Even with a 153,000 square-foot state-of-the-art recreation and fitness center and a smaller 7,000 square-foot fitness center located on campus, some students still choose other options when it comes to working out.
Excluding the Kent State rec center, there are nine gyms within a five-mile radius of the Kent State campus. The nine gyms include six traditional gyms, two strength and conditioning and crossfit gyms and a boxing gym.
Ryan Taylor, a junior entrepreneurship major, goes to Fitworks gym in Kent rather than using the on-campus faculties.
“I had a friend that went to Fitworks and it was reasonably priced for a student, so I decided to get a membership,” Taylor said. “You have more freedom, it’s not as packed and doesn’t matter what kind of shirt you wear.”
At the Kent State rec center, students are not allowed to wear cut-offs or any clothing that reveals your torso, a rule that is unique to the rec center.
Taylor, who lives in an apartment off-campus, says that the gym is much more convenient.
“I don’t have a parking pass and walking to the gym doesn’t sound too appealing,” Taylor said. “At Fitworks, I don’t have to worry about that.”
Parking for the rec center is limited to students and members with a university parking pass, and offers a limited amount of parking, due to the construction on Summit Street that began last year.
Mike Susnik, a sophomore construction management major has a similar situation, and also attends Fitworks. Susnik says that he and his friends don’t enjoy the rec because of it being overcrowded.
“For me to go there again, the rec would have to be less crowded, which is something Kent can’t really control, but sometimes you just sit there and wait forever,” Susnik says. “Waiting for weights for a while can ruin a workout.”
Peak times for most gyms tend to be from about 3pm-7pm, but being that the rec center is available to students and community members with all different schedules, it tends to be crowded most of the day.
Kent recently opened the 7,000 square-foot workout area above Tri-Towers in January as another option for students who don’t find the Rec as convenient.
The facility features over 70 new machines and free weights and is available to only students who live on campus.