A Review of Pitt’s Gyms

I am not fit…

I don’t have bangin’ abs…

I don’t have the ability to do a single pullup…

…I have an ok booty…

I am not your Fitspo Instagram Queen…

… but what I am is a woman who is doing her best to be healthy and happy. I am doing my absolute best to love and take care of myself, so that I can be happy and active into my 100s. I want to be here for a while, and to do that I need to make adjustments to my life that can reap those benefits. While living in Oakland provides me the opportunity to burn a good number of calories simply walking around campus and running to catch the 10A, I still felt like I needed that extra kick to start getting healthy. So, I went gym hopping.

Pitt is interesting in that there are four different gyms on campus for students to use (not including ones that are available in several residence halls). In Pitt’s HealthyU initiative, they are clearly going the extra mile in trying to provide options to its massive undergraduate population. But what is the best gym here on campus? Lucky for you, I took the initiative to find out.  Here is my review of all the public gyms on campus.

1. WPU GYM

I had never actually been to the gym in the Union, and when I asked people about it, a lot of them didn’t even know where it was beyond it being somewhere in the Union. I found it, though. On the third floor of the Union, I was pleasantly surprised to find a calm and relaxing atmosphere. Make a left from the elevator and you’ll pass a quiet study area, showers and the Stress-Free Zone. At the end of the hall, you’ll see the gym. For the small space, it’s packed with ellipticals, treadmills and bikes; there was a small space in the back with kettle bell weights and the like. There are actually three rooms included in the gym: a yoga studio-like space with more weights and yoga mats and a cycling studio, where a class seemed to be taking place.

As someone who primarily enjoys cardio, Pilates and yoga, this was a really good gym for my personal taste. I went at around 4:30 in the afternoon and it wasn’t as packed as I would have expected it to be. I had a solid hour workout and I felt comfortable being there.

I did notice however that besides hand weights, there were no weight lifting machines, though I don’t think that there would be any space for that regardless. Also, the WPU gym isn’t open incredibly late like the Pete gym.

With the centrality of it to campus, the numerous cardio spaces and open areas to do body-weight exercises, I’m rating this gym a 4 out of 5.

2. BELLEFIELD GYM

Located in Bellefield Hall, this gym is a bit out of the way for a good part of campus. Once you swipe in at the desk, you take a flight of stairs or two, and there is a pretty small gym. There are about six treadmills and ellipticals with two stationary bikes to the side. In the same room, there are a few weightlifting machines and a good amount of weight sets. Though this gym is small, there is a recreational swimming pool and a basketball court inside.

Being that this gym is out of the way and a bit small, I can’t say that this is one of my top choices. But if you live on lower campus and don’t want to go to upper campus to swim and play basketball, this might be a good option for you. I’ll have to rate this as a 3 out of 5.

3. TREES GYM

This gym is the farthest away from central campus and is even a bit of a walk if you’re living on upper campus. That being said, this is probably the most extensive rec center on Pitt’s campus. If you can think of it, Trees Hall probably has it. As the student athletic facility, this is where a lot of athletes train. It has an Olympic size pool-with a diving board, a dance studio, weight room, racquetball and handball courts, five basketball and volleyball courts, a gymnastics area, a golf practice area and a climbing wall! 

This gym has everything so there a lot of people who visit to do more ‘fun’ workouts. If you’re looking to do something a little different or keep up with that sport you love, I think this is a great option for you. It is a bit out of the way, but it might be worth it for all the things you can do in there. For that I’m rating this a 4.5 out of 5!

4. THE PETE 

Oh, the Pete. Such a crown on top of that god-awful hill. Honestly, that might be the worst part about it. With that being said, it is a really good gym.

 From the outside, the Petersen Event Center is obviously enormous, so it stands to reason that the Pete gym is the biggest on campus with the most machines out of all of these gyms. If you’re looking for a standard gym that hits everything, this is the gym for you. Ellipticals and treadmills are plentiful, and there is a massive area just for weights. In the very back, there is an area for body-weight exercises and the like. Take a flight of steps down and there are several dance studios and showers and changing rooms. The place is sparkling, super nice and you typically won’t have to wait for any machines.

The only downside is the hill that you have to walk up to get there, but it makes for a good cardio workout in the end. With all that in mind, I would rate the Pete a 5 out of 5.

Again, these are just my opinions. I’m not a gym expert. But I am a normal person giving their own personal review. If you’re looking to start a fitness journey, Pitt does have you covered! Good luck!

Photos: Cover Photo, 1, 2, 3, 4