As someone who spends most of her days on the Tufts downtown campus, I appreciate the convenience of having a gym in the Sackler building. The basement gym gets major points for its proximity to Jaharis and its free price-tag. However, when I heard that there was a brand new gym open to Friedman students on the Medford campus, I wanted to check it out to see if it was worth the trek.
The Tisch Sports and Fitness Center opened at the beginning of the 2012 school year right next to the old Cousens gym, just around the corner from the Brown & Brew Coffee House on College Avenue (map). It is bright, beautiful, and well equipped for college students to get their sweat on. When I walked into the building, I scanned my Tufts student ID card for access. There is a large atrium decked out with a baby blue Jumbo elephant mascot, and up the stairs to the left is the entrance to the gym floor.
The space has new and modern cardio equipment including 4 spin bikes, 3 stairmill machines, and a long row of treadmills facing outside over the field. There are also some new-fangled cardio machines, like arc trainers and lateral motion elliptical machines. Big-screen TVs line the perimeter of cardio area, and some machines are even equipped with their own personal screen for you to watch your favorite show while you work out.
The fitness center also has a large area dedicated to weight machines and free weights. The one space I found lacking was the floor for stretching and foam rolling. It seems like it would get crowded quickly and was the one place where I think the Sackler basement gym wins out. However according to Linda Yung, a double Jumbo and current second-year food policy student at Friedman, the stretching area is much nicer than in the old Cousen’s fitness center. “It’s such a luxury to have a more spacious area right next to the windows to use for a cool down,” says Yung. I was at the Tisch Fitness Center in the late afternoon, so the gym was not too crowded and there was no wait for machines, but I imagine that the gym is more crowded later in the evening. When I asked Toby Beckelman, a second-year FPAN student who uses the gym after working on the Medford camps, about the crowds she responded, “It is always pretty busy. However, I usually go at a popular time around 5:00pm.”
Besides the extra space and sunny views, another perk of heading to Medford to work out is that the Hamilton pool is located right next door to the fitness center, and is accessible through the same building. While getting wet in an indoor pool in the middle of winter might not sound ideal, it is nice that Tufts community members have a pool available to them for water workouts.
Another nice feature of the new fitness center is the self-locking mini lockers right at the entrance to the gym. Since the locker rooms are located down the hall on the first floor of the building, I appreciated having a place to put my belongings where I could easily retrieve them without a trek downstairs. Yung agrees saying, “The new temporary lockers are great. The old gym used to only have cubbies, but this is definitely an improved security measure for students.” And while the Tisch fitness center is modern and new, unfortunately the locker rooms haven’t been updated yet.
For Friedman students who are often in Medford or live in the Somerville area, I would highly suggest checking out the Tisch fitness center. Beckelman agrees with my positive sentiments; “Overall it’s great to see so many people taking advantage of the facility and being physically active.” Now that the weather is getting colder, this is a particularly good time to take advantage of the indoor fitness space to get those endorphins going and help defy the stressors of grad school while getting fit and staying warm!
Tisch Fitness Center Hours:
Monday-Friday: 7:00 am-10:30 pm
Saturday: 10:00 am-7:00 pm
Sunday: 10:00 am-10:30 pm
For winter break hours (December 20-January 15) call (617) 627-3232.