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Re-Racking the Weight Room 

The SUNY Brockport athletic weight room. Photo credit: Shannon Blakenship

23 varsity teams. Six racks. One weight room. 

At SUNY Brockport, student athletes use the Bill Steele Athletic Weight Room. Although this facility is exclusive to student athletes on campus, it does not fit the needs of each team. 

Larger teams take up as much as three one hour time slots because of the lack of space and equipment, and smaller teams end up sharing the space with athletes from different teams. 

Graduate student and Brockport football player Luke Lodini has seen the development of the program throughout his collegiate career. Unfortunately, as the team grows, the weight room remains the same.  

“I do find it frustrating working in a smaller weight room because being a team of 100 plus guys, it gets crowded and takes away from our workouts when having to wait for equipment at times,” Lodini said. 

Sophomore gymnast Becca Ring also feels the restraints of working out in a smaller area with a bigger team. 

“The weight room could be larger to accommodate the size of our team,” Ring said. “We are currently split into two separate times to lift which allows us to have less people at a rack, but if our full team was in there at once we would have more people sharing a rack.” 

The appearance of the weightroom is one that depicts Brockport Athletics well. Both Lodini and Ring believe the space is attractive. 

“It gives off a look of grit and hard work which I have always liked about it,” Lodini said. 

Ring focussed more on the smaller details of the facility. 

“I feel that our weight room has a good appearance as the strength coaches care about its neatness and how well it is maintained,” Ring said.  

Although appearance and efficiency are at the forefront of student athletes’ minds when entering a weight room, strength and conditioning coach Raymond Irish sees safety as the biggest concern of the smaller weight room.  

“I find it to be more inconvenient than frustrating but still can be irritating because some of the teams hold a bigger roster than other team,” Irish said. “Safety is a concern because when space is limited and equipment is being used, it opens up more opportunities for injury to occur. A bigger weight room could be convenient to accommodate all student athletes.” 

Regardless of the specific time slot each team has, each athlete is still able to use the weight room on their own time. However, while it is convenient for lifting to be on an athlete’s personal schedule, they must still accommodate the team that is scheduled to lift.  

“It would allow teams to have their slots for their programmed lift but also allow other student athletes to occupy other areas of the room without causing distraction,” Irish said. “This would be the case if the weight room was expanded, allowing more room for power racks, barbells and other equipment to help accommodate a student athlete and their in-season/ off-season program.” 

Although athletes and coaches push to enlarge the weight room, the privilege of having their own is not taken for granted.

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Shannon Blankenship, Editor-in-Chief
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