Karl Malone Weight Room
Named in honor of one of the most physically dominating players in the history of professional athletics, Louisiana Tech's weight room was dedicated in honor of former Bulldog basketball player and NBA MVP Karl Malone on June 11, 1996.
Located on the second floor of the Joe Aillet Fieldhouse, the Karl Malone Weight Room was originally fitted with state-of-the-art equipment in June of 1996 by the Mailman.
Name it and Malone picked up the tab for it. Stairmasters, power cages, squat racks, incline benches, nearly 5,000 pounds of Olympic York weight plates, ISO lateral machines.
At the time, it made Arnold Schwartenegger jealous.
But that was nearly a decade ago. With strength and conditioning technology continuously improving on a yearly basis, what was impressive and state-of-the-art a decade ago is considered an artifact these days.
Enter Karl Malone to the rescue again. Installed on May 17, 2005, the newest equipment replaced the older stuff thanks to an additional $85,000, as the Mailman delivered once again.
Louisiana Tech now boasts one of the most up-to-date weight rooms in the country from an equipment standpoint. The new equipment consists of eight nine-foot combo racks with zero to 90 degree benches and eight by eight oak platforms with the Tech logo painted on them.
There are also eight pairs each of 10-, 15-, 20- and 25-kilogram weights. Uesaka bumper plates also outfit all of the Olympic lifts. There are also all new dumbbells with racks from five to 150 pounds and four more glute-hamstring raise benches.
The new gear replaced all of the old equipment, which was moved over to the Thomas Assembly Center to outfit an auixiliary weight room, giving Tech strength and conditioning coach Yancy McKnight greater flexibility in scheduling workouts with all of the various sports.
"It's like night and day," McKnight said. "Every student-athlete has been like, `Wow.' That's what we were looking for, the `Wow' effect."
The new equipment not only looks good, but it is more user friendly and makes workouts much more efficient. Athletes can do three or four exercises in one spot now, as opposed to jumping from station to station.
It also doesn't hurt when it comes to recruiting. In today's recruiting world, athletes are just as concerned with facilities as they are with the scheme they will be playing under.