Advertise - Print Edition

Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Not entirely pumped about pumping new iron

Published: January 16, 2009
Section: Sports

During the break, I couldn’t wait to get back to Brandeis so that I could head down to the Gosman Sports and Convocation Center and try out the new weight-room. I was extremely happy that the Brandeis student body had chosen to select this option to purchase with their leftover SAF funds, as all the other alternatives were truly hippie and unnecessary indeed. While walking down the hall of the downstairs area of Gosman, one can smell the aroma of the new machines as the space gives off a scent not dissimilar to “new car smell.” After changing my clothes and running a few miles on the track, I later headed in to see what new devices we had acquired.

The weight room looks much better than it did mere weeks before, as a new paint job has been added to give more light to the space. Also, the machines are in much better condition, and the room is something we can now be proud of rather than the “sweat shop” that we previously possessed which should only be found in the film “Rocky.” The weight area has now been extended to encompass two rooms, as one mainly contains lifting machines while the other room (which used to be utilized for dance practices) possesses mostly free weights. It should be noted that what used to be the Varsity weight room now looks like a rowing area, as I could now only find rowing machines in that space.

There are definitely a lot of advantages to the new weight room that I think will benefit the entire community. One is that the area contains much more space, as the machines have been positioned in such a way as to maximize the amount of room in the area. This is a really great improvement, as many near-accidents have occurred in the past due to the fact that people were working out too close to one another. In addition, the machines are newer and allow more options to users. For instance, many of the new devices contain a knob that allows individuals to add 5, 10, or 15 pounds to the current weight they are lifting, greatly increasing the amount of control people have over their workout. One other notable improvement is the whole new set of dumbbell weights ranging from 2.5 pounds to well over 110 pounds. This gives people greater opportunity in their workout but I’m not sure how many people are going to be using the dumbbells on the upper end of the weight spectrum.

Also, there are far more mirrors in the new area, which is good for two reasons. Now people will be able to better monitor their form on various machines and also gaze at the new muscles they have crafted due to the better devices. I would also say that the new condition and configuration of mats is a plus, as they are positioned near a mirror, which can assist an individual monitoring his or her form during abdominal or other types of exercises. Furthermore, in some cases, the machines are much more height-friendly than they used to be, which is greatly appreciated by me and other members of the tall community.

I do have to point out that there are some disadvantages to the new weight room. One is that there doesn’t seem to be as many abdominal machines as there used to be. I can do crunches and knee-lifts without the assistance of a machine, but it is always nice to take a break from these exercises. In addition, although the old weight room contained two of these devices, there doesn’t seem to be a single “Lat Pulldown” machine in the new area. There is some sort of seated device that purports to exercise the same muscles, but I am a little disappointed as I was truly fond of that device. Also, and I may be wrong, but there seems to be a disproportionate number of leg machines in the new room. This is weird, as most college kids don’t usually exercise their lower body much, but would rather bulk up their chest, back, and arms, as this is somehow seen as more desirable. Lastly, and this is not due to any inadequacy of the space, but because there is an increased number of dumbbells, it can get confusing to locate a specific weight if people don’t put their dumbbells back in the right position. For some reason, Brandeis students are horrible at returning their weights to the appropriate place, and this problem is magnified by the increased number of dumbbells.

Overall, I am very fond of the new weight-room and would like to thank everyone who voted for this option over the less-desirable alternatives.

Its very presence is enough to give me more motivation to work out, and I now find the experience of “pumping iron” more enjoyable. Although there are some drawbacks, these are almost all countervailed by the advantages that I have previously explained. I also encourage you to go down there and see the new room for yourself; your money paid for it, and you should enjoy the full benefits of our new workout area.