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Overcrowded College Gym

Hey everyone, I am a college freshman and I thought I could workout in the afternoon but to my dismay the gym was so crowded that I decided I will need to go later. It looks like I will have to train at either the early morning or late night. If anyone has any experience/suggestions for this problem that would be great.

Usually the first few weeks of school are the worst. As the year progresses kids will start to get caught up in their studies and will also become more lazy. For the time being just train in the morning.

Keep going at the same time you tried earlier and give it about a week. It’s the end of August so I assume classes just started. Most students get the lifting itch the first week of school so guys can show off to girls and girls go because they heard horror stories about the freshman 15 (or they gained 20 and they’re a sophmore)…

Nonetheless, most kids will stop attending after the first two weeks… Shit you probably won’t see half of them on the first Friday… The bottom line is college weightrooms are a meet market for frat boys who are trying to rush guys and bang freshman girls. And girls trying to show that they have another skill/passion than what they do around 3:45 in the morning…

The secret is to go, and go consistently, you’ll not only gain muscle, confidence look better… you’ll gain respect, because you are there for the real reason gym’s were made, to look and feel better…

Did you literally just go, i.e. Monday afternoon? Monday’s are the worst, esp. at commercial or college gyms. People want to start off the week after a weekend of partying or being lazy. By the time Wed. or Thu. comes around it’ll severely die down.

I share your concern man. I’m going away to university on the 31st and I’m not too excited about going to the weight room because it will be crowded to start. It probably won’t be as bad as I’m anticipating due to the fact that most people don’t use to power rack. Hopefully no one decides that’s a good place to do curls.

One thing I would recommend is to not do any sort of bench/chest on monday’s. Monday seems to be international chest(and usually biceps as well) day, and you’d be hard pressed to find an open bench.

The first two replies are right on the money. Within a two weeks to a month the gym will become deserted and you’ll have plenty of room to roam. Starting out by training in the morning would be a good idea, you’ll adjust if you find it difficult at first. Besides, training in the morning will leave you with plenty of time in the afternoon to study and do other things.

I feel you, dude. First day of classes and my 1st experience in a college gym, it was packed. I waited for like 10 minutes for the powerrack to do front squats, while this jabroni did shrugs with his hands 6 inches apart, and of course followed that up with some power-rack cheat curls.

This probably won’t help you, but at my school, when they built the new “cutting-edge fitness center” and promoted the hell out of it, they left the old gym intact, unadvertised and even unlabelled. It’s pretty much a dungeon, with two squat-racks, no power rack, some benches and a few old school machines. When I was there, I was sharing the gym with usually two or three people (even though they were willing to lift in the “crappy” gym, nobody ever did squats or deads, so I always had a rack.)

The only inconvenience I found was that one semester when I finally didn’t have 8:30 class, so I started showing up at at to workout, it turns out the phys ed students, or somebody, used that gym to “practice” their personal training skills. They did this by training mentally disabled people. I don’t want to sound insensitive or anything, but it’s really tough to squat when there’s a fat english girl behind you trying to explain the concept of a dip in french to a retard, because she can’t just get up and do one to show her.

Anyway, getting back to the original point, it might be worth asking if there’s another weight room besides the “official” one.

And off on another slight tangent, I think my beloved dungeon was called the Ben Wieder Weight Room, or something like that, before the administration decided it wasn’t worthy of having a name. That made me laugh, because all the plates are York.

As a sophomore I have been through this for a year and am currently dealing with it. But don’t worry, the squat/power racks are rarely used, if they are occupied you can usually intimidate the curling frat boys by simply asking them how more sets they have left, and attendance drops off considerably within the first month.

At least you guys have squat or power racks. We have a smith machine instead.

I honestly have never really had much of a problem with people curling in the squat rack. Usually I’ll say “Can I work in with you?” And I’ll bring a bar over and load it up. When they see you squatting at least 225, most people will just walk away and do the curls elsewhere.

Or you could just ask them to take it elsewhere. If you are really intent on doing your squats, people will see that. If you’re the kind of person who does quarter squats with a crap amount of weight for 2 sets, they probably won’t give a shit about taking up your space.

Same thing with bench pressing and dumbell work. People are much more likely to clear out of the way of the bench if you’re using the “heavy” dumbells in the gym. I go to a liberal arts college that was rated #1 as “Dodgeball Targets” by Princeton Review (no sport over D3) so when people see you pull out the 100lb dumbells from behind the garbage can, people poo their pants a little. It’s funny.

I guess the moral of that is get stronger and people will assume you’ve paid your dues and move out of the way for you.

Good luck, I’m going to be dealing with some of this bullshit when I get back to school. Trying to get access to the new “Varsity” gym (10x50ft) without playing sports. We’ll see.


It sucks; my school’s the same way. I go to class from 10a - 4p.

I go to the gym in the morning, and the football team is there getting precedence…no squat racks or bench press for me ! (or deadlifts, for that matter).

I go in the evening, and it’s packed !!

So I just joined the local Gold’s. It’s pricey, but worth it: It’s DEAD there in the morning and evening when I go (I usually head over later int he evening, 8 - 9p, or 7a or thereabouts). Yeah, it’s a bite out of my wallet, but it’s worth it.

A few things I noticed and couldn’t control in the weightroom when I was in college:

Which was surprisingly smaller than my highschool weightroom and led me to workout outside the room or head to the university stadium and work the bleachers with a loaded backpack.

This is where I learned how to do olympic lifts and overhead lifts. All I needed was a partner or coach to help my progress, not a mirror. There was also lots of room and no one touched the bumper plates.

So was sure where I wouldn’t be or what I wouldn’t be doing come Monday, Wednesday, or Friday. Those days were the most packed, where Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday it was almost a ghost town. Those days can also be your squat, deadlift, or empty space lift days. Thank goodness for cookie cutter programs.

So be a black sheep and use it…properly. You may have to remove towels and belts that are hanging on those things.

Go outside. Most universities I’ve seen or attended had a grass field or some indoor courts nearby. Sprints, suicides, object tossing and sprints, etc. T-Nation already let’s us know how much fun going outside is and how much faster we get in shape and other good stuff. Don’t most college students have bikes? Find a used trainer or get a new trainer and set up your own stationary bike that only your ass knows the seat. Of course things do change in areas where there are polar climate changes.

If you have a late gym, try going between the hours of 11 PM to 2 AM. By midnight, most people have cleared out.

Otherwise, try around 9-11 AM. A lot of people schedule classes through those hours and those that don’t aren’t likely to be in the gym.

The worst time to go (in terms of overcrowding) is in the late afternoon and early evening.

damn, im startin freshman year this sunday…the gym is really nice…but one thing i hate is alot of people…i like to be alone during my workouts…after this thread im not looking forward to seeing the gym sunday afternoon…fuck

[quote]WindSkater wrote:
Monday seems to be international chest(and usually biceps as well) day, and you’d be hard pressed to find an open bench.[/quote]

Don’t forget Friday afternoon chest and biceps for the Friday Night Pump.

We just got a new rec center where I go to school. Like everyone else has said, first two weeks will be crowded, monday is bench/curl day, Friday’s are golden, etc. Try to go at odd hours if you can. I’ve found that pre-noon the place is dead. It can be good to go do some light cardio in the afternoons and evenings if you want to meet some girls or find out what’s going on around campus.

If you have an old weight room, try to find it. Our new rec center left the old gym emtpy, and it has several power racks, three platforms with full bumper sets, dumbells galore, etc. The new rec center is huge, but only has one squat rack, the rest is all Smith machines and Nautilus machine crap. The indoor track and cardio equipment is money, though.

Like everyone else said, the beginning of the year is always busy, but as the semester goes on it becomes less crowded. But when January rolls around it gets even more busy as everyone tries to make good on their resolutions. But by the end of January most people give up and it becomes less crowded.

i’m a freshman as well and i’ve found that my gym is quite empty on the weekends when a lot of people are partying or gone home. During the week I try to go earlier in the day as it is a madhouse in the afternoon when everyone is done with classes. good luck

good thread.

I hate my school’s gym in the evenings.

Best time for me was always
Monday - Friday before 9am (when gym class started) and Saturday - Sunday either during the football game or 1 to 2 hours before closing (I went to Pitt so the place pretty much cleared out during Pitt games and Steelers games).

The start of the year is bad… but a couple weeks before spring break is the worst by far.