The upstairs gym gets a new look


Triston Murdick

The updates to the upstairs weight room have been deemed a success by both athletes and non-athletes.

by Triston Murdick, Staff Reporter

Coming into the fall 2022 semester, students will see drastic improvement to the Steven Johnson fitness center. 

The college has installed updated treadmills, ellipticals, rowers and exercise bikes, replaced the floors and added new weight racks to the upstairs portion of the gym. The renovations came in an effort to solve spacing and logistical issues students faced in the weight room last year. 

The contract the college has with their equipment supplier, Push Pedal Pull Company, expires every four to five years and the latest agreement was up this past spring. The expiration allowed time to move the new equipment upstairs in time to make room for the sports teams using the downstairs space. 

Sam Schmitz, head strength and conditioning coach, suggested non-athletes use the upstairs racks while the updates progress.

Schmitz brought the idea to Marty Bell, director of athletics, who approved the idea. The two then sat down with the manager at Push Pedal Pull to get the new contract worked out.

Junior Qwinton Wilder uses the gym often. “I don’t go downstairs anymore. I like the new racks better than the ones downstairs,” he said.

With all the new racks and exercise equipment getting more people upstairs to train, Schmitz noticed the late afternoon saw an uptick in usage. “Those hours when everyone is done with class from three to six is when everyone is wanting to train,” Schmitz said.

Schmitz strategically chose the placement of the racks. “We thought about putting them by the railing, but for safety reasons we just moved the dumbbells to make room for them in front of the mirrors,” he said. 

Weight-room users reportedly enjoy having the racks by the mirrors.

“I mean for squat I like watching my depth so, yeah, I like the mirrors,” Wilder said. 

Overall, it seems Schmitz’s idea to add the new racks upstairs has been a success. 

“As a sports performance coach, I want to see people training. So, we are seeing a lot more people interested in using that kind of stuff which is our ultimate goal.” Schmitz said.