If there’s one thing you should check out at the beginning of the semester, it’s a gym, especially if your diet mainly consists of cold pizza and ramen noodles, which it inevitably will. So in order to counteract the dreaded freshman 15 (and the sophomore 15, and the junior 15, and the senior 15), we’ve put together a custom list of go-to gyms so you can get your wiggle on, LMFAO style.
If your stompin’ grounds are in Cougar country, the College of Charleston has a ton of options available. Even better, they’re free (well, technically included in your tuition), so you can work out without spending a dime. At the corner of George and Meeting streets, you’ll find the F. Mitchell Johnson Physical Education Center and the Willard A. Silcox Physical Education and Health Center. While they’re two separate buildings, they were combined into one giant fitness center a while ago. They have four basketball courts, five volleyball courts, five racquetball and squash courts, lockers, showers, and a small workout area. Even better, whenever there’s a torrential downpour and downtown streets are flooded up to your knees, you can use the center’s indoor running track. It also features a 4,900-square-foot multi-purpose room. This studio is mainly used for fitness classes and sports club practices, but students can contact the director of Campus Recreation Services to reserve a room.
Another option for you CofC kids is the fitness center located in the Stern Student Center at 71 George St. Situated on the second floor of the building, this studio is equipped with nine treadmills, nine elliptical machines, nine exercise bikes, a full circuit of resistance training equipment, medicine balls, and dumbbells. The Stern Student Center also has a 25-meter swimming pool where students can reserve times to practice. Another one of College of Charleston’s little gems is a 12-acre group of outdoor fields located at 863 Riverland Drive next to James Island County Park. Dubbed “the Yard,” students can go here for all of their intramural and club sports practices.
And if that wasn’t enough, CofC students can also visit the downtown East Shore Athletic Club to get their workout on. Students can use all 11 ESAC locations, although the campus location is an obvious choice. They have to register there every month to have access, but you only need to present your Cougar Card to get inside.
Charleston Southern University is another college in the Lowcountry that has a campus gym for students. Located in the university’s Brewer Center, this fitness center is equipped with exercise bikes, treadmills, elliptical machines, and a full circuit of weight training equipment. They also have five flat-screen TVs, so you don’t have to skip your weekly dose of Mad Men to stay fit. The gym also has courts for intramural basketball and volleyball games and a lounge area with ping pong and pool tables, just in case you need a break from all the physical activity. And if you need a bit of fresh air, the university has an outdoor walking trail for students with three fitness stations — pull-up, push-up, and sit-up — situated along the path. Meanwhile, Deas Hall provides Citadel cadets with their fitness needs.
And if you don’t have a campus with a gym (like the Art Institute or Trident Tech), most local gyms still offer some kind of discounts for college students. With over 13 locations throughout the Lowcountry, East Shore Athletic Club lets students enroll for a three-month membership for $120 — and there’s no enrollment fee. With standard prices at $55 a month, you’re saving yourself a good $45. Prices do change from semester to semester, though, so it’s a good idea to call and check-in before you make a decision. At Gold’s Gym on James Island, students can enroll for $29.99 a month with a $59 enrollment fee. Membership includes full access to the gym as well as any of the classes that the gym hosts, and there’s about 90 classes a week. Membership also includes two sessions with a personal trainer.
So have yourself another piece of pizza. There’s no need to feel guilty at all.
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Stay cool. Support City Paper.
City Paper has been bringing the best news, food, arts, music and event coverage to the Holy City since 1997. Support our continued efforts to highlight the best of Charleston with a one-time donation or become a member of the City Paper Club.