Downstate Illinois Road Trip Roundup - Athletic Training Facilities

Regional road trips are quite popular these days. Many folks feel most comfortable hopping in the car with their loved ones and exploring sights that are off the beaten path. Some of those sights may even be in your own backyard! For plenty of regional travel ideas, check-in every Wednesday for a Downstate Illinois Road Trip Roundup on themed topics showcasing several destinations across the southern portion of the state. This week’s topic highlights some of the best athletic training facilities. There are some top notch academies and rec centers to experience in southern Illinois!


March is National Athletic Training Month! Carbondale has several athletic indoor and outdoor facilities sure to meet all of your fitness, training, or sports needs!The Carbondale Superblock is a sports multi complex offering nine softball and baseball fields, two running tracks and thirteen soccer fields. The superblock also offers concessions, restrooms and is handicap accessible.The Southern Illinois University Rec Center is a 214,000 square foot facility which houses several basketball/volleyball courts, a natatorium, two indoor walking/jogging tracks, racquetball and squash courts, several fitness and cardio equipment areas, and three weight rooms. It also provides several dance studios and multi-purpose rooms. Outdoor facilities include a lacrosse field, soccer field, two rugby fields, three slow pitch fields, four flag football fields, as well as tennis courts. The Rec Center has restrooms and is handicap accessible.Henosis Health and Fitness, Warehouse the Ultimate Gym, Gold’s Gym, and Planet Fitness each offer a wide range of athletic training opportunities including everything from free weights, cardio equipment and resistance machines to CrossFit, group classes and personal training.


Our 22-county territory is FULL of great places to have a great workout, but there are five in particular that stick out. The first is The Rec in Fairview Heights, which offers so many great amenities and opportunities for basically anyone looking to train. Jump into your fitness with group classes or one on one training - everything from yoga, and water aerobics to zumba and more! Take dip in their 4-lane pool and enjoy a refreshing lap or two. Don’t know how to swim? Don’t worry! They offer group lessons, semi-private lessons, and private lessons. Their nearly new facilities also feature a Clip ‘n Climb section where anyone from children to adults can partake in these climbing walls and other obstacles!

The McKendree Metro Rec Plex in O’Fallon is another amazing facility that includes two NHL-sized ice rinks, an aquatic center with a 10-lane championship swimming pool, a recreational pool, strength and weight center, elevated walking track and cardio center, personal training, fitness studios, childcare, and way more. The Metro Rec Plex is home of the McKendree University Hockey Team, Swim and Polo Team, the Southern Illinois Ice Hawks Hockey Team, and the Seahawks competitive youth swim team. Their main priority is to make sure everyone who walks through their doors feels welcome. The workout options are endless with aqua fitness, yoga, cycling, lunch crunch for those busy bees, pilates, and even triathlon training. Tear it up on the ice with open skate, stick & puck sessions, figure skating free style lessons, learn to skate and adult hockey!

The Centralia Recreation Complex is a 60,000 square foot multi-sport facility located in historic downtown Centralia. The Centralia Recreation Complex offers an elevated walking/jogging track, an oversized gym with two full courts and six adjustable goals, weights, treadmills, stair-stepper, exercise bikes, a 6-lane competition pool, a heated family leisure pool, a full-service conference room for meetings, receptions and parties, and youth programs for 4th-8th graders. There are so many great amenities for everyone to feel satisfied and want to come back to the Centralia Recreation Complex.

Another fantastic training venue is the Gaetti Sports Academy, which can also be found in Centralia. Newly built in 2020, this 18,000 square foot facility is equipped with state of the art analytics and technology for baseball and softball athletes alike. There are eight hitting cages, six pitching cages - and the facility can be converted from cages into a full MLB regulation size infield that can be adjusted to fit any team’s needs! This facility was designed by a handful of former MLB players, including Centralia native Gary Gaetti. If baseball or softball are in your wheelhouse, this is the place to train!

New Leaf Fitness and Spa in Lawrenceville is the new way to do fitness. Get yourself a personal trainer or attend classes during the week like hot yoga, zumba, and interval cycling. After a long work out, treat yourself to the sauna, a steam in the steam room or a shake from their bar. Once you’re finished working out, The Mandarin Spa is on-site and offers up everything from a deep tissue massage, to body wraps and scrubs!


Williamson County has a great variety of gyms and indoor recreational training centers! As March is National Athletic Training Month, we would like to invite you to get fit with us! Whether you’re training for something specific or just working on your own fitness goals, we have the facilities for you! The HUB Recreation Center in Marion is a state-of-the-art facility offering many different ways to get active. They have three pools for both athletic training and leisurely play, a fitness center with machines and free weights, a gymnasium, and an indoor track! They offer personal training services and fitness classes. Making it easy to get activate no matter your circumstances, The HUB also offers childcare and day passes. The John A. Logan Fitness Center in Carterville is another local recreational facility filled with different ways to get your body in motion! The JALC Fitness Center has a gym area with machines like the stair climber, bikes, treadmills, rowing machines, and more! They have two pools in their Aquatic Center and classes are available as well. They offer day passes for only $5 or for extended guests, a week pass for $15! Additionally, we have almost a dozen gyms throughout our area. In Marion, you’ll find national gym chains like Gold’s Gym and a Planet Fitness. We also have several locally owned gyms that offer similar services and equipment. Raw Fitness and Quest Fitness can both be found in Marion and offer things like free weights, exercise machines, and personal training! Similarly, in Carterville you’ll find The Sweatshop and Den Fitness. If CrossFit is your favorite way to train, we also have two CrossFit affiliate locations in our area! You’ll find everything you need to train in Williamson County!