The Technology of the Fitness Center

by CATHY GOODYEAR, Social Media Editor

Technology improves our lives on a daily basis and changed the waya we look at fitness and healthac. The Fitness Center in the Kelly Commons has been continuously improving and updating their equipment, including adding technologically advanced and digital machines to assist the way students train.

Francesca Iorio, a 2018 accounting graduate and current MBA graduate assistant in the fitness center helps overlook the introduction and transition of new machines and equipment.

“Two new forms of technologies that were added to the Fitness Center this summer were the two new stairmasters and two new rowing machines,” said Iorio. “With the stairmaster machines, the students can isolate their legs while doing a form of cardio. These machines are used very often and have different levels that students can adjust for their comfort on the machine. With the new rowing machines, this is another new source of cardio equipment for the system. This machine does not isolate any body part, as you will use your entire body to activate this machine.”

Students can also take advantage of treadmills and ellipticals with monitors to help them decide what type of workout is best for them like muscle building or weight loss workouts. These interactive screens allow you to customize your workouts or let you choose a pre-customized workout while keeping track of your progress through your Manhattan College account.

“Our cardio equipment system is constantly updated and students have the abilities to watch live TV, Netflix, Hulu, and others,” said Iorio. “Students can also choose specific workouts on the basis of what type of workout and how they would like to isolate a certain portion of their body. Other technologies that have been involved in the system since we have opened the center, is that each cardio machine tracks your time, distance, speed, incline, and heart rate while on the equipment.”

The Fitness Center is also equipped with a digital scanner for your Manhattan College ID along with student workers who ensure the center’s rules and guidelines are being followed for user’s safety. Madison Jennings, a fitness/desk attendant in the Fitness Center, is graduating in 2019 with a degree in Exercise Science.

“Having the technological advances that we do makes it easier for people to track their progress exactly,” said Jennings. “If you know how much weight you are trying to lose, or a certain heart rate that you’re trying to reach, there are certain calculations you can make to know how to plan out your workouts. Being able to access this technology instantly has allowed people to hone in on their workouts and get more exact results that their looking for.”

The fitness/desk attendants know a wide variety of knowledge about the equipment in the gym and are there to assist students in workouts when needed. They are also expected to refill sweat towels in the locker rooms and at the front of the gym, clean and put back equipment, empty the dirty towel bins into the laundry at the end of the night and re-rack the weights. Christina Brancato, a senior communication major, is also a fitness/desk attendant in the center.

“The new technology allows users to select different workouts tailored to their fitness goals,” Brancato said. “For example: weight loss, fat burn, and ‘get fit’ are just a few of the many cardio workout options. In terms of heart rate, a ‘target heart rate’ is based on an individual’s age, weight and level of fitness. There are different targeted heart rates for different levels of activity. For example, the target heart rate for fat burning zone is different from the maximum cardio zone. This information is useful for defining fitness goals, and working toward a given heart rate in order to maximize fitness goals.”

Brancato utilizes the fitness center herself, specifically the timer and calorie counter, which are some of the more common tools students tend to use to individualize their workouts.

“What works for me in terms of workouts, heart rates, and diet differs from the next person, which is why fitness technology is useful and important resource for those interested,” said Brancato. “Being able to track one’s fitness through tailored personalized information gives insight to a variety of fitness factors that can be crucial for maximizing fitness goals. For me personally, I like to know how long I’ve worked out, how far I’ve gone and how many calories I’ve burned based on my age, height and weight. This information is crucial in reaching my personal fitness goals. Without it, I would be blind to how far and how hard I have pushed my body in achieving my goals.”

Senior Cindy Pham, an Exercise Science Pre-Physical Therapy major, is also a fitness/desk attendant who also teaches a group exercise class. Her class involves intensity training for students who are intimidated to go to the gym and would prefer group instructions or who are looking for a fun class to change up the way they work out.

“Our advantage is that we will be able to train smarter than our grandparents who may have trained harder,” said Pham. “With added technology, it just makes it more convenient than going outside for a run during bad weather. If it’s raining outside, it may be safer and more comfortable to go to the gym and work out with the technology that mimics a run outside. Also, it works out different aspects of health and not just cardiovascular endurance compared to a run outside. Adding the technology can change the direction of intensity, which then changes the system that is being targeted such as anaerobic conditioning or HIIT.”

Jennings defined fitness technology as any use of technology to make working out easier, more accessible and more fun. Using added technology can help keep people who get easily distracted more focused. If you can see on a screen exactly where your workout is going, you will be more motivated to work harder.