Features, Tips and Trends, Trends

Flex at the Plex: Gym Culture and Workout Trends

The gym, a.k.a. the Plex, may remind you of elementary school recess. Crowds of people are in a single place. Some people interact with others, but for the most part, everyone is doing their own thing. It’s kind of loud in certain areas, while other areas are noticeably quieter.

At the Plex, each floor represents different types of people and goals. From top to bottom, much can be said about the trends that occur on each floor.

First floor

On the first floor, you will find three areas that explain why certain people prefer this floor: the concrete basketball courts, the pool, and, of course, the ping-pong tables.

Unlike the hardwood courts upstairs, the multi-activity courts on the ground floor are less crowded and usually consist of casual or inexperienced basketball players. These players rarely engage in a full-on five-v.-five game and typically stick to quick and friendly competition. 

Just outside the courts are the ping-pong tables. What I have noticed is that many of the people playing ping-pong don’t go upstairs to workout, suggesting that the gym isn’t only a place to workout—everyone can come and find an activity and a person to socialize with.

Finally, there’s the pool. Those who swim in the pool can probably swim for longer than you can stay awake in your 9 a.m. class. The pool is usually open for recreational swimming whenever there isn’t a practice going on, and I highly recommend giving it a try.

Second floor

The second floor is perfect for all of your stretching and cardio needs. While it is a bit louder than the first floor, it is without a doubt a calm environment.

In my experience, I have noticed this floor is primarily occupied by young women. On one random day, I noticed that the women outnumbered the men on this floor 28 to nine, respectively. 

A friend of mine who’s an avid gym-goer told me that she believes the second floor is mostly occupied by girls because they feel more comfortable on that floor, as there are more opportunities for private workouts. Surely, this floor does a great job of serving those individuals who favor working out alone over more populated workout spaces.

Third floor

The third floor more closely resembles the environment of a traditional gym. This floor is primarily dominated by men lifting weights and performing high-intensity exercises. From the people doing squats to those grunting with every repetition, the third floor mainly hosts individuals hoping to gain muscle.

A member of the gym staff said that the third floor is often used by those who are focused on bodybuilding and powerlifting. 

This floor is also notoriously the most crowded, which can be credited to its four basketball courts, three tennis courts, staff offices, and variety of weight lifting equipment. While the possibilities are endless at the Plex, this floor takes the cake when it comes to popularity, space, and sports.

Fourth floor

After climbing an endless amount of stairs, congratulations, you have finally reached the top floor, home of the punching bags, indoor track, racquetball courts, and even a large turf area with tires you’re too afraid to lift without looking silly or being judged. 

Perhaps the greatest feature of this floor is its beautiful views of the evening sunset. Three stories above ground, you’ll be pleased to see the views of Gasson, Maloney, and maybe even a freshman running to catch the Newton bus. If you can make it to the top floor without the elevator, I consider that a great workout in and of itself. 

Takeaways

The gym caters to a broad range of people, each seeking their own unique goals. Nonetheless, the gym is an opportunity to improve both your physical well-being and your mental well-being. Aside from physical exercise, the gym also serves as a shrine for reflection. As we exercise, we look at ourselves in the mirror, we look at others, we look at the ground, and, at times, we may even close our eyes and look at nothing.

During these moments, it is important that we reflect on our past and envision our future goals. If you struggle to find motivation at the gym, consider this. As you reflect, think of your purpose and your goals. Concentrate. Breathe. Once you are in a zone, think of every repetition as a step closer to your dreams. In the end, you may find that by training our body, we also train our minds.

Through discipline, we can truly turn healthy diets and workout trends into a lifestyle.

Trends Writer, 

Steven Javier Dumeng

April 10, 2022
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