New Weight Room Enhanced with Flooring and Equipment

Sandro Mocciolo '23, Staff Writer

Walking down the corridor on the bottom floor of Olcott Gymnasium, Loomis Chaffee community members may notice a striking LC logo adorning the floor of the new weight room. The logo is just one of many additions to the repurposed space in Shimkus Gymnasium, which previously housed the LC wrestling team.
Throughout these past few months, the athletic department has begun enhancing the new weight room.
“I really appreciated the additions to the weight room,” Sal Katz ’23 said. “I was in lift in fall term and now in the winter, and seeing the difference is quite staggering.”
The process began months earlier.
“At the beginning of the year we added several racks, some benches, new weights, [and] punching bags,” said Ms. Sue Cabot, Director of LC Athletics. “Adding the bigger equipment and more racks…allowed us to have more student-athletes working out at the same time.”
“I think the addition of the new racks as well as the new dumbbells has made it easier for people to complete their workouts without waiting in lines,” Sal said.
However, the most noticeable and recent renovation happened over winter break.
“We upgraded the flooring,” Ms. Cabot said. “The [previous gym] flooring wasn’t designed to have free weights and racks,” she continued.
The global supply chain issues had delayed the arrival of the new flooring, so the installation was pushed from the summer to winter break. The new floor provides multiple surfaces for different exercises.
“We put in a turf strip…and at some point we will do sled work, so that we’ll be able to do more functional movement work,” Ms. Cabot said, “while the rubber flooring is designed to support an actual weight room.”
The weight room improvements certainly increase capacity, safety, and efficiency during workouts, something especially important during the COVID-19 era. However, the new visual appearance is certainly the most obvious change.
“The new flooring … is a wow factor,” Ms. Cabot said. “It brings a lot of pride to the students … The kids are excited to be in there.”
“The turf field promotes a lot of unity … [and] streamlines the performance training experience,” Sal said.
The weight room additions have been one recent enhancement to the robust Loomis strength and conditioning program. The program has strengthened the skills of students from almost every interscholastic sport on campus.
“We are definitely not only supporting our current students but we are really teaching student athletes who want to be collegiate athletes,” Ms. Cabot said. “We’re preparing them for that next level, in the same manner that we do in the classroom.”
These renovations aren’t the end of enhancements to the LC Strength and Conditioning program, rather only a part of larger goals for the program.
“It’s just beginning,” Ms. Cabot said.