Choose your fitness adventure: ARC or CRCE


The Daily Illini File Photo

The BeamWork class, led by instructor Sara, works on strength of mind and body at the ARC.

By Charlotte Collins, Video editor

The University is home to some world-class recreational facilities that you should absolutely indulge in. Do your self a favor of improving your mental and physical health, and keep in mind your student fees pay for the facilities regardless of whether you go.

The ARC is my preferred facility; in fact, I’ve lived in my less-than-luxurious apartment for the past couple years almost entirely because of its proximity to the facility.

The multi-floor experience has everything you want. The main floor has a little coffee and snack shop, group fitness rooms, lots of cardio and weight machines and overlooks several basketball courts you can reach by going downstairs. The window-lined second floor floods with sunlight in the mornings to help you wake up and work off your Fat Sandwich from the night before. Outside, the ARC has a full pool, and the basement is home to an indoor pool across from a sauna. In my opinion, the ARC reigns supreme because of its sauna.

If you get an unlimited group fitness pass, which is only $40 per semester and an absolute bargain, you can go to amazing yoga classes almost every day of the week. Most of those are at the ARC. While I can only really speak to the yoga, Campus Recreation also offers intense cardio and weight classes like spinning, pilates and kickboxing that I tried but decided I’m not built for at all.

The most common complaint I hear about the ARC is that they hate the weight room. One floor below the sauna and pool is a gigantic weight room filled with fantastic machines, but it’s almost always filled with large grunting men. It can be a little intimidating at first, so I recommend a workout buddy if you’re nervous.

CRCE is good in its own way, especially for those living outside of Ikenberry Commons. It’s located near many study spots if you’re looking to go straight from the gym to a cafe to the gym (you go-getter, you).

One of its main drawbacks also has its benefits: the smaller size. It’s usually less crowded, and you’re more likely to get your preferred machine right away. It has some big water slides, racquetball courts, and many of the ARC’s best features. 

To be honest, both of these facilities will keep you in great shape, and if you manage to get to the gym with some degree of regularity your first year on campus, you’ll thank yourself later on. Your location will most likely determine your preferred facility, which is a bit ironic because the purpose of going to the gym is exercise, and a longer walk there will only add a little cardio to your workout.

Charlotte is a senior in Media.
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