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This article is written for those who are starting their university journey! And because university journey can sometimes mean gym journey, we thought of writing an article on why you should join your university gym! You might have never really had the opportunity to get started with the gym before moving to university, or maybe, you just did not think of going there until you saw that a good 1/3rd of students join the gym within the first few weeks.
Should you join the university gym? Will this be an intimidating place if you’ve never lifted weights before? Should it be the university gym or the local gym? How much will it cost you and it is worth it? Do you have to be a student?
The goal of this article is to give you an idea of what you will find as a student when joining your university gym. Muscle gains yes! But not only, there are also friend gains, money gains…!
Whether you are a student, a teacher or someone living around campus, this article can help you make a choice! After reading this, we hope you will know exactly what you should expect by joining a university gym and how it can change your training for the best!
First things first, are we talking about a big or small gym?
Universities have different types of funds and some will have to offer more than others.
For sure this can play an important role in your decision. Very small university gyms will be different than the ones who have some big funds. Small gyms can be interesting but universities are busy places and there is a chance training can be tough to do so in a small place.
Although, we will see most of the big universities provide you with massive centres. These are the types of gyms we will focus on in today’s article as the majority of students end up in the big cities.
The first benefit of joining your gym university is location. Most universities will have their gyms on campus. There is a chance that if you are a student, you won’t be very far from your campus. If you are a first year student, there is a chance you live on campus. If you are a student but not on campus, you will usually be located a couple of miles away from there which will usually be a 20 minute walk at worst.
Depending on how you organise your day, you can also simply use the gym when you are on campus. This will save you plenty of time. What if you don’t have time to go back home between 12 and 2pm and you’ve got nothing to do in between these classes? You might as well go to the gym! Go for a training session or go for a swim. Go back to class and finish your day eating and resting/studying at home to maximise your muscle gains!
2- It’s like a second home
Not only the location is usually perfect but it also just feels like you’re going to a second home. It feels like it once you start getting familiar with the place and regularly training there and meeting people. Each time you go there, you know you’re going to meet a friend even if this was not planned because most of the people/students go at the same time and it just is a social place. You’ve got top lockers to store you clothes, top showers, internet access and a nice place to sit if needed. Just like home. In the best cases, it really just is an all-in-one centre.
3- An all in one centre
The University of Leeds as an example in the UK has invested 12.5 million in their facilities. That’s what most big universities can provide you with, a big fat complex center! This includes activities such as a gym floor, a swimming pool, squash courts, badminton courts.
Surely if your goal is to build muscle you might not care about a few of these activities presented above such as badminton. But some activities can complement each other like gymming and swimming. Many students will like to have a work-out to then jump into the swimming-pool and relax the muscles they’ve trained. You are basically paying to have it all (and for quite cheap!).
Oh, and we forgot, there is always that nice sauna/steam-room!
4- Discounted membership
This is if you are a student – you will usually get a discount. You’ve got a huge gym and centre for yourself at an unbeatable price! When looking at all the facilities described above with some big racks and top equipment like technogym on the gym floor and a big swimming pool, that can be worth your time and money!
What kind of prices are we talking about?
Most of the universities will work around the same prices for their students. Here are a few examples of what a yearly membership will cost you as a student in these famous universities:
For example, at the university of Leeds, you can for 290£ sign up for one year.
At Birmingham university, you sign up for 338£ the year.
Pretty cheap considering all the facilities you will get!
5- People care about you!
Ok it’s not proven science but generally, your university gym is a friendly environment. PTs are your friends, they care about you and they will usually help you without you having to ask for it. The reception will help you the best they can if you get any inconvenience.
This is to say that if you are stressed out about getting started with gymming, you will be taken care of quickly. Don’t let any obstacle take you away from changing your physique in this friendly environment. You’re not alone in that case.
Some gyms will have campaigns about not feeling “gym-timated”. Everyone makes sure you will comfortably get started with your new activity.
6- You make tons of friends, and for life!
As mentioned earlier, you’re hanging out in a social place. If you become a gym addict, you gotta know 90% of your friends will just be gym related people, and to be honest, that’s a positive outcome.
People in the gym usually are driven people . They’re pushing it hard and have the same interest as you. They usually also care a lot about their lifestyle and they will be a great fit. They’re your spotters during the day and wings at night in the bars!
You might also find your next housemate for a second year or best friend!
7- Meet your potential boyfriend or girlfriend?
You might come across guys and girls who will have shared feelings between choosing to do weights or finding their next potential partner when they realise the university gym has got a lot of students there.
The exact reason for them being at the gym will then not be too certain, but either way, this will result in a positive outcome either way: muscle gains or love gains! Your university gym has a lot more opportunities than a huge biceps peak!
8- Different groups and activities of sport clubs/societies
The university to make you feel at ease will make sure you can join activities and fit in quickly.
There will be courses where you can join groups from the get-go. As most big universities provide you with a fitness centre, a lot of societies and sports club activities will take place there.
Here are a few examples of which clubs and societies you can join if you were a student at the university of Leeds: rowing, cycling, athletics, ultimate frisbee, boxing, aikido and another 63 sports.
If we take the example of Sussex university, there are 49 sport societies which you can join!
Athletics, badminton, archery, climbing, trampolining, yoga… plenty of choice!
9- It’s not your hardcore type of gym, and it has its advantages
Because this website is about natural bodybuilding, know that most of the people you will meet there will be natural athletes. It’s a different type of environment than the hardcore type of gym where professionals can be seen abusing performance-enhacing drugs. No judgment, but hanging out in a gym where everyone is using chemicals might just not be the environment you like and perhaps be intimidating if you are starting.
Depending on which environment you prefer, this might be the one that will satisfy you the most. The weights are still there and universities provide you with top-notch equipment. This means hardcore-gym or not, there is plenty of muscle to build!
10- There’s almost never a day off
While opening times are reduced during bank holidays and summer times, there is never a day off for the big university gyms out there! Just a couple of times during christmas time. Otherwise, you can gym whenever you want throughout the year.
11- A real follow-up for those who wish
Exercising can come with some pain. Whether you already had issues or a condition or if you’ve injured yourself while exercising. If you had a habit of visiting a physiotherapist or getting sports massages, then most universities’ complex centres will give you that option in the same place. How convenient to meet your physiotherapist right after you have completed your work-out?
Here are a few options we came across looking at university websites:
Physiotherapy, Sports massages, Reflexology, Nutrition
This surely comes at a cost but not more than any other practitioner. If you like to have it all in one place then that’s perfect. They will also be used to receive a lot of students which might make it more of a personal experience as a student yourself to pinpoint your issues.
12- Job opportunities
After all, fitness centres are big places which require big attention and good staff. If you have been hanging out for a while in your university gym and are also looking for a part time job you might be able to find something there.
Most of the universities have a career page on their website and are looking for students to support the place. If you want to become a personal trainer, maybe you might end up finding an opportunity there since you have been a regular gym member!
13- Regular opening times are usually good
Not all gyms have the same opening times. If you are at a big university, chances are the opening times are early in the morning and late at night. Your uni gym won’t be 24/7 but if it is 6:30am to 10:30pm just like at the Edge at the university of Leeds, you have a good chance of having the time to fit your work-out in.
Smaller university gyms might not have the best opening hours but that is rare. In this case, the question between your uni gym or the local one is legitimate, but for the so many advantages discussed above… we would still recommend your student gym!
Heading over to America in San Francisco, we find similar opening hours for the Koret Health and Recreation Center.
14- Busy or not?
Very busy, but also very quiet. Whoever student you are, you will usually have your scholar events taking place at the same time as any other student scholar events. Which means when it’s study time for everyone, the gyms get quieter and when it’s chilling time the gyms get busier.
There will be times when the gym will be packed and that’s part of the game. To be fair, if your goal was to socialise and work-out at the same time, you have it all there! The thing is, you just have to adapt your routine better. It will only be that busy on peak-times. If you find a way to come outside peak times which usually are 4pm to 8pm, you will be fine. Just know when the busy periods are and work around it. In most cases, you will of course always be able to get a good session in!
Now when it’s quiet, it’s awesome. If you are planning on staying on campus just like a lot of students who can’t go back home during holidays do, you’ll have a great time. The gym is pretty empty and you have everything just for you!
If you are not a student, you will be able to enjoy very quiet periods for almost half of the year which is not something you will find in the local gym where it is always busy at almost any time of the year.
15- You don’t have to be a student
Gym universities are open to everyone. The difference between being a student and not a student are the prices. You will have to pay more if you are not a student. This might sound quite logical. Students already pay a considerable amount of money into their studies. You can expect to pay normal gym prices if you are not a student and fancy joining the university gym. The university gym might just be next door or you might just fancy hanging out in this friendly environment we talked about.
In that case, no hesitation. Here is an idea of the prices for non-students:
At Leeds university, you can expect to pay 50£ monthly as a member of public a premium membership.
At the university of Liverpool, it goes as cheap as 31£ monthly for a premium membership.
Much cheaper than some of the big branches out there with the same facilities!
16- Your physique will change forever and in a great environment
You don’t need this article to know that your physique can dramatically change! The key difference here is that you can do so while evolving in a great and friendly environment. If gyming sounds like a chore to you but nonetheless, exercising is something you know you have to get into, then know that the university gym will probably make it much easier for you to do so. There is a starting guide you can read if you are only putting your first steps into your bodybuilding journey!
Should you go to the university gym? 100%! There are many more advantages to going there than there are inconveniences. The only issue you might come across are when the gym gets busy, but that is for any gym in the world. Just adapt your weekly routine in these periods.
Other than that, the university gym will offer far more than any local gym can offer you in terms of friendliness and environment. It’s a big place where most of the people know each other and will gladly get to know each other when the opportunity comes all along with perfecting great body shapes.