New weight and fitness center offers wide range of exercise equipment opportunities

Release Date: 9/23/2011

Clarksville, Ark. --- After months of anticipation, the U of O community has rushed to embrace the newly opened Rawhouser Weight and Fitness Center. The 2,211 sq. ft. fitness area has a wide array of work-out equipment, everything from cardio-building equipment like treadmills, stationary bikes, and stair-masters, as well as free weights and a full range of different weight machines for developing all different muscle groups.

Fitness Center Manager Cassie Saorrono says the equipment is all easy to use. "It's self-explanatory. Every piece of equipment has pictures of what muscles are worked if you use it, and instructions for how to use it. And work study students are always on hand at the desk if you have questions."

She said the machines all have touch screens which allow the users to program their own workouts and to track their progress. "The equipment is also Apple/iPod compatible," she added. "They're in the process of getting the cable TV hooked up on the big screen right now, but in the meantime I have TV shows and movies on my iPod, so I can watch them when I do my own workout."

Fitness Center

Machines in the new Rawhouser Weight and Fitness Center are equipped with touch screens, allowing users to program their workout and track their progress.

Saorrono said several people have reported they would use the equipment more often if written workouts were available so they wouldn't have to develop with their own. "I'm actually in the process right now of coming up with some, just instructions for a basic circuit workout," she said. "Also, Coach Stone and I have been talking about getting with some 2nd semester junior and senior PE majors to hopefully get them certified as personal trainers. We're working on it. It's just difficult to find someone to come here to do the certification training, rather than having to send people elsewhere."

Saorrono added that the locker rooms are finished and that a locker rental system is being set up now.

Dean of Students Joe Hoing, who teaches his weight training class in the new facility, is also happy with the upgraded equipment. "These machines let you work on every muscle group," he said. "Here's a pull-down machine for lats. This one works for biceps. Dumbbells are over there. Plus we have all the cardio/aerobics equipment. The treadmills can be elevated upward if you want that. There's the exercise bike and then these seated recumbent bikes. It's all here."

Student response to the new facility has been enthusiastic to say the least. "I love that the machines tell me how many calories I am burning," said Brooke Conner. "It keeps me motivated to keep working."

Cody Clementsen agreed. "It is very helpful having people to assist you when you are not too sure about how to use a certain piece of equipment. The safety latches on the bench press make it easy to lift without needing a spotter, and the ellipticals are very handy, being able to adjust them - running slow or fast, uphill or downhill - and having a place to put a drink and an MP3 player is useful as well. The towels provided, the excellent quality of all the equipment, and the ease in which you can record how well you do, make the fitness center's best quality its convenience."

The fitness center is available for Ozarks students, faculty, staff, and alumni.  Hours of operation are:

Monday - Thursday 5 a.m. - midnight
Friday 5 a.m. - 10 p.m.
Saturday 9 a.m. - 10 p.m.
Sunday 1 p.m. - midnight
Fitness Center

Members of the Ozarks campus community now have access to state-of-the-art workout and fitness technology in the new campus fitness center.