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Gym culture is a good thing and we should embrace it

Gym culture is worth embracing. It benefits a lot of people.
Gym culture is worth embracing. It benefits a lot of people.

With YouTube celebrity Sam Sulek rising in popularity, so too has fitness. Fitness influencing and gym culture have gained popularity too, and it's a good thing. You should embrace it.

My first year of college, I was a really skinny kid — like, frighteningly skinny. 5’7, 130 pounds of stretched skin and bones. I still worked out and was still in good shape, but I never made any progress. All I did was run and do bodyweight exercises, all without eating enough food.

My energy, mental health, confidence and view of my body were at an all-time low. 

I did that for two years. 

But, like many gym rats, I got hurt by someone. That flipped a switch in my head. 

I switched to lifting heavy metal objects and fully embracing my gym rat side. Now, I am a 170-pound, confident junior college student in the best physical and mental shape of my life. 

Going to the gym changes lives. Take a look at some of the influencers at our school: Gabby Hayes, Raj and Roh, Javuan Robinson and Sam Sulek. 

Some of their pages have pictures of them from two years ago. Often, the old versions of themselves look unrecognizable.

So let them use cameras to take pictures in the gym. Let people record themselves. They worked their ass off to get where they are now. They have every right. 

I have been to Miami University’s Recreation Center countless times, and I get it. The Rec is super crowded, but the cameras hardly take up any space. The people using cameras are space-conscious. They understand the gym is crowded and would be fine moving it. Talk to one of these influencers — they are cool people. 

The content they are making inspires others to take up weightlifting, too. The number of high school students going to the Rec now can be annoying, but they all want to lift because they saw a Sam Sulek video or some other influencer’s content that inspired them. 

This is good. We need more people to go to the gym.

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According to the CDC, only 24.2% of American adults aged 18 and over met the Physical Activity Guidelines for both aerobic and muscle-strengthening activity. 

These guidelines call for 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity (e.g. walking) a week and strength training focused on major muscle groups two times a week. 

Let’s say this takes five hours a week. 75.8% of Americans don’t have five hours each week to work out, despite the fact that people who work out have a reduced mortality rate by 21%.

But we have time to spend hours scrolling through TikTok, binge-watching a show or finishing that last piece of homework due ages ago. 

If you say you don’t have time to go to the gym or workout, you may not realize how much time you can save by avoiding binging activities.

Don't want to go to the gym though because of the crowds? Okay, I got you.

If you want to hit legs, do 100 air squats and 100 lunges.

Want to get a bigger chest? Do 200 push-ups.

Need your lungs to get back to where they used to be before smoking drunk cigarettes on the Brick Street patio? Go run outside. 

Everyone wants abs. Try planking for five minutes with minimal breaks to get the abs you always wanted. 

Or, you could go to the gym in the morning when no one is there. 

We should be proud to go to a school where healthy habits like going to the gym regularly are embraced.

You don’t need a gym to work out, but I hope that after working out at home for a while, you will want to go to the gym because it can be a life-changing place. 

Teddy Johnson is a junior majoring in sports communications and media from Bloomington, Illinois. He has been writing for The Miami Student for almost three years, serving as Co-Humor Editor and is contributing to multiple sections.