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SPYMCA installs new equipment in weight room

Southern Prairie YMCA updated its weight room last week with a total of seven new machines.

New machines include a combination ab crunch/back extension machine that replaced two individual machines, a tricep press, arm curl, a second multifunctional trainer, new leg press and two Smith machines.

In addition, a bench was purchased for one of the Smith machines and two sets of rubber-plated weights were purchased.

In total, the equipment cost just more than $27,000 and was paid for by a group of donors including area businesses and individuals.

SPYMCA Executive Director Dana Dodge said safety and improvements were the biggest factors in upgrading the equipment.

“We were looking more for safe, biomechanically correct machines,” Dodge said. “A lot of it, too, was that Universal equipment was so outdated and it’s been kind of a thorn in my side for so many years. I knew working with other fitness facilities there was other, better biomechanically correct equipment out there we needed for our members here.”

Dodge said with the previous Universal machines in the weight room, it was easy for those using the machines to get off pivot point with the machines, which led to using tendons and ligaments instead of the intended muscle group, leading to potential injuries.

The new Cybex brand machines, however, do not have pivot points. The user has better range of motion with the the new machines.

In addition to upgrading the equipment, replacing two machines with one has opened up more space in the weight room.

“That actually just kind of surprised us all,” Dodge said. “We weren’t really looking for that, we were just trying to update the equipment for a more biomechanics aspect. A lot of machines are now multifunctional, they’re two machines into one and so that gave us an added benefit of more room in the weight room.”

Dodge said in the next budget year, she’d like to add more Olympic bars for the weight room, as well as adding row machines to the cardio room. In addition, the equipment that stayed in the weight room – a bench press, incline press and calf machine – will be sandblasted and powder-coated with black and upholstered in gray so they match the new equipment.

“People are very happy,” Dodge said about the new equipment. “We’re trying to get weight-room orientations done and if anybody needs those, we can get those set up with J.R. (Hicks) or myself. It’s just a little bit of a different mechanism than they’re used to, but I think they’re pretty self-explanatory.”

Upgrading the weight room equipment was a necessary step as SPYMCA looks at the possibility of moving to limited access.

Dodge said if the SPYMCA board passes limited access, the facility needed to be as safe of an environment as possible to limit injuries and accidents when there is no staff available.

SPYMCA is still researching limited access and trying to work out any potential issues before the board makes a decision. However, a survey was conducted and some SPYMCA members showed interest in having limited access, mostly in the early mornings and on weekends.

“Most members are happy with our operating hours, but those that have work schedules that don’t sometimes allow them to get in here during our operating hours, this might give them a chance to use the facility,” Dodge said.

The facility would not be 24/7, but would provide some limited access hours to the early morning and at night, when members would be able to gain access to the facility using a keyless fob entry.

No decision has been made on going to limited access, but SPYMCA is taking bids for the proper equipment to make it a possibility.

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