Get ripped – no excuses, no extra charge: Get off your butt and get to the campus gym

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Knee-deep into the semester with midterms in full swing and exams just around the corner, there isn’t much room for motivation. Whether you can’t find the time to do anything but study, or lack the cash, the idea of working on your fitness levels can be a bit daunting, especially at this time of year.

Lucky for you, it’s “No-Excuses November,” and if you’re attending UNBSJ, there is absolutely zero room for those pesky “buts.” With a fully-equipped fitness room, complete with its own impressive set of weight and cardio machines, the opportunities are all there. The best part is that it’s all free!

The fitness room, located on the main floor of the G. Forbes Athletic Centre is open on weekdays from 6:30 a.m. to 8:45 p.m. On weekends it opens at 12 p.m., closing at 6:45p.m. in the evening. With the gym open early, students can find time to fit a little treadmill love into their day, even if their evenings are jam-packed.

The small room overlooks the main gymnasium; if you’re lucky, you can catch the Seawolves in action in basketball, volleyball and sometimes even indoor soccer, while you’re working up a sweat on the elliptical.

Tucked neatly beside the campus security office, this tiny workout hub is loaded with all of the necessities to keep your body in tip top condition. Students can make use of a full dumbbell set and weight benches to get a little extra definition and can check their form in the mirrors set up in various places around the room.

If pumping iron unassisted isn’t your thing, you can take full advantage of the multiple weight machines placed on the room’s left side. It’s got everything: chest presses, leg presses, bicep and triceps machines and a whole slew of others that work everything from your shoulders down to your toes.

The fitness room wouldn’t be complete without a cardio system. Aside from the expected treadmill roster—UNBSJ’s boasts five – it’s got elliptical machines, stair steppers and for those wishing to gain a little muscle and get the blood flowing, two rowing machines situated at the far left.

If machine workouts aren’t your forte, no worries; there have been mats laid down on either side of the room for floor workouts as well as an exercise ball and resistance band at your disposal for a whole range of other routines. The possibilities are immense.

According to UNBSJ’s website, students can gain over ten pounds in their first year of university alone. If you’re afraid of having the dreaded “freshman fifteen” sneak up on you unannounced, the fitness room is a great asset and it’s right at your fingertips. If you’re into a little more heavy lifting, there’s a strength-training room just downstairs.

For those who despise traditional workouts, there are free fitness classes held in the gym every weekday. Take advantage of a yoga or body sculpt session and fall in love with getting active that way. The school also has a nature trail and an indoor running track – not to mention the outdoor one in the Canada Games Stadium.

With all of these resources, getting fit is an attainable thing. Weight gain can be “tough to come back from,” says the university website; don’t let it take you by surprise.

To access the fitness room on your own, take your student ID card to campus security and have it activated, or ask someone there to open the door for you. Both full-time and part time students can make use of the gym for free, so check it out. You’ve got nothing to lose – other than a few solid pounds of fat, of course.