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Secrets of a Senior: There are Gyms Beyond Ducey

February 18, 2009

by Kyle Ragins
Secrets of a Senior: There are Gyms Beyond Ducey

In my infinite wisdom as a soon-to-be-graduating senior (assuming I don't fail thesis), I have decided to begin a new regular column called Secrets of a Senior offering advice and observations about the lesser-known things around the Claremont Colleges that I wish someone had told me earlier.

I want to start off just by providing a listing of the various athletic facilities around the colleges, their hours, and some commentary on them.  As far as I can tell, this information is not collected in any one place (and CMC's hours aren't even posted online), so this should be helpful to those who don't know about all the facilities, their different hours, and their different policies.

I want to note that at many of these facilities, CMCers are not technically allowed, but the enforcement of the ban on CMCers at many of these facilities is not very strict and in general you probably will not get in much trouble if you are caught breaking the access rules at any of these facilities.  As typical CMCers, most of you probably know any variety of ways to bend rules (i.e. look like you are supposed to be doing whatever you are doing, play dumb, beg for entrance, use the old "I forgot my ID trick," etc.).


Ducey Gym

  • Ducey Gym is kind of a relic of the Claremont Colleges.  Now that the Pitzer classrooms have been torn down, it is almost indisputably the most crumbly, old, obsolete structure at CMC.  In a lot of ways, it is like a bad high school gym.  It also has a lot of different parts, each with different hours that I discuss below.

  • Ducey itself is officially open 6 AM - 10:30 PM M-F, 1-4 PM SAT & SUN -- Besides being the administrative hours, it is presumably the hours of the basketball and volleyball courts as well as the boxing ring and climbing wall (discussed below).

Team Weight Room

  • While this is technically the "team weight room," whenever anyone refers to the weight room at CMC, this is what they mean.  Really anybody can go to it, you don't have to be on a team, no one is going to grill you about what team you are on.  You can enter it 3 ways: 1) through the side door in the plaza next to the track, 2) by following the twisting hallways that lead out the back of the "normal" cardio/weight room to their end, 3) by walking to the south end of Ducey and then going through the gate at the back of the parking lot to a door in the side of the building.

  • Our weight room has all the basic stuff that you would need for a work out, but it is pretty ghetto.  It is somewhat reminiscent of Average Joe's Gym in Dodgeball and everything looks like it is from at least the 80s if not earlier.  They have been planning the grand construction of a new gym forever, but it looks like with the economic crisis no one currently at CMC will ever have a chance of seeing it.

  • This gym also has the disadvantage that it can be super crowded.  Lots of people from the sports teams and otherwise are in this gym, especially during peak hours and getting to use the equipment you want can often feel a little like musical chairs.  Even worse, because it is technically a "team weight room," coaches can kick you out if their team is scheduled for a work out (Goldhammer, the track coach, is definitely known to do this).

  • Open 10-12 M-F, 3-9 PM M-Th, 1-5 PM F-Sun

Cardio/Weight Room

  • This is the fitness room that is supposed to be for all non-team members.  In practice, this room has weight machines, while the other weight room has free weights.  I tend to travel up and back between the two during the course of a workout depending on if I prefer the machine in this room to the free weights in the other room for an exercise.  The equipment in here is way nicer and newer looking (a lot of it was supposedly donated by a CMC alum who is the founder of a workout equipment company).  There are also a variety of cardio machines in this room including tread mills, stair masters, and cross-training machines.

  • Open 6 AM-Midnight every day (but you need to get your card activated by the administrative office to get access, and it deactivates every time you lose your card!)

Axelrod Pool

  • This is the pool for the CMS Swim, Dive, and Water Polo teams.  As such, if you are not on these teams, you probably will not use it much.  It is not a pool to hang out at, you can really only swim laps there.  The only other reason you would go is if you are looking for a pool that is easy to break into late at night.

  • Open 11-1 M-F

Boxing Ring/Climbing Wall

  • A lot of people don't know this, but if you climb the stairs in Ducey Gym and go to that area that is above the basketball court, there is a boxing ring and climbing wall.  Neither are really manned or in very good shape, but if you are into these things, you can go check them out and maybe use them.  There used to be a boxing club that was going around last year and met regularly for lessons.  I have not heard anything about them this year, but they might still exist.


Tiernan Field House

  • Scripps has the best arguably the best pool for chilling out at the Claremont Colleges.  With its new remodel it looks almost like a resort and it is a great place to lay in the sun, read, and get your tan on, as well as swimming laps for fitness.

  • All these facilities are open to CMCers during all hours not specific as Scripps/women only, you are even allowed to bring in a non-CMS student as a guest (like if for example your girlfriend from off campus wants to go chill at the Scripps pool with you).  They do tend to be pretty strict about checking ID's at Scripps.  They even make you scan your card.

  • The confusing formula of different hours is listed in this table:

DatesHours of OperationScripps Only (co-ed)Women OnlyMonday–Thursday6:00am-11:00pm4:00pm-7:00pm Scripps students may bring 1 guest No faculty/staff guests7:00pm-11:00pmFriday6:00am-7:00pm4:00pm-7:00pm Scripps students may bring 1 guest No faculty/staff guests Saturday-Sunday12:00pm-10:00pm Sunday, 12:00pm-10:00pmPool HoursDatesHours of OperationScripps Only (co-ed)Women OnlyMonday–Friday (January 1-March 8 )6:30am-9:00am 11:30am-5:30pm  Monday–Friday (March 9-May 8 )6:30am-9:00am 11:30am-7:30pm  Saturday-Sunday (January 1-March 8 )12:00pm-6:00pm Sunday, 12:00pm-6:00pmSaturday-Sunday (March 9-May 8 )12:00pm-7:00pm Sunday, 12:00pm-7:00pm


Linde Activities Center

  • Harvey Mudd boasts the latest night gym hours in the Claremont Colleges, while I have never worked out there, I have passed through to pick up equipment and it always seemed nice and I know several intramural sports are conducted at LAC.

  • Technically, CMCers are not allowed to work out in LAC, it is only open to Scripps and Harvey Mudd and someone mans the desk in the front, but I suspect it would not be too difficult to sneak by without an ID check.

  • Open Monday-Friday, 6:30 a.m. – 1:30 a.m. Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. – 1:30 a.m.


Rains Center

  • Pomona, like all of the other Colleges, has a nicer gym than CMC and if you don't go in the late afternoon on a weekday (when sports teams crowd the weight room) the place is usually pretty empty

  • This place is also not technically open to CMCers, only Pomona and Pitzer students are allowed in.  They have people manning the doors to check ID's and they can sometimes be anal, but generally it is possible to get in using any variety of strategies.

  • Open Sunday: 11 am to midnight Monday thru Thursday: 8 am to midnight  Friday: 8 am to 10 pm Saturday: 11 am to 10 pm

Haldeman Pool

  •  I think this is basically Pomona's pool for teams, while the other one is for students who want to chill out or swim laps on their own.  To be completely honest though, I am not sure, as I have never been to either.  I see no reason why you would go to this pool -- it has limited hours, CMCers aren't technically allowed, and we have 2 fine pools to choose from closer by (Scripps pool and the CMS (Axelrod) pool)

  • Open Monday and Wednesday 9:00 am - 10:00 am, Monday - Friday: 11:00 am - 1:00 pm

Pendleton Pool

  • The only reason to go to this pool would be if you want to swim laps early in the morning, as it is the only pool open to non-team members early in the morning in the Claremont Colleges.

  • Open Monday & Wednesday: 6:45 am - 7:45 am; 12:00 pm - 4:00 pm (5:00 pm after Feb. 19)  Tuesday, Thursday & Friday: 6:45 am - 7:45 am; 1:30 pm - 4:00 pm (5:00 pm after Feb. 19) Saturday & Sunday: 12:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Final Note on Pomona: Pomona has some nice facilities and if you decide you want to go there all the time, and don't want to be constantly sneaking around, you can buy a membership to Pomona's facilities for $60/semester or $100 for the year.  This might be worth it if you love swimming in the morning (alternatively if you talk to the CMS swim coach, Charlie, you might be able to negotiate lap swimming privileges in the morning when the team is doing dry land stuff).


Gold Center Fitness Room

  • The main cool thing about this gym is that they have a rock climbing wall.  You can only use it when there is a person there supervising and you have to sign a waiver, but it is cool if you have never tried to do one before.  Last semester, it was open on Thursdays from 5-9 PM, but I am not positive that is still true.  If you are serious about climbing walls though, you probably want to go to Hangar 18 Climbing Gym in Upland (I know through SOAP--the Scripps Outdoor Club--you can get a semester membership for $90).

  • Besides the climbing wall, the Pitzer gym does not have much else to recommend it, it is pretty small and has basically no machines, only free weights and cables, although it does allow you to get out of the CMC crowd and it has a punching bag.

  • This gym is also not technically open to CMCers, only Pitzer I think, but nobody checks ever, so you are always good to go.

  • Gold Center is open Monday-Sunday, 9 am - 12 am (their website says the fitness room is open 8 AM - 10 PM, but I think you can use it until midnight)

Gold Center Pool

  • This pool is pretty much just a pool to chill at.  It is pretty small, but I guess you could swim laps in it if you wanted to.  It is surrounded by grass that you can lie on to read and tan, but it does not have the nice chairs that Scripps has and in general I think Scripps pool is nicer for chilling out.  The only reason to go there would be if Scripps is really crowded, having "women only time," or it is inexplicably closed for "hyperchlorination"

  • Technically it is only open to Pitzer students, but no one checks ID's here that I have ever seen.

  • Open Noon - 6 PM every day

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