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View Full Version : Help me change my university's gym facilities (addition of equipment)



Cmanuel
12-17-2009, 11:22 PM
Hi guys, going to need some help from the strength community.

Here's the low down... I'm a graduate student at Colorado State university. The student rec center here is undergoing a massive 32 million dollar renovation to be completed at the end of spring semester 2010. While the gym has plenty of benches, 4 decent power racks, 1 glute ham raise, and other essential strength equipment that i use, there are some issues that I have with the gym. There is no platform, no bumper plates, all plates are hex plates (bad for deadlifting), and chalk is frowned upon (I bring my own but they know that I clean up after myself).

I'm trying to bring about some change to the weight facilities. If you look at this website, you will see that they are adding a ton of ****, but are really vague about what additions are being made to the weight facilities.

I am going to contact the director of operations for the facility and make recommendations for equipment additions. If it were your gym, what would you request? I will be asking for bumper plates, non hex cast plates, platforms, and squat stands.

I'm basically wanting input from you guys to see if I'm missing anything. I am going to base my argument for the equipment on 2 points:
1. Less than $6,000 worth of stuff is very tiny compared to a 32 million dollar renovation
2. Athletes have access to this equipment in the athletes only gym, so i think its only fair that members of the regular student gym have access to this stuff as well.


Once I get feedback from you guys I will write a draft email and then post here for criticism.

Thanks a ton guys!
-CM
_________

JK1
12-17-2009, 11:53 PM
I haven't dealt with a university gym in a long time but the experiences I've had in the past have not been stellar. Those gyms often seem to cater to the nonathlete who just wants to goof off between classes. Combine that with limited money for weightlifting equipment (it seems like basket ball courts and indoor tracks take precidence) and dumbass administration and you can get a real mess.

Don't just contact the facilities manager, find out who the person supervising the expansion under the facilities manager and talk that person up. Get to know them and work them well. Unfortunately, there is a chance that equipment purchases have already been approved and made depending on the budgeting at your university.

As far as equipment... I'd push to get rid of the crappy hex plates, but I'll bet they give you a line about "safety" of the bars rolling. I'd also push for a platform and bumper plates, but I'll be honest, I can't recall seeing more than a few random bumper plates in any university gym. Be prepared because it wouldn't surpise me one bit if they flat out tell you "no" for the squat stands because of "safety" for the 'average" user and not having spotters. They may also use that BS excuse with the bumper plates and platform. They may also deny the round plates because they may be deadlifted. Deadlifts will damage the new floor----I'm also not making these up, I've heard the squat stand safety BS and the no deadlift BS first hand.

Others on this forum who work in a different capacity that I do with universities may have better advice and better suggestions on how to deal with the red tape.

Good Luck.

Schameson
12-18-2009, 12:27 AM
Bumper plates for sure, and you can never go wrong with a reverse hyper. Another suggestion I have is to push for decent bars. At my college gym we have cheap, whip-tastic bars with poor knurling. If they buy cheap bars, I use chalk because I am not having 500+ squats slide around on my back. Better bars = less chalk ruining their perfect little kingdom. Maybe even specialty bars like a cambered bar or yoke bar. I'm interested to see what you can accomplish with it because I am considering CSU for grad school.

Cmanuel
12-19-2009, 09:54 PM
I appreciate all the input so far guys.

I'm going to draft a copy of an email tomorrow... Any more input in the meantime?

mr handy
12-19-2009, 10:45 PM
With the Olympics coming up you might be able to spin something with the Olly lifts to get the bumper plates and platform in the new gym.

If they shoot you down on all your suggestions, fight to use the athletes weight room. Your tuition is paying for the facility and you should be allowed to use it. If you want to get there attention get an appointment with the president of the university and tell him/her you want the part of your tuition back that goes to facilities because you are not allowed to use them. It May all not work out but it wouldn't hurt to try.

You could always get the local news involved if they are interested.

Good Luck!

J.C.
12-20-2009, 06:51 AM
At my old university, they had a sweet set-up with lots of bumper plates, a good platform, and chalk was allowed. Several girls lifted there, many, many people squatted and deadlifted, quite a few cleaned and the standard of technique and strength was generally quite high.

At my current university for my grad course, there are no bumper plates, no platform, cleans are not allowed and chalk is not allowed. NOT one girl uses the equipment, hardly anybody squats properly and the boys think a 300lb deadlift is impressive.

What I'm saying is that better gyms = better people.

Its really funny to see. There was nothing magical about the old place but I think it was a case of people copying each other and taking advantage of the equipment, so some people dead heavy, others want to have a go. If people are powercleaning, then others might want to try and do it. And a bigger, nicer room with good equipment is much more inviting to girls than some small, ill equipped dungeon full of guys in vests curling in front of the mirror. It was just a friendlier place that a lot of people used. I honestly think that the very act of having that stuff made people use it and get considerably better than if it wasn't there.

Explain that this is an opportunity for them. This is their chance to create a really good gym where people can train, get fitter and get stronger. Not a fitness centre for people to waste time in. Try and argue that its not just for powerlifters but for everyone. REally stress that point because they will likely be hostile to it becoming a "powerlifting gym." Say its their chance to create a facility unique to their area giving all students access to world-class strength training facilities. It will differentiate their place from everybody else's and attract better students, and encourage higher student fitness.

Bumper plates and a platform are a must. You could even convince them to teach their staff how to teach the oly lifts.

ryuage
12-20-2009, 02:09 PM
Somehow I don't see a lonely email from one individual enough to make the University consider it... might want to have other students back you up on this.

Cmanuel
12-20-2009, 02:59 PM
Somehow I don't see a lonely email from one individual enough to make the University consider it... might want to have other students back you up on this.

Yes i know, i've got a facebook group of interested parties going.

BigRic
12-20-2009, 09:04 PM
With the Olympics coming up you might be able to spin something with the Olly lifts to get the bumper plates and platform in the new gym.

If they shoot you down on all your suggestions, fight to use the athletes weight room. Your tuition is paying for the facility and you should be allowed to use it. If you want to get there attention get an appointment with the president of the university and tell him/her you want the part of your tuition back that goes to facilities because you are not allowed to use them. It May all not work out but it wouldn't hurt to try.

You could always get the local news involved if they are interested.

Good Luck!
I doubt that would ever fly.

BloodandThunder
12-20-2009, 10:26 PM
I understand where you're coming from, since I attend a school which features 3 of these style gyms. Your better bet is to form your own powerlifting club within the campus club guidelines and see if you can get access to an athletic gym. This may only take a few signatures and some paperwork. These style gyms frown upon serious lifting and would rather entice a larger percentage of the student population (ie casual lifters) to join. This means swapping out entire pools of weights for weights that have the school logo on them, tvs on treadmills, duplicates of machines, and the cheapest bars they can get. If you'd like some help on starting a club, feel free to shoot me a message and I can give you some pointers on this.

mr handy
12-21-2009, 09:32 AM
I doubt that would ever fly.

Though rare I have seen similar things work in the past.

I think finding a way to be allowed to use the athletes weight room would be the best option. As mentioned a club may be a way to make this happen. either that are make friends with one of the coaches.

tnathletics2b
12-21-2009, 10:28 AM
I played D1 baseball in college and serious lifters had access to the athlete's gym when we weren't there. A couple of the guys ended up being recruited to join the track and field and did some shot put I think. I too think you are better off approaching the strength coach with a club and asking to use the athlete's gym instead of possibly approaching some business grad who never lifted a weight before and trying to get them to buy "dangerous" equipment.

Didn't mean to rain on your parade, though! More power to ya and I hope it works!