I know, using public gyms can be scary. On top of this fear, you’re trying to navigate gyms that belong to one of the largest universities in the country.
Being a newcomer to the gyms at Penn State can be scary, but they don’t have to be! Here’s my guide to using the gyms at PSU and getting over gym anxiety.
First off, there are three main gyms students can use on campus.
The most popular is the Intramural (IM) Building, which is located on East Campus. Then more toward Central/South Campus, there’s White Building. Don’t worry, the school didn’t forget about West Campus! This portion of campus has the Hepper Fitness Center, located in Rec Hall.
In my opinion, one of the best things that come with tuition is that all campus recreation is free to students!
That means, access to the gyms, group fitness classes, equipment and so much more (depending on the gym). All you need to do is swipe/tap your student ID upon entry to the facilities.
The IM building is by far the largest gym at Penn State, having everything ranging from an indoor track, rock climbing walls, basketball/racquetball/volleyball courts and so many other perks.
On the other hand, the White Building has an indoor pool, basketball courts and several multipurpose rooms. The Hepper Fitness Center has mostly a strength and fitness center, with strength and cardio machines available to patrons.
My go-to workout at the PSU gyms are the group workout classes. Some of my favorites are pilates, HIIT, total body fit and yoga.
Group classes are primarily run by student trainers and can range from six to 30+ people in a class. Sign-up is super easy and can be done through the Penn State Go app. All you need to do is hit the “wellness” icon on in home page, then go to “fitness and recreation,” click on “fitness classes” and scroll for the class you want to attend.
Some classes like pilates and yoga tend to fill up quickly so make sure to sign up as early as you can (registration opens around two days before the class). Be aware that group fitness classes are only offered at the IM and White buildings.
When I can’t make a group fitness class, the open gym is the best next thing!
I’ve found that earlier in the day is when it’s the least crowded. So, if you don’t like to wait for certain machines, make it a goal to be a morning workout person.
The IM building has the largest fitness center holding various workout machines throughout two floors. The White Building is also a large area that has machines used for cardio, strength as well as freestanding weights.
If you just want a fun time with your friends there are several courts and activities available, primarily at the the IM and White buildings. You can reserve rooms and equipment through the facility. If you have any questions stop by the front desk of either gym.
Overall, taking advantage of the on-campus gyms at Penn State have been a staple for me throughout my time here.
It’s an incredibly welcoming and inclusive environment for students, and the health and wellness opportunities available are nothing like I’ve ever seen.
For further information and day-to-day updates, check out the Campus Rec Instagram page.