Dalplex equipment due for upgrade

Exercise machines, weights showing their age.

The weight area of Dalplex gym, where some equipment is slated for replacement this winter, says Kathie Wheadon-Hore, senior manager of building operations. Photo: Luke Orrell
The weight area of Dalplex gym, where some equipment is slated for replacement this winter, says Kathie Wheadon-Hore, senior manager of building operations. Photo: Luke Orrell

Jeff Bedard, a fourth-year science student at Dalhousie University, remembers when he almost bashed his head while lifting weights at Dalplex.

“One time I was working out and one of the dumbbells broke, and hit me in the head.  I was OK, but it was still scary at the time.”

He’s not the only one who notices the poor state of Dalplex gym equipment.

The weight room is located on the second floor and the size barely supports the average 240 daily users.  Although the gym is kept clean and tidy, the rust on many of the machines shows their age.

 Full-time Dalhousie and University of King’s College students pay mandatory membership fees to use the facility. Included in their tuition is a $130 levy that includes access to weight rooms, fitness classes, indoor tracks, the pool, badminton, squash and racquetball courts.

Non-student memberships range from $199 to $660.

Bedard, who began working out at Dalplex in 2007,  says he always thought most of the equipment needed an upgrade.

“When I first started working out, I really thought most of the weights would be upgraded within a year because of the shape they were in.  Now it’s 2012 and most of these weights and machines are in the exact same shape.  It’s really unfortunate for the students.”

Kathie Wheadon-Hore, senior manager of building operations at Dalplex, says staff are reviewing tenders to replace all the dumbbells and barbells and the multipurpose exercise machine in the middle of the gym.

“The tender is initially reviewed by purchasing, then myself and the building operations supervisor,” says Wheadon-Hore.  “We also consult with fitness and strength staff along the way.  We are going for some really great equipment.”

Jeff Bedard, a fourth-year Dalhousie student, curls a dumbbell at Dalplex gym between classes.  Dalplex hopes to have new weightlifting equipment in the gym this winter. Photo: Luke Orrell
Jeff Bedard, a fourth-year Dalhousie student, curls a dumbbell at Dalplex gym between classes. Dalplex hopes to have new weightlifting equipment in the gym this winter. Photo: Luke Orrell

She hopes the new equipment will be ready before the end of December or when students return in January. Some of the dumbbells, she admits, are “ancient.”

Replacing equipment is not cheap.  Dumbbells range from $24,000 to $28,000 for 65 pairs.  Barbells can cost from $8,000 to $10,000 for twenty-four. 

 “There have been times when we wanted to upgrade the equipment, but it just wasn’t in our budget,” Wheadon-Hore says. Dalplex tries to replace one or two pieces of equipment a year, but it’s not always possible.

“Funding is for academics first. But the gym is still a facility that is used a lot by our members and students.”

The budget this year for the replacement of the dumbbells, barbells, and the multipurpose exercise station is $50,000.

Wheadon-Hore says that although most of the machines are old, they still work and are not dangerous to use. She says there have not been any serious injuries or complaints.

When Bedard was hit by the dumbbell, he says he was not seriously injured ad he did not lodge a complaint.

Wheadon-Hore says she believes most of the other weight machines do not need to be replaced and are in good shape.

Bedard welcomes the possibility of new equipment, but says he still believes more machines should be replaced.

”It’s a start, but we pay a mandatory gym fee, so it would be nice to see more of the equipment getting upgraded too.  A lot of the other machines really need upgrades.”

 

 

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