Strategy(m): How to Manage Penn State’s Busy Fitness Centers

New years are filled with so many new opportunities and goals, but perhaps the most common resolution is to be more active and go to the gym. Spring break is on the horizon and the gyms have become significantly more crowded over the last few weeks. If you go at the wrong time, you could be looking at lines for time on equipment or even to get into the gym at all! Going to the gym is becoming strategic, and you need to plan beforehand to get the most out of your workout. Valley has laid out three tips for getting the most out of your workout time.

Gym Selection

There are three on-campus fitness facilities near East, West, and South Halls. These three are located at Rec Hall, the IM Building, and the White Building respectively. Generally speaking, the White Building is always the most crowded. It’s a perfect location for those who live on campus and it’s where most of those who live off campus go, too. Each gym has all of the basic equipment that you’ll need for your workout, though, so it may be worth it to go to another gym if one is too crowded. Check the capacity of each gym on the PSU Strength and Fitness website before you go . This website will tell you how full the gyms are and how long the wait will be if they are at 100% capacity. Remember: there’s always the Blue or White Loops that take you directly to each of the gyms.


Timing is everything in life, and going to the gym is no different. On average, the gyms are always most crowded on weekdays between the time of 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. People will usually go after their classes are over so you can save some time by wearing your workout clothes to class and going right after. If you can, try and go either early in the day or later at night in order to avoid the crowd and waits. Weekends often are less crowded but, to be sure, double check the occupancy on the website!


Sometimes we really have no control over the time we get to the gym. For some of us, the only time we can get there is prime time when everybody else can go, too. More often than not, our workouts can be affected by crowds. Cardio equipment is the most used and the treadmills tend to be what most people wait for. If you’re not the first or second person in line, it’s anyone’s guess when it’ll be your turn. Fortunately, there are other pieces of equipment that will accomplish exactly what you want without the long wait. If the line to get into the gym is just too long to wait in, you can always go to a fitness class instead, where you’ll most likely be able to snag a spot. Check the schedule before you go to pick out classes you’re interested in!

If you do have to wait in line, it really is not the end of the world. Usually you won’t be waiting for longer than 10-15 minutes. If your workout is time-sensitive, it might be a good idea to think about switching it up and either going to a different gym, picking different times or even different workouts. Valley wishes the best of luck to all on their New Year’s Resolutions. Here’s to continuing great exercise habits!