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The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

Campus Recreation opens updated cardio and strength rooms

The new cardio room is located on the lower level of O’Pake. PHOTOS COURTESY OF CAMPUS RECREATION

Campus Recreation opened new strength and cardio rooms for students, faculty and staff looking for a safe place to workout indoors. 

Reservations to use the workout rooms, located in the O’Pake Recreation Center on the Maguire Campus, can be made up to 48 hours in advance. Ninety-minute reservation blocks will help maintain maximum occupancy limits of 15 people in the room during any given session, according to Assistant Athletics Director for Campus Recreation Angie Nagle.

The pandemic provided the Campus Recreation team with the opportunity to reevaluate some of their current workout spaces and give them the updates they desperately needed, Nagle said.

“Up until this past year it was just one crowded room for both our strength and cardio rooms,” Nagle said. “I think the pandemic forced us to space things out, look at how we can use all the space in our building, look at the equipment we have and make changes that were long overdue.” 

People who use the workout rooms are expected to follow a number of safety protocols to restrict the spread of COVID-19, Nagle said.

“At least six feet apart, masks on at all times even while you’re doing your workout and we’re asking students to wipe down the equipment before and afterwards,” Nagle said.

That’s in addition to a student cleaning crew that will come in and sanitize each workout station after a session, Nagle said.

“We have 90-minute reservation blocks throughout the day, so we have 90 minutes of workout, then we close the room for 30 minutes for cleaning,” Nagle said. 

Spotting will also not be allowed and Nagle said people may have to adjust their workouts accordingly. 

“They’ll have to pick conservative weight loads when doing say a max bench press,” Nagle said.

Campus Recreation Coordinator Alex Kissinger said she feels these changes will help boost the student workout experience while also keeping everyone safe and following the pandemic guidelines.

“In a way, the pandemic helped us enhance the facility to the best of our ability,” Kissinger said. “There was a lot of planning and moving equipment around but overall we think it turned out great. Now there is more equipment available and more room for our students to get a good workout in while social distancing.”

The new strength room includes equipment such as squat racks, free weights, kettlebells and slam balls.

The new workout rooms contain a range of equipment, including a few new purchases the Campus Recreation department made to help improve the variety offered in each workout space, Kissinger said. 

“The fitness center located on the lower level [of O’Pake] holds all cardio equipment including treadmills, bikes and cross trainers,” Kissinger said. “The multipurpose room located at the far end of the building holds all strength equipment including squat racks, benches, free weights and selectorized equipment. We added new functional equipment such as kettlebells, battle ropes and slam balls to provide students with increased flexibility for their workouts.”

Alexandra Pla ’23, one of the first students to use the new strength room, said while navigating some of the pandemic protocols can be challenging, she thought people were doing a great job respecting the rules. 

“My first experience at O’Pake was good,” Pla said. “I liked the setup of the room because it was spaced out. I went early in the morning, so I was able to use all the equipment that I needed for today’s workout.   People in the strength room were good about wiping everything down.”

Pla said the new workout spaces are a viable replacement for a classic gym set-up and noted she plans to continue taking advantage of their availability while on campus.

“I like to stay active and lift weights, where in my apartment, before this gym opened, I just watched body weight videos,” Pla said. “I potentially see this being a replacement because we are in a pandemic and the setup is laid out so nicely.”

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