The fitness center frenzy

Melinda Kauffman

It’s 10 in the morning on a Monday and you are planning to stop by the fitness center for exactly forty minutes before your next class. You sign in and head straight for the treadmills, but every single one is taken. In fact, not a single cardio machine is available and while you could come back later, you specifically blocked off this time in your schedule.

At Washington and Lee, students, faculty and athletes use the same gym. While this usually doesn’t cause a problem, students sometimes struggle to find a time when the fitness center is not busy. Six in the morning and nine at night are great options if that fits in your schedule, but most W&L students have free time in the middle of the day.

As an athlete at W&L, I sometimes find it difficult  to go to the fitness center and get my workouts done. Luckily I am a morning person and do not mind getting up at the crack of dawn to go when barely anyone is there. However, I know that if I ever sleep late and try to go to the fitness center in the middle of the day, I might as well stay home. Many times I have abandoned some of the exercises in my workout because the machine I want is either being used or there are simply too many people crowded in one area.

Although building another fitness center would solve this problem, it is not the most practical solution. If the fitness center opened earlier on Sunday’s or stayed open later on weeknights, this would diffuse some of the chaos. Another solution would be to assign specific time slots for sports team workouts.

I know that many teams have designated times that they go to the fitness center together, but not all teams do this and as a result the gym is flooded when the football, lacrosse and tennis team are all there at the same time. If each separate sports time had a designated time(s) that they did the workouts, this would ease some of the crowdedness.  You could add something here about how crowded it can be when different teams are in the gym at the same time

The problem is that everyone tries to go at the same mid-afternoon time, either 10 in the morning or right before dinner around three or four, and a forty-minute workout easily turns into an hour and a half. It may not be necessary to block off the entire fitness center for a sports team, but if each team has a specific workout time this would give other students and faculty a warning as to when the fitness center will be more crowded.

Working out is supposed to be enjoyable and for some it is a way to relieve stress. So why not make this stressful system a little less stressful by adjusting the hours? The solution to the fitness center frenzy is either more hours or specific hours for sports teams to come in and do their workouts.

Nearly every member of the W&L community is on a tight schedule, and lack of gym space should not serve as a hindrance to anyone.  This will alleviate the stress of going to the gym and make it a more enjoyable process for all gym goers.