Campus Rec stops requiring online workout appointments

After statewide measures increased gym capacities to 50 percent, the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center has lifted the requirement to book a time slot online. | File photo

Beginning Oct. 5, students no longer have to make an appointment online to work out at the UH Campus Recreation and Wellness Center. 

Since the reopening on Aug. 10, the Recreation Center was allowed 25 percent max capacity in the fitness zone. To regulate this, students were required to make an appointment for a certain time slot. When gyms were increased to 50 percent capacity, the Rec Center removed the appointment regulation. 

“With the max capacity for fitness centers in Texas increasing to 50 percent, our reservation process became an unnecessary barrier to getting a convenient workout in, therefore we eliminated the reservation requirement,” said Fitness Programing assistant director Andrew Jones.  

Despite getting rid of reservations, the Recreation Center has exceeded the maximum of 70 participants only once and is confident that the building will not surpass the capacity for the rest of the semester, according to Jones. 

“When they were making appointments it was more of a process than I anticipated it to be, but I was grateful for it,” said psychology senior Nina Scott. “I felt more secure when I saw them cleaning in between appointments.”    

Although some students appreciate making an appointment to the fitness center to ensure a safe workout, others such as optometry sophomore James Tran felt that the appointments times were not as effective when working out. 

“With the appointment, since they only allowed 50 minute time slots, it wasn’t very beneficial to my workout plan, but now they allow you to stay a little longer,” Tran said. “I feel like that’s more beneficial towards me.” 

Although the Rec Center no longer requires reservations, it is still practicing social distancing by moving workout equipment to allow for adequate space. 

They’re also still requiring masks to be worn at all times and limiting capacity to certain areas from 6-7 p.m., according to Jones. 

“We did notice that our free weight area was getting a bit crowded, so we had to remove some additional equipment in order to space things out,” Jones said. “When this section reaches a total of 25 people, we have to put up barricades and begin to control access to the space.” 

The Recreation Center has also increased cleaning with things like dumbbells before returning to the rack as well as bigger equipment. 

“My concerns would be people not doing their due diligence, like cleaning their tools and workout equipment,” Tran said. “Some people would just forget and leave their station without cleaning and it was bothersome.” 

Tran continued that although this might be the case, he feels that the staff is diligent in making sure that the equipment is clean despite those that forget to do so themselves. 

According to Jones, the Recreation Center reached a plateau in users through early October before hitting a quick peak, but is expecting things to slow down from there. 

“We continue to encourage students to come by for a workout, group fitness class, swim, shoot hoops or try bouldering on our rock wall,” Jones said.

For more of The Cougar’s coronavirus coverage, click here.

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Tags: COVID-19, UH Recreation and Wellness Center

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