A semester later, new fitness center works out
Published: Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, January 30, 2013 01:01
With New Year’s resolutions and last month’s holiday dinners on their minds, students are flocking to the semester-old Steve Tisch Sports and Fitness Center.
According to Fitness Director Mike Pimentel, the newly renovated fitness center has proven to be more popular and necessary for a variety of reasons.
“What many people don’t realize is that the old gym was actually two spaces originally designed for two different functions,” Pimentel told the Daily in an email.
“The first space was an intramural basketball court and the second was a wrestling room/dance studio. The windows were high so you could not see out.”
Pimentel explained that the unification of these two areas has enhanced the space.
“Now we have a space specifically designed as a fitness center with an abundance of natural light, fantastic views and an environmental control system that give us great temperature control and fresh air,” he said.
In addition to spatial improvements, the new gym is equipped with the latest workout equipment, which feature iPod capability and built-in televisions.
The amount of aerobic equipment has nearly doubled from 30 pieces in the old gym to 56 bikes, treadmills, stair-steppers, ellipticals and arc-trainers in the current fitness center. The gym contains 80 exercise machines in total.
“We looked hard and long at other facilities both at the collegiate and commercial sectors as well as where the fitness industry is headed as a whole and determined we would go with top-of-the-line equipment which offered a marriage of technology as well as durability,” Pimentel said.
Sophomore Matthew Roy goes to the gym an average of four times a week, varying his workout to include both dead weights and cardio. Roy said that the new tech-heavy machines help him integrate workouts into his schedule.
“It’s very nice because there are times in today’s world that you might need to set aside for TV,” Roy said. “The other day, I got to watch overtime with the [Chicago] Bulls on the treadmill and part of the inauguration, so it helps you work the gym into your daily life.”
Part of the fitness center— a weight room open only to varsity athletes—is still being expanded with new equipment.
A petition to open this space to the wider Tufts community circulated this September, gathering hundreds of student signatures.
Pimentel said the weight room will remain closed to non-varsity athletes for now, but that more free weights have been added to the fitness center free area.
“Over [winter] break we were able to put in an additional rack and Olympic platform which solved any waiting we had previously in the free weight area,” Pimentel said.
The center has scheduled a delivery of additional weight plates for this month. Elbow room is still scarce in the new center, according to senior Mariel Marchand.
She is dissatisfied with the amount of space dedicated to stretching and abdominal workouts, she said.
“There was more mat and floor space in the old gym, everything feels so crowded now,” Marchand said. “I just don’t think there’s enough space; it seems like everything is too close together and I always feel like I’m bumping into someone.”
Pimentel said adding workout mat space is one of his upcoming projects for the fitness center.
“We have just received a delivery of special stretching mats that will allow us to increase the size of the stretching area in the new space,” he said.
Sophomore Evan Cover is impressed by the fleet of new Livestrong exercise bikes, which are equipped with a highly realistic computer interface that simulates nature trail riding.
“Biking in itself is very monotonous, but when you add the little computer screen with the trail, it makes it a little more manageable,” Cover said.Cover is a runner who uses the fitness center almost daily on top of his workouts on the Cousens track.
He said the new fitness center impresses competing indoor track teams from other universities.