University gym facilities not safe
Last Monday, I was minding my own business, performing dead lifts in the University gym when a young woman in a red polo shirt and black pants approached me. Apparently she was the building manager on duty at the time. I was politely informed that it is against university policy to lift weights in the gym without shoes on. Upon asking why such a ridiculous rule exists, I was told it was a “safety precaution.”
Let’s pretend, just for a second, that it is physically possible to drop a weight on your own foot during a dead lift. It is not. Seriously, think about it. It isn’t. But for the sake of argument, let us pretend.
On a good day, I can dead lift as much 315 pounds. Shoes or not, if 315 pounds lands on my foot, I am going to break a lot of bones. The only difference the shoes are going to make is, when my foot becomes swollen to the size of a football, I have to somehow take it out of my shoe.
Don’t be alarmed though, as I said, it is still literally impossible to drop weight on your foot during a dead lift. But since the gym is so concerned with “safety issues,” I will gladly bring up a couple of real safety issues.
First of all, if the staff at the gym is so genuinely concerned with the possibility of a student dropping a weight and injuring his/her self, why are students not allowed to use weight-lifting chalk? Maybe it is because the staff at the gym doesn’t want to deal with cleaning up chalk on the ground (this is not something that usually happens when chalk is used; it would have to be spilled or used incorrectly in order to be a problem). But either way, Towson University quite obviously prioritizes cleanliness over the safety of their students.
Furthermore, there is equipment in the gym that is genuinely unsafe to use. The power rack (yes, there’s only one power rack, don’t even get me started) doesn’t have its own built-in floor. With a built-in floor, the weight of the lifter holds down the rack, preventing it from being knocked over and injuring someone.
The Smith Machines (there are two of these useless pieces of garbage, still only one power rack) have weight racks on the side that are built to the size of the standard free weights. This means that the person putting the weights away will have to be perfectly precise when placing his/her weight on the rack or else risk dropping the weight (this is a ‘serious concern’ that the gym staff has, apparently).
I don’t understand why the University gym likes to torture anyone who has read a book. Seriously, without proper weightlifting shoes, which are generally outside of the average college student’s budget, it is much safer to lift without shoes at all. It needs to be brought to the attention of the gym staff that there are a lot of safety issues that exist in the gym, and they are too worried about making a mess to do anything about it.