Liberty gym upgrades offer students new opportunities for exercise

Running, weight training, swimming, rock climbing and more. At Liberty, the state-of-the-art fitness and recreation facilities present multiple options for staying in shape. 

Liberty University’s gym in the LaHaye Recreational and Fitness Center — or for most, simply LaHaye — has two stories of exercise equipment and facilities designed to optimize the possibilities for working out.  

Sean Sealy, the senior director of Campus Recreation, began working with LaHaye when he was a student at Liberty University in 2013. He started as a student  worker cleaning the equipment. He became a       full-time worker in 2015, was promoted to director of facilities in early 2020 and most recently became the senior director of Campus Recreation. Sealy acts as a manager for both LaHaye and David’s Place. As a result, Sealy has been able to see the gym and recreational side of the university expand and grow alongside the rest of Liberty’s expansion throughout the years. 

Updated Interiors of LaHaye Recreation & Fitness Center taken on September 8, 2020. (Photo by Andrew Snyder)

There have been quite a few additions to LaHaye over the past few years. This past summer, Liberty moved the 24-foot-long   infinity rig from the training loft above the basketball courts and gave it more space, relocating it to the lower level near  the Rock Wall. 

“With that shifting, we moved a lot of the existing layout of the weight equipment in the lower-level around,” Sealy said. “We (were able to add) two more Rogue competition benches.”

Also, LaHaye added air bikes similar to assault bikes to the current equipment rotation. They added more Life Fitness bikes in addition to the Rogue bikes. This past summer also brought pickleball to LaHaye. There are currently two nets available for use, and the sport is a part of the open rec schedule.

Sealy said that while a lot of students take advantage of the gym and its equipment, he wishes they would take more advantage of the events the gym hosts throughout the school year. He especially encourages students to try the Rock Wall.

“The community that they have cultivated down there is so cool,” Sealy said. “It’s more of a specialty niche thing, but once you go down there and find that you can actually do it and join the community aspect of it, it’s a lot of fun. And it’s cool to see that area grow.”

Updated Interiors of LaHaye Recreation & Fitness Center taken on September 8, 2020. (Photo by Andrew Snyder)

LaHaye offers group fitness sessions as well as group exercise plus classes led by instructors with more certifications.  The free standard fitness classes range from Pilates to full-body circuits. While the plus sessions come with an additional cost, they offer a more intensive list, including CrossFit, studio cycling, kickboxing and more.

“We have a wide range of group exercise classes,” Sealy said. “We have classes that cover dance, strength, cycle — stuff like that. It’s a diverse array of classes that focus on a number of different aspects of fitness depending on what you’re interested in. Each class will meet you where you’re at.”

On a more personal level, Sealy talked about how there are some misunderstandings revolving around fitness.

“I think there are a lot of misconceptions about certain things that can come along with fitness, such as vanity,” Sealy said.

However, fitness can actually help with   different areas of a person’s wellbeing, including emotional and mental health. Fitness can work as a de-stressor for individuals. 

“As long as you approach fitness and try to stay healthy from a perspective of just doing those things, it can allow you to remain clear-headed and find more energy throughout the day,” Sealy said.

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