Malkin Athletic Center (MAC)

39 Holyoke Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
(617) 495-2219

Quick Links

Fitness Assessments & Orientations Guest Policies Personal Training


The historic Malkin Athletic Center serves both as the University's primary recreation facility and as a satellite location for several varsity sports. The majestic five story building holds a wealth of options for the recreational exerciser. The MAC has two rooms dedicated to cardio equipment with over 65 pieces of machines. Exercisers in the Cardio Rooms enjoy a view of the pools: in addition to a 25 yard pool for laps and swimming lessons (both private and group), there is a smaller pool for aquaerobics and other activities. Those who prefer group exercise gravitate to the Mezzanine, where all types of classes are held at all hours of the day, or to our Indoor Cycling Studio. Club Sports provide an opportunity to learn a martial art or other skill. Those who want more intense guidance can work with a Personal Trainer or join a specialty class.  Others round out their workout schedules in our three weight rooms, or head up to the three-court gym floor to play basketball. The final stop is often the locker rooms, with shower and toilet facilities as well as day and overnight lockers.

Home to Harvard Volleyball (M & W), Fencing (M & W) and Wrestling, the MAC provides practice, competition, and office space for these sports. Its location just outside of Harvard Square and proximity to student housing provides a strong "home field" advantage for the teams. The volleyball floor played host to the 2000 Ivy League Women's Volleyball championships, and the fencing space is considered by many to be the finest collegiate fencing facility in the country.

The MAC was built in 1930, renovated in 1985, and again in 2004. Once known as the Indoor Athletic Building, the facility was renamed in 1985 to honor Peter L. Malkin (A.B. 1955) who provided the funding as well as the impetus for the improvements. A member of fifteen Harvard committees, including the committee on University Resources, Mr. Malkin has been a long-time supporter of Harvard.


Cardio Equipment

The cardio equipment in the MAC is divided between the North and South Cardio rooms, located just up the stairs from the entrance level along with the Mezzanine group exercise studio. In these rooms you will find:
  • Ellipticals 
  • AMTs (Active Motions Trainers) 
  • Upright Bikes 
  • Recumbent Bikes 
  • Stairmasters 
  • Total Body Ellipticals 
  • Windjammer 
  • Treadmills
  • Recumbent Bikes 
  • Upright Bikes 
  • Row-ergometers

Strength Training Equipment

The strength equipment in the MAC all resides just down the stairs from the entrance level, in three rooms:

North Strength Room

  •  10-way cable system complete with:
    • Lat pull
    • Seated long pull 
    • Cable cross-over 
    • Hi-to-lo cable accessories units 
    • Standing hamstring curl 
    • Peck fly 
    • MFT (multi-functional cable station with two hi-to-low cable accessory units, complete with pull up bar) 
  • Bilateral seated long pull 
  • Angled leg press 
  • Bilateral lat pull 
  • Back extension chair 
  • Bilateral shoulder press 
  • Bilateral chest press 
  • Dip and hip raise unit 
  • Rotary torso 
  • Smith machine 
  • Chin-dip assist unit 
  • Glute isolater
  • Plate-loaded ab machine 
  • Leg extension 
  • Dumbbell racks including 1lb to 80lb
  • Portable flat-to-60 degrees incline bench 
  • Portable flat-to-60 degrees decline bench 
  • Portable flat bench 

South Strength Room

  • Power Cage 
  • Super Squat/hack squat 
  • Incline olympic barbell bench station 
  • Flat olympic barbell bench station 
  • Three portable flat-to-60 degrees incline bench 
  • Flat-to-60 degrees decline bench  
  • Dumbbell racks (10-80lbs)
  • Weight plates (2.5-45lbs)
  • Adjustable Olympic decline-to-incline bench station 
  • Plate-loaded seated calf raise 
  • Squat rack 

East Strength Room - Circuit

For those of you trying to squeeze in a short yet efficient workout, this room is designed to quickly work all major muscle groups. Try one set of 15 repetitions without rest at each of the  stations in order. Use enough weight at each station to make the last few repetitions difficult. After completing the circuit, rest for 30 seconds OFF the machines (to avoid monopolizing them unnecessarily) and repeat from the beginning of circuit. This floor also has a Hoist Multi-purpose handicapped accessible machine.
  • Leg Extension
  • seated Leg Curl
  • Shoulder Press
  • Seated row
  • Chest press
  • Biceps curl
  • Triceps push down



Located on the mezzanine floor of the MAC with the cardio rooms, the Mezzanine holds most of the MAC's group exercise and specialty classes.

This room provides space for stretching as well as access to fitness balls.

During down times between classes members and personal trainers can utilize the space for their workouts. Check the group schedule here or at the MAC front desk.


Gym Floor

Located on the fourth floor of the MAC, the gym floor comprises three half-size basketball courts, and space for a variety of athletic and campus events. The floor is open to basketball and general use on a first-come-first-serve basis, unless otherwise noted on the gym floor schedule.



The MAC's lap pool is open for free swim, and members can find the operating hours for the pool here. A smaller pool is also available for group exercise classes and other activities. 
For the list of pool policies and regulations, please see here


Services & Policies

Children under the age of 14 are only allowed in a locker room on the gym floor or in the pool supervised by an adult at all times while in a facility.
The MAC is the only Recreation Facility with overnight locker rentals available. Overnight locker rentals cost $120.00 annually.
For information about adding towel service to your membership, see here