NSights Blog

Fitness for 'Every-Body'

With a one-of-a-kind facility and expert staff to help, campus is at a decided competitive fitness advantage

The amazing thing about exercise is that regardless of your age, gender, etc., the human body, "every-body" in fact, reaps the same benefits from exercise. We are incredibly fortunate to have a one-of-a kind fitness facility here on the campus of the University of Nevada, Reno. The E. L. Wiegand Fitness Center (WFC) is a special building, nothing else like it exists on any other college campus, and it is dedicated to the pursuit of fitness. No mater your fitness background, whatever your fitness preference, you should be able to find something that works for you here. Whether you prefer the solitude of a solo session in one of the secluded areas of the WFC, or you prefer the more social environment and want to jump into one of the 150 groups fitness classes offered every week.

Fitness, also referred to as "work capacity" or, your ability to do real physical work, is the single most important factor in maintaining functional capacity over your lifetime. In addition to the physical benefits, fitness contributes to improved mental health and cognitive performance. The two most important decisions we make regarding our personal health are what we eat and drink, and how much and at what intensity we choose to exercise. There is simply no credible argument to the contrary. At this point the evidence is fairly clear, low fitness is the single greatest risk factor in predicting all cause morbidity and mortality. Greater than smoking, greater than high blood pressure, increased blood lipid levels or body mass index. Exercise and increased fitness are still considered primary care for anxiety and depression and are as effective as pharmaceutical interventions without the negative side effects (Jim Fitzsimmons, Ed.D, Director).

Facilities and Fitness Equipment

The E.L. Wiegand Fitness Center (WFC) consist of four levels and 108,000 square footage of facility space, designed to accompany the fitness and recreational sport needs of the general student population. In our effort to offer the highest quality equipment to our patrons, each level of the facility is strategically laid out. Level one is home to our Dynamic and Precor strength equipment, four Life Fitness jungle cable crossover machines, and to our 125-foot functional training rig that supports physical activity such as: barbell squat, bench press, rope climbing, pull ups, wall balls shots, ring muscle ups work and much more. Level one also serves as basecamp to our stadium stairs, designed only for fitness use. If you love group fitness classes, or to work out in enclosed spaces, level two provides not only space for activity but equipment too. Level three serves as our strength and conditioning level. In two separate areas, is home to over 100 fitness cardiovascular machines. Students have a variety of options in terms of equipment options. The third level provides use of AMTs, woodway treadmills, ellipticals, various stationary bikes and rowers. Lastly, level four is home to our 1/8th of a mile track and custom boxing rig, also suitable for conditioning-related activities (Alex Baker, B.S., Facilities Coordinator).

Group Fitness Program

Not only does participating in group fitness reward you physically, it can also create positive social bonds for our students here on campus. With 150 classes offered a week, our Group Fitness Program highlights inclusivity. The variety of classes, as well as instructors, aim to appeal to all types of physical activity backgrounds, cultures and genders. We have something for "every-body", with classes including Yoga, Cardio Hip Hop, Boxing, Cycling, Pilates Reformer, Aerial Hammock/Silks, HIIT, Zumba, Bootcamp, Les Mills and CrossFit. Our instructors are trained to adapt and acknowledge participant needs during class sessions. The second level of the facility is home to a high percentage of our group fitness semester offerings. If joining a class is too intimidating, we also offer a virtual classroom setting. In this environment, you choose your workout and determine the length time you wish to participate. Group fitness classes begin at 6:30am and continue throughout the day until 9 p.m. Whether you are an experienced athlete, or you've never worked out before, we have a class that will meet your needs to help build on your strengths to cultivate a healthy outlook on physical activity (Amy Taylor, M.Ed., Fitness Coordinator).

Social Media

FRS social media aims to create a welcoming environment for all students. In the digital era of what influences, providing resources via social media and through web platforms illustrates to our current students and prospective students what we have to offer them. Our hope is that "every-body" feels welcome from the moment they walk through the doors of the facility. The goal of FRS social media posts through our ambassador program and content creation, is to demonstrate to students the possibilities to pair an exercise routine with a busy school schedule. We strive to break down perceived barriers about the fitness center environment. The intention is to develop programs and informative social media content to educate the general student population in the areas of fitness equipment use, what resources are available, and the benefits of physical activity to help students attain academic achievement along with supporting their mental health. We want students to find what motivates them to get moving. "Every-body" is different, every passion is unique, and we encourage students to find what motivates then to move (Jill Karlin, MS, Programming & Marketing Coordinator).

Intramural Sports

Intramural sports can play an important role in creating inclusive and equitable communities on college campuses. With a foundational understanding of sports culture, the Fitness and Recreational Sports (FRS) Department is a pertinent stakeholder that provides a voluntary sport participation opportunity for all students enrolled at the University. While enriching the overall growth of college students, there is a need for physical, emotional and moral development. Recognizing the challenges and enhancing the physical and social self of students through recreational team sport participation, programs are crafted to directly engage students. For decades, the Nevada Intramural Sports program has acknowledged realistic cross-cultural communication conditions, by constantly considering the sociocultural perspectives for willing participants, by highlighting program areas that contribute to the co-curricular efforts at the University, which has allowed for innovative play structure settings in the formats of recreational, competitive and open play. The future of recreational sports participation in higher education is ‘open' game play, which supports the notion of "every-body" gets a chance to participate. This shines a bright light on the value of sports involvement and education for students by giving them the key to open the door to recreational sport program engagement (Sheena Harvey, M.S., Associate Director).


With no exclusion at the gates. Fitness for "every-body" will continue to be the motto. FRS will continue to meet students where they are at and will endure the responsibility to provide the appropriate facilities and program services needed to help foster the growth for students in their own individual fitness journeys. A unique make-up of students will continue to be brought to campuses, in which students will want to engage in fitness and sport practices. The allowance for students to have access to these environments will continue to support the recruitment, retainment, and graduation of students enrolled at the University.

Jim Fitzsimmons
Ed.D, Educational Leadership (UNR)

Sheena Harvey
Associate Director
MS, Equity and Diversity in Educational Settings (UNR)

Jill Karlin
Programming & Marketing Coordinator
M.S., Recreation, Sport and Tourism

Alex Baker
Facilities Coordinator
B.S., Community of Health Sciences (UNR)

Amy Taylor
Fitness Coordinator
M.Ed., Education

E.L. Wiegand Fitness Center exterior on a sunny day