Move over, unidentified knife-wielding males near Cambridge Common—there’s a greater threat lurking for undergrads, and it’s been right inside our Houses for years. But thankfully the University has come to its senses and banished this menace: free weights are no longer allowed in House gyms.
Administrator, please. The rationale given is that lifting in the House gyms without a spotter could be dangerous to the students. This would make sense—except that lifting in any gym without a spotter has the potential to be dangerous. You could also just take some weight off. Or go lift with a partner. Or go read a book, if you’re going to be a wuss about it.
Also, the odds of me plummeting to my death off the balcony in Lowell Lecture Hall are 37 times higher than they are of me dropping a weight on my face, but the University doesn’t seem too concerned about that (or its inexplicable lack of WiFi, which puts your Farmville peasants in grave danger of starvation).
The MAC is crowded or closed whenever I want to go—it closes at 5:00 on Saturday. I’ve barely even left my bed by that point—and Hemenway is full of law school pricks, so being able to lift in my house would be a nice and sensible alternative. Free weights are far and away the best options for outfitting a small workout area such as the House gyms with weight-lifting equipment. The University has chosen to replace these simple yet elegant free weights with machines. Clearly, they haven’t seen ‘Terminator” or “Transformers.” I’m pretty confident that dumbbells won’t take over the world, but I’m not so sure when it comes to a Bowflex. (Oh, and also, machines can prevent the development of stabilizing muscles that prevent injuries in real life and can cause overuse injuries due to making the exact same movement repetitively without variation.)
My recommendation would be to put up a sign in the House gyms warning students that if you lift without a spotter, you could potentially drop a free weight, and it might hurt. But I guess making the paper for that sign could add more pollution to the atmosphere, which could damage my lungs. So that’s not going to happen because that too goes against the guiding principle of Harvard’s founding fathers: Don’t get sued.