by Jake Harry
To refresh your memory, my name is Jake and I am a senior this year in aerospace engineering. Over the past four years I’ve lived all over campus; my freshman year I lived in Friley and was able to use the wonderful State Gym after it was completed after my first semester. Yes, I’m old; the new State was in fact finished after I started school here. My middle two years I lived in Fredericksen Court, which is naturally closer to Lied Rec so I came to enjoy the somewhat secluded gym on the east side. This year, my senior year, I moved a literal stone’s throw away from State Gym (Sheldon Ave.) but 85% of the time I will drive to Lied at night because of reasons I’m about to share.
Now just to be clear, I am here to talk about what I have experienced in my tenure to be true of the two primary workout hotspots on Iowa State’s campus. Everyone has different agendas when choosing their gym locale and I will attempt to address multiple things when evaluating the gyms. I will, however, give you my choice on gym and gym time along with my personal agenda when attending the gym. I will do this just so you understand what shade of light is being cast on the following information.
My preference: Lied after 10pm on Sunday – Thursday, and after 8pm on Friday & Saturday. (please don’t stalk me)
I want to go the gym consistently throughout the year and be able to do what I want to do without the hassle of a lot of people. Naturally, I chose the time that I’ve come to find attracts the least number of people (I am a night owl by trade, so early mornings are a strong no). People may argue that going that late at night tends to wake you up, to which I respond I sleep like a baby.
If you are hoping to avoid the crowds like myself I would recommend either going in the mornings (before 10am) or going during my personal time slot (after 10pm). If you are a social butterfly and want to go to the gym to converse with others, 5-7pm is the time for you.
When I go to the gym, I really am there to get in and get out, so if you ever see me at the gym and I don’t say hello, it doesn’t mean I don’t like you, I try to avoid eye contact and conversation like the plague, so please don’t be offended; I would do the same thing to my closest friends. Now that you have a little bit of background on where I’m coming from, below will be a brief discussion about certain activities that people tend to do when they go to the gym and which of the two gyms might better accommodate you:
- Swimming (STATE) – If you are looking for a place to swim, look no further. There is a wonderfully large pool to use at your convenience with big tvs, basketball hoop and diving boards among other things. If you are looking to swim laps, Beyer (across the street) is a pretty mellow place to partake.
- Weight Lifting (LIED) – This one really is a toss up between the two gyms, but my personal experiences have made me pretty jaded with the weight racks at State. Even if I went at my usual nighttime, people seem to still be there going to work. Lied is far less busy. Perhaps it is the third story location of the Lied weights (two flights of stairs can be a lot of unnecessary work for a college student) or perhaps it is the somewhat secluded location of Lied on the far east side of campus. In any case, I have had far more luck lifting heavy objects at Lied.
- Rock Climbing (STATE) – State gym has a large rock climbing wall that can have many people on the wall at a given time. There are different colored rocks that basically are designated a level of difficulty. State also has a bouldering wall attached to the backside of the main rock wall (bouldering is what it’s called when you’re not tied to a rope). At Lied all they have is a bouldering wall.
- Yoga – I know nothing.
- Basketball (LIED) – There are like 70 courts to play on and as long as you bring your own ball you’re almost guaranteed to get on one of them. The one hiccup for playing at Lied is if you are trying to ball between 2–6pm the athletic department has the area reserved. If that is your time frame then State would work better.
- Running (LIED) – The track on the third floor of Lied is a 300m track while the one at state is 200m. What it boils down to is if you are looking to run a lot of miles indoors (maybe because it’s super duper cold out) the least number of laps you do the better off you are. You aren’t turning as often when you run and it really just feels better. Of course, hardcore runners are outdoors everyday (to those people I tip my hat). But sometimes it’s icy on the sidewalks and sometimes you just want to run as a warm-up. And to those times Lied is where I have enjoyed more.
Hopefully the above information is somewhat of use to you wonderful gym-going people. I’m sure there will be criticisms from the peanut gallery about some of the statements I made, but overall I hope I highlighted some important factors that will only go to better your workout experience.