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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

You’re Invited to Beacon Fitness

The Beacon Fitness Center, located on the first floor of the McCormack bldg., opens its doors this spring to all students free-of-charge and to staff and faculty for a weekly fee of $2.50. Operating hours are Monday through Thursday 6am to 9pm, Friday 6am to 8pm, and Saturday and Sunday 1pm to 6pm. According to Chris Fitzgerald, general manager of the gym and Hasan Bailey, exercise specialist, there are good reasons to give the gym a try,whether you’re a novice or expatriate.

“For one thing,” Fitzgerald said, “the gym has replaced its twenty-year-old Nautilus equipment with a brand new Nautilus line.” Fitzgerald explained the old Nautilus equipment was designed to work for people ranging in height from 5’6″ to 6’2″. In contrast, the new equipment was designed to accommodate people ranging in height from 4’10” to 6’4″. Bailey says the new equipment also displays easy to read usage charts, is “easy to maneuver” and “more pleasing to the eye” than the old equipment. Another change at the gym, according to Fitzgerald, is that all staff are now certified in First Aid and CPR.

In addition to the new Nautilus line, there exists stationary aerobic machines, treadmills, stair steppers, bicycles, a couple of rowers and Nordic tracks. Fitzgerald said, “The center plans to increase the number of aerobics classes this spring which take place in the aerobics room. They will be improving the sound system there as well. The center has always and still does provide racquetball and squash equipment and special rooms for playing. Sign-up lists are posted at the front desk.

Fitzgerald and Bailey agree that people with disabilities should not shy away from the gym. As of now they have several regular customers with disabilities working out at the gym. Bailey says, “The new Nautilus system makes it easier to get in and out of the machines. A particular machine, the ergometer, is engineered especially for people with upper mobility: it is bicycle wheel mounted on table and ‘pedaled’ with the hands.” If anyone has disability or medical condition, they should get clearance from a doctor before using the gym.

Other services this year include a free fitness assessment if desired and an initial consultation with trained staff to develop an exercise plan. Fitzgerald also mentioned a class conducted in the gym where students from the Human Performance and Fitness division of the school are matched with willing students for one-on-one personal training. For $25 a student can sign up for the program and get six weeks of training sessions plus a pre- and post- fitness assessment. Anyone interested in the program can ask about it at the front desk at the beginning of the semester. Participants will chosen in a random draw and people assigned to trainers based on their compatibility.

New this semester, the Fitness Center will offer a non-mandatory orientation program featuring slide show and other pertinent materials. Fitzgerald, who has been managing the center for the past year and a half, has other plans in the works. He plans to overhaul and improve the locker rooms and hopes to someday have a longer indoor track up around the perimeter of the second level of the gym where the staff lounge and walkway now exist. Fitzgerald says, “Air quality has already been improved and will get better.”

If a student decides he or she wants to try the gym, be prepared for a few regulations. Students must have UMB student identification with the current semester sticker to be admitted and they must fill out a registration from. Also, for safety reasons, the following attire is expected: athletic shoes, shorts or sweatpants and shirts to be worn at all time. No jeans, dress shoes, boots or sandals are permitted.

Fitzgerald comes to UMB from Cincinnati, Ohio. He attained a bachelor’s and master’s degree in exercise and previously worked in the corporate fitness field. He says working at UMB is “exciting and busier” than his corporate work. Approximately 250-300 people use the gym each day.

Fitzgerald especially likes the opportunity to teach and supervise students in the “personal training” course among other things. The gym offers seminars on topics such as nutrition and other health issues and posts notices for these events around campus and in The Mass Media.

Bailey is a graduate of UMB and has been working in the Fitness Center for the past five and a half years. When asked what’s kept him at the Center, Bailey cites, “…the environment…working with people, the wide range of ethnic groups.” He says working at the Beacon Fitness Center has also helped him learn to “Deal with people…work with my peers at different levels.” His work at the center has also helped persuade him to “stay in the field” of exercise science. When asked what his “wish list” for the center include, one of the things Bailey mentioned was that he’d like to “increase female usage” of the gym.

Ladies (and gentlemen) consider yourselves invited.