Find your fitness: West campus center expands services, activities
Comedienne Phyllis Diller once joked that her idea of exercise was a “good, brisk sit.” No matter how brisk the sit, Diller would be left in the dust at the growing and vibrant Diablo Performance Recreation Center, the 6,000-square foot fitness center on Arizona State University’s West campus.
From contests to personal trainers to find-a-buddy programs to intramurals, the center is “finding its fitness,” according to a campaign designed to attract more of the campus’s nearly 10,000 students.
“We’re located on the lower level of the University Center Building (UCB), which doesn’t exactly put you in the middle of the campus foot-traffic pattern,” says fitness center director Keith Munson. “With so much to offer the campus community, we figured it was time to come up with a way to let more folks know where to find us and introduce them to everything they have at their disposal here. It’s much more than lifting weights or treadmills, which we have.”
Munson points to the recent expansion of the facility, as well as an equipment upgrade – courtesy of the Associated Students of ASU’s West campus (ASASUW) – as the tip of the iceberg when it comes to campus community services. New to students, faculty and staff at the West campus are a new “cardio theater” on all cardio machines, adaptive motion trainers, Wii Fit and Wii Sports checkouts, upgraded lighting for the outdoor facilities that include two athletic fields, two racquetball courts, two basketball courts, two sand volleyball courts and a campus walking path.
Among the free programs available to students, faculty and staff with a fitness center membership is Make it Fit, a frequent-flyer program (this one is for students only) that features a free ASU T-shirt to those who use the center 25 times before Oct. 30. At the end of the program, a grand prize winner will receive four “Red Zone” tailgate and game tickets to an upcoming Arizona Cardinals home game.
Other programs have been designed by Munson and his staff to help users find and connect with people who have the same fitness, exercise and sports interests; to build fitness performance clubs for hiking, weightlifting and even ultimate fighting; to offer free non-credit classes that develop mind and body, such as belly dancing, yoga, Brazilian dance/martial arts known as capoeira, CPR and first-aid certification. Credit courses include an enhanced version of Human Exercise Science, which features free personal training, and an “automated” Human Exercise Science class that includes computer-tracked workouts and assignments that record session heart rates and offer exercise suggestions to optimize workouts.
“We’re building programs that make it easy for students, faculty and staff to find their fitness right here on campus,” says Munson. “Whatever a person’s goals, interests or schedule, we’ve got so many options and we’re adding to our repertoire all the time. This is a great place to be.”
Already completed on the fall semester schedule of tournaments and day events are such competitions as a sports night featuring dodgeball, basketball, flag football and volleyball; a “Sand Devil” coed volleyball tournament; a golf tourney played at ASU Karsten Golf Course; and ping pong, basketball and flag football tournaments. A 7-on-7 flag football league and coed volleyball league get underway in October and November, respectively.
Munson points to statistics to further state his “find your fitness mantra.” He says a higher percentage of fitness-center users stay in school than non-users and quotes from reports that note an improvement in self-esteem and confidence by those who regularly use a fitness center.
“You have studies that show intramural sport programs provide a powerful medium for student interaction, and that sport can serve as a vehicle for the transmission of knowledge, values and norms,” he says, referring to a Belch, Gebel and Mass report in 2001 and Wankel and Berger findings in 1990.
“We’re proud of what we have created here, and we know that once someone knows what we have to offer and where to find it, well, the sky’s the limit.”
Enrolled ASU West campus students’ fitness center fees are paid through tuition costs, and participation at Diablo Performance Recreation Center requires only a swipe of the student’s Sun Card. For faculty and staff, Munson is currently offering a buddy program that features a buy-one-get-one free semester membership price of $50. The normal faculty/staff fee is $50 per semester.
For more information, call the center at (602) 543-3488 or visit http://west.asu.edu/fitness. The fitness center is located in UCB B-119, next to Second Stage West.