When it comes to weight training, student weight lifters definitely know what they like.
In spite of ample availability of fitness centers like Goldʼs Gym and Anytime Fitness located near campus, often within a just a two-mile radius, UTʼs student and alumni population seems to largely agree: They prefer the convenience and superior quality of on-campus gyms like Gregory Gym and the Rec Center over other options.
“I work out at 24 Hour Fitness in the Hancock Center just north of campus,” saidSam Antonio, a UT alumnus who graduated in 2014. “I actually bought an alumni pass at Gregory last fall semester. It was actually cheaper than a 24 Hour Fitness membership, but parking on campus became an issue sometimes.”
As a recent graduate of the University, Antonio is also quick to sum up the quality disparity between the two gyms, and notes the difference in age of the demographic at 24 Hour Fitness as opposed to on campus.
“24 Hour has older equipment, is less spacious in general, and the crowd there is definitely a little older,” Antonio said.
Antonio, who used Gregory Gym almost exclusively throughout his undergraduate and graduate years, cites convenience as the main reason for the switch, but laments the necessity.
“24 Hour Fitness is literally a five-minute drive from where I live, but if Gregory had dedicated parking or something, Iʼd probably still be working out there,” Adalyn Burke, an English senior, said.
“When I lived in the Hyde Park area, sometimes Iʼd go to Anytime Fitness on 34th and Guadalupe, but only when I hadnʼt gotten a chance to work out before or after class. Itʼs a nice gym, with a solid variety of free weights, but itʼs hard to beat the convenience of Greg when youʼre already on campus anyway.”
Burke said she appreciates Gregory Gymʼs complimentary service to enrolled students and considers that a major incentive to make the most of it.
“Thereʼs more variety, and it is more convenient than off-campus gyms, with more machines to better accommodate a really large student body, and itʼs free. I always feel safe here. Iʼm just not really willing to let that resource go to waste,” Burke said.
Hannah Blaisdell, an English junior, said that, while she generally frequents the Rec Center over Gregory, her experiences at other gyms have convinced her to conduct her workouts on campus.
“There are generally just less people [on campus], and the Rec just got new equipment,” Blaisdell said.
Blaisdell particularly enjoys the comprehensive weight collections in the campus gyms, which she said is excellent for different exercises.
“In Greg, they have free weights that are really nice, and that part is generally less crowded if you want to work on smaller muscles and not be limited to the machines,” Blaisdell said.
When asked point-blank where their most pleasant, productive weight training experience has been, Antonio, Burke and Blaisdell were all in unanimous agreement.
“Greg would be my choice,” stated Antonio firmly. “Greg, definitely.”