I limp out of the weight room after a grueling workout, pain shooting through my body. But this pain isn’t from lifting weights or running sprints. This pain is from stubbing my toe five times, cutting my hand on a jagged piece of metal, dropping a weight on my foot, and banging my head on an ill-placed rack –– just another typical day in the Tam weight room. Thank god the trainers room is just next door.
Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the access we are allowed to the facility. The Tam Boosters have done an awesome job keeping it open every day after school for two hours and even on Saturday mornings. They have opted to pay someone to come in everyday to supervise as well as coach. I am entirely capable of getting a good workout in, yet every time I find myself in the weight room, I notice a lack of quality, constant dirtiness, and a ridiculous waste of space. All three of these things can be solved quickly and easily.
First, I’d like to address the lack of quality regarding the equipment. Close to all of the machines are broken, resulting in students using the wrong form and increasing their chance of injury. Generally workout or fitness machines are expected to be sturdy and durable, yet the Tam weight room equipment is anything but. Cables snap, metal is rusted, seats are broken, and so on. Our cable machine has become a substitute for all sorts of exercises that we lack the appropriate equipment for. For example, in order for me to perform pull downs, I have to go through a five step process that hinders everyone around me as I take up the entire cable machine and steal one of the press benches. I must first attach the bar to both cables (so no one else can use the machine), second pull over a bench press bench to sit on, third grab a 45 pound weight, fourth, I place the weight on my quads to hold me down when I sit, and fifth finally perform my pull downs.
Aside from the equipment, the room itself is rather unkempt. The amount of dirt, dust, and rust inside of the gym is out of hand. The floors are covered in dirt, most likely cleaned sporadically. The benches and mats have layers of sweat and grime over them, due to a lack of disinfectant and wipes being used or made available to use. Most of the dumbbells and bars are now brown from a lack of cleaning. By the time I leave, my hands are covered in a thick coat of who knows what. It is a simple and necessary problem to solve.
The lack of quality and cleanliness in the gym doesn’t even come close to the biggest travesty: the incredible waste of space. The number of duplicate machines we have takes up unnecessary space where different machines could be placed. In addition to our other broken machines, there are two bicycles taking up space that very few people use as they have no pedals and poor quality to begin with. The poorly designed setup has groups of kids standing in one space, swinging weights back and forth almost hitting each other in the heads.
In conclusion, Tam should find ways to improve the quality of our weight room not only for an improved workout, but for the safety of everyone inside.