifts together, we’re able to ensure that staff in the LWR are prepared to spot those lifts and be on the lookout for anything gone wrong. Removing the machines from this area allows our staff to focus on spotting and policy enforcement, so the room is as safe as possible when you’re getting ready to hit a new personal record.
2. The matrix cable machines are awesome. Like, really awesome.
Why it’s better for you: Beside the fact that these machines look like something out of the actual matrix, they’re equipped with all the necessary attachments for full-body training. We’ve simplified the workout process by combining equipment, so you can save all your energy for the actual workout.
We’ve heard your concerns about the trainers: Where is the lat pull-down!? The beloved seated row!? Have no fear – the machines can be set up to complete most cable exercises, including the lat pull-down and seated row. Don’t hesitate to ask weight room staff for direction in getting it set up.
3. We won’t be on your case as much about slamming the weights.
Don’t get too excited – you still can’t drop 100-lb. dumbbells with abandon. Slamming weights damages our equipment and floors, and can also be really obnoxious to other patrons working out.
We restricted dead-lifting to the lower weight room because we know that accidents happen and weights get dropped. With this new arrangement, your accidental slams won’t shake the ceiling above aspiring yogis in the aerobics studio.
4. The new set-up is more beginner friendly.
If you’re brand new to working out, setting foot into a packed two-story weight room can be, well, scary. The upper weight room is welcoming to both old friends and those just breaking into the world of fitness. Our stretching area, complete with stability and medicine balls, is a familiar sight for patrons who usually frequent the cardio or group fitness areas.
And like we mentioned above, following the perimeter of the room gives you a no-thought-required full body workout. If you’re completely lost, our free weight room orientations now take place solely in the upper weight room, where the additional open spaces give our orientation leaders plenty of room to show you the ropes.
5. The new weight room is a testament to the hard work of our student employees.
When we re-organized the weight rooms back in August, dozens of student employees worked through the night to move all the equipment. It’s true – student staff from weight/fitness, operations, and personal training stayed past 3:00 a.m. for some heavy lifting – talk about a workout!
We think the new weight room is awesome because it’s a visual reminder of how dedicated our students are to CRS, and, in turn, how dedicated they are to you, our patrons.
Your turn to WEIGH IN – what do you think of the new weight room layout?