Published: Jan. 9, 2019

It’s a new year, and if you’re like the rest of us, you’ve probably vowed to eat a little healthier and work out a little more often this year. But if you’re new to the gym, or maybe you haven’t been in a while, it can feel intimidating.

If this sounds like you, fear not: Recreation Services has put together a guide that covers everything you need to know about joining The Rec.

Students run on ellipticals while overlooking the basketball courtsWhere to go

CU Boulder offers two fitness center locations: The Rec and Williams Village Rec Center. Each center offers unique amenities on both sides of campus to help you Find Your Fit, whether you’re interested in swimming, cardio, group classes, tennis, basketball, ice skating, rock climbing or strength training. Choose the facility that’s best for you, or make the most of what they both have to offer.

When to go

Both The Rec and Williams Village Rec Center offer flexible hours, so you can find a time that works with your schedule. Normal semester hours are 6 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Monday–Friday and 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. These hours may vary during campus holidays and scheduled breaks, so be sure to check for updated hours online.

If you’re looking for a quiet time to go to the gym, go in the early morning (6 a.m. to 10 a.m.) or later in the evening (after 7 p.m.) to avoid rush-hour crowds. If you find yourself feeling gym-timidated during busy hours, there are a number of studios that may be available for more private workouts, as long as there are no classes already scheduled.

What to bring and locker options

It’s a good rule of thumb to come prepared with your Buff OneCard (required for entry), a water bottle and proper workout attire. All patrons are expected to follow the dress code: shirts must be worn at all times except in locker rooms and pool areas, shorts must be an appropriate length and closed toe shoes are required.

Day-use lockers are available to store additional personal belongings. Just remember to bring your own padlock or purchase one from Guest Services. If you plan on coming to The Rec more regularly, consider purchasing a semester-long locker (available starting Monday, Jan. 14, while supplies last).

If you choose to participate in an activity that requires extra equipment, like racquetball or soccer, The Rec offers a variety of free equipment rentals to all Buff OneCard holders through Guest Services.

Headed to the pool? Don’t forget your suit! Rent a free towel by visiting Guest Services. The Rec also has special wet locker rooms for pool-goers and several different pool options. The outdoor Buff Pool is open seasonally and offers a variety of fun activities, while indoor lap pools are open year-round. These pools are used for general recreation and team practices, so be sure to check out our pool hours online for open swim times.

Connect with The Rec

Follow @CUBoulderRec on social media for more information, events, updates and inspiration!




Special classes and programs

The Rec offers a wide variety of courses and programs throughout the semester. Give them a try!

Fitness classes

With more than 90 group fitness classes to choose from, The Rec is a great place to try new activities! All classes are free to try the first week of each semester (Free Week).You also can join free classes during Free Friday Power Hour at 5:30 p.m. every Friday. For semester-long access to classes, grab yourself a Be-Fit Pass (they’re $10 off during Free Week!).

Personal training

Training Services can be a great resource for those looking to start or improve their strength training. Visit the FitWell office on the second floor of The Rec to learn more and be matched with a trainer.

Intramural sports leagues

If you’d like to participate in friendly sports competition without the pressure of walking onto a division or club team, try Intramural Sports! The Rec offers a wide variety of intramural teams and single-day tournaments to choose from. Form your own team, or sign on as a single with an existing team. Semester-long passes are $20, which allows you to join as many teams as you’d like.

Outdoor Program

Take the gym outside with The Rec’s Outdoor Program. Offering a variety of student trips, courses and equipment rentals, our experts are here to help you make the most of the great outdoors. The Outdoor Program also provides access to the climbing gym for only $25 per semester. Day passes and shoe rentals also are available.

Wellness suite

In addition to gym services, The Rec also offers general wellness services through the FitWell Suite.

  • The Nutrition Resource Clinic offers free nutrition consultations from 1 to 5 p.m. every Wednesday. No appointments necessary.
  • The MSK Clinic offers injury evaluations and consultations by certified physical therapists on a walk-in basis. Available at both The Rec and Wardenburg. Dates and times offered vary by location.
  • Relaxation Stations are located on the second floor of The Rec and feature two nap pods available for student use. Nap pods are available for 20-minute drop-ins and provide a quiet place to relax or take a quick snooze.

Inclusive Rec

The goal of Inclusive Rec is to create a safe, accommodating, welcoming and open environment while providing equal, accessible and respectful opportunities for all.

Our facilities were built with inclusiveness in mind, including ADA equipmentadaptive climbingall-gender locker rooms and ice and sled walkers. The Rec is also working to provide Unified Sports programs that will allow students with disabilities to participate in more programs and teams. Inclusive Rec also puts on free events throughout the semester that are tailored to provide a more inclusive experience for all students.

So whether it’s your first time at the gym or your first time back, The Rec has something for everyone. Find your fit, meet new friends and join our community!