Newcastle puts tech first

The fitness suite at Newcastle University’™s Centre for Physical Recreation and Sport has undergone a major equipment upgrade

The University’s 400sqm, two-level gym has replaced all its cardiovascular and strength equipment, in order to take advantage of the high level of technology Precor equipment and Preva networked fitness has to offer. Its compatible with the university’s ‘Smart Card’ – the student and staff ID card allows students to log in to the Preva network, as well being able to use just one card to access the facilities on site.

Since the introduction of Preva, the 125-station fitness suite has already seen a 10% increase in usage, with over 6,600 visits each week.

The gym’s 4,000 members now benefit from state-of-the-art Precor equipment showcasing AMT’s with Open Stride, elliptical crosstrainers and bikes. The gym also features Precor’s Discovery Series Selectorised and Plate-Loaded strength machines, Icarian racks and a large selection of free weights. 

Nick Beall, Facilities Service Manager at Newcastle University, said: “One of the major plus points for using Precor was the RFID technology, as we wanted students to be able to use just one card to access all the facilities. Our initial intentions with Preva networked fitness were to use it as a vehicle for students to monitor and record their workouts and training sessions. However, we are now developing things further and are using Preva to create weekly, monthly and termly fitness challenges for members. Personal training staff and sports coaches are also using it extensively.

“We are currently investigating future uses, such as fun fitness challenges against other universities in the UK or worldwide, for coaches to monitor the training programmes and intensities of their team members and for en masse charity workouts. It’s a fantastic piece of technology and its uses are immeasurable.”

The University’s indoor fitness facilities also feature four squash courts, over 1,000 exercise classes a year, a dance studio used for Pilates, spinning and yoga, a sprung-floor double sports hall for badminton, basketball, netball, volleyball and trampolining and two multi-purpose rooms.

The University is currently undergoing planning for a major extension and it is hoped that within five years the building work will be completed and at that time, the size of the fitness suite will double to approximately 800sqm.

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