uOttawa’s Gym Survival Guide

Monday September 25, 2017
Cardio machines at fitness centre.

Did you know that as a student of the university*, you have full access to both the Montpetit and the Minto Fitness Centers? Maybe you did know, but are you really taking advantage of your membership?

Being able to workout in between classes may already be an advantage for some people but for those who are looking to get more out of the gym, here is our list of the top 5 gym hacks.

Gym Hack #1: Using your uOttawa Student Card (lockboxes and equipment)

Your student card is far more than a mean of getting access to the gym. You can exchange your card for a lockbox key to store your valuables, should you not have a lock. The lock boxes range in sizes, fitting anything from a wallet to a small sized backpack. If you are in need of more space, you’re able to rent a padlock to the changing room lockers, for the price of $1.05.

Your student card can also be use for renting equipment such as foam rollers, resistance bands, ab rollers, chain belts, jump ropes and much more. Next time you come in, make use of the equipment to get a better workout!

Gym Hack #2: Talking to Fitness Attendants

Recognizable by their blue shirts, Fitness Attendants are the first people you see while entering the gym. These student-workers are trained to answer all your fitness related questions as well as demonstrate proper exercise form. If there are any machines you’re not familiar with or if you’d like a general tour of the gym, Fitness Attendants are more than happy to help! They aim to provide a safe environment as well as enjoyable experience, so be sure to provide them with any type of feedback.

Gym Hack #3: Signing up for cardio machines

This next hack is for everyone who struggles finding an empty cardio machine. The next time you come in, sign up for cardio before going to the changing room. You would be surprised at how fast cardio machines can fill up as you change.

While on the subject of cardio, here is a bonus hack: Play squash as a warm up. If you are unable to get a hold of a cardio machine, consider playing squash: it’s a great way to get cardiovascular exercise and can be played alone or with a friend. The Minto Fitness Centre is home to two international-size squash courts so make use of them! You can rent squash racquets from the front desk for $2.50 each.   

Gym Hack #4: Attending Group Fitness classes

If you are one who enjoys going to Group Fitness classes, you know how fast they can fill up. Not many are aware of this but tickets are given as early as 30 minutes before the class. In order to guarantee yourself an access ticket, show up a little earlier! Once you have received a ticket, feel free to chat with a Fitness Attendant or do a little cardio: no time is wasted!       

Gym Hack #5: Showing up at the right time

With everyone back from summer vacation, it is no surprise that September and October are the busier months at the gym. In general, the gyms are the busiest on Monday and Wednesday from 17:00 to 21:00. However, there are ways to avoid a packed gym.

If your workouts involve mostly free-weights and body-weigh exercises, the Multi-Sports room (Minto Complex) is an additional space that can be used to avoid heavy traffic. Note: In order to use the Multi-Sports room for your personal workouts, avoid Group Fitness hours.

*In order to take advantage of student-preferred pricing, you must be registered and have paid your incidental fees as part of your tuition