It is that time of year again; college students nationwide sprint to their local gyms and tanning salons to get that all-important Spring Break "beach bod." Much like the yearly migration of salmon, this phenomenon is truly a miracle of nature. In only a matter of days, thousands of students will try to lose weight, gain muscle and darken up their pasty areas.
The behavior of these would be spring-breakers is referred to by most experts as ohmygodihavetowearaswimsuitinpublicitus. I detailed the seriousness of this disease in a column the week before Spring Break last year. I also provided a helpful list of rules and etiquette to follow for those who only use the student recreation center during the first week of March and are unfamiliar with the way things should work there.
As it turns out, this column was a real fan favorite and over the last year I have received several requests for a follow up. Being only two days away from Spring Break 2006, I thought this would be a great time to oblige. So here it is, your newly revised and updated: Eight Simple Rules for Using the Rec. Center.
1. If you don't like the music, bring your own: This rule applies to anyone who finds themselves making 15 music requests/complaints during a one-hour workout.
2. Do NOT make up your own exercises: There are literally thousands of pre-made and specially designed workouts out there. So stop rolling around on the floor with a dumbbell between your legs and walking backwards on the treadmill.
3. Do NOT do anything recommended by Dr. Phil: This should be pretty self-explanatory; if his advice were any good he would do it himself. This rule also applies to anyone giving fitness advice on late night television.
4. Stop yelling: This is for the "look at how much weight I am trying to lift" type that screams and grunts like a wounded animal on every rep of every set.
5. Do NOT bring your own equipment: Gloves and wrist straps are one thing, but bringing your own bars, dumbbells, chairs, etc. to the weight room only makes you look like your mommy and daddy didn't show you enough love when you where little and you are now desperate for attention. This is similar to the aforementioned screamer.
6. Stop starving yourself: The only thing unhealthier than overeating is not eating at all. First of all a "crash" diet is going to do nothing to improve your look. Secondly, passing out on a treadmill is far more embarrassing and painful than going to Cancun with a few extra pounds in your swimming suit.
7. Do NOT piss off the meatheads: Last year this rule only applied to standing between a meathead and his portion of the mirror. This year it also applies to getting on the machines they are using, walking away with equipment they have checked out and dropping dumbbells on their feet. It's just a bad idea.
8. Lay off the Under Armour: This has become the most important rule of all and thus has several subsections that must be strictly adhered to.
a. If your gut sticks out further than your chest, don't wear Underarmour.
b. If your arm is the same thickness at the wrist as it is at the shoulder, don't wear Underarmour.
c. We know you didn't just come from football practice so wearing green Under Armour is not fooling anyone. (If you did just come from football practice go back to your own gym.)
d. Lastly, any clothing items designed to make high school boys feel tough should probably just be left to high school boys. And, frat guys I guess.
So there you have it. Everything you need to know to avoid injury and have a successful week of working out. Following these eight proven suggestions will hopefully eliminate any of the embarrassing inexperience you normally would have been subjected to. I know how hard getting the perfect body in 10 days can be, so I wish you the best of luck.
To those who make personal fitness and well being a year round habit, the crowds will be gone next week, so hang in there. And to all my readers, have a wonderful Spring Break and try not to come back with any tattoos, piercings, pets, scars or diseases that you can't remember getting.
Ryan Chapman is a senior marketing major. His column runs every Wednesday in the Collegian.