New and improved changes brought to the Herbert Wellness Center this spring

Entrance to the Herbert Wellness Center FItness Room. Photo credit: Nicole Knopfholz Daitschman

The Herbert Wellness Center has always been a popular destination for the University of Miami community, but $x renovations have made the gym-going experience even better.

The renovations were mostly completed over winter break, but Wellness Center staff have been preparing the gymnasium for renovations for several months, replacing some equipment over Thanksgiving break.

The most recognizable changes to the Wellness Center are the additional power racks used for benching, deadlifting and squatting.

“This was a drastic improvement to the two combination racks that we had previously,” said Angus Bonoan, a junior majoring in legal studies and a personal trainer at the Wellness Center. “Now even during busy times, there is essentially no wait time to get what you need to get done, done.”

Most of the 20-year-old equipment at the Wellness Center was swapped out during renovations, including each of the free benches, dumbbells, racks, select-prized cable machines and plate-loaded machines for new, state-of-the-art equipment.

Cosmetic changes to the gym were made as well, including the student desk being removed from the center of the main floor and all secondary equipment to the front of the gym.

Some students heard about the renovations that would be taking place, while others were completely unaware of the changes prior to arriving back on campus.

“I didn’t know much about what they were changing except for the layout,” said Lani Cowan, a sophomore majoring in architecture.

Student reactions to the refurbishment have been overwhelmingly positive.

“The newness of the equipment combined with the improved availability and spacing has created a much-improved environment,” Bonoan said. “When I came to UM and experienced the old Wellness Center for the first time, I honestly felt like it left a lot to be desired.”

Bonoan’s favorite additions to the Wellness Center are the hammer-strength plate-loaded machines.

“We currently have enough machines to complete a full back and chest workout, targeting all essential parts, which is super convenient,” Bonoan said.

According to some students, the renovations were a necessary change to bring a new and improved feel to the building.

“It is really great to see a much needed makeover of the gym and all the students being able to find enjoyment as well with the new equipment and look,” Chap said. “It definitely felt a little lackluster before renovations, but now it definitely feels like a world-class athletics facility.”

Despite the encouraging feedback the Wellness Center has gotten, other students believe there is still room for improvement, such as purchasing even more equipment to compensate for the popularity of the Wellness Center.

“I wish they would have more choices for the pulley machines,” said Marley. “They should get more grips, like more split ropes. I also wish they would have added more smaller dumbbells for smaller muscles and rehab.”

The upgrades to the Wellness Center follow UM’s recent commitment to giving campus a facelift —-from the recently completed Knight Center for Music Innovation to the currently being constructed Centennial Village.

“These new renovations really shed a new light on the importance of fitness, and UM’s commitment to the health and wellness of their community,” Boanon said.