Jungle Gym gives students a new avenue for health and fitness

Margaret Akuamoah-Boateng gives the strength ropes a whirl as she uses the Life Fitness area for the first time. (Photo: Linda Huynh)

Linda Huynh
Sports Reporter

Margaret Akuamoah-Boateng walked into Humber College North’s gym for the first time last week and was smitten with the new contraption known as the jungle gym.

“It was the first thing I saw,” she said. “It’s already been so beneficial because you can do circuits.

“You go from the rope tossing to the crunches to the weight ball. It’s like a multi-purpose room,” said Akuamoah-Boateng, a first year Food and Nutrition student.

The new Life Fitness area at Humber College is welcoming new members and has opened the floor to new and different exercises.

“I love it,” said Nelson Bolarinho, a personal trainer at the Athletics Centre gym.

“It’s a great addition that allows for more functional training and can allow for many people to use it at the same time. It also has a lot of different options for variety in training sessions,” said Bolarinho, who has been a trainer at Humber for eight years.

The Life Fitness area, informally known as the jungle gym, offers a new variety of exercises in the cardio section.

The jungle gym allows for weights, platforms and resistant bands to be attached. There are also monkey bars in the middle section that allow users to do a variety of pull-ups or just swing along. There are also strengthening ropes attached to the side.

The new edition also has a space on its side to keep dumbbells, mats, medicine balls and stability balls for floor workouts.

Although the new edition is welcome, it is intimidating, said Jessica Gavito, a second-year fitness and health promotions student and an Athletics employee.

“I feel like a lot of people don’t know how to use it or what to do with it,” she said.

Gavito said during her shift at work, members always question what to do, but once they learn how to use it, they love it.

She also trains her lone client for her on-campus internship on the jungle gym.

“He loves it so we like to stick there for a while. It’s a lot more space, and anything you do in the weight room you can do there,” said Gavito.

The jungle gym also attracted new members into the gym, like Akuamoah-Boateng who walked into the gym last Thursday for the first time.

She said she enjoys the jungle gym more than she does the weight room.

“The weight room limits people to specific weights and exercise but this [the jungle gym] allows me to do whatever I want,” said Akuamoah-Boateng.

Last year the area was used only for ping–pong and a few couches.

“Well, I hated the ping-pong tables,” said Bolarinho. “The tables made the area more of a lounge and it didn’t really fit in with the gym environment.

Plus having the tables on the second floor and having balls fly over to (the) front of Athletics didn’t look too professional,” he said.

A few members were disappointed to see the table moved. “I use to love playing a game [of ping-pong] after a workout. It was relaxing,” said Radima Mahalar, second-year culinary student.  

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