Next to the The Pavilion at ARC, off Parking Lot 25
Academic Year Hours
Mon-Thu 6AM-1AM
Fri 6AM-11PM
Sat 8AM-9PM
Sun 9AM-12AM
(530) 752-1730
UC Davis Campus Recreation

The ARC (Activities and Recreation Center) is one mother of a huge building that expands upon the existing Pavilion (formerly called Rec Hall, but no one actually calls it that anymore). This [almost] full-service gym facility is available to students, faculty, staff and others. Memberships are automatically ascribed to UC Davis students, who pay for this as part of their registration fees (maybe up to $399.15 a year); faculty, staff, alumni, retirees, student affiliates, may purchase a membership, priced at $50 for 1 month, $100 for 3 months, $200 for 6 months, $300 for 9 months, and $366 for 12 months. These prices were introduced in the summer of 2014 to keep affiliate rates in line with increased student fees, with monthly membership packages replacing quarterly memberships. These memberships begin on the date-of-sale rather than the beginning of each quarter. Faculty and staff can opt for monthly payroll deduction for $30.50 per month, and any affiliate is eligible for installments at the same price on a credit card. All installments and payroll deductions require a 12 month contract, and members are charged $35 with their cancellation if they decide to break the contract early. Community members who are not affiliated with the university may purchase day passes, but must purchase CAAA membership ($50/year) to be eligible for longer memberships at a slightly higher rate than affiliates. One day guest passes ($7.50) are available to eligible faculty, staff, alumni, retirees or guests with a valid government-issued ID. The Community Membership fee is $430 for 12 months; an installment payment option of $35.83 per month is available with a credit card and 12 month contract. If you have never been to a gym before, you might want to check this page out before going to the ARC.

The amount of money that undergraduate students are currently charged for their ARC access via a fee initiative now exceeds what non-students pay for the facility, due to regular increases in the fee to keep up with CPI. This has caused Campus Unions and Recreation to consider raising the prices for non-students in the upcoming (FY July 2014 - June 2015) Fiscal Year.

In addition, due to an inter-UC reciprocity agreement, students from other UC campuses can use the ARC for free. However, you must have an ARC card for admittance, as well as deal with the general paperwork and deal with the run-around you'll receive from the confused staff members. The ARC has not offered the frequently requested "Free Guest Fridays" in several years, and many current employees are not aware that this was once a promotion.

Also, the ARC does temporary promotions in which new ARC members can try out the ARC for free. This is a great option for family or friends of ARC members who come into town for a visit and want to keep up with their fitness without a fee. These are usually not posted so call the ARC to inquire if any of these promotions are taking place.

ARC Climbing Wall during Cow Crank 2005 In addition to a plethora of exercise equipment (described below), the ARC also features a weight room, racquetball/squash courts, the ARC Climbing Wall ($75/year membership fee, $30/quarter), an indoor track, an obscenely large basketball court, limited mat/stretching space, meeting rooms (brain exercise), a ballroom, a practice area for the Band-Uh (lung & ear exercise), a branch of the bookstore (eye exercise), the Fitness & Wellness Center, and a full-service Starbucks leased by Sodexho (stomach exercise). The ARC also provides wireless MOObilenet Internet for those with UC Davis logins. Child care is not available at the ARC.

Some of the equipment that they offer: ellipticals, treadmills, stair climbers, a few rowing machines, some arc walking machines, and stationary bikes. Despite the seemingly endless amount of equipment, it is often busy, sometimes requiring quite a bit of a wait during peak periods from 5-8 p.m. (especially for weights and ellipticals). The ARC also features a climate-controlled indoor walking/running track, which is much better lit than the one in the Pavilion. However, it can be hot, humid, and smelly on the track, so if the heat is unbearable, one can still use the Pavilion's running track at certain times. The Pavilion's running track also makes life easier when trying to keep track of your mileage. One mile is 7.65 laps at the ARC, and 7.5 at the Pavilion. The ARC Climbing Wall provides entertainment to runners who do not shy away from irregular shapes, as the track passes within a few body lengths of the top of the wall, granting the mental stimulus of climbers topping out to those caught running in circles. If you need equipment (basketballs, climbing gear, racquetball or squash rackets and so forth) visit the equipment desk and simply flash a student ID.

Although there is no pool on site at the ARC, your ARC membership allows you free access to the Hickey Pool located right near the MU and Rec Pool.

volleyball game played in the Main Court Gym

Seven days a week, multiple times a day, the ARC offers a large variety group exercise classes, including everything from cycling, to Tai Chi (T'ai-Chi Ch'uan (Taijiquan)) and Yoga, to "6 pack attack". They are a great way to get in shape and get the most out of your student fees in a fun, social and motivating atmosphere. Classes cost $5.50/day and $10/week.

There are three group activities rooms on the second floor at the East end of the ARC: Facing East with beautiful large windows overlooking the Campus is the ARC Group Exercise Room, facing South toward the Pavilion, on the West side of the East hallway is the ARC Dance Room, and also on the West side of the East hallway, entirely interior to the building, with large glass "windows" facing onto both the East hallway and the East-West hallway, is the ARC Martial Arts Room. The ARC Martial Arts Room is used by the ARC Martial Arts Program, by various official sports clubs, by some SPAC sponsored student clubs, as well as by some other more informal undergraduate and graduate student groups, and even by the PE Department. It is fun (and spectacular!) to watch through those large "windows" some of the (amazing, grueling) martial arts activities that go on in the ARC Martial Arts Room, and it is even more fun to participate in them!

The ARC is a prime example of a meat market since many students, and even some older men and women, go to the ARC just to look good in front of their respective peers. How do you know? Maybe they're there because their doctor told them to go? It's impossible to know what's in another's mind. Better to look into one's own mind and see why one feels as one does.

Athletics is only one component of the ARC. The two ballrooms on the north end are used for all sorts of campus events. These are outside of the restricted area. Ballroom A is on the east side and features two large projection screens. Ballroom B is on the west side. It is twice the size of Ballroom A and features a centrally-mounted projection screen. The movable partition between these rooms is frequently removed making a single large room simply known as "The ARC Ballroom".

Over by the ballroom, there are some of the cleanest bathrooms on campus. It could be because they are new, have nice countertops, or the music (BRING HEADPHONES!), but they are definitely nicer than most. The ARC's bathrooms are generally considered "safe." Many people take showers after a workout.

Next to the first floor bathrooms is a very underused Transgender Friendly Restroom/Lactation Site.

There are two elevators. The first is in the lobby with access to the second floor office space for Campus Recreation. The elevator near the fitness room has buttons for the first, second, and third (roof/restricted access) floors.

Don't forget to return anything you check out before you leave, or you will be charged steeply even if you bring it back the very next morning. ($17 for a lock!) There is a charge ($1/day or $20/quarter) to use white towels, and white towel usage comes free with locker rental ($30/quarter).

There used to be a US Bank(MoneyPass Network) atm located at the ARC. US Bank got rid of their on-campus ATMs in 2012. This has been replaced by a Bank of America ATM in the same location.

The Campus Recreation Business Center, located on the first floor of the ARC, also provides passport services and photos and a color copier/printer that may be accessed with a Repro Graphics copy card or UC Davis student ID.

Be warned - lost iPods do not fare well here (and it's necessarily shady practices of the general public.)

See our Gyms & Fitness page to find out about other gyms in the Davis area.


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2007-03-15 17:23:00   I must agree that the weight room has quite a lot of posers yet all gyms have them. There are different types of people in a gym: Those who are posers, those who go for the social gathering, etc. You should not let it get to you and just do your thing. Many are entering the weight room for the first time and do not understand how to exercise. The ARC overall is a decent gym (wished there was a pool) if you just want to get in shape. —BrandonToo

2007-04-27 17:59:33   It is the best gym in Davis for sure. —ZoeyJW

2007-06-03 21:11:36   The classes are so fun! I love Zumba! —MarjaMorgan

2007-07-01 22:57:20   The weight room has to be one of the craziest weight rooms i have ever been in. For a room drenched in the smell of sweat and feet, it sure is jam packed with gangs of 90 lb asian kids trying to bench the bar and giggling. This is the only thing that annoys me, that since their memberships are paid for in tuition, any skinny nerd can come in and spend an hour misusing a machine so that i have to wait for them to finish. I felt so much better when i was back in my hometown gym. —fredchen

2007-07-07 14:03:39   So you're saying skinny people don't have the right to go work out and at least try? Wow what an asshole man. If you had balls you would give some of your "workout wisdom" to this guy/guys instead of bitching about it. And it does suck that the price is in tuition for people that don't want to use it it or don't go because they are intimidated by people like you. —HowardLuong

2007-08-07 18:31:50   Apparently people at the ARC aren't too friendly with "skinny nerds," but what about ladies in the weight room? Are there many girls who use the weight room, and do they get treated well? —NicoleWoodyard

There aren't a whole lot of women in the weight area, but I've never had or seen a problem. Mild surprise is about the extent of it... —LizPhillips

the nerds come and go. but when they're here, they're usually sitting and talking on benches and machines instead of using them.

and ladies, lift heavy. dont be a pink dumbbell cardio bunny —FredChen

2007-08-21 23:21:31   anyone know where they have rowing machines open for public use? —xander

There are two or three in the back right corner of the main fitness room, between the wall and the elliptical trainers. — JaneGreene

2007-09-06 15:37:52   I'm a grad student transferring to Davis from Univ. of Washington. Just wondering if the ARC has ergometers (real Concept 2 rowing machines). I just need to know if I'm going to need to buy one before I get down there this Fall. —Patrick

2007-11-18 01:17:03   Nothing is more irritating than going into the gym, and having all the machines taken up by people who have so little weight on the bar/machine that they gain essentially no health benefits from the exercise. Pretty bad. —sososharp

Everyone has to start somewhere. Better to use the gym than not, right? —LizPhillips

  • i just wish the new years resolutions groups would get out already. it's infuriating when you need to a do a few sets on the bench and they're sittin on BOTH the bench and the machine next to it in a tight circle, talking. TALKING. you cant even get through. gotta walk around the other machines —FredChen

2008-01-15 14:13:32   in some ways i have to agree with fred's comments. it is annoying when a whole group of people all congregate around a machine and dont use it (or use it improperly to the point that they might as well not use it). ive found that when i come across a situation like this, i will usually ask them how many sets do they have left. if they arent serious about working out, theyll usually say they are done, or at least offer to let me work in. if they do let you work in, its a great opportunity to demonstrate proper lifting technique, and equally important, proper breathing technique (so they wont giggle during a repetition). and dont worry about the new years crowd. theyll be gone as soon as they engorge themselves at a super bowl party. —JeffIto

2008-02-02 13:00:37   Used to be as beautiful on the inside as it was on the outside, but now it is breaking down. More machines are breaking down than before and not getting fixed as soon as before. —G.L.

people keep throwing down dumbbells —FredChen

2008-02-18 18:22:01   My biggest complaint about the ARC are all the retards that don't rerack their weights. It makes it difficult to figure out if someone is done with a piece of equipment and it's an inconvenience for all of us. I encourage anyone who reads this to call people out on it when you see them leaving a piece of equipment without reracking their weights. —AlexPerkins

agreed. it's like nobody knows any gym etiquette—FredChen

2008-03-14 16:49:55   I'm new to Davis, Wiki, and the ARC (new Grad student). But after reading the comments on "skinny nerds", it's sad to see that people are so discouraging toward new lifters. I was a "skinny nerd" when I started college and the only reason I remained a nerd was because of the stress relief from regular lifting at the gym. Although re-racking weights should be looked down upon, you can't make a clear assessment on whether a person is working out hard or not by the simple size of their weight. They could totally be going through a toning phase in their training.

Overall, I do agree that the Arc weight-room is somewhat of an unfriendly place for beginners...this should change... —phicoi

2008-03-19 18:38:31   The ARC really is poorly designed. For some reason they felt the need to create a giant, open two level lobby and then make a weight room that is comically small for the 25k+ people who can use the ARC. Don't bother trying to lift with any seriousness at anything but the most random times of day/night or you just won't be able to get what you want done. The ARC does a lot right (indoor basketball courts, indoor track, racquetball courts, a wide variety and large number of cardio machines, etc) but their weight room is garbage. A second weight room with nothing but free weights and racks/cages where people who want to work out without dodging guys showing off in the mirror for the ladies on the treadmills would have been nice. —RyanL

2008-04-03 22:05:24   The service at the ARC is failing me... I purchased a locker for two quarters when approaching the end of the first quarter I checked *on a whim* to see if they kept their records straight (since they've screwed my locker before). Not surprisingly, I had a reservation for all of winter quarter, and a separate reservation for January 1 - January 1. That was supposed to be my second quarter. I spoke to someone about what to do about it since they "did not have the power to rent out the locker because it was already claimed in the system" and told me to come back during spring break to re-reserve it for another quarter (after I made sure no one would clean it out before that). I came back on March 26th to find out the locker expired on the 16th and that they rented it TOO SOMEONE ELSE on the 17th! They gave out my locker's combo to someone else with my clothes, shoes, and equipment. Their solution? Make me wait an hour, prove my stuff was the stuff in the locker, and then move me.

Not to mention: after reserving a racquetball court a week later, I showed up to find that someone upstairs made a "clinical error" and accidentally reserved basketball court 4 instead of racquetball court 4 for the sports club. When I spoke to a supervisor, he basically said, "Looks like someone screwed up. You don't have a court and nothing's available." —MichaelAWoods

2008-05-08 00:48:38   The ARC is an extremely unfriendly place for faculty. In the past, faculty were not even allowed to use the place on a day-use basis. Even now, this remains the case for visiting scholars. The ARC refuses to honor the $75 certificates issued under the UC Wellness Program, which amounts to a kind of a UC-orchestrated scam. I had so many unpleasant experiences with this place that I finally arranged a meeting with the assistant director, Coulson Thomas, who explained that student fees pay for the ARC, and that students are the "customers" that the "management" has been tasked to serve. Some people do welcome faculty, he said, others do not, but the policy now is to let faculty members join (unlike the UCD Medical Center Student Fitness Center in Sacramento, he added). Mr. Thomas said that my past problems with the facility — their not letting my wife enter, even with me, when she neglected to bring an ID; their not letting me enter when I returned from a sabbatical and had an "old style" ID card; etc. — can be explained by the need to have strictly-enforced policies that protect paying members from the threat of violence or criminal activity by non-members (you should see how threatening my wife is). It's all about Risk Management, he explained repeatedly. Faculty and staff may be tolerated at the ARC, but we definitely are not welcomed. —phillip.rogaway

2008-05-24 19:45:14   I graduated in 06 and miss being a student because I loved using the arc. I love the group fitness classes especially yoga. —littlelemur

2008-06-03 11:36:56   A letter I just sent to the 'powers that be' at the ARC:

I'm writing to express my disappointment that the ARC has decided to begin charging $1.00 a day for use of shower towels. First, this is an outrageous charge: the ARC website boasts that: "An ARC annual membership provides access to the premier fitness facility in the region for less than $1 per day." For someone who makes use of the facility and the showers 5-6 days a week, the towel fee has just doubled the potential cost of my membership! This is ridiculous! (Especially considering the towels are essentially sand paper!) For what, some non-existent outrageous increase in the cost of laundry detergent? Towel services at a fitness gym are a common service that significantly contributes to the convenience of the facility. It makes it possible to work out in the morning, shower and then go to work on campus. No one wants to carry around a wet and used towel all day!

My fiance and I both have student memberships and were planning on continuing our membership for the summer session, something that is paid out of our pocket rather than included in our University fees. With the new policy change, I seriously doubt that we will continue to utilize the facility for the summer and will patronize one of the locally owned facilities; if we have to pay to use it, then we should be getting our money's worth- and yes, that should include towel service.

I've noticed that the ARC is considering installing exercise bikes with an integrated video game experience; I have used the bikes, and I can say that while they may be 'cool', I'd take a free towel service over a pair of $5,000 exercise bike any day (which is 5-10 times the cost of the standard bikes that the ARC currently has that work just fine). I'm sure that this would more than pay for laundry detergent and the cost of maintaining a towel service.

Something to keep in mind: if the goal of the ARC is increase Fitness and Wellness in the student community, then anything that affects the convenience of utilizing the facility will have an inverse effect on its utility and effectiveness. For many people, working out requires overcoming psychological barriers and any excuse that makes the process less convenient or pleasurable will simply make overcoming these barriers more difficult.

Other complaints:

The men's locker room is in need of a thorough and serious cleaning- there is mildew in the showers and on the shower curtains. This seems to be typical towards the end of the quarter for some reason- which indicates to me that the locker rooms are not receiving the adequate cleaning services that they should.


2008-06-04 13:31:08   If the towel issue bothers you that much, than just bring your own damn towel and leave it in your locker and change it every couple of days. They are probably charging for towels because of inconsiderate idiots like you throw them in the garbage cans or take them home because you are too cheap to buy your own towels.

You should be lucky to have a nice facility to work out in. I remember the days of the Rec Hall where all we had was a small area behind piece of shit bleachers to work out in. If the cost and cleanliness of the facility pisses you off enough to write a worthless comment like that, then go pay for a membership somewhere else. No one is forcing you to go to the ARC and work out.

Maybe instead of getting into a "roid Rage" about the situation, try going through the channels and see if that gets you somwhere first. —Arclover

He pays for the operation of the ARC via his student fees. That gives him every right to send a polite and constructive letter to the people who operate it. If his comment on this wiki pisses you off enough to write a worthless comment like that, then go make a free wiki account somewhere else. —blairgoss

2008-06-09 16:35:42   Your a moron! That letter was anything but constructive. Mommy and Daddy must want you to stay in school because they hate having you at home. Go save the planet. —Arclover

2008-06-10 15:10:31   Not the most mature way of dealing with this situation, Arclover. Blairgoss is completely right: this dude is paying for the cost of maintaining the ARC via student fees, and he has every right to complain about a dubious policy change. —sososharp

2008-06-10 15:36:19   I suspect that there will be many such cutbacks to student services and amenities over the next few years, given that the state is in a financial crisis, and there was a 10% across the board funding cut (from what I've heard.)

So student fees do not cover use of the ARC over the summer? How much is it to use it? —IDoNotExist

2008-06-10 16:31:40   Anyone else have something intelligent to say about this? It seems that that Idonotexist is the only one that understands that this budget is going to screw all of us college students one way or another. "Stop resisting or you'll get tazered!" —Arclover

2008-06-10 17:30:42   Huh?

California, along with most other states, go through cycles of budget surplus and shortfall. State funded universities are often a target of fiscal cutbacks. One reason may be that the rate of voter participation among the age group that comprises the vast majority of college age students is extremely low. A legislator or governor has little to risk by reducing your funding if you won't go out and vote for their opponent (or for them) no matter what they do. You can help to change this by getting out and voting in future elections.

As for the current crisis, many states based their budgets on the assumption that they would get an unusually high income through property taxes, as a result of the housing bubble. They spent based on current income levels, and failed to save money for economic downturns, such as the current one. As a result, when a dropoff in sources of tax revenue occurred, they suddenly had no money. You are feeling the result of that. If you want to change this, support candidates who promote fiscally responsible spending in the legislature of whatever state you vote in. That applies to the country too - spending trillions of dollars on wars that don't contribute much to the economy without a corresponding increase in tax revenue has put the economy into terrible shape and devalued the dollar. (That means that you can't buy as many towels for your dollar.) If you don't like the current situation, vote for candidates who are unlikely to spend excessively without increasing taxes to fund their spending. The two always go together. Spending and income must match, or you run into trouble.

And remember...never go anywhere without your towel. —IDoNotExist

  • Haha, love Hitchhikers' references...

2008-06-10 18:37:41   In reference to the ARC Budget, as part of the Campus Recreation budget, it is funded through student fees determined by the Student Fees and Facilities Advisory Committee. It's construction was funded through the passage of the FACE Initiative, which also funded the development of the SRRC and the Schaal Aquatic Center. Quarterly fees are determined by the UCD-based advisory committee, which includes student representatives. There is a slight increase in campus-based fees for next year, a portion of which will be going toward the ARC. Any increase in cost of services is not related to the state budget crisis, but likely has more to do with the increasing cost of labor or energy. Charging for towels seems reasonable. If someone is regularly using ARC shower towels, it would be more environmentally sustainable to rent a locker and bring their own towel.


2008-06-10 18:58:18   I stand corrected (and towel whipped!) about the funding for the ARC. To my knowledge, it is affecting many other parts of the campus, however. For example, my understanding is that all UC employees are taking a uniform percentage pay cut.

Really, the ARC is probably the nicest athletic facility I've seen anywhere, at any school (or non-school). —IDoNotExist

2008-06-24 16:10:27   Agree that the men's locker room needs serious cleaning! —calvinz

2008-07-13 20:28:54   One thing I find odd is that the weight room, with all of its state-of-the-art gadgetry, doesn't have simple equipment for those of us that primarily want to make functional strength gains rather than just aesthetic ones. Particularly, it would be nice to have some rubberized barbell (bumper) plates and a platform where one can do the Olympic lifts and other exercises such as the deadlift and combination lifts and be able to drop the bar. Also there are hollow plates used in this kind of training that will get the bar at a uniform height off the ground without having to load 45lb. plates. Athletes have access to this equipment, but sadly we regular folks must be content with "getting ripped" rather than actually maximizing performance. Some kettlebells and weighted clubs would also be nice, but I'm not holding my breath. —MatthewPearson

2008-07-19 20:51:20   I agree with you Matthewpearson. However you must realize that bumper plates are pretty expensive and i dont know if the Arc weight room has the space for a lifting plateform. It would be nice if the Arc would go out and buy some bumper plates and set up a olympic station but I doubt they will go out of their way to do so. —Frogman

2008-09-04 23:20:16   it'd be nice if people would stop curling in the squat rack —fredchen

2009-01-04 03:26:38   FredChen, you seem to be a real Douche, I work at the Gym, and its people like you that keep people in need of healthy exercise away from a gym that they are paying for. If you're such a "pro" at gym etiquette then maybe you should take time to instruct or help these people you look down upon. I am sure that you weren't born with six packs, and at one point the gym was a daunting place. I have more respect for people who have the bravery to come in and face their fitness problems regardless of such Adonis' as your self, than I do for people who spend all evening strolling through the gym talking about the right amount of whey to put in your smoothy. Show some respect so people will stop referring to you guys as meat heads. I am just so surprised that at a University (a place that prides itself on abstract thought and education for the common wealth) people still behave in these pre-historic ways.


2009-01-08 02:07:39   I'm going to assume that your reaction was to the bulk of Fredchen's other comments on the page, which are an interesting blend of condescension and sexism...since that last one was pretty damned innocent. —sososharp

2009-01-25 00:38:04   Is there a sauna/steam room at the ARC? —strawberry No there is not.

2009-04-11 11:24:20   Why is the ARC lessening hours for Easter Holiday, when this is a religious holiday and not a federal holiday or federal observance? (And strictly speaking we don't have national holidays.) —mikam

  • I'm guessing it's because employees don't want to work, and use of the facility becomes much lower on the paschal holiday. —BrentLaabs

2009-04-12 16:51:08   I am sure every/most students are aware that the ARC isn't technically "free" and that it is an included cost in our tuition. I am wondering if there is any way that I can take out this cost if I don't plan on using their facilities? Reason being there are just WAY too many people there, and it's all because students end up using it because they know they are paying for it. I'm planning on joining another local gym, but it would just be stupid if I am paying for 2 but just use 1...Thanks for any responses. —bg-33p

  • The problem with what you propose is that if everyone did that, the costs of using the gym would go up exponentially. The reason it's a world-class gym (And believe me, I've visited others in Davis and they don't really compare.) is because it's subsidized by student fees and local spouses like me who pay full price. This is the "same" reason why this argument doesn't work when it comes to public schools. People without children always argue that their property taxes are paying for a service they never use. However, there are several problems with this, two of which I'll list: 1., No one uses "every" public service. Chances are you enjoy a service on campus that someone else is paying for and never uses. 2., While perhaps you never use the service, it improves the lives of people in such a way that you end up benefiting anyway. For example, in the case of public schools, you are paying to educate the children "in your neighborhood," which ultimately improves the neighborhood. In the case of the gym, healthier people depend less on the health care system, keeping costs lower for everyone else. On a side note, I completely agree that the ARC gets way too crowded. The only solution I've found is attending at non-peek hours, which seem to be anytime in the A.M. It's an absolute zoo anywhere from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. BTW: I tried a couple other gyms before I signed up at the ARC and they also have problems with crowds at peak hours. —condemned2bfree
    • As a gym junkie, the ARC in terms of quality is as nice as a 24 Hour Fitness Sport center which also charges around 300 dollars a year depending on whether you get a deal or not. If the ARC needs to be subsidized then someone is doing something wrong. There are about 25,000 guaranteed customers to the ARC each year (whether they use it or not), so when there is not much competition around, you could probably guess why. Do not get me wrong, I love the ARC but if the school did not force everyone to use the ARC, there might be more gyms around Davis that are cheaper. There is one I went to back in Campbell that charged $15 to $20 a month and it had plenty of cardio machines, weights, and televisions and that was more than adequate enough for me. If there were such a place in Davis and I were not forced to pay for the ARC, I would probably switch.
  • You can expand this point to Unitrans, not everyone uses it, but undergraduates pay for it with their fees. It's all subsidized. I totally agree with the statement above, I'm positive you utilize some service your student fees go towards. If not, then make use of it! —mperkel

2009-08-17 20:08:55   Anyone know how much of the student fees goes to the ARC for a quarter? —hankim

2009-10-06 18:48:10   Note: They just added some nice new machines adjacent to the basketball courts.

I love working out in the fitness center - there's an abundance of good equipment, and there are a bunch of quirky frequent fliers. There are a few meat-heads who make a lot of noise (almost yelling) when working out, as well as a few disabled and elderly lifters who put the rest of us to shame in terms of fitness and determination. The UCDFD also comes in sometimes.

I think it's funny that they kick you out if you're wearing jeans (maybe someone had an hour to kill between classes and forgot his shorts....) or any sort of cargo apparel. The martial arts and fitness classes are challenging and fun, although I think they should be covered under our increasingly-exorbitant student fees. It's also a bummer that returning Fall students not taking summer classes do not enjoy summer access.

The pavilion, while under construction at the moment, is an underrated workout zone (the cement bleacher steps are perfect for cardio workouts). Among all the pros and cons, the one thing I truly despise about the ARC community: fitness room cellphone users. —Fritzy

2009-12-01 02:59:19   Are you allowed to use chalk, deadlift and let out the occasional max effort grunt? What line of free weights is being used? How heavy are the dumbells? —MIkaelLenz

  • I think the dumbbells go up to 80 pounds. The heaviest plates weigh 45 pounds (one gym I went to had 100 pound plates which was pretty cool). I am unsure about using chalk, but I do not see why dead-lifting will be frowned at. Grunts are better than screaming in my opinion and I have heard screaming before. —hankim

2009-12-06 04:30:32   dumbells go up 120-130 i think, and chalk is not allowed... theyll kick you out just like the people wearing jeans/sandals, etc. which is kinda stupid. since all of the damn tuition increases, they should at least provide cheaper fitness classes...

ps. fredchen, instead of posting so many comments on this page about bullshit, why dont you just express your thoughts in the fitness room —betabeta

  • I never understood the problem with wearing jeans in the weight room. What if you had some time between classes and you wanted to do some curls or something? Sort of a dumb rule in my opinion. Also, any other gym that costs about three hundred dollars a year allows chalk and these are the gyms open 24/7. I am pretty sure the ARC charges at least this much and they force all students to pay for it. The least they can do is allow chalk. —hankim

2010-01-30 14:20:40   So I'm in my 3rd year and I've only gone to the ARC a few times in my 3 years here due to a bad experience with some douche bags in the weight room when I was in my freshman year. I'm so outta shape and I was wondering if anybody here can give me a few pointers on how to start out and get back into shape. Also, is the weight room still filled with a lotta jerks? It's definitely annoying since I wasn't able to do much with jerks rushing me when I was just trying out a machine and complaining that I wasn't doing it right. —efong

  • Go around 8PM or before 3PM during the day, when it is almost empty. I prefer to do that because I do not have to wait around for people to finish their workouts. Also, most of the people I have met who know what they are doing have been very pleasant. If they were being rude while saying that you were doing something incorrectly, they most likely do not know what they are talking about either. Most of the people that do know what they are doing are again, very helpful. The only jerks that I have come across at the ARC were people who had horrible form and thought that they knew it all. If you want pointers, you need to tell describe what you want. Do you want to just look better, are you training for a certain sport, or are you just trying to feel better? —hankim

2010-02-17 18:36:01   Every year the student fees go up while fewer services are included in that cost. It's very disappointing. Not to mention that the money seems to be going into buying more TV's and "entertainment" geared machines. TV's that are hanging from the ceiling are VERY distracting to me. I used to enjoy working out in the upstairs areas on ellipticals because they didn't have them. Now it is very challenging to get into a "zone" without being distracted every five minutes by something colorful in my line of site.

My freshmen year classes like cycling were included in the student fees and did not cost extra. I prefer the ARC as it was then and everyone I've spoken to in my cycling classes agree :-( Plus now you have to show up at least 15-30 minutes early to even get in (depending on the class/time of day). Why buy a 45+ dollar pass if you can't even get into the class without showing up VERY early? Students and worse working professionals don't have that much time to spend at the gym. Such a waste of money and student fees. Blech.

In short: quality of service has gone down while the pricing has gone up. YUCK!

Shower towels used to be included in the student fees too —OliviaY

  • Of course, they make it difficult to figure out how much of the student fees go to the ARC. —hankim
  • True but if you look up the breakdown of student fees each year (available online if you google it) you can see the amount going up. I wish it was provided in pamphlet form to students each year but they would probably get too many complaints....—OliviaY
  • Which is why I believe we need more transparency and accountability, not more money from Sacramento. —hankim

2010-02-17 20:46:00   Funding of the entire UC System was dramatically cut in the past year. Personally, I would rather have towel service eliminated at the ARC than lose professors, classes, TAs, and all of the other things that make this a great academic institution. The ARC is actually a fantastic health club, and you get to use it for a price unheard of in the real world. Go check out the prices at any commercial health club and see if the ARC seems expensive then.

If you DO want better services at the ARC, and elsewhere, there are a number of alternatives you can pursue. For example, money to build and fund various facilities and activities on campus often comes from student initiatives through ASUCD. If enough undergrads vote for it, you can raise everyone's student fees to fund whatever it is you want funded. Alternatively, you could write to the CA legislature and governor and advocate a small statewide tax increase. Providing the state with an income sufficient to PAY for services is a good way to actually OBTAIN services. (A very small increase would completely wipe out the UC budget shortfall that the Governor imposed last year.) Or, you can advocate cutting services elsewhere. What would you trade off for better towel service and free cycling classes? —IDoNotExist

  • Actually, I spend a lot of time at the gym, and the ones that usually charge around $300 a year are 24 Hour Fitness Sport Centers which have amenities like saunas and a pool. The ARC is mainly a weight room with a large amount of cardio machines. I can get that back in Campbell for about $20 a month and $9 a month if they are having their annual New Year's sale. Plenty of people who do not use the ARC already pay for it, making people pay more for it is not the answer. If the university were more transparent on how much of our fees go to the ARC and gave us the option to opt out, smaller gyms that charge ten dollars a month or so with everything that most people use would start popping up and students could then save money by going to those places instead. —hankim
  • I'm not proposing they cut professors. I was expressing frustration at how they choose to spend money on what I consider frivolous pandering to the laziest common denominator (e.g. installing tv sets EVERYWHERE cardio equipment exists/replacing perfectly fine equipment with new ones that have built in tvs/"videogame" bikes) while cutting what seem to be more basic services like larger towels/the number of previously paid-for-by-studentfee cardio classes. If the ARC is indeed run by student fees as someone earlier mentioned I believe (I was skimming) then the budget cuts shouldn't affect this anyway. —OliviaY

2010-02-18 00:30:47   The cost to you is probably about $40-70 per quarter. If you are here over the summer, that is what they will charge you unless you are signed up for classes. I forget the exact amount, but it is in that range. —IDoNotExist

2010-02-18 00:38:05   Actually, looking up at the top, quarterly memberships are $85.

Anyway, you can see where your fees go here: http://budget.ucdavis.edu/studentfees/preliminary-fees

and here: http://budgetnews.ucdavis.edu/downloads/2010-11_budget_planning_framework.pdf


  • I feel blind, I cannot find anything about the ARC on the Resident Student Fees file. Also, $85 a quarter is not cheap for what the ARC offers in terms of working out, especially since every student is paying for it whether they are using it or not. I know regular gyms are subsidized by New Year's Resolutioners, but they wasted their money out of laziness and stupidity. —hankim
  • The 85 dollars is an annual fee for the MU not the ARC. Acorrding to this: http://budget.ucdavis.edu/studentfees/documents/special/student-fee-overview.pdf in state undergrad students pay $400 a year for the ARC/IM Teams/Sports Facilities. Then there's another $320 that goes into, among other student programs (women's center/CCC), IM sports again? Blech. I also want my $500 over the last 5 years for ASUCD back thankyouverymuch useless student government!

2010-02-18 13:40:51   Know what would be great? Have someone in ASUCD take up this cause. They still swipe ID cards, right? Is any of the data kept or is it merely a 'red light / green light' situation? How hard could it be for them to tabulate a few numbers? #1: # of admissions/month. #2: # of unique visitors/month. (the first number is worthless, this second one is critical). A third number would be nice to have too, and it's likely possible. I know our student ID / employee ID numbers are all rank/title associated (ie, you scan as a 'student' or a 'GSR' or etc). So #3: proportion of visitors: (undergraduate students, faculty/staff, graduate students, non-UCD associated membership, etc). Anyway, the second number (unique visitors/month) is key. The cost to one person is a horrible assessment, if there are thousands of people paying a buttload to never even visit the place. Seems like this part of the budget would be a great cause for someone in ASUCD to take up, as I'm sure there's thousands of students who are irked at fees being high. —EdWins

  • I always see some ASUCD Senator take up a cause to only forget about it after getting into office. We still have overpriced readers, limited printing, and late buses. I find the ASUCD quite useless when it comes to something besides spending money. —hankim
  • For example, according to our Undergraduate Students page, there's currently some ~24,000 people. How many of these people even visit the place once a quarter, much less once a month? Someone's got to know, or they should figure it out.

2010-02-19 14:38:16   If you want your fees to pay for only those exact things that you use, you might want to consider that you get many benefits whether or not you use them, such as bike paths and buildings and subsidized or at cost food at the MU and Unitrans. I'd be willing to bet that most campus services would be unaffordable for most students if they paid directly for only those services they used. (Better hope you never need to use the police or fire services! Those would be VERY expensive, and are only used by a small number of people each year.) —IDoNotExist

  • Police and fire services are there to protect everyone, so it makes sense to have everyone pay for them. Unless people can teleport or fly, I think everyone uses sidewalks and bike paths. And I do not think anyone can graduate from UC Davis while only taking outdoor PE classes. I only use Unitrans on rainy days, have no need for services like the ASUCD Book Exchange, KDVS, and whatever other services the ASUCD provides using the mandatory student fees, so outside of the money spent for the bus, I see no reason why any of my money should go to the ASUCD for them to waste on services that go unused by a large portion of students. For the gym, I personally use it a lot, but I know there are plenty of others who do not and I do not think it is fair that they are forced to pay hundreds of dollars each quarter for it, especially since other comparable gyms provide more reasonable prices. —hankim
  • Well, you live in a community of people who need a wide variety of services for different reasons. It's part of the price of living in a community that there are things funded with everyone's funds that individually no one could afford, and that not everyone uses. For example, not everyone in the state will go to a UC, nor will someone in their family. But you can, because people in the state who will never attend or use a UC school have chipped in a little bit of money so that *some* people in the community can go to school. But everyone in CA benefits indirectly from the research done here, and from the contributions to the economy that people who go to school here make. You are benefiting very heavily from other people contributing to *your* education. And facilities like the ARC help to attract and keep the best and brightest students and faculty here, which helps to drive the CA economy. If it weren't for other people subsidizing things they don't use, you wouldn't be here at all, at least not unless you were very wealthy. —IDoNotExist
    • Actually, a properly subsidized public education system is supposed to create a net return to the tax payers, so it is supposed to be beneficial to those who do not attend the UC system as well. Of course, whether the system is being run properly or subsidized properly can be questioned. And really, who benefits from a wasteful book exchange program and a radio station that plays noise most of the time? Also, my problem with the ARC is that not only is it paid for by many who do not use it, but it also does not provide the service for a reasonable price compared to other gyms I have looked at.—hankim

2010-02-19 14:42:28   By the way, many campus facilities were built using money from students who came before you, but did not have the chance to use them. That includes the ARC and the MU (at least the current version of the MU), among other things. Unitrans too, I believe. —IDoNotExist

2010-03-12 08:11:18   With the amount of potential people allowed into the ARC (Students, Alumni, Faculty) it’s no wonder this place gets crazy crowded, even at non normal peak gym hours. Facility overall is pretty nice, but it definitely suffers from being too small to accommodate its foot traffic. —longboardlover

2010-03-21 15:28:25   Five to eight are peak hours for every single gym out there (people who work out after getting off work) and yet they close at seven during the break. Not only did they take student fees from students who never got to use the ARC to build the place, they take several hundred dollars a year and do not provide service during peak hours. So many reasons why the ARC might be better if they contracted it out to 24 Hour Fitness or something. —hankim

2010-03-30 19:07:14   @ hankim

I've worked at the ARC for the last two years, so I'll try and give some clarification on things.

The reason the ARC closes early on breaks is simply because the people who work at the ARC like to go home for breaks as well. I'm sure they'd like to stay open for longer, but at the end of the day your hands are tied by how many of your employees are willing to stay and work for the break. And as for your idea of contracting it out to 24 Hour Fitness, that doesn't make a whole lot of sense given your spiel about how expensive the ARC already is.

The reason jeans/cargo shorts aren't allowed in the fitness room is because they do in fact damage the leather on the various machines. A lot of people don't believe this when I've told it to them, but it is true. The seats/cushions are constantly being replaced because of wear and tear, and that's not necessarily a cheap endeavor.

As for chalk, custodial duties are taken care of by both an outside company and the student staff. The stuff is very messy, and its already enough work keeping the place looking presentable.

There is now a charge for shower towels because of how frequently they seemed to just "disappear," before better accounting as taken of them. The fact that the Campus Recreation budget shrunk in this past year also played a large part. Individually, they're cheap, but for instance...the decision was made that grey towels had to be swiped out midway through last year. My understanding is that those towels cost approximately 5 cents each when the ARC purchases them (granted they're purchased in bulk). However, people were taking so many of them that the cost of replacing them was well into the thousands of dollars per year.

You can't exactly approach the school administration and tell them that you're hemorrhaging money because you don't want to force people to pay for the towels that they use and/or steal. Similarly, not allowing chalk/jeans/cargo shorts is all about minimize cost. Like it or not, at the end of the day, the ARC is actually a business: it exists to make money for the University.

I know people's gripes wit he gym go way beyond that, but just trying to give a little perspective here. —sososharp

  • I know that is the reason why the ARC closes early, but it still is a problem to those paying for the facilities while not being university students (especially since the ARC managed to destroy any chance of an affordable gym with only basics surviving in Davis) or those students who do stay over the break because of jobs and such. For replacing the leather on various machines, plenty of other gyms that I have been to allowed jeans/cargo shorts and I am sure those gyms worried about costs as well, but banning clothing items that are not dangerous would be a disservice to paying customers. Same with chalk (although I have seen chalk on the Olympic bars quite a few times). Yes, the ARC might be a source of revenue for the university, but so are all the gyms out there that charge less or provide more services for the same price without forcing over twenty thousand students to pay maybe up to $400 a year (which does not even cover the summer months). And I cited 24 Hour Fitness because a membership at one of their high end clubs (pool, sauna, hot tub, and all that jazz) costs less than four hundred dollars a year (and you do get summer months) and much less when they have their sales, which is quite often. Hell, you can even haggle with them when they are not having sales and get a significant amount knocked off. —hankim
  • So if these things all cost so much...why did they feel a need to purchase and install obnoxious televisions above ALL The cardio equipment in the gym while cutting other things? —OliviaY

2010-03-30 19:39:48   Olivia,

Like I said, I don't know the whole story. Installing 20 something new flatscreens didn't make a whole lot of sense to me either, given the budget cuts, but hey, I just work there!

But I do have pretty solid knowledge on the things I mentioned, so I'm just putting that out there. —sososharp

2010-03-30 23:41:58   It would be great if they installed fans above all of the cardio machines instead of adding more TVs. Airflow above many of the machines is very poor, and the fans above some of them really help. —IDoNotExist

2010-06-02 14:18:29   This place is always busy...too many freshmen... —PaulV

2010-07-10 17:17:19   The photo of the view from in the ARC at http://campusrecreation.ucdavis.edu/cms/internal.aspx?uid=53cfd021-fd52-452c-bbc3-f54553db2d09 appears to have been composited from several images. It looks like the view is of Briggs Hall and Sciences Lab building. But these buildings are not visible from the ARC, even from the room where the exercise machines in the photo are located. That window faces a parking lot and a baseball field. —IDoNotExist

2010-07-13 11:51:03   So last summer, during orientation months, people were not too bad at the ARC. But this summer the bathrooms are constantly disgusting, people are leaving weights everywhere, wait times at machines have increased tremendously due to people horse-playing around most of the time, and are a lot more morons walking in the inner lanes of the track. Did something change? —hankim

2010-07-19 13:09:44   is it true that omri casspi plays here? he is sooo fine —KimberlyThai

2010-08-19 15:36:53   Best gym in town - hands down. It's shear size is startling. I usually find the staff to be very pleasant, accomodating and helpful. There is the occasional slacker you have to deal with; but that opportunity exists everywhere.

The costs to be a member as a staff/faculty member are extremely reasonable. Overall, certainly the best value in town.

Gyms, in general, take a huge beating from so much foot traffic, but I find the ARC to be very well maintained. —browneyedblues

2010-08-23 22:44:20   So I was pumping iron at the weight room today and an employee tried to kick out this man near me who was wearing beige/brown shorts because they did not allow cargo shorts in the gym. The employee let it go after the man explained to her it was made out of the same material as most athletic shorts. I find this to be a dumb reason to try and kick someone out for (nowhere else have I seen a person get kicked out for wearing jeans or cargo shorts). What's even more ridiculous is that a few weeks ago, some idiot on the squat rack decided to unrack all the weights on one side while leaving about 100 pounds on the other side and needless to say the Olympic bar tipped over and nearly hit the guy in the power cage next to the rack. The bar missed him by less than a foot. Of course, the idiot did not even get a talking to and lucky for him, the guy who nearly got hit was a good sport about it (I would have clocked the moron). So basically, the ARC kicks out people for wearing jeans and cargo shorts while leaving alone the people who are a safety hazard. —hankim

2010-09-14 11:40:05   How much extra does it cost to take group exercise classes? —natalie0927

  • I believe around $55? —hankim
  • It costs 45 dollars for one quarter. — sososharp

2010-09-22 16:47:37   A warning for faculty and staff: Do not do payroll deduction. They are extremely strict about 30 days cancellation notice. They were also three months late setting mine up. You are better off paying as you go. —striker

2010-09-25 11:33:10   I couldn't quite gather from the main article... Can members of the larger Davis community join this gym? I've lived here for 10 years (not that that matters) and my girlfriend likes to use this facility... what might it cost for me to join? —RichardNichols

  • Check out this link. It looks like you would pay 120/quarter, or 430/yr, or 38.53/mo, plus 50/yr CAAA membership. —JoePomidor
  • @RichardNichols If your girlfriend is already a member, and hasn't sponsored anybody else for membership, then she can sponsor you for membership at the same price as alumni/staff (340/year, 85/quarter). — sosharp

2010-12-07 23:18:49   Does anybody have any idea how the economics of this place works? All students pay fees, yet if you have a membership you still have to pay to take exercise classes, rent a locker, use a towel, or climb the climbing wall. It's on University property, so does the University make the profits and pay the bills?

Just today I noticed they replaced all the lounge area couches. While this isn't a big deal, the old ones weren't bad and it seems like a terrible waste of money. It just got me thinking, how exactly is this place spending and using this money, especially if it seems to want it out of me in every possible way? —ChristyMarsden

2010-12-24 17:41:49   Just wondering where is proper/best area to pre-workout stretch in the weight room? seems like the mats are taken up by people actually working out. —DaMingeay

2011-05-04 12:40:41   There were a few guys from a certain nutrition shop that Wes-P's favorite fighter visited a few weeks ago who were handing out business cards. They better have been students or better have paid to get in to spam people because I am not paying four hundred bucks a year (more than what 24 Hour Fitness locations charge) to work out and get spammed. —hankim

2013-03-23 14:52:46   You guys whining about the ARC don't realize how good you have it, the gyms at other universities are so much worse. Where I go the gym closes at 11:30 on weekdays, and on the weekends its open from noon-10. I miss the ARC so much back from my undergrad days. Where I go to school now, during peak hours treadmill wait times are around 2-4 hours, and people actually have to wait outside of the gym because its over fire capacity. —MattHh

2013-06-27 10:05:59   This is a great Gym if you go early in the day, and cheap too. I usually try to go before 9 am which seems to be the least busy time. The evenings seem to get crazy busy through 10-11 pm. There are a lot of characters at this place too which is always kind of funny, the lady that only does the smith machine for all exercises in the morning, the old guy who reads the paper and just sits on the machines, and some lady who wears huge dark sunglasses and a hat like she is in witness protection. Most of the people though are just there to workout though and are cool. If only people would re-rack their weights. —JPVolks

  • It gets busy then because that's when free parking starts. —hankim

2013-08-08 17:39:31   The ARC is definitely not cheap like others have suggested. Its $40/month. As a previous resident of a city with few gym options, this price is outrageous. A chain gym (planet fitness) will run you $10 a month. Even the local small time gym in my town back home was only $10/month. This $40 doesn't get you a bigger gym. The cardio and weight lifting area is smaller than what you would find at a planet fitness. Some would say that the hours of business justifies the $40...I don't. This place gets so crowded its like they have limited hours. For staff or grad students, its just inconvenient to not be able to go to this gym after 5pm. Good luck trying to lift weights here after 5 pm. Its impossible and the small area for weights means that you get lines of people next to you as you go about your sets. Is it really necessary to have an indoor track and basketball courts at the cost of actual gym space? $40 doesn't get you free access to the rock wall, towel service, or classes. Lastly, compared to the price Berkeley students pay,($10) I have to ask why Davis charges 4x as much. The profits must be going to other services or Davis got a ridiculously bad financing rate for this building. —exTex

2013-11-04 14:43:19   The gym is only $40 for 1 month...if you divide out the annual cost, it is just under $30 a month to use the facility. The price for what you get is actually affordable. How many facilities have racquetball courts, basketball courts, indoor soccer and as much as equipment as the ARC for under $30/month? If you like dinky gyms, then go ahead and pay $10 a month, but most people like to play sports and the ARC gives you the opportunity to do that as well as get a traditional workout in. Lastly, you can't compare Berkeley's gym to the ARC. They don't have nearly the amount of square footage or as nice equipment as the ARC. I wouldn't pay a dime over $10 to use their facility. —Corleone