Free workouts at campus gym

By D. Lyn Hunter, Public Affairs


Patrons work out on the Recreational Sports Facility's main floor, which is equipped with fitness machines and rooms for stretching, weight-training, and racquet sports.
Anna Maurer photo

16 January 2003 | With the holiday focus on eating, drinking, and making merry, diet and exercise regimens are often tossed aside like wrapping paper on a just-opened gift.

But the campus is offering a present that will help faculty and staff jump back on the health bandwagon: the Cal Rec Club, housed in the Recreational Sports Facility on Bancroft Way west of Dana St., is offering three week-long open houses, Jan. 13-17, Feb. 10-14, and March 10-14.

Organizers hope that by visiting one of the three open houses, employees will be encouraged to join the club and take advantage of its convenient campus location, low-cost membership dues, and wide variety of services.

“In the past, we’ve done day-long open houses, but it’s not really enough time for an employee to see how a membership might fit their needs and schedule,” says Joe Watz, associate director of Recreational Sports. “A week allows one to get a feel for the place — to see if they’ll feel comfortable here.”

Open-house hours are 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily during each of the three weeks. Faculty and staff must bring their employee identification to be admitted. Though employees may attend only one open house each, they will have full access to all facilities and equipment. In addition, they can participate in a number of programs being offered, including fitness orientations, wellness talks, healthy food sampling, free massages, and equipment demonstrations.

Open-house visitors who purchase a membership to the club before April 1 will receive fitness passes for friends, two passes to aerobics classes, and a 50-percent discount on a one-year locker rental.

“We have so many workout options here; even people who aren’t so keen on exercising will probably find something that suits them,” says Watz. “We know how hard everyone here at Berkeley works, so we want to provide an easy and inexpensive way for them to relieve stress and improve their overall health.”

Watz says the Recreational Sports Facility — with more than 100,000 square feet of activity space — is by far the largest exercise facility in the Bay Area. Amenities include more than 70 cardio machines; squash, racquetball, basketball, and handball courts; and state-of-the-art strength-training equipment. Members also have access to four pools and three tennis courts located throughout the campus.

For an additional fee, members can also schedule massage therapy and personal training sessions, or purchase passes to dozens of group classes, from ballroom dancing and capoeira to Tai Chi and funk aerobics.

Membership for faculty and staff is $160 per semester or $315 per year. A monthly payroll deduction of $26.25 can also be used to pay dues. For the same price, members can sponsor a membership for their legal spouse or domestic partner, or for an adult who shares their residence.

“We hope faculty and staff will stop by during one of the open houses and see what we’re all about. I think they’ll be pleasantly surprised,” says Watz.
Information about the open houses and the Cal Rec Club is available at


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