The 10 Most Awesome College Gyms

Colleges love to brag about their state-of-the-art gyms. But at some schools, the gym provides more than your typical workout. Whether it is an Olympic-size swimming pool or exceptional classes like yoga or Zumba, universities are always looking to improve their fitness centers.  We’ve compiled a list of the best college gyms, taking exercise and wellness to a whole other level.  
 
1. University of Missouri—Columbia, Missouri
Remodeled in 2005, this $50 million gym takes recreation and exercise to a completely new level of fun.  Equipped with a 35-foot climbing tower, five sports courts available to play racquetball and squash, three performance studios, more than 14,000 pounds of free weights, and 100 pieces of cardio equipment, Mizzou’s gym takes working out seriously.  
“Our upstairs area features studios where classes are held – ‘Tiger X’ passes offer students numerous options to take fitness classes,” said Vanessa Meuir, a senior at the University of Missouri. 

But that’s barely the tip of the iceberg.  MizzouRec prides itself on its aquatics center.  Not only is there a 50-meter competitive swimming pool and 10-meter diving well, but there’s also a sauna, hot tub, and lazy river for collegiettes™ looking to kick back and relax.  
Going above and beyond the average college gym, the rec center also includes a spa, where students can get manicures, pedicures, and massages.  When the renovation was completed in 2005, Sports Illustrated recognized it as the best college rec center in the nation.
 
2. Ohio State University—Columbus, Ohio
 
With more than 56,000 students, Ohio State is one of the biggest universities in the country—and its recreation centers make sure to fit in everyone.  
“The number of machines, weights, and spaces to work out is incredible. Even with a student body as large as ours, you can always find free equipment,” said Kali Grant, a junior at OSU. 

With more than five gyms spread throughout campus, the Recreation and Physical Activity Center (RPAC) is the University’s biggest gym.  The National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association recognized this 500,000-square-foot gym in 2007 as an Outstanding Sports Facility.   RPAC draws students in with its incredible Aquatics Centers, which includes a spa, a six-lane lap pool, two dry saunas, a hot tub, and a leisure pool equipped with a slide and bubble bench.   To persuade students even more into exercising, RPAC offers 10 glass-backed racquetball courts, a four-lane jogging track, and a ton of classes, such as Zumba and yoga. 
But there’s even more. Scattered throughout campus are indoor basketball and tennis courts, a rock wall climbing structure, and ping-pong tables for collegiettes™ looking for a competitive game with a good arm workout. 
 
3.  Georgia Institute of Technology—Atlanta, Georgia
Georgia Tech’s gym is more than just a place to work out; the university’s recreation department offers students the ability to enjoy the Georgia sun while also working out, with tons of activities offered outdoors.  With sand volleyball courts, fields for all sports, and a patio for soaking up the sun’s rays, there are endless activities. The Wilderness Outpost rents recreation equipment to students seeking some outdoor fun.  At low, affordable prices, the Wilderness Outposts has rock climbing, kayak, whitewater, mountain biking, and camping gear.

The state-of the-art fitness center offers both exercise and leisure activities with more than 200 pieces of equipment and over 25,000 pounds of weights. Georgia Tech’s gym is the perfect place to sweat off any extra baggage—not to mention, every piece of cardio equipment has its own built-in television screen.  For a relaxing day spent outside your dorm room, the fitness center also offers a spa with seating for more than 1,900 students.  
 
4. University of North Dakota—Grand Forks, North Dakota

Health and wellness are top priorities at the University of North Dakota fitness center—the facility is not just for the body, but for the mind and soul as well.   The two-story Wellness Center centers on aesthetics, with an atrium streaming in natural light and a Quiet Lounge for meditation and relaxation. 
Unique to the university is a kitchen teaching students how to prepare healthy meals and snacks.  To make spin classes more exciting, there are black lights, a smoke machine, and a disco ball, creating a fun and energetic atmosphere to work out in. 

5.  University of California, Irvine—Irvine, California

Going to a gym with exceptional equipment is great, but what’s even cooler? Going to the gym where world famous athletes also work out.  
“Kobe Bryant is always spotted working out here because we have a lot of new equipment and technology,” said Rebecca Lew, a senior at UC Irvine. 
With a 19,000-square-foot gymnasium for basketball, volleyball, or badminton, it’s no surprise that celebrity athletes look to UC Irvine’s facilities to exercise.  
However, there’s more than just basketball and celebrities.  UC Irvine offers students the opportunity to take outdoor adventure trips, such as scuba diving and kayaking. There’s also an entire sailing facility, where students can take classes or private lessons, and take part in races on Newport Harbor.