|Temple students utilize the IBC Recreation Center daily by participating in group aerobic classes and working out on the latest exercise equipment.|
For students whose exercise routine ended with high school gym class, Temple’s selection of fitness facilities makes finding excuses harder than finding your feet.
Temple’s Main Campus and divisional schools offer gyms stacked with enough weights to nearly throw Earth off its axis. The weights and machinery are proportionally allocated by need to the different campus facilities.
More than 1,300 students visit Temple’s largest gym, the Independence Blue Cross Student Recreation Center daily, according to IBC assistant director Anne Wilkinson. With 284 workout stations encompassing the main campus center, which is located on 15th Street and Cecil B. Moore Avenue, it is easy to see how a house of pain can also be one for social gathering.
“It’s something to do with your friends,” said sophomore Daniel Raywood. “You could meet new people here, but I mostly just go with some buddies.”
Sophomore Jackie Sy, said she has met people through Pilates and Yoga classes.
“Classes are a good place to socialize,” Sy said.
Raywood and Sy said they visit the IBC three or four times a week, but others haven’t stepped foot in the building for various reasons. The faculty stresses to inactive students, who feel their bodies are chiseled, that there is something to gain and to lose at the gym.
“Studies have shown [exercise] reduces stress and adds clarity,” Wilkinson said. “It’s almost like a triad of benefits-done spiritually, physically and mentally.”
Wilkinson urges reluctant students who cringe at the thought of entering the gym out-of-shape to recognize this fallacy.
“‘I’m going to start working out when I’m in better shape,’ ” Wilkinson said is the usual illogic. “It makes no sense. The hardest part of the workout is walking through the front door. Because [then], you might as well do something.”
The $5.2 million IBC is comprised of three distinguishable floors; the weight room and multi-purpose court on the base, four racquetball courts and the main aerobic classes and equipment above, and a three-lane indoor track with a 314-meter circumference scattered with cardio equipment overlooking the city.
With the latest in technological equipment, the faculty thinks of the IBC as a top-tier fitness center.
“I would put this facility to any that opened downtown including Balley’s and LA Fitness, but our focus is different,” lauds Wilkinson. “We’re about educating and building life-time habits for students.”
Students can build these habits from 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. on weekdays (except Friday with a 9 p.m. closing) and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on the weekend. Full-time students have accessibility to almost every Temple facility, with a $30 recreation fee included in the semester’s tuition. Part-time students, employees, and alumni must pay for the services, something that people unaffiliated with Temple are unable to do.
Some students think the fee includes housing.
“I’m here almost as much as my dorm,” said sophomore Ryan Thomas, who works out mostly in the weight room.
The prized weight room walled with mirrors has more than 5,200 pounds in dumbbells alone. Its equipment ranges from a basic bench press to uncommon climbing and skiing machines. It can be overwhelming for some.
“The weight room is intimidating,” said Sy, who exercises on elliptical machines and treadmills and away from the weight room. “Those big guys are always there.”
Although equipped with showers in gendered locker rooms, many would rather cleanse in the comfort of their own space.
“I wouldn’t say the showers here are gross, but if I had a choice I wouldn’t want to use it,” said sophomore Jessica Franks.
Deep inside Main Campus’ McGonigle Hall also lies a fitness room with a crew of rowing machines and the usual equipment. It is, however, accessible to Temple athletes, coaches and staff only.
Every facility includes lockers and showers, with the IBC providing towels. The IBC is open Monday thru Thursday from 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday from 6:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. For more information, visit www.temple.edu/recsvcs.
Steve Wood can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.