New weight room caters to athletes

Norwich mens lacrosse team working out in the new gym. Picture by Andrew Thomas

Preseason, in season, and postseason, no matter the time of year, athletes are in the weight room lifting. Both men’s and women’s teams at Norwich University know this first hand. Putting in work in the weight room with the strength and conditioning coach is a key component in succeeding as an athlete.
Take all those student-athletes with busy schedules, combined with non-athletes trying to work out, and put them all in the same gym: that is one extremely overcrowded gym in Plumley Armory. Norwich felt there needed to be a change and so did the student-athletes.
This past month Norwich’s athletic director decided to create a smaller but more effective weight lifting gym for varsity sports teams. The gym was created by taking two racquet ball courts and equipping the rooms with lifting racks and new dumbbells.

The new gym includes eight racks, ten to twelve sets of dumbbells, bands, a hamstring machine, and many smaller items used in work outs. Even with the online teambuilder used by athletes, there is plenty of equipment to complete the workouts assigned to the athletes. The new gym allows for the coach to help the athletes reach their full potential in the weight room.
The gym creates a team atmosphere and allows for athletes to focus without distractions. It also allows for varsity athletes to schedule individual lifts during the day without having to worry about the gym being overcrowded or racks being unavailable. There is also a benefit for coaches, since having the space allows for the strength and conditioning coach to work with athletes during individual lifts without other students being in the gym.
Usage by student athletes has varied depending on the teams. The football team is one team that uses the weight room throughout the whole school year. Wide receiver Rashawn Fraser, a sophomore majoring in criminal justice, likes the new space for workouts, saying that “personally, I love the new gym, I feel more comfortable and that kind of gym is the kind I grew up in. I think it has brought our team closer together because the smaller rooms have you standing and talking next to people you wouldn’t normally talk to on the team.”
Athletes say having the new gym brings teams closer together, which can lead to more success among the athletic programs. Jonathan Moltimer, a junior majoring in athletic training who plays linebacker on the football team, expressed his happiness with the new weight lifting gym. “As an athlete having the new gym lets us get more hyped and enjoy lifting more. I love going to lift now and I think the rest of the team would agree with me. It is also nice to know when you get to the gym that other students won’t be there.”
While it is hard to find an athlete who doesn’t like the new facility, and the benefits it comes with, other students at Norwich aren’t complaining either. The new gym frees up more space in the old gym in Plumley.
One non-athlete, Vernon McAlmont III, a junior majoring in criminal justice, said he likes that athletes have moved to the new gym. “I’m glad the teams now lift in Andrews because the gym is never closed at night now and I don’t have to worry about checking a schedule to see if I can get on a rack. The gym is definitely less crowded because athletes don’t come here to lift. Sometimes I liked seeing the athletes because I used to be on the team so seeing them kept that connection, but I still see them around campus, so it’s all good.”
The new gym benefits both athletes and non-athletes because it provides more space and equipment for everyone. Although racks and equipment were taken from the Plumley gym to outfit the new space, there is still plenty of equipment for both gyms to have what is needed.
Manni Romero, a sophomore majoring in history who is on the football team, explains how having the new gym makes things easier and more convenient.

Norwich wrestling team stretching in the new gym. Picture by Benjamin Forsman

“I mean since we have to go to Andrews for locker rooms, practice, and the training room it makes it a lot easier to have lift in the same place. Going back and forth to change was getting annoying so I like it. I also think having the new gym with a higher ceiling creates a better acoustic and people get more excited.”
Safety-wise, having athletes lifting in the same building as the trainers lessens concern about someone getting injured during lift. Instead of having to transfer the injured athlete, a trainer can go right down the stairs.
The coaches also enjoy having the new gym in Andrews because their offices are now in the same building that their athletes are lifting in. They can make a quick stop in during lifts to see how their athletes are doing. They also feel as though the gym provides a more professional setting for their athletes.
The change seems to have agreed with athletes and there appears to be more positives than negatives under the new arrangement, according to users of the new facility.


  1. I think this is excellent.

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