Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

The Ins and Outs of UA’s Student Rec Center

CW / Natalie Teat
The Student Recreation Center is located at 400 Peter Bryce Blvd. in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Editor’s note (9/13/23): This article was updated to correctly reflect student membership qualifications.

Getting into a healthy and consistent routine is important for maintaining mental health and ensuring academic success. One of the most important parts of a healthy routine is exercise. Maintaining your physical health during the semester is just as important as studying and making it to class on time. The best place on campus to get started is the Student Recreation Center. 

Getting to know the Rec 

Also known as simply “the Rec,” the Student Recreation Center offers a multitude of machines, equipment and spaces to satisfy anyone’s fitness needs.  

Everyone at the Rec is there for different reasons. Some are there to get stronger and build muscle. Some are there to lose weight and get in shape. Others are there just to have fun with friends and enjoy themselves. Whatever your reason may be for visiting, you’ll find an area of the Rec that suits your goals.  

In the workout area, you’ll find dozens of different machines and racks, covering just about every muscle group. There is also a rack of dumbbells that weigh anywhere from 5 to 110 pounds that can be used for a variety of exercises.  

For those looking to get some cardio in, the upstairs area is where you’ll find all the treadmills, ellipticals and stair climbers. This is also where you can access the indoor track area.  

The Rec also has several basketball courts where there are almost always pickup games to join in on. There are usually some goals open for those just looking to get some shots up, too. This area of the Rec also includes several racquetball courts.  

In addition to these courts, there are tennis courts outside where students and faculty can use the newly added pickleball nets.  

With all these different options for getting active at the Rec, some students may be intimidated or confused, but the staff is always ready to help with anything you may need.  

“If you don’t know what you’re doing, you can always ask one of us up at the front desk,” said Wil Klosterman, a senior and UREC employee. “Part of our job is to show people around and how to use the equipment.”  

The Rec also offers several different services and programs to students and faculty. Beginners who may need some help and guidance starting their fitness journeys can hire personal trainers on the University Recreation website. 

 Things to know  

Going to the Rec can be an enjoyable experience, but there are some things to know that will enable you to make the most out of your time.  

First of all, the Rec can be intimidating for some, especially those new to fitness, due to the number of people you will be sharing the facility with.  

While the Rec does get fairly crowded at certain times in the day, there are times when things are less hectic and more machines and equipment will be open for use. Going earlier in the morning or later at night is a good idea if you’re looking to avoid a big crowd. Most students and faculty seem to make their way to the Rec in the afternoon hours, after they are done with class for the day. On the weekends, the busiest hours are still in the afternoon.  

Next, newcomers need to know that everyone they see working out at the Rec is at a different point in their fitness journey. You will see people working out for the first time, as well as some people who have been working out for years.  

It’s important to know that the Rec is a place where everyone goes to have a positive experience and enjoy themselves, not to judge others. You may feel insecure because you aren’t lifting as much weight as the person next to you, or maybe you can’t run on the treadmill for as long as someone else. 

But, as sophomore UREC worker and nursing major Adaline Sellers says, most people in the Rec are focused on their own workout, not whatever you’re doing.  

“Don’t worry about what people are going to think about you,” she said. “Most likely they aren’t looking at you anyways.” 

Another thing to remember is that you will need your ACT Card to gain access to the facility. If you’re a new member of the Rec, the membership may take some time to process in the system, so the card may not work immediately, according to Carson Hayes, a sophomore advertising major who works for UREC.  

“If you tap it and it doesn’t work, the membership office is open Monday through Friday,” he said.  

This shouldn’t be a problem for most students, however, as access to the Rec is included in tuition for on-campus and distance education students who are registered for at least one credit hour during the semester. All a student needs to do is scan their ACT Card at the front.  

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