The Sun Devil Fitness Complex: A Diamond in the Rough

The Sun Devil Fitness Complex that just opened on ASU’s Downtown Phoenix campus has done nothing but ‘wow’ Downtown students who were relying on the YMCA previously.

Night swim, anyone?

Night swim, anyone?

While the downtown YMCA was a pretty good place to work out, it definitely doesn’t compare to the new SDFC in terms of enhancing the relationship students have with the greater ASU community.

Not only does the new center have four floors full of equipment and fitness class rooms, it also has a rooftop pool that overlooks the greater downtown area. If the rooftop pool doesn’t cut it, I don’t know what does!

The first floor of the facility is home to an array of workout machinery, including but not limited to elliptical trainers, treadmills and other core-enhancing machines. The second through fourth floors house various fitness classrooms, multipurpose rooms and even a track.

While the amount of workout equipment is nice and all, I’m more of a fitness class junkie. Whether it’s Zumba or yoga, fitness classes appeal to me a lot more than treadmills or ellipticals do. So, if you’re like me, the Sun Devil Fitness Complex has just what you need! You can start off by doing a little cardio on the machines on the first floor and then make your way upstairs to one of the many fitness courses offered.

Generally speaking, there are three different types of fitness courses available: strength classes, cardio classes and yoga classes.

The best way to get in shape and do so with the most variability in workout style is to go for the strength/cardio combination classes. This category includes “Power Hour,” “Insane Intervals,” “Total Body Blast” and “Mix.” Each of these classes are high-intensity total-body workouts.

If you’re looking for just strength training, the classes offered are “Totally Toned,” “Raise the Bar” and “Awesome Abs.” Strength training is good if you’re already in shape and you just want definition.

Cardio classes are best for people who want to lose those extra pounds and get back into shape. The classes offered in this category are “Zumba,” “Cycle, Rise and Ride” and “Total Knock Out.”

My personal favorite fitness class — after kickboxing, that is — is yoga! The yoga classes offered are “Flow Yoga, Sunrise Yoga,” “Gentle Yoga” and “Power Yoga.” These yoga classes will help calibrate your body in physical and spiritual terms.

But, of course, we can’t forget the highlight of the fitness center — the rooftop pool! I don’t know what it is about rooftop pools that gets me. Whether it’s the elusive party scene that normally takes place around rooftop pools or it’s just the ability to see huge skyscrapers on either side of you as you backstroke down the length of the pool, having a pool on a roof in downtown is a very cool thing, and the complex deserves a standing ovation for such a brilliant setup.

With such a wide variety of fitness options and placement in the heart of downtown Phoenix, the Sun Devil Fitness Complex truly is a diamond in the rough that all ASU students should visit. With the multitude of fitness courses, the high volume of workout equipment, the track and the pool, this fitness center offers one of the most well-rounded workout routines a downtown Phoenician could ask for.

Downtown Sports 101: Intro to Intramurals

What is an intramural sport, you ask? Well, let me tell you. Intramural sports are ASU’s way of letting students participate in team sports without making the full-time commitment to an athletics program or judging you on your skills. You can’t be cut from an intramural team because everyone’s able to participate and it’s entirely for fun, friendly competition! Leagues and tournaments for intramural sports happen year-round, depending on the sport and season. They are a great way to meet new people, keep up or develop skills in your favorite sport and relax from the everyday stress of classes.

What sports are offered?

  • Flag football (happening right now)
  • Tennis
  • Volleyball
  • Basketball
  • Soccer
  • Softball

Each campus offers intramural sports, but they tend to vary. As an ASU student, you are eligible to participate on any campus in any sport (with some restrictions for Sport Clubs and Competitive Leagues, but we’ll get to that later). Pretty great, right?

GPOY circa 2010 playing flag football

Who can play?

Aside from any ASU student registered in classes, non-ASU students who pay for a membership to any of the Sun Devil Fitness Complexes, ASU alumni who have purchased a membership can all participate. YMCA members can participate on the Downtown campus only.

How are teams categorized?

Men’s, Women’s and CoRec teams are offered.

What type of teams compete? 

Competitive and recreational. Competitive teams are not allowed to participate in the recreational leagues because they are categorized by skill and to be honest, can get a little dangerous when playing against inexperienced teams. Recreational teams are for anyone and everyone who want to learn, get a good workout and make some friends. It’s basically the “we’re just here for fun” team. Sport leagues are a subcategory of the competitive league and consist of playoff tournaments with an All-University Champion at the end.

 How do you sign up? 

I just knew you’d ask! Check out the intramural website and schedules for Tempe, Poly, Downtown and West.

Now that we’ve got all the basics down, remember that you are participating at your own risk, and with great power comes great responsibility, Spiderman. Make sure you’ve got the right gear to participate and you’re ready for the level of physical activity necessary to play. With that said, bumps and bruises do happen, so make sure you know what doctor’s office your insurance takes out here, because you might end up looking like this…

The result of a 200-pound guy attempting to steal a soccer ball from me…he got my ankle instead

Have fun, Devils!