Pottruck Center upgrades add state-of-the-art technology, equipment

Pottruck Center

Greg Johnson

The Pottruck Center is in the process of adding technological upgrades to its first, third, and fourth floor fitness rooms that will bring state-of-the-art exercise equipment to PennRec members.

Wanna race? Somebody in Europe?

The David Pottruck Health and Fitness Center is in the process of adding technological upgrades to its first, third, and fourth floor fitness rooms that will bring state-of-the-art exercise equipment outfitted with cable TV, high definition point-of-view workouts, and on-demand video.

New Life Fitness equipment includes a program called Lifescape that offers users an interactive experience in which they can travel to destinations all across the globe. Exercise bike riders, steppers, and treadmill runners can select workout locations on a touchscreen that include the mountains of California and the hills of France.

The Life Fitness equipment also enables users to connect an iPad or iPod to the machine, so they can watch or listen to their own content.

High definition Expresso bikes allow cyclists to compete against an opponent who is riding the same type of bike in another part of the world.

“We’ve watched the demo, and the demo person was racing somebody in Europe,” says Amy Wagner, director of the Department of Recreation (Penn Rec). She says Penn Rec is considering competitions with other universities that have Expresso bikes, such as Bucknell and Brown.

The first floor—complete with the new equipment—is open for business. The last set of activations and programs will be complete by Monday, June 24.

The third and fourth floors are currently under construction and are scheduled to open on Thursday, June 27. A new piece of strength equipment called the Synergy multipurpose unit is being installed on the fourth floor that will permit small group strength-training classes.

France Bike

Greg Johnson

A simulated biking experience through the streets of France on the new Life Fitness exercise bikes.

The second floor weight room was completely upgraded over the last year, and received brand new equipment in December.

Wagner says PennRec strives to bring its members the latest exercise equipment and newest technology. When the Pottruck Center was built more than a decade ago, it lacked the infrastructure for cable wiring and internet connectivity, so that technology is being built in during the summer construction.

Hopefully, Wagner says, the new equipment will bring more people to the Pottruck Center, and make their workout more fun.

“The time goes by faster, and it’s more engaging,” she says, “especially the gaming component where you can keep track of your own personal best, or a friend you may be competing against. It allows for a much more personal experience, and tracking of your own personal fitness growth.”

Originally published on June 20, 2013