Y Do Students Go To The Gym?

Elizabeth Long, Staff Writer

While most of their peers are sound asleep in bed, some highschoolers get up while the sky is still dark. They put on their activewear, fill up their water bottles, and go to a place where values are shared: the gym.

For teenagers, the gym can be a place to release energy and feel good about themselves. It provides a space where they can bond and achieve their mutual goals.

“We have a variety of people here, and I think teenagers make up about 30% of our members,” said YMCA staff member Maya Owens.

Junior Eve Tellegen started going to the gym last year, and she said has observed positive results.

“The gym is an outlet for me. I definitely feel better physically after I workout,” Tellegen said.

While some workout to feel good, others go to the gym with the goal of becoming stronger. 

Junior Riley Stratman originally started working out in his house during 2020.

“I worked out at home during Covid so I could get stronger and further my soccer abilities,” Stratman said.

But after two years of working out at home, Stratman decided to join a gym.

“My friends urged me to get a membership, saying that I could achieve my goal much easier with the equipment available,” Stratman said.

After purchasing a membership at the YMCA, Stratman said he started to go a few times a week with his friends, so he could work to complete his goals.

“Going to the gym with my friends helps us commit to actually going, and then helps us push once we’re there,” he said. 

Stratman is not the only student who feels this way. Junior John Olsen said he believes that working out with friends is more beneficial than going by yourself.

“Going to the gym with my friends is more fun and motivating than just going alone, which can be kind of boring,” Olsen said.

Tellegen said she also prefers going to the gym with her friends rather than alone.

“My friends are always motivating me and pushing me in ways I couldn’t by myself, and of course the gym is more fun when I have someone to talk to,” Tellegen said.

While some people go to the gym to further their athletic abilities and go to feel better overall, others may have different reasons.

My friends are always motivating me and pushing me in ways I couldn’t by myself, and of course the gym is more fun when I have someone to talk to

— Eve Tellegen, junior

“I think some people go to the gym because of body issues, like they want to look a certain way,” Stratman said. 

Straman said he thinks teenagers face pressures on how they should look, and eventually find themselves trying to meet these unrealistic standards.

“I think some people have an image in their head that they are not enough. They might think they’re not as “big” as their friends, or they might not think they’re strong enough for girls, so they’ll go out and work out,” Stratman said.

Teenagers can also go to the gym simply to tell others that they went.

“Some people like to post pictures of themselves at the gym online, and I think maybe they do that so others will perceive them as strong,” Tellegen said.

Owens believes that teenagers go to the gym to get strong.

“I think most teenagers come for the basketball court, but a lot of them are also interested in becoming fit, and bulking up a little bit,” Owens said.