It’s not you, it’s Gym: Otto Recreation Center

This week’s review will cover the MNSU Mankato Otto Recreation Center (Otto Rec).

According to the Otto Rec website, the center includes three basketball/volleyball courts, a three-lane walking/jogging track and “TechRec” cardio area, weight room, a central check in point and equipment checkout desk, locker rooms, a student lounge and pool.

Vishnu Jamunar (Vish), will be evaluating the gym facility this week. Vish is currently in his junior year, he is studying Exercise Science.

His evaluation follows:

Regarding the parking structures, is there sufficient parking? Is it free or included in the rate of the membership? On a scale of 1 to 5, rate the parking structure. One being the worst, five being the best.

Rating: 1 – “Parking is not free and requires a parking pass. It’s convenient to those who have the $300 dollar pass, but you will have to do lots of walking to the gym.”

In your opinion, are the membership fees/rates reasonable? On a scale of 1 to 5, rate the membership fee prices.

Rating: 5 – “It’s free and a great gym to go to if you are on campus looking to get a workout.”

What are your thoughts regarding the size of the facility? On a scale of 1 to 5, rate the size of the facility. One being the worst, five being the best.

Rating: 2.5 – “The weight room is very small. If you do pull ups on some of the machines, you can hit your head. Bench presses are set against the wall, so if you are struggling with a rep, it’s very inconvenient for someone to spot you.”

What are your thoughts regarding the gym staff, are they helpful, do they answer your questions-if you’ve had any? On a scale of 1 to 5, rate the staff.

Rating: 4.5 – “They leave you alone when you work out, always work on wiping down equipment and putting weights and accessories away. It would be nice if they gave you feedback on your workouts saying good job, or even greeting you when they see you. There are some people who like that kind of feedback.”

What are your thoughts regarding the equipment availability? On a scale of 1 to 5, rate the equipment availability.

Rating: 4 – “They offer a variety of equipment that does an excellent job to train your muscles. I love the deadlift platform and squat racks.”

What are your thoughts regarding the non-machine equipment? (dumbbells, z-curl bars, mats, dip/pull-up bars, cardio-what type of cardio equipment do they have) On a scale of 1 to 5, rate the equipment.

Rating: 4
– “There’s a good amount of pull up and dip bars. If you are looking to do pull ups on the cable machine or squat rack, watch you head. I like the mats and foam rollers included, there are always a sufficient amount.”

What are your thoughts regarding the locker room, plenty of lockers, showers, etc.? On a scale of 1 to 5, rate the locker rooms/showers/bathrooms.

Rating: 5 – “I like that you can always rent a locker and showers are always available. It’s very convenient that you can rent a key and you can lock your belongings in a locker while you work out. Locker room is always clean.”

Is the cleanliness of the facility satisfactory, above standards, or exceptional? On a scale of 1 to 5, rate the locker rooms/showers/bathrooms.

Rating: 5 – “Exceptional. The facility is always clean. Staff does a really good job cleaning up.”

In your opinion, what is the environment like? Are people friendly, or mainly keep to themselves and focus on their workouts? On a scale of 1 to 5, rate gym atmosphere.

Rating: 3 – “People keep to themselves, and focus on their own workout. I’ve never had any problems asking people if I can rotate with them on the machine or equipment they are using.”

What are your thoughts on the additional amenities, like tanning, massage chairs? Beverages, food, apparel? On a scale of 1 to 10, rate the amenities. One being the worst, five being the best.

N/A – There is none of that at this gym because there are all those other amenities either on campus or around campus.

Vish’s Evaluation:

Gym Facility Grade: 68 percent; average score: 3.4

Highest Scores (scored 5/5) Membership Fees, Locker room, Cleanliness.

Second Highest Scores: (Scored 4.5/5) Gym Staff, (Scored 4/5) Equipment Availability, Non-machine Equipment

Lowest Scores: (Scored 1/5) Parking, (Scored 2/5) Size of facility.

The Otto Rec Center has varying operating hours during the semester and breaks. They can be viewed on the facility’s website.

“Beginning of the semester is when the gym is always crowded, because people have the ‘New semester, new me’ attitude,” said Vish.

“I love the deadlift platform. The round plates are really convenient for deadlifting since they don’t roll. The hexagon plates would always roll then the weight gets impacted on the ground, and would set the lifter out of the proper optimal deadlifting position,” stated Vish, regarding his favorite piece of equipment.

I asked Vish what equipment or machines he would like to see in the facility: “I would like to see chalk bowls. For plates, I would prefer round steel plates, since they are more convenient for deadlifting. And, the sound of steel hitting steel gives you a rush of adrenaline and makes you feel like a monster.”

“I love this gym, it’s not perfect and could use some improvement, but you can still get a great workout there. When I’m reviewing this gym, I’m comparing it to Los Campeones, which is a non-commercial gym in the Twin Cities that I train at over break. I would call that gym, Los Campeones, the most perfect gym I’ve ever been to. In the end, I would give Otto Rec an 8 out of 10,” Vish said, regarding any final comments about the facility.

Though Vish gave an overall 8 out of 10 rating, his final percentage was 68 as illustrated from his evaluation ratings.


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