Students returning to campus this fall should be delighted to hear of the refreshing renovations done inside the Pulse Fitness Centre earlier this month.

The campus fitness centre has a history of switching between many locations, before settling in David Braley Athletic Center for the past decade. To commemorate the 10-year anniversary in its new home, the Pulse has gone through a significant remodelling of the interior, with the purpose of replacing older equipment and optimizing the floor layout.

While many students were enjoying the quieter summer days, the Pulse was hectic with major changes and renovations.

“We closed for one whole week and it was in part to replace all of our strength equipment, ” explained Laura Rietmuller, Fitness Coordinator at the Pulse. Based on what was built into the original plans when the Pulse first opened in September 2006, the equipment underwent a major replenishment.

This is easily apparent for anyone entering the renovated facility, with new McMaster-branded dumbbells, more squat racks, punching bags, Battleropes and much more.

Debbie Marinoff Shupe, Manager of Recreation Services, emphasizes this milestone. “We have updated cardio equipment in the past and other things we needed, but nothing this major since we have opened. It is the largest renovation since its opening.”

The layout of the Pulse has also undergone a noticeable reorganization.

“We have thinned out some of the equipment so there’s more space for people to use, and for more functional training. Based on where the current fitness industry is going, we wish to promote the use of your body weight, and the use of small items and accessories rather than the use of large machines which isolate particular muscle groups,” noted Rietmuller.

The rationale for this is based on emulating everyday activities.

“It is a healthier approach to activity as opposed to getting on a machine and isolating everything. We want to show that there are a lot of fun things to do at the Pulse, rather than just getting on ‘torture’ machines,” said Marioff Shupe jokingly.

And while these upgrades to the Pulse seem great for now, there are promises of an expansion at a much greater scale for the upcoming future. Plans to expand have been largely discussed in recent years, considering that the Pulse’s capacity, initially designed for 14,000, has risen to service more than 25,000 people.

“There certainly has been some work done with an architect, and the master plan is scheduled to be released within the next couple of weeks. We have been working alongside the MSU and SRA in planning what a referendum would look like,” noted Marinoff Shupe.

Although final details are unclear, it is safe to say that students can expect a bigger and better Pulse.

“We would look to doubling in size based on preliminary drawings,” said Rietmuller.

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