Review: Wellness and Rec Fitness Floor Makeover

Katherine Futch, Editor in Chief

If you are like me, you have a love-hate relationship with GC’s Wellness and Rec Center. It is free, conveniently located on West Campus, has a multitude of cardio equipment and an indoor track. However, this entity is far from perfect. For starters, it is too crowded. There is not a simple or obvious solution to this, but I would prefer to not do leg day in a sea of people. Likewise, there are only four squat racks, two Smith machines, and two bench presses. This simply does not satisfy the number of people looking to use these pieces of equipment. I found a lot of the equipment, especially in the past year or so, to be outdated, malfunctioned or out of order. For example, the shoulder press machine has been out of order for the past two years — at least. However, I am tempted to say I have never seen it working since I started my undergrad here in 2019. 

For those reasons, I was ecstatic when I discovered GC was finally giving us a Wellness and Rec Center Fitness Floor makeover. This renovation was announced Wednesday, Jan. 25, via email. It included a schedule of revised hours operations, projecting that it would take almost an entire week. 

It did in fact, not need a week. In fact, it only took about two and a half days to bring in the new equipment. This was the first warning sign for me. Surely, they were not ahead of schedule by that much time. 

I went to the gym the next day, Thursday, Feb. 2, around 8 p.m. As soon as I ascended the staircase to the fitness floor, I immediately began observing the atmosphere around me. 

The first thing I noticed was there was still the same number of squat racks and Smith machines. Anyone could walk into the Wellness and Rec Center’s Fitness Floor and see that the gym desperately needs several more squat racks to aid in dispersing the crowds of students that tend to gather there. 

Likewise, there was still only one leg press. Again, this is a popular workout on leg day; typically, it is a struggle to get a couple sets in. That is, if you don’t hover over the person using it. 

Despite these downfalls, there were some major improvements. 

For starters, there are now more than three working treadmills. Towards the end of last semester, the treadmills began falling off like flies — till there were only three working ones left. There are now all new treadmills, plus two long-distance treadmills. 

There is also a new assisted pull-up machine that is much less outdated. It allows for different variations of pull-ups that better target muscle groups. 

My favorite new edition of the Fitness Floor is the hack squat machine. The hack squat stimulates your quads, hamstrings, glutes, calves, and can assist with improving your traditional back squat form. It also provides much more stability than a typical squat rack would. 

Overall, the Wellness and Rec Fitness Floor had some improvements and new equipment to assist in getting a better workout. However, in typical GC fashion, it was overhyped and failed to deliver.