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.

Just run with it

I have a love/hate relationship with running. In theory, running is perfection. It’s the human equivalent of learning to fly. It’s your body’s way of taking flight and building a healthier body with every step. I love the idea of it. Lacing up your shoes, turning on your stopwatch and sprinting out the door. Motivation is what I hate about it. No one’s pushing you to eat healthy. A trainer isn’t telling you to stay on your workout schedule. A coach isn’t telling you to do one more lap. It’s all up to you.

Running is for everyone. If anyone argues, they just haven’t fallen in love with it yet. There’s a mysterious pull that draws you back on the track or out on the treadmill that simply can’t be explained.

I’ve been a runner all my life. I competed in track and soccer in middle school. In high school I ran cross country and track and played soccer. In college, I missed that. I missed the competition and the daily workouts. I missed the early morning runs and late night ice-baths. I missed the feeling of success and accomplishment after a long, hard run. Little did I know, I could obtain all that and a free Tiffany’s necklace if I just started running again.

Me and Cronkite Grad Berenise Solorio

Last week, I competed in the Nike Women’s Half Marathon in San Francisco. And you know what? I’m hooked. I’m never going to stop. I’m already looking ahead to what’s next.

ASU all the way

Here are a few upcoming races to get bit by the running bug that are fun and challenging:

10.27.12 PHOENIX, AZ- Lincoln Family Downtown YMCA Half Marathon + 5K Walk & Run

11.4.12 TEMPE, AZ- Congenital Heart Walk

11.4.12 SCOTTSDALE-TEMPE, AZ- Women’s Half Marathon

11.10.12 PHOENIX, AZ- Third Annual Phoenix Sister Cities 5k Run and Family Walk

11.10.12 PHOENIX, AZ- Zombie Outbreak Run

11.10.12 BUCKEYE, AZ- Cahoots Mud Run (ASU Student Discount)

11.17.12 PHOENIX, AZ- Dirty Girl Mud Run

11.17.12 SCOTTSDALE, AZ- Mad Mud Run

12.16.12 PEORIA, AZ- Desert Classic 30k, 5k, and 30k Relay

Also, plan for the Rock’N Roll Marathon and IMS Arizona in 2013.

Free Training Plans

If you haven’t tried running, try it. If you haven’t tried racing, sign up. If you need a running buddy, let me know. Lace up those running shoes, Devils!