The days of skipping a workout to watch a favorite television show are over, as new treadmills with built-in TV screens have been introduced at the Butler University Health and Recreation Complex.
The HRC recently updated several cardio exercise machines and dumbbell weights to bring the best equipment possible to its patrons.
“In order to do our best in providing a high quality of equipment and customer service for the constituents we serve, it’s important that we keep up with the trends, maintain our equipment the best that we can and implement a cyclical equipment replacement plan,” Adrian Shepard, assistant director of recreation, said, “These variables contribute to providing the best possible HRC experience for our users.”
Though the old equipment had not necessarily surpassed its average life span, the HRC has had a much higher usage rate, causing more than normal wear and tear, prompting the staff to consider buying new equipment, Shepard said.
“[The cardio equipment] was beginning to squeak and rattle enough that the fitness specialists were receiving multiple comments and questions each day last spring regarding the condition of our Precor treadmills,” he said.
Shepard said the new equipment purchases include five Matrix T7xe treadmills, five Precor 966i Experience Series treadmills, 18 Keiser M3 Indoor Cycles and a set of Tag Fitness ultrathane dumbbells.
In addition, existing equipment was updated to help keep up with the high usage of the HRC facility.
“Due to the positive relationship we’ve fostered with our vendors, Matrix showed their appreciation by replacing the belts and decks on our Matrix T5x treadmills at no cost to the university, thus increasing their lifespan,” Shepard said.
The new equipment has a variety of features that will incorporate technology, allowing users access to both video and iPod hook-ups, as well as providing the HRC employees with a better idea of any repairs that might be necessary.
“Some of the anticipated benefits arising from the new equipment include the integration of cutting edge technology, greater variety in program options and personal output tracking, an enhanced level of comfort on body joints, less down-time when repairs are needed and a decrease in the need to purchase replacement parts,” Shepard said.
In determining what equipment is best for the facility, Shepard said he attends trade shows in order to personally test out all of the equipment being considered for purchase and also performs background checks with other facilities that already own the equipment.
“With over 10 years experience working in the fitness industry some of the most important things I take into account are durability, maintenance needs, estimated cost of routine maintenance, cost of replacement parts, the overall customer service, ratings of the vendor and manufacturer, the manufacturer’s history and warranties,” he said.
Shepard said the HRC also tries to demo the equipment in order to receive customer feedback before any purchases.
In the spring of 2009 Shepard tried out the Keiser M3 indoor cycles and Butler was made a field test site for the Matrix T7xe.
“In both instances we received overwhelmingly positive feedback on the units, which largely factored into the equipment replacement process,” he said.
Shepard said the HRC has received positive customer feedback of the new machines through communication with the fitness supervisors, the operations staff, suggestion box comments and correspondence to professional staff.
“When talking with our students, they seem to most enjoy the technology upgrades, the increased option of programs and the enhanced shock absorption,” he said.
Students said they appreciate the new equipment features and are also glad to see the older equipment go.
“I really like the incorporation of the Nike and iPod combination that allows you to use technology while working out too,” junior Ann Kayser said.
Senior Sarah Nedde said, “The old treadmills were really loud and the fact that the news ones have TVs included is awesome.”
Shepard said anyone wishing to learn more about the new fitness equipment can speak with a fitness specialist or attend an orientation—Bulldog Basics—offered at any time to individuals.
“[At Bulldog Basics] a handout is included and, in addition to learning how to use the equipment, you also learn basic fitness terminology, how to calculate your theoretical maximum heart rate and corresponding training zone and HRC fitness etiquette,” he said.
Anyone needing more information on Bulldog Basics should visit www.butler.edu/fitness and click on the Bulldog Basics link.