Over the course of a year, the Newman University weight room has undergone a few makeovers and gained some new equipment. Renaire Palmer, the university’s weight trainer, said it has been one of his goals to improve the weight facilities.
The list of new equipment to the weight room this fall is: a Jacob’s ladder, weight benches, plyometric boxes, throwing walls, stretch straps, foam rollers, olympic bar clips, pull-up bands, medicine balls, mirrors, additional BOSU balls, and a cooler with milk and Gatorade access for athletes post-workout.
Palmer said the thought process behind the transformation was that he needed to figure out how to get anywhere between six to 42 athletes into the weight room and ensure a safe and productive workout for everyone.
“I believe there is now more room to better change out the weights and spot as well as have multiple activities taking place without the fear of hitting a fellow athlete or putting anyone in a potentially hazardous situation,” he said.
When Palmer first started working for the university, he noticed that space was hard to come by.
“My initial reaction was that there were lots of athletes needing to utilize a small space,” he said. “I needed to find a way to get the most out of the limited amount of space we had available.”
One of the first changes made to the weight room was the set-up itself. The weight racks went from lining the walls of the weight room to meeting up in the middle. Palmer said this was one of his initial concerns.
“We needed to rearrange the weight room for the safety of those lifting and the people around them,” he said.
Once the set-up changes were made, Palmer said he began to upgrade the facilities that were already in the weight room to make sure athletes were given their best opportunity for safety and comfort.
“The next idea was to make sure we had equipment was able to be used safely and begin replacing and updating those things to ensure nobody is getting hurt on them,” he said.
Palmer said the changes made and the upcoming changes to the weight room are centered around priority and functionality.
“The foam rollers and stretch bands were needed to allow athletes to be able to work through soreness as well as help with range of motion,” he said.
Palmer said he feels like the newest changes have instilled a little bit more respect within the athletic department and its teams.
“I believe there is more sense of pride now with all the changes made and the athletes take care of the weight room and feel like it is their facility to train in,” he said.
Palmer said his next plan is to replace all the bumper plates in the weight room.
“I want to have bumper plates for olympic lifts and begin replacing the dumbbells,” he said.
This story first appeared in the October 5, 2017 issue of The Vantage.