The Protein Scoop on Gym Rats

August 16, 2022

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For many, exercising and staying fit has become a chore. Maintenance for the body that we try to keep up with when we can. Others have found ways to make working out an enjoyable part of their daily routines, and have turned the uncomfortable, seemingly time-consuming activity, into a hobby.
A lot of us who start to pay attention to fitness at the middle- high school level often because of sports.
“I started working out in fall 2019, and the main reason I was doing it was to gain strength for swimming,” junior Simon Adams said.
After starting his fitness journey, Adams found other goals and motives.
“What motivates me is trying to go for the next max, and trying to be my best self I can be,” Adams said.
Staying fit doesn’t have to be and isn’t always about looking aesthetically pleasing to keep up with the beauty standard, or even a proof of power. Working out for the pleasure of yourself and your well-being can be way more enjoyable, empowering, and even more effective than pushing yourself for other people.
Finding a positive self-drive for any activity really is what
will keep you coming back for more, even after major setbacks
such as injuries. Adams was recently diagnosed with exertional compartment syndrome in his calf muscles, keeping him out of the gym for almost two months, and even after losing a lot of strength, he is determined to put in the work to gain his previous strength back.
“At first I was really excited and ready to go back after lifting for a couple sessions I realized how much strength I lost…but I also know it’s going to come back and the only way I’m going to get it back is by putting in the time and effort,” Adams said.

     Struggling to find motivation can be a challenge in heading down the fitness path, but oftentimes some of that lack of motivation can come from anxiety relating to the gym itself. It can feel scary and even embarrassing to go to a gym with new equipment, especially when you’re surrounded by those with more experience.

“If you ever get nervous in a gym, remember everyone else there has started in the same position as you and everyone is there for the same reason,” junior Logan Neal said.

Sometimes, gyms can be even more anxiety enticing for young women looking to fulfill their fitness goals, especially when it comes to exercises such as powerlifting.

“Being a woman in the fitness community, people will support you most of the time but I have had people try to tell me I can’t do X, Y, Z, or people trying to bring me down because I’m not a boy but I am strong,” freshman Mya Williams said.

Oftentimes women and men are taught to train differently in the gym. Workouts surrounding things like cardio and pilates tend to be seen as more light and feminine, while weight training is more masculine. But it’s becoming more socially acceptable for women to look and feel strong and toned. Math teacher Kenna Kobin is a holder of two state records for powerlifting. “It’s not wrong to be strong, and if it is, I don’t want to be right,” Kobin said.

A new year can provide a perfect time to build new routines. Anytime is a good time to start paying attention to your body, health, and well-being. It may be a struggle at first, but finding a drive or looking to others for advice can help you down your journey, and find out what exercising means to you.

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