by Jake Scearbo ’17
All of us students at Providence College are blessed to get memberships to a world-class gym for just the small price of tuition. Many of the students here utilize these facilities to get in tip-top shape for the intramural season or to impress that cute boy or girl in class. This year, there are a few new pieces of equipment that students can use. All of them will turn you into the athlete you have always desired to be.
The first piece of new equipment is the rowing machines. Anyone who has used rowers before knows how jerky they can be when you’re moving back and forth. The great aspect of these rowers is that there is water in the front of the machine, which creates tension while rowing. Since there is water, this rower is incredibly smooth and made for a tough cardio workout. Not only was my heart rate high but I could also feel the burn in my whole body. I was sweating up a storm after a couple minutes of rowing, so only try this if you’re ready to feel sore in the morning. There are two rowers on the second floor and two on the first floor so there should always be one open for use.
The next pieces of new equipment are the elliptical machines.There are the classic standing variety but there are also ones where you can sit down. Even though the sitting ones felt like a glorified bike, it will be nice to be sitting for all the lazy gym goers out there. I would not recommend using the this kind if you are attempting to actually exercise, but if you are feeling lazy and want to sit while using an elliptical, be my guest.
The classic standing variety ellipticals are very nice. Of all the times I have used ellipticals in my life, this one felt the most like I was truly running. There were endless options of workouts, ranging from speed training and long distance to the X mode. This setting allows you to set a goal for your workout and helps you reach that goal by showing your progressions throughout. I used this mode to try and run two miles in 16 minutes and it helped me keep my pace. It was almost like a personal trainer leading me through a workout.
The only problem I had with these machines was trying to figure out my stride length. I ultimately figured out my ideal stride length, but I had to estimate a couple of times before I found the best one. Overall, these are the best ellipticals I have ever used and would recommend them if you’re not up for a jog around the neighborhood.
The new equipment is awesome, but the talk of Concannon Fitness Center is the Jacob’s Ladder. This machine is like nothing I have ever seen before and does not seem to fit in at a gym. To use it, you must buckle a strap around your waist and slowly start walking up the ladder. Once there is tension on the strap, the ladder rungs start to move. The more tension you put on the strap, the faster the rungs move.
Connor Hoge ’17 commented that the ladder machine “challenges you to have great hand eye coordination and to know your own abilities because if you go too fast you will lose control and fall.” From watching him use the machine, I could see how hard it was to put your hands and feet on the correct rungs while also controlling the speed. Steve Crowley ’17 noticed, “The strain the machine puts on your calves.” The ladder machine is exciting but should not be a part of anyone’s easy workout.
Overall, the new gym equipment is a huge positive for anyone trying to exercise. Now is a perfect time to bulk up because winter is coming.