Sports complex weight room receives a full-body renovation
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The athletic department finished renovations to the weight room on Monday, providing a late Christmas gift for students and athletes.
The renovations began at the end of last semester and were expected to be complete by Feb. 7, but the athletic department officially re-opened its doors to all students and patrons a week behind schedule.
The refurbishments entailed emptying one of the two weight rooms for an explosive training space, replacing it with turf flooring, resistance bands, sleds, power blocks, high quality squat machines and more, according to Brett Simpson, athletic director.
“Our goal was to better maximize our space while conforming to the new trends in fitness and wellness for all our constituents,” Simpson said.
For a little over a month now, Loyola students, athletes and alumni have had to pump iron in the now permanent upstairs weight room or at Tulane University’s Reily Student Recreation Center.
Vincent Manuel, former student-athlete and gym manager, said the renovations will give athletes more time and space to train.
“We [athletes] would have to wait for other students and patrons to get out of the gym. It held us up,” Manuel said.
Manuel believes the sports teams deserve private sessions in the weight room to help them concentrate better.
“Once the team’s in there, the door is going to close and we can actually focus,” Manuel said.
The weight room is divided into two rooms: the one just renovated and one with a variety of workout machines. The soon to open weight room is the only one athletes can temporarily claim for themselves.
“Once the athletes are done, the patrons [and students] are welcome to work out,” Manuel said.
Manuel also said the new renovations give athletes an extra chance to improve, without excluding regular students and patrons.
However, Marcus Rindal, business sophomore and avid gym user, has other ideas on the impact of the renovation.
“As a regular Loyola student, I hope that it doesn’t make the gym more crowded. What if I won’t get to use the equipment because there are teams in there all the time? If I need a weight rack, I hope there’s one available,” Rindal said.
Rindal said he wasn’t dissatisfied about previous equipment; however, he said that the gym renovations could possibly attract potential student-athletes with a newer look.
“It will bring more prestige and ability to recruit athletes, as they are more likely to go somewhere that has nice facilities to train in,” Rindal said.
The room previously dedicated to yoga, stretching and freedom of movement, is now occupied by all the weights and heavy machinery from downstairs.
“I haven’t seen the actual renovations yet, but from what I know, I’m not a big fan of losing the yoga room upstairs where I used to stretch and do ab exercises,” Rindal said.
Despite these negative impacts Rindal is looking forward to the new equipment and believes safer machines are the biggest advantage of the renovation.
“I’ve been looking forward to having squat racks with safety bars so that I can squat super heavy by myself,” Rindal said.
While the weight room renovations are complete, these renovations, however, are not the last for the athletic department.
Simpson said this summer Loyola students can expect new bleachers and a refinishing of all the basketball courts, as well as lights, floor and more equipment updates.