New fitness equipment leads to big gains at Tait McKenzie Centre

Recent upgrades to the fitness equipment in York University’s Tait McKenzie Centre have led to huge improvements as the York Lions’ Campus Recreation Department continues to make big strides in increasing program options and user satisfaction.

A full-scale update to the equipment kit in the Fitness Centre was completed in December 2018, while upgrades to two of the studios, including the addition of women’s-only programming and accessibility services space, have made for a more welcoming and positive atmosphere for users.

“The upgrades to the space and the new equipment make all the difference – it now feels like you are working out at an exclusive club,” said Maureen Barnes, director, Student Accessibility Services at York and frequent user of the Tait McKenzie Fitness Centre. “Not only are there are new machines to integrate into existing routines, but the strength and conditioning area has new toys so that keeping workouts challenging is never a problem. What was especially helpful was being able to do an intro session to see how to incorporate the new equipment into daily routines.”

Fourth-year kinesiology and health science student Malcolm Glennie agrees that the changes to the Fitness Centre have increased the options users have when completing their workouts.

“Changing up your workout routine is important and the new equipment at Tait is perfect for adding some diversity and creativity to your workouts,” said Glennie.

The new equipment purchases increased the equipment kit size, variety, quality and elevation of spaces within the Fitness Centre and studios. In the Fitness Centre itself, all previous cardio equipment, selectorized strength, plate-loaded strength, training stations, Olympic benches, and racks were replaced with new and upgraded models.

Elevated space within the Fitness Centre was also created to include a functional training area that features Escape Fitness equipment, a premium and industry-leading brand, that offers users unique equipment design as well as increased functionality. The new Escape Fitness equipment area has allowed for new programming, and the Campus Recreation Department recently launched the popular Olympic weight lifting program in January. Led by the student staff members, the Olympic weight lifting program is executed in a group training format that takes place three days per week and caps off with a mini Olympic weight lifting event. The new program has elevated both the Fitness Centre’s program offerings and the professional student staff who lead the sessions, as they have all completed their Level 1 Olympic weight lifting coaching course.

The women’s-only programming and accessibility services space has found a home in Studio 3, which has undergone a facelift that includes new flooring, paint, lights, ventilation, and new selectorized and free weight equipment. Studio 1, which is used for spin classes and drop-in fitness classes, has also been improved with new paint, ventilation, Keiser spin bikes and an Escape Fitness training rig.

“The new Fitness Centre equipment has turned the studio space into an inviting, safe space for training clients at Tait,” said Vienna Nguyen, a fourth-year kinesiology and health science student and Fitness & Lifestyles staff member who leads the programming associated with student accessibility services in Studio 3.

“Having a separate space allows our clients to feel comfortable and confident when exercising, and creating a space like this is a huge benefit to have for our clients.”

The new equipment purchases include selections from the industry-leading brands Precor, Life Fitness, Hammer Strength, Escape Fitness and Matrix. The impact of the new equipment can already be seen, as the Fitness Centre recorded 11,775 more total visits when compared to January 2018, which represents an increase of 29 per cent.

For more information on the Tait McKenzie Centre and to find out about memberships and program options, visit the Campus Recreation website.