15 Colleges with State-of-the-Art Gyms and Training Facilities

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The busyness of college life makes it tough for a student to strike a balance between academic excellence and physical fitness. As every student is different, each person has their way of coping with the overwhelming academic demands. Some do so by succumbing to unhealthy habits like binge eating or developing sedentary lifestyles, especially when dedicating long hours to studying.

Other college students take the opposite road. They embrace the benefits of keeping a good physique, avoiding injuries, and staying disciplined to keep it that way! They ensure that, regardless of the hectic schedules, they stay physically fit—and therefore prepared—to take on the challenges of daily college life.

College gyms and training facilities make this goal possible for every student!

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says college degree holders are less likely to be obese than those with lower education. This reality may be attributed to good habits formed while in college—and an excellent workout or exercise facility that offers fitness programs and promotes sports clubs certainly helps!

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Let’s take a peek at 15 of the most applauded exercise spots and training facilities in these colleges:

Colleges with State of the Art Gyms and Training Facilities

University of Chicago

University of Chicago

Chicago, IL

The University of Chicago is a private research institution that fosters independent thinking and diversity. UChicago offers various academic programs, including business, social sciences, and comparative human development.

The student’s health and wellness are also a priority at the university. That’s why they offer various student services centered around this, such as student disability services, counseling, and medical care. Aside from that, the university also houses different facilities to improve its student’s physical health. 

Through the Department of Athletics & Recreation, UChicago students and faculty may access a wide range of fitness facilities and sports training services such as the Henry Crown Field House and the Ratner Athletics Center. Interested students and swimmers may access their Myers-McLoraine pool, which measures 50 meters by 25 yards and has up to 29 lanes. This is where swimming clinics and summer camps are held both for children and adults.

UChicago houses different teams both for men’s and women’s sports, in the fields of basketball, track and field, and swimming and diving. As part of their FitChicago program, you may participate in free fitness classes such as kickboxing, Zumba, and yoga. Recreational clubs are also available for students and faculty members to enhance their physical skills and promote social interaction. 

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University of Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania State University

Philadelphia, PA

A private Ivy League university, the University of Pennsylvania aims to produce inclusive and innovative intellectuals. Students may choose from various undergraduate programs offered in their colleges: Colleges of Arts and Sciences, School of Engineering and Applied Science, the Wharton School, and the School of Nursing. In addition to cheering for the university’s Mighty Quakers, students and faculty may improve their physical fitness through Penn’s top-notch training facilities.

Students, who are enthusiastic about fitness, may join different sports clubs, including field hockey, figure skating, and synchronized swimming. Penn’s athletic facilities range from different gymnasiums and field tracks to their Multi-purpose stadium.

The David Pottruck Health and Fitness Center keeps impressive cardio equipment, basketball courts, and a golf simulator. It also has an Olympic-sized swimming pool, which is great for athletes training to compete in championships.

Penn also has a newly renovated squash center that features a great design for spectators and improved lighting. On the other hand, students may use the River Fields for soccer and field hockey practice. Additionally, hockey players may improve their team dynamics and practice in the Penn Ice Rink. There are many different activities at these facilities, so it’s best to check their schedules regularly to avoid missing anything.

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Colby College

Colby College

Waterville, ME

Colby College is a liberal arts college that believes in a more personalized approach to educating its students. The college offers undergraduate programs with over 50 majors, including global studies, economics, and music. Colby promotes different interdisciplinary programs, such as its dual-degree engineering programs. The college is also committed to providing an avenue for students to improve their physical fitness and sports abilities.

Aside from being known for the Colby College Museum of Art, the college is also famous for its Harold Alfond Athletics and Recreation Center. This modern facility, which measures 350,000 square feet, offers different venues for various sports and events for their athletic teams. It’s a great venue for the college’s indoor training and recreational activities.

The building has a fitness center that offers an impressive set of free weights and equipment. It also has a meditation room for students looking for a place to practice meditation. Recently, students were asked to follow a set of guidelines and health protocols. 

Wall climbing enthusiasts may also utilize their climbing wall that measures 42 feet in height, with areas ranging from easy to difficult. The center may also hold field-event sports for shot put, pole vault, and high jump. The center also features an aquatic arena, squash center, and ice arena for students to enjoy.

Additionally, their outdoor facilities include a baseball complex, tennis courts, and a trail system. For athletes looking to relax after rigorous training, Colby offers dedicated suites with aquatic therapy pools. 

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Rice University

Rice University

Houston, TX

Considered one of the most prestigious institutions in Texas, Rice University aims to produce inquisitive thinkers and passionate individuals ready for the professional world. The university offers more than 50 majors for its undergraduate program, ranging from business, natural sciences, and humanities.

With 14 NCAA Division I teams, Rice is home to many student-athletes. It has an impressive number of student-athletes who excel in both their academics and craft. Rice also encourages its students to participate in different physical activities, including intramural and club sports. 

Rice offers different sports and training facilities, including the Rice Stadium, Wendel D. Ley Track, Holloway Field, and Robert L. Waltrip Training Center. The Rice Stadium is a venue rich in history. It boasts an outstanding capacity of 47,000, which is ideal for both football games and major concerts. The stadium has also recently been upgraded with video systems to upgrade every sports fan’s experience. 

On the other hand, the Waltrip Indoor Training Center is a relatively new addition to Rice’s facilities. Its inflatable structure, which measures 80,000 square feet, was designed for sports activities despite uncontrollable weather conditions. With this, students may be able to participate in different intramural sports and club activities. Rice University also has an impressive Aquatics Center for swimmers and a 14-court tennis center for tennis players. 

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Wabash College

Wabash College

Crawfordsville, Indiana

Wabash College is an all-male university that aims to provide a quality education through liberal arts and hands-on experiences. Aside from offering traditional majors and minors, the college offers a unique curriculum through its dual degree program in engineering. With this, students may start their degree at Wabash and finish the remaining two years of college at a partner university.

The college promotes student involvement through various organizations and clubs engaged in different interests such as music and literature. Moreover, they also offer different varsity sports to athletic activities.

Going beyond the academic, Wabash caters to the physical needs of its students through various training facilities and sports venues. The Allen Athletics and Recreation Center is a great place for students and athletes to train and improve their sport. It has a multi-purpose court that may be used in different intramural activities and an indoor practice area for golfers. Wabash also has the Chadwick Court, which may cater to team sports like volleyball and basketball.

Another notable facility is the Shelbourne Wrestling Center, which is dedicated to different wrestling programs. Student-athletes may enjoy the facility’s state-of-the-art sound system during practice and sports events. Moreover, the wrestling center uses high-quality Resilite mats, which may offer the best protection in the industry. If you’re looking to improve your physical wellness, the college also offers a fitness center that has aerobic equipment and free weights. 

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Pepperdine University

Pepperdine University

Malibu, CA

Affiliated with the Churches of Christ, Pepperdine University is a private university committed to producing excellent students anchored in Christian values. Pepperdine offers different bachelor’s degrees, as well as master’s degrees and doctorates. They also offer international programs where students may study abroad and be exposed to a new environment. In the spirit of producing well-rounded graduates, the university also encourages its students to engage in various sports activities. 

Pepperdine has different teams comprised of student-athletes who play with a purpose. With this, the university has erected various facilities such as a swimming pool, gymnasium, and baseball stadium to cater to their athletes’ and students’ needs.

Aside from the athletes, students may enjoy these facilities to engage in different sports of their preference. If you’re looking into starting swimming, you may try it at their Olympic-sized swimming pool at the Raleigh Runnels Memorial Pool. This facility was used for an actual Olympic event back in 1984. 

For tennis enthusiasts, you may practice your strokes in their Ralph-Straus Tennis Center. It has nine courts and is fully lighted in case you need to play at sundown. Students love Pepperdine’s Alumni Park, which has a lovely landscape and a perfect view of the Pacific. Students may enjoy several activities like walking or aerobics and may even participate in the university’s intramural games in this area. 

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University of Miami

University of Miami

Coral Gables, Florida

The University of Miami is a private institution that focuses on research and community involvement. With over 180 undergraduate majors, students may pursue their interests in different fields like engineering, architecture, and law, with specializations in research. In addition to academics, the university also offers different programs for the holistic development of its students. Some activities include participating in student organizations, running for student government, and community engagements. 

Fitness activities are also encouraged. Students may use the university’s facilities that offer the best amenities. If you want to do strength training, the Squillante Strength & Conditioning Center is the best place to start. It offers different training machines for specific muscle groups and a variety of weights.

Aside from that, the center also provides cold water fountains, the latest beats to complement your workout, and a rubberized floor for your safety. The university has a Nutrition Center to provide nutritious snacks for its student-athletes. 

If you’re more comfortable with water sports, the Shane Watersports Center is for you. Athletes may practice rowing through a stretch of water and several canals that are connected to Biscayne Bay. For students training in track and field, you may practice in the university’s Cobb Stadium. The stadium has a modern eight-line rubber track outlining its soccer field. 

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Ohio State University

Ohio State University

Columbus, OH

The Ohio State University (OSU) is a public university centered on providing quality and affordable education. OSU offers different courses through their colleges, including engineering, nursing, and arts and sciences. In addition to academics, the university also promotes different student activities such as club events and sports activities. It’s home to sports facilities such as golf courses, outdoor tennis courts, and an aquatic pavilion.

If you’re a basketball fan, then you might be familiar with Ohio State’s St. John Arena. This arena hosts different sports events for various sports, including gymnastics and volleyball. On the other hand, the Covelli Center offers state-of-the-art facilities that may cater to different sports events. The center may be used in team sports such as volleyball and basketball and may be transformed into a wrestling or gymnastics arena when necessary. The center is ideal for sports events since it may accommodate more than 3,500 individuals.

The Steelwood Training Facility is a great place to practice your lunges and attacks if you’re into fencing. It boasts 14 practice strips, which is one of the country’s largest fencing rooms. Sports wrestlers may also practice their moves in the training facility. It has 6,500 square feet of mat area, which can accommodate more athletes and OSU students. The facility is also complete with fully-equipped fitness centers and locker rooms. 

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Purdue University

Purdue University

West Lafayette, Indiana

Purdue University is a public research university that is ranked as the fifth most innovative school in the U.S. They offer different academic programs that may help students pursue their interests. You may choose from different majors, including aeronautical engineering, computer science, and public health.

Purdue also has various clubs and fraternities that may help students pursue their passions and grow their networks. Aside from that, students may also attend to their fitness with Purdue’s training facilities and athletic centers. 

The Blake Wrestling Training Center is open to athletes and students who want to exercise and do weight training. The center has recently undergone renovations to improve its structure, and façade and, most importantly, upgrade its training machines. Wall mats have been installed all over the facility, covering an area of 1,000 square feet. Students may use its equipment for cardio exercises such as treadmills, AirDyneX bikes, and ellipticals. 

Purdue has different venues where big sports events are held if you’re interested in sports, such as the Mackey Arena, Alexander Field, and Ross-Ade Stadium. Tennis enthusiasts may practice at the Schwartz Tennis Center, which hosts different competitions yearly. It has six indoor courts and 12 cushioned outdoor ones to experience lower impact while playing.

The Mollenkopf Athletic Center is another facility to help you pursue your fitness journey with an indoor football field. Most of the university’s training centers are equipped with locker rooms and hygienic wash areas. 

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Georgia Institute of Technology

Georgia Institute of Technology 

Atlanta, GA

Georgia Institute of Technology is a public university that advocates for student development through research and scientific advancement. The institution offers various bachelor’s degree and master’s degree programs. Their majors include chemical engineering, international affairs, and business administration.

Georgia Tech offers a bustling campus environment, where students can choose from over 400 student organizations and different activities. It has several facilities that are built to encourage sports and athleticism.

Georgia Tech’s Campus Recreation Complex (CRC) offers different fitness and aquatic programs for the students. To promote a healthy lifestyle, students may take swimming lessons at the McAuley Aquatic Center. You may take laps in this world-class facility with ten lanes measuring 50 meters each and several springboards and platforms. CRC also offers access to a modern training facility with an indoor track for jogging and a fitness studio for different cardio exercises.

Georgia Tech is home to the Zelnak Basketball Center, a newly renovated venue for student-athletes to practice and develop their team dynamics. Aside from the wide floor space, the center is also equipped with a conditioning center and gym for strength training. The university also offers a competitive sports program that both students and faculty may join in. Other interesting programs include ski trips, fun runs, and scuba diving activities. 

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Saint Mary’s College of California

Saint Mary's College of California

Moraga, CA

The Saint Mary’s College of California is a private Catholic institution that aims to produce exceptional graduates through liberal education and formative values. The college offers different academic programs in various fields like performing arts, accounting, and psychology.

Students at Saint Mary’s may also expect different extracurricular activities aside from attending classes. If you’re interested in joining clubs, the college has over 50 student organizations to choose from, including art, KPOP, and sports clubs. 

Maintaining your physique and well-being is also part of Saint Mary’s top priority. That’s why different facilities inside the campus offer fitness training and are great for sports activities. The McKeon Pavillion offers a spacious court for team sports activities such as volleyball tournaments and basketball championships.

Students looking into improving their health by engaging in different exercises may visit the Joseph L. Alioto Recreation Center. Aside from personal training, the training facility also offers yoga and High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) classes for your wellness needs. 

Students may participate in different sports clubs such as Men’s and Women’s Lacrosse, Club Tennis, and Rodeo. The SMC Recreation Field is a dedicated area for various sports and recreational activities organized by the student clubs. The field has been a practice ground for Saint Mary’s lacrosse team and different interschool sports programs.

For those interested in outdoor sports, the SMC Recreation Field is also a great facility that offers field space all year round through its modern artificial surface, which is believed to be weather resistant. This may be utilized for various intramural sports activities and events.

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High Point University

High Point University

High Point, NC

A relatively small college, High Point University offers quality education through liberal arts and experiential learning. The university offers different academic programs, including entrepreneurship, cybersecurity, and political science.

HPU also offers different club sports to improve its students’ holistic development. Interested students may participate in various sports such as rowing, ultimate frisbee, and field hockey. Other interesting clubs that may improve your fitness include ballroom dancing, Jiu-Jitsu, and bass fishing. 

Students interested in weight training may utilize the available at the Steele Sports Center. This newly renovated center offers a weight room for muscle conditioning and lockers for different HPU athletes. On the other hand, if you’re into golf, HPU has several areas to practice your skills, like the Willow Creek, Emerywood, and Oak Hollow Golf Course. The Steele Center Swing Lab takes golf coaching to a whole new level by offering state-of-the-art techniques to analyze and improve your swings.   

The Witcher Athletic Center is a great venue to practice different sports such as lacrosse. Aside from having dedicated spaces for sports medicine, it offers modern locker rooms and lounges for its athletes across different teams. Interestingly, HPU has also created a space to connect science with sports.

Its Human Biomechanics Laboratory offers students a learning opportunity in sports science dealing with injuries and how to improve them through physical therapy—having this type of facility benefits injured athletes since they use modern machines for scanning and monitoring improvements.  

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University of Iowa

University of Iowa

Iowa City, IA

The University of Iowa (UI) is a public university that aims to give students a unique academic experience. They offer different degree programs and are known for fields of hydro science, writing, and astronomy. Aside from student clubs, UI promotes diversity and inclusion through various events such as talks and seminars.

The university is also home to the UI Hawkeyes, composed of different sports teams such as track and field, baseball, and basketball. If you’re a sports fan, you may keep track of different sports events through their schedule online. 

UI encourages its students to be active by providing different training facilities and sports areas. Students may check the exercise equipment available at the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center. This three-story facility offers different amenities, including a swimming pool, climbing wall, and jogging track. Athletes participating in team sports may also practice in their two courts. Aside from having a gym, the center also has a café, a wellness suite, and state-of-the-art locker rooms for their students to enjoy. 

Moreover, if you’re up for a challenge, the UI Challenge Course offers an obstacle course to test your problem-solving ability and fear of heights. Some obstacles may involve structures as high as 30 feet. This facility is designed for both team building and recreational activities. Another notable facility in the university is Fitness East which functions as a gym. H

ere you can use various cardiovascular equipment like rowers, treadmills, and ellipticals. You may also enjoy different machines for different muscle groups and several free weights. Additionally, UI also has skiing and hiking trails for outdoor lovers. 

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Auburn University

Auburn University

Auburn, AL

A public research institution, Auburn University strives to provide top-notch education while being inclusive and affordable. The university offers a variety of majors and minors with 13 colleges and schools. Some colleges include education, nursing, and human sciences.

Aside from this, Auburn encourages its students to participate in different club activities and events. It’s also home to several fraternities and sororities that promote fellowship and community service. The university also offers different sports facilities to help students stay fit and healthy. 

Auburn offers different wellness services and a Campus Recreation Facility. This facility offers different amenities such as weight training spaces, a yoga studio, and racquetball courts. Students may also enjoy other recreational activities such as rock climbing and kayaking.

On the other hand, the university also offers multi-use fields such as the Sportflex. Newly finished, the 15-acre field is where students may practice different intramural sports and compete in tournaments.

The university is home to an aquatic center for student-athletes and an outdoor pool area for recreational use. You may also enjoy their hot tub if you feel like warming up with friends. The school also offers several outdoor facilities for sports and leisure. The Sand Volleyball Court is a great area for students to play the team sport while getting some sun and without going to the beach.

Interestingly, the university also offers a Wellness Kitchen to cater to the nutritional needs of its student-athletes. It’s also open to fulfilling the dietary needs of all the students and faculty.

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Longwood University

Longwood University

Farmville, VA

Longwood University is a public university that combines practical experiences with liberal arts education to produce outstanding student leaders. The university offers different undergraduate programs, including family studies, athletic training, and public relations.

Aside from focusing on schoolwork, Longwood also offers different wellness programs and encourages its students to engage in athletic activities. The school has a counseling center and student clinic to support the student body. Longwood has also been recognized for its efforts to create a culture of wellness. 

If you’re looking to get in shape, you may utilize the university’s different training facilities and recreational areas. Longwood’s Health and Fitness Center features different workout amenities such as rowers, treadmills, and free weights. You may avail of personal training services to improve your athletic performance and create a solid workout routine.

The center is also complete with locker rooms, café tables, and a mezzanine lounge with a large-screen television. Another option would be to work out at the Midtown Fitness Performance Center, which also offers state-of-the-art exercise equipment for its members.   

Aside from the fitness centers, Longwood also has a park where students may engage in different sports activities like flag football, rugby, and soccer. This is a great spot for outdoor lovers and running enthusiasts since it has a jogging trail. Tennis courts are also available within the campus and are usually used for intramural competitions and recreational games. The university also has a disk golf dedicated area where both students and faculty may practice and compete. 

Benefits of Staying Fit

Maintaining an active lifestyle comes with many benefits. Aside from looking good, working out regularly may help you cope with stress and unwind. Known as the “happy hormone,” staying engaged physically may help you produce more endorphins, which may help improve sleep and relieve stress.

In addition, sports activities may promote teamwork and collaboration, which may also come in handy when working for a company after college. Lastly, fitness training may help you form habits, such as eating healthy and doing breathing exercises, that you may practice throughout your life 

Gym Etiquette

Working out in a gym or training facility involves sharing some equipment with other students. It’s best to be mindful of your actions and be courteous. Here are some guidelines when training: 

  • Always return the weights after use. – This is common gym etiquette. This allows other users to find the weight that they need to start their routine. 
  • Wipe the machine after use. – Sweating is very common when working out, and your sweat may stick to the machine after use. To maintain a hygienic environment, it’s best to wipe off the machine after using them. 
  • Keep your distance. – While being friendly is great, some gym-goers would like to be left alone when lifting weights or having a stretch. Maintaining a distance may also avoid any accident, such as getting hit by a dumbbell accidentally. 
  • Be on time. – Being on time shows respect to both the instructor and your classmates when attending fitness classes. By coming in on time, you may maximize your training classes. 
  • Limit your usage. – Training facilities may be filled with many students who are squeezing in a quick workout in between classes. Be sure to use the machine for a limited time and be mindful of the other users.

The Takeaway

Fitness plays an important in a student’s life, especially with all the stress from schoolwork. Attending a university that promotes athleticism and conducts different sports activities may help you achieve a balanced lifestyle. Take advantage of your college’s intramural sports opportunities and excellent training amenities. And when working out, be mindful of others and keep your distance to avoid accidents and make the most out of your routine.

Malcolm Peralty
Chief Editor