Revamped fitness center leads to more use

Revamped fitness center leads to more use

by Sara Sonderman

New equipment, the addition of strength and conditioning interns and a check-in desk represent the major changes to Carse Fitness Center over the summer.

“We have four new televisions, four new treadmills and a new recumbent bike and elliptical for our cardiovascular area,” athletic trainer Nicci Whalen said. “There are also new dumbbells, power racks and mirrors.”

Whalen, along with a number of coaches, students and administrators served on a committee that met to discuss the format of the new weight room.

“It was important for us to have students on the committee so we could get their feedback,” Whalen said. “We also looked at the other Iowa Conference schools to see what our competition was.”

Another addition to the fitness center is strength and conditioning interns.

“Some of our duties include working with the off-season athletes,” junior intern Nate Foley said. “We also demonstrate different lifts and make sure people are using the proper form.”

According to Foley, one of the reasons for the addition of the strength and conditioning interns is a change in NCAA rules that forbids coaches from monitoring their athletes in the weight room.

There are a variety of reasons why Simpson was able to remodel this past summer.

“The Simpson Guild helped us out with their concessions and we also received a gift from the Bill and Betty Buxton estate,” Gary Noble, equipment room manager said. “We also sold a lot of our old equipment and used that money to help us out.”

According to Noble, any student, faculty or staff member and Simpson athletic club members may use the weight room. A family can purchase a pass for $425 per year.

“By getting this new weight room it puts us at the top of the conference,” Whalen said. “So far it seems like there are more people using it than there was in the past.”

Foley said he is extremely happy with how the fitness center turned out.

“The only thing that I would like to see in the future is a separate cardiovascular area.”

Students assigned to work study in the weight room now must make sure everyone signs their name before working out.

“There are two reasons we have people sign in at the front desk,” Noble said. “One is to see who is all using it and the other reason is because some of the kids working for me are a little bashful so this way it makes their job a little easier.”