How to beat the crowds when working out

Joy Wessels

As the weather gets colder, more students flock to Iowa State’s recreational facilities, so much so that it can be hard to get in a workout when everyone else is trying to as well. To avoid the excess hustle and bustle throughout the winter months, here are some tips to beating the crowds.

Lied Recreation Athletic Center is typically at its busiest in the early morning and later on at night. Recreation Services employee Lauren Plummer said the facility is pretty busy in the morning from 6 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. due to ROTC occupying the lower-level track.

“The track is busy in the early morning,” Plummer said. “But otherwise, the only time it’s closed is between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. during the week.”

If the lower-level track is closed, the least busy time to use the upper-level track is between 8 a.m. and about 2 p.m. From about 4 to 10 p.m., the facility sees its highest number of users.

If you’re looking to use any of the cardio machines on the upper level, make sure you use them before peak workout times, otherwise you have to sign up for a machine. Cardio machines such as ellipticals and StairMasters are usually fully occupied from 4 to 10 p.m. If you’re not able to get on a machine, Plummer recommended alternative workouts that will still boost your heart rate.

“Even though the tracks get busy at night, there’s still room for everyone,” Plummer said. “You can also rent jump ropes from the front desk that are good for cardio workouts.”

The weight equipment located on the upper level also can get pretty busy early in the morning and from about 4 p.m. on.

Blake Bruene, junior in biochemistry, said the best time to hit the weights is in the middle of the day when machines aren’t so crowded.

“It’s hard when it’s so busy because some people will stay on the machines you want to use,” Bruene said.” If you go earlier in the day, you don’t have to deal with all of the people.”

Lied isn’t the only place to work out, either. Beyer Hall offers open-lap swimming Monday through Thursday between 12:10 and 2 p.m. and then again from 6:10 to 9 p.m.

State Gym also has two more running tracks, a recreational pool and more than 100 new pieces of exercise equipment.

Don’t let the crowd keep you from staying fit throughout the winter. Find a schedule that works for you or try alternative workouts.