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A beginner's guide to the RSF

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SEPTEMBER 19, 2017

If you want to feel as good about yourself as a health god, samurai assassin or academic prodigy as soon as possible, then sweating it out at the gym can be a great solution. While memberships to gyms can be expensive, our outrageous tuition has actually provided us with one useful thing: the Recreational Sports Facility. Whether you’ve yet step foot into the UC Berkeley gym or you’re a regular, here’s the Clog’s guide to using the RSF safely, efficiently and hygienically.


Grab a towel

If you didn’t bring a towel with you, there are mounds of clean, industrially washed, white towels available all over the RSF. If you’re inside the gym, chances are you’re going to sweat a lot. So, in consideration of fellow gym-users and yourself, make sure to give yourself a clean off before your sweat dribbles down onto your machine. To locate them, just look for the yellow bins next to the check-in desk once you enter the building.

Wipe off all machines before and after use

Whether you’re running on the treadmills gazing into a screen of virtual canyon trails trying to avoid the land-surveying squirrels, browsing the Clog on your phone over the bench press bench or eating a CLIF bar on the massage recliner, it’s important that you remember to wipe off all of the sweat off of the gym equipment before and you after you’ve used it. Hot fungus will start to grow all over the machines if this system isn’t followed by all of the sexy sojourners who utilize them (and last we checked, fungus isn’t paying tuition for RSF services).

Drink water

Yes, it’s true, more than half of the human body is just water. So unless you want to vaporize into the atmosphere forever, wafting across the construction-congested Berkeley skyline, it’s important to keep drinking water. If you don’t have a water bottle, canteen, hydration backpack or rolling water cooler, remember that there are plenty of EPA-certified water fountains connected to one of the cleanest water systems in the country all around you.

Utilize the lockers

In light of the recent cellphone heists that have been occurring at the RSF, it’s important to remember that, no matter how friendly your fellow gym-goers may present themselves, you should keep your stuff somewhere safe. Don’t lollygag around the gym flexing in the mirror or admiring the deadlifter in the corner while your cell phone is just lying around on the floor. If the FAFSA didn’t provide you a large enough budget to invest in a fanny pack, remember that there are free lockers down the corridor for you to lock your stuff in.

Beat the crowd

Is there anything worse than going to the RSF and having to stand between smelly patrons while you’re just trying to get in your gains? Possibly, but not likely. Luckily, there’s an app for that. UC Berkeley alumnus Nick Rose developed Packd, an app where you can check out real time weight room traffic (and it’s updated every 10 minutes!). If you don’t have a smartphone or are a Luddite (not sure how you got to this column), check out the RSF hours on their website and try to come as late into the night or as early as possible.

Good luck on your RSF endeavors!

Contact Paul Martin at [email protected].

SEPTEMBER 18, 2017