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Off-Campus Gyms To Use Instead Of Popular On-Campus Facilities

Ever since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, Penn State’s on-campus gyms have operated much differently.

To limit capacity and keep the gyms safe, both the IM Building and Hepper Fitness Center require students to make appointments ahead of time with slots that open 48 hours in advance. There’s a 45-minute break in between each time slot where the staff cleans the equipment before the next round of people come in.

The precautions taken by Campus Recreation are a welcomed sight. However, it’s beyond frustrating to even get a slot for yourself. Time and time again when I go to make an appointment on the Campus Rec website, the site completely freezes right when the time slot opens 48 hours in advance. By the time the site starts working, the time slots are taken.

While the efforts by Campus Rec are appreciated, the uncertainly surrounding whether you can actually get an appointment makes the on-campus gyms difficult to trust.

Luckily, there are some off-campus gym options for students who are looking for an easy alternative.

LionHeart Fitness

LionHeart Fitness is perhaps the most popular off-campus gym downtown. Located at 127 Sowers Street, LionHeart offers a $29.99 a month fitness membership, plus an annual fee of $39. Additionally, you can get a fitness and tanning membership for $34.99 a month, plus that $39 annual fee.

The gym operates from 5:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. from Monday to Friday, and it’s open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on the weekend.

Planet Fitness

Yes, State College has a Planet Fitness. This is one of the cheaper options, as you can get a “classic” membership for $10 a month with a $29 startup fee and a $39 annual fee. If you’re looking to go all out, you can the “PF Black Card” membership, which is $22.99 a month with a $39 annual fee but no startup fee.

The PF Black Card membership allows you to bring a guest, use any Planet Fitness worldwide, and use the tanning facilities, among other things.

Both of those membership offers expire on March 7, and it’s unclear what the rates would be after that date.

Planet Fitness is open 24 hours a day Monday to Thursday, 12 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday, and 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on the weekend. It’s located at 2901 E. College Ave.

East Coast Health & Fitness

Located at 250 W. Hamilton Ave., East Coast Health & Fitness is another gym close to campus. Normally $35 a month for an annual membership, this place gives students a discount to the tune of $30 a month if they go with the annual membership.

Other membership options include $115 for three months, $40 if you take it month-by-month, and $119 for a pro-rated semester membership.

It’s open from 5:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, and 8 a.m, to 4 p.m. on Sunday.

F45 Training & Orangetheory Fitness

F45 Training and Orangetheory Fitness are different than the gyms mentioned above, but they’re still off-campus options. They don’t provide your typical “open gym.” Instead, they strictly offer appointment-based classes.

Orangetheory is located at 106 S. Atherton Street, while F45 is at 232 E. College Ave. You can go to each of their websites to check out the classes they offer, how much the classes are, and when they’re available.

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About the Author

Gabe Angieri

Gabe is a sophomore majoring in journalism and is an associate editor for Onward State. He grew up in Lindenhurst, NY and has had the absolute misfortune of rooting for the Jets, Mets, and Knicks. If you want to see his rants on all of his teams follow him on Twitter @gabeangieri and direct all hate mail and death threats to


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