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Wanna lift? FSU and Mizzou top our list

Posted: Wednesday September 14, 2005 7:13PM; Updated: Thursday September 15, 2005 5:52PM
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BEST WEIGHT ROOM: Florida State

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Brandon Goodman

Welcome to the Champions Training Complex at Doak Campbell Stadium. The numbers: 20,000 square feet of mass-, speed- and endurance-building machines, 24 lifting stations and literally tons of FSU-logo-emblazoned free weights all top-of-the-line.

But no one's touching a thing until director of strength and conditioning Jon Jost administers a battery of fitness tests, including a trip to the $35,000 Bod-Pod. The space-age-looking getup, a rarity in college weight rooms, instantly calculates fat and lean body tissue, giving coaches a better sense of fat versus fit. Then, says Jost, "we individualize programs not only for a position but for an individual."

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Rejected motto: 'Where Field Goals Sail Wide Right'
Brandon Goodman

Still, even elite equipment won't keep a bored player motivated year-round. "We want to provide an atmosphere that athletes enjoy being in," says Jost. Hence a concert-quality sound system capable of shattering windows and an Apple G4 for uploading playlists. The other half of FSU's A/V assault: a 10-by-10-foot video board that cycles through game footage, shout-outs to the week's top lifts and, this off-season, lowlights from a 2004 loss at Miami. (Payoff: revenge in Week 1.) "That gets us real fired up," says guard Matt Minerod. "It reinforces why we're here in the first place."

BEST REC CENTER: Missouri

Good luck, freshman Tigers. Even a well-traveled supersenior would struggle deciding how first to take on Mizzou's two-month-old Student Recreation Complex. In crafting the $50 million, 293,000-square-foot structure, designers drew on styles ranging from Las Vegas to Disney to -- how college-y is this? -- MTV's Cribs for its waterfalls and XL whirlpools.

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Who would lift weights when you can get smoothies poolside?
Jonathan Brownfield

Maybe a dip in the pool first? Sure. There's a 50-meter competitive pool and a 10-meter diving well, but rec director Diane Dahlman also addressed the needs of students who just want to relax in the water -- or lounge in the sauna. (That's right. Sauna.) The indoor Tiger Grotto (there's also an outdoor pool, Truman's Pond) takes on a South Beach vibe: Students chill in the hot tub or splash in a lazy river surrounded by palm trees and a rocky waterfall while waiters serve poolside wraps, smoothies and protein shakes. Affordable amenities like manicures, facials and massages come in 2006.

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How could anyone be expected to attend class when you can hang out by the Tiger Grotto?
Jonathan Brownfield

Of course, if you're one of those people who prefers to actually work out at your rec center, the Jungle Gym doesn't disappoint. One million dollars in cardio equipment, 10 basketball courts and studios for an extensive lineup of Pilates, yoga and aerobics? Ho-hum. Now spice up the walls with 56 flat-screen televisions (upon which you can catch ZouTV, the in-house TV station) and a deejay booth right in the middle of it all. Want to get toned like former UM student Brad Pitt? Hop on one of 12 steppers equipped with a personal DVD player and sweat it out to Troy.

Dahlman's goal for the joint she describes as "hip and hot and sexy": "To get on the list of places students go on Thursday, Friday and Saturday." Could happen.

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