With the fall semester beginning Thursday, the Mavericks Activities Center is expecting anywhere from 4,000 to 5,000 students the first day of class.
And it will likely stay that way for the first few weeks.
Durl Rather, associate director of Campus Recreation, said the start of the fall semester is the busiest time of year at the MAC, and with new equipment plans during the coming weeks, students can expect to see a much more diverse weight room.
“It’s about trying to make everyone feel comfortable, and that’s the thing I feel like with the MAC,” Rather said. “We try to have a little bit of everything for everybody. If that’s the new thing and you see a lot of people doing that, then why not try to incorporate it a little bit.”
The MAC is looking to add more equipment for students interested in functional training, which is similar to CrossFit.
CrossFit is a high intensity strength and conditioning program that has grown immensely in popularity, leading some companies like ESPN to sponsor televised events, known as CrossFit Games.
Rather said the MAC began looking into functional training two to three years ago when it seemed like students who enjoy exercising at UTA were trending in that direction. Although the weight room has already added some equipment for functional training, Rather said the MAC will still keep its free weight area the same.
“I think that will always be there,” he said. “Some people can’t do CrossFit. For us, what we’re trying to do is appeal to a lot of different people.”
Chemistry freshman Liam Fagan works out at the MAC about four or five times a week, he said. Although he focuses on weight training and primarily uses free weights like dumbbells , barbells and some of the strengthening machines, Fagan said he’s seen more interest in CrossFit and likes that the MAC offers functional training equipment for students.
Rather said he began noticing more students interested in CrossFit a few years ago and since then, he has looked to add more to the weight room and cardio area.
Some of the new equipment the MAC will offer this semester are: Jacob’s ladders, Aerodyne exercise bikes and Arc trainers, which should arrive within the next two to three weeks, Rather said.
“You’re not going to make everybody happy. But I feel like if you try to incorporate what’s going on, you’re going to,” Rather said. “Functional training, I feel like, is probably going to get bigger and so you don’t want to sit there and say, ‘It’s not about me. It’s not about what I believe in. It’s about what’s best for the students and the community.’ ”
Those are the only additions, however.
Rather said the MAC is looking to revamp the floors on the basketball courts and install lockers in the hallways and near the weight room. The MAC will also install new turnstiles in December after complications during the last few years, he said.
Kinesiology senior Jose Hernandez works at the MAC and said about 200 to 300 students will be using the facility every hour the first day of the semester. By adding more equipment, Hernandez said the MAC should appeal to an even wider audience in the coming weeks.