CIU Fitness Center Weight Room Expanded, Equipment Upgraded
By Bob Holmes
If the grimace on the face of CIU basketball player Damian Hurta was any indication, the new weight room equipment in CIU’s Moore Fitness Center is going to be an effective training tool for CIU athletes.
Hurta was doing some pretty heavy bench pressing on the new equipment during one of the basketball team’s first practices at the start of the spring semester.
Over the Christmas break, the weight room in the Moore Fitness Center was moved to a larger room where nine half-squat racks were installed, replacing outdated weights and benches. The new $18,000 equipment is not only available to the CIU Rams athletic teams, but all who use the fitness center: students, faculty, staff and alumni.
Moore Fitness Center Director and Cross Country Coach Jud Brooker describes the new racks as “all-in-one weight lifting equipment for squats, bench press, with pull-up bar, and hooks for exercise bands.” The squat racks and additional new free weights were part of a more extensive renovation totaling approximately $25,000, most of which was funded through student activity fees.
Senior Naquan Wilson, who four years ago made history as a member of the first intercollegiate basketball team at CIU, says the new equipment is a key addition to the athletics program.
“This is really going to be good as far as recruiting because we never had this before,” Wilson said. “So it’s going to be really exciting for the (new) guys to see.”
Men’s Basketball Coach Marshall Tague says his team used to have to split up into small groups for strength conditioning and use a tiny weight room in the fitness center, or walk across the parking lot to Ben Lippen School to use their weight room. But now he says the team can work out together.
“That helps with our team unity and the family atmosphere we want to create” Teague said. “It allows everybody to push each other and hold each other accountable.”
He says the upgraded equipment is also a morale boost for the team.
“It feels good,” Tague said. “We have (the Rams) logo on everything. It’s a sense of pride, a sense of ownership. That’s a really cool thing.”