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Fanshawe vs. Western: Fitness facilities

Photo of an indoor swimming pool at Western University's Fitness Centre.
Image Credit: Western Mustangs

Physical fitness within a person’s capabilities is important to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Post-secondary students enrolled at Fanshawe College or Western University have a head start in staying physically fit with free or discounted access to their respective institution’s fitness facilities.

General facilities

Both facilities include what you might expect: fitness machines, free weights, and top-notch clean facilities. The biggest difference in terms of general offerings between Western’s gym and Fanshawe’s is the quantity of machines and free weights.

Western’s gym has many fitness machines from a number of manufacturers including Apex, Flex, Free Motion, Gravitron, Hammer Strength, Life Fitness, Polaris, Universal, and Woodway. It also over has over 9000 lbs. of free weights.

Fanshawe College also has fitness machines and free weights, but the sheer amount of equipment at Western means there is greater access to more machines available for a larger number of people.

In this respect, if a person prefers a busier atmosphere when exercising, Western may be more to their liking. On the other hand, if a person prefers an atmosphere that is a bit more solitary, then Fanshawe’s gym might be a better choice.


Both campuses offer group fitness programs. Western has an extensive listing of 21 different programs that cover cardio, muscular conditioning, and mindfulness.

Fanshawe also has program offerings scheduled for the Fall 2022 term.

“We will be offering 14 group fitness classes,” Fitness and Wellness Program Directory at Fanshawe College, Tabitha Liston said. “These classes are total body conditioning, glutes, guts, and guns, spin, and yoga with more to be added.”

While Western has more programs slated at the time of writing, memberships to Western’s fitness facilities are open to the public, so their classes might fill up quicker and be busier than those offered by Fanshawe. Once again, the choice between which campus to workout at depends on the atmosphere a person desires.

Exclusive features

Both campuses have exclusive features, as well: Fanshawe College’s climbing wall, and Western’s pool. Fanshawe’s climbing wall is available to all who have access to Fanshawe’s other fitness facilities. There is no additional cost to use the wall, but you must book your climbing session in advance.

Western’s pool is located on their campus, so they can offer both recreational swims and aquatic fitness programs close to their other facilities. There is an additional charge for aquatic programs, but at a reduced cost to their fitness membership holders.

Fanshawe fitness membership holders have access to the Carling Heights pool, but, at the time of writing, their website cited COVID as the reason they have turned students away.

Membership cost

At Fanshawe College, every full-time student pays for access to Fanshawe’s fitness centre in their ancillary tuition fees, and part-time students can gain access to its fitness centre for $48 plus tax for a four-month membership (the minimum membership duration). Membership is restricted to Fanshawe students and staff.

“Ultimately, convenience and affordability are going to be the differentiating factor between which facilities are preferable.”

At Western, almost every full-time and part-time student has access to its fitness centre as part of their ancillary tuition fees. Because Western fitness memberships are available to the public, there are a few options for Fanshawe students who would like to workout at Western, from day passes to yearly memberships of varying costs.

Chad Van Dyk, Director of Recreation and Active Wellbeing at Western noted the prices of memberships will be changing “in the sense of being more ‘whole numbers’ and also more thoughtful, but generally speaking they won’t change significantly.”

Convenience and affordability

Ultimately, convenience and affordability are going to be the differentiating factors between which facilities are preferable.

If you spend a lot of time at, or live close to Western, then that campus is likely a much more convenient location. The same can be said for those near Fanshawe.

Because the cost of each location is cheaper for students enrolled at each respective institution, it is financially advantageous for Western and Fanshawe students to use the facilities offered by their home campus.