Getting back into a routine at the beginning of the school year can be exciting, between figuring out places to go for lunch, when to hang out with friends, and finding time to workout. However, it’s hard to escape the chaos of crowds and lines, especially at the gyms. All of Penn State’s gyms, especially the White Building and the IM Building, are packed the first week or two of school, turning them into what feels like a frat basement, with sweaty college kids packed together just trying to do their “12-3-30” workout.
Some students like Erika Long, a junior who works out at the gym six times a week, have had to readjust their workout schedule due to the crowds at the gyms. “When there are too many people at the gym, I have to adjust the order in which I do my workouts,” said Long. “This is frustrating because I make my programming specific for the order I do my exercises, so changing that around impacts the effectiveness of the workout.” While Long prefers to workout when the gym is empty, she does what she can to adjust her workouts according to her schedule. “I try to work around my schedule, however I do take the busyness into account when I’m deciding,” said Long.
While all of Penn State’s gyms are crowded the first week of school, the IM Building is the most popular. The IM is known for its variety of equipment, workout classes, and sports fields, as well as its location which is a short walk from East Halls. Because so many freshmen live close to it, the IM becomes a hot spot for freshmen the first week of school. “I feel like a lot of people will come to the gym, especially the IM to just check it out,” said Zoe Reyes, a facility attendant. “Like freshmen don’t really know anything about the campus so why not go check it out?” Along with the freshmen, many students decide to go to the gym at the beginning of the semester with a newly found health driven mentality. “It always gets so busy the first week because it’s kind of like after New Year’s where everyone has a resolution,” said Sammi Baron, a supervisor at Penn State’s gyms.
For workers at these facilities, the first week can be a little overwhelming. “It gets really crowded and we had almost a thousand people in here [IM Building] at a time for the first week,” said Baron. “But since then, it started to die down, especially this past week.” The gyms typically become less crowded throughout the semester due to classes ramping up, and by finals week they become pretty empty. Still, the gyms stay busy with club sports. “When club sports really get into the swing of things, it gets crazy,” said Laila Kennedy, a supervisor at Penn State’s gyms. First Week of School Workout Craze
Even though Penn Staters start off the semester with this “New Years Resolution” mentality, it doesn’t seem to last long. However, the masses at the gym will surely reappear at the beginning of the Spring semester, just in time to start the New Year off with a killer leg day.