Gym craze takes students by storm

Knight+prepares+himself+for+a+heavy+squat+set+during+a+leg+training+day+at+the+gym.

William Palmer

Knight prepares himself for a heavy squat set during a leg training day at the gym.

William Palmer

Many students have found an interest in weightlifting and strength training at local gyms as a result of free time due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

For first-year Midtown student Morgan Knight,  a senior who runs cross country and plays tennis and ultimate frisbee, going to the gym was initially a more mundane task.

“I started going to the gym really during freshman year,” Knight said. “I just wanted to get bigger; I used to be super skinny and weak. I’ve definitely improved a lot since then, but I’ve still got a long way to go.”

Knight said that school going online was the main factor that allowed him to start going to the gym more often.

“Around August of 2020 is when I started for real,” Knight said. “I would go to the gym during breaks in online school with friends, and that really allowed me to get into it.”

Freshman Dylan Forbes-Roberts had a similar experience.

“Online school helped out a lot with lifting,” Forbes-Roberts said. “I would go all the time when I had more free time, and since I built that routine, when I don’t go now, I feel pretty off. It started as just me wanting to do strength training for varsity sports, but now, I’d say it’s kind of fun, addicting, even.”

For senior Brody Brostrom, motivation to go to the gym came from a variety of places.

“I started going during late 2019, and seriously going during early 2020,” Brostrom said. “Seeing people on YouTube and friends of mine, too, really inspired me to start going. I’ve found I enjoy training in the gym, and it is fun. I actually like to do it and because of that, it’s been easy to stick to.”

Brostrom said that with more experience, he now has a much better idea of how to exercise effectively.

“I know what to do now versus when I started, and I’ve dialed in my training, so it’s more efficient,” Brostrom said. “At the beginning, I was just doing random stuff, but now I understand what to do.”

Knight said he only began to see positive changes once he began visiting the gym regularly. 

“I’ve made a lot of progress, and after taking it seriously for a little over a year now, I’ve seen a lot of improvement,” Knight said. “Once you start actually taking it seriously, that’s when you start to find improvement fast, which I did.

Knight has also found ways to apply the benefits of the gym to his daily routine. 

“When I lift in the mornings, it starts off my day with something good,” Knight said. “It’s a good release, and when I’m feeling off, it’s a good way to ease my mind and chill a bit doing something I like.”

Forbes-Roberts said he has also felt the mental benefits of working out.  

“I’ve seen progress with, obviously, being able to lift heavier things,”  Forbes-Roberts said. “But, also with my mindset and my routines; they’ve definitely improved a lot, too.”

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