As colleges become more selective, so do their students. For the last decade, universities have begun to attract students with beautiful—and giant—recreation centers. The result is some of the best outfitted and designed fitness college rec centers in the country.
Whether you spend hours a week at the gym or need some motivation to get back into your workout routine, you’re sure to be impressed by the college rec centers on this list.
Opened in 2013, Auburn’s 240,000 sq ft behemoth of a rec center includes the standards as well as a golf simulator, a 1/3 mile indoor track which snakes through the gym, and a game room with foosball and table tennis. This rec center truly has something for everyone.
The University of Arizona’s main gym measures in at 108,000 sq ft and is LEED platinum-certified. In addition to standard cardio and weight training equipment, the rec center houses an indoor sand volleyball court and a bouldering area.
OSU’s Recreation and Physical Activity Center houses over 150 diverse cardio machines, as well as hundreds of pieces of strength equipment. The facility also houses squash and racquetball courts, a sauna, and two cafes.
UIowa’s Campus Recreation and Wellness Center features state of the art aquatics facilities including a natatorium, diving pool, and a leisure pool with a lazy river. The center features plenty of cardio and weight equipment, as well as massage services and a smoothie cafe.
CSU’s rec center features a climbing wall, aquatic sports area, and individual fitness studios in addition to its 24,000 sq ft of cardio and weight-lifting space. Patrons can always ensure they’ll have access to a treadmill or bench by checking online live webcams before heading out.
UT Austin has 9 recreation facilities scattered about its campus, totaling 500,000 sq ft of indoor rec space. Gregory Gym (pictured) features indoor and outdoor swimming, fitness equipment, as well as courts for badminton, handball, and more. The gym also has a separate fitness area for faculty and staff.
The New Balance Student Rec Center provides over 87,000 sq ft of workout space, featuring floor to ceiling windows for tons of natural light. If the cardio, lifting, courts, and aquatic areas aren’t enough, the center also rents out outdoor rec equipment for the trailed forest area adjacent to the center.
Mizzou Rec is broken up into several sections including the Cardio Gallery, Jungle Gym, Pump Room, and a Boxing Gym. In addition, the main gym features a 1/6 indoor track and courts to accommodate several sports. Additionally, Mizzou Rec actively updates its blog so that you’re always motivated.
NAU is bound to offer something you can get excited about, no matter how you want to get in shape. The rec center houses courts for basketball, volleyball, squash, and racquetball, in addition to cardio, free weight, and selectorized weight machines. TRX fitness equipment is also available, in addition to a full-feature aquatics center.
UND’s Wellness Center approaches fitness holistically. Along with decked-out gyms, aquatics, and fitness areas, the center also houses the “Culinary Corner” where students and community members can learn to prepare nutritious and budget-friendly meals.
Outfitted with tons of cardio and strength equipment, ISU’s rec center has everything you need to get your sweat on. After your workout, be sure to check out the sauna, 22-person spa, as well as the juice bar to relax. Find out your lean mass percentage by trying out the Bod Pod while you’re there as well.
Purdue’s LEED-Gold rated rec center features not one, but two 1/10 mile indoor tracks on separate levels, as well as an expansive aquatic sports area and a range of fitness courses. Purdue’s wellness program also offers free light therapy to students with Seasonal Affective Disorder.
UC’s 200,000 sq ft rec center has something to get anyone moving. An impressive rock climbing wall and aquatics center in an architecturally intriguing building go above and beyond your typical gym. Free blood pressure testing is also available to all UC’s fitness center members.
The Marino Center’s floor to ceiling windows give the facility its striking appearance. Get your cardio or strength work out on while looking out at the streets of Boston. Unique cardio equipment at Marino also includes a cross-county ski simulator and a rock wall simulator. Other facilities at NEU house a full-length lap swimming pool and courts.
15. Rice University
Whether you want to swim laps or play Marco Polo, Rice has got a pool for you. In addition to state-of-the-art cardio and strength equipment, the facility also houses the Outdoor Adventure Center, where students can rent outdoor rec equipment and get expert planning advice from staff.
UM’s Recreation and Wellness center was expanded to 175,000 feet in 2013. The facility includes all the fitness equipment and amenities you could want, as well as a full-service cafeteria. There’s also a pro shop and equipment rental area in-house should you need anything to power through your workout.
Interested in any of these schools? Use College Raptor’s free match tool to discover if they’re a good fit for you!