Most students can’t say they do cardio workouts twice a day, lift weights every other day and attend training meetings weekly, while also juggling academic classes and weekend competitions. But those students aren’t members of USC’s Bodybuilding and Fitness Club.
A group of like-minded students, members of the Bodybuilding and Fitness Club dedicate their time on campus to promote a healthy lifestyle amongst its members and throughout the greater USC community. Each year, the club hosts a variety of fitness activities and competitions on campus including a fall octathalon, strength meet and most recently the Mr. and Miss USC Fitness Competition (held this past Saturday, April 13). For third-year Hospitality Management student Heather Cooper, this was her first time competing and training for a fitness competition. She says, “Previously, I had never trained for anything more than a 5K.”
Participation in the club’s athletic events isn’t a requirement to join. In fact, there are many ways for non-competitive students to become involved. Several members volunteer to organize and run the various competitions. Harrison Greenlaw, former faculty advisor says, “We try to get all the members to learn, whether they are entering or just officiating.” Some students, like club officer and second–year Exercise Science student Ron Doiron, take advantage of the active community while training for other goals. Currently training for a strength meet coming up in late summer, Ron shares his knowledge with club members, imparting his straightforward approach to training. He explains, “It’s nothing specific, I just hit what needs to be hit.”
Most importantly, the club is committed to helping everyone achieve their own personal fitness goals and is open to students of all fitness levels. Members generally workout on their own time, but some club meetings are used as training sessions. Club workouts are aimed at teaching exercises that focus on certain parts of the body as well as safety, proper form and other important aspects of training. The more experienced club members help to train and guide newer members.
The club’s focus reaches beyond achieving the right exercise and training regimen. Maintaining a balanced and healthy diet is important to providing the proper nutrients to reach a specific physical goal. Second–year Exercise Science student, Jordan Hall finds maintaining a low carb, high protein diet and incorporating a lot of vegetables has helped her ease into the rigors of competing for the Mr. and Miss USC competition.
If you are looking to begin a healthier lifestyle or meet a community of active students on campus, checkout the Bodybuilding and Fitness Club during their weekly meetings on Wednesday at 6:30 pm in Blatt 107 or online at carolinafitness.com.
TRY THIS QUICK ROUTINE BEFORE YOUR NEXT WORKOUT
Train like the Bodybuilding and Fitness Club. They perform a group warm-up at the beginning of each training meeting.
- 30 arms circles (15 each)15 yds High Knees
- 10 slow push-ups
- 15 yards Butt Kicks
- 10 Deep Air Squats
- 15 yds Straight-Leg Kicks
As the semester comes to a close, it becomes increasingly difficult to find time to work out when finals are the only thing that inhabit your mind. For those of you who fear sitting around countless hours full of anxiety and stress leading to packing on pounds, don’t fear, there’s hope! If you allow yourself a 30-40 minute study break per day, you can work out in the comfort of your own home or an easily accessible gym with these helpful tips:
Walk into Strom Thurmond Fitness Center and you’ll see students and faculty on all different machines, determined to stay in shape. As we all know, it is not easy to follow a strict schedule at the gym, and when we do go, it’s common to practice improper workout techniques. Some mistakes include working out while wearing makeup, working out on an empty stomach and not stretching before cardio. These faux pas are considered unhealthy but new studies show that these practices don’t damage the body as much as we have believed them to.
Starting With a Clean Slate
For ladies trying to keep their bodies toned, squeezing in a visit to the gym amidst classes, meetings and a social life can be difficult. That’s why some women workout with full makeup on, even if they are going to sweat it off. Any dermatologist or health professional will say this is bad because, not only can foundation clog the pores, but physical activity increases the risk of breakouts because pores are more exposed. While it is beneficial to remove makeup prior to working out, this is unrealistic with a busy college lifestyle. Think of it this way, it is far better to exercise for 45 minutes in full makeup than to not exercise at all due to fearing the sudden appearance of a pimple. As long as you wash your face after the workout, you should be fine.
Another gym myth is the danger of not stretching before exercising, especially running. Stretching warms up the muscles and increases flexibility to reduce the chance of cramping. Some people, including me, skip “warming up” in favor of claiming a treadmill before they’re all taken. According to some doctors, stretching before running won’t prevent injury, but it won’t cause it either. If you know your leg might cramp up without stretching prior to exercise, by all means do your routine, but if you don’t feel like warming up, it isn’t a problem.
When it comes to meals and exercise, there are two food trends that could damage your workout. Working out after eating a full meal or working out on an empty stomach could cause cramping or symptoms of illness. Nutritionists recommend quality carbohydrates, lean protein, heart-healthy fats and fluids prior to working out. Light meals or protein bars are the best option before participating in physical activity.
Making the effort to exercise regularly is a huge step towards a healthy lifestyle. There’s no such thing as a perfect workout so as long as you’re getting some form of physical activity, minor mistakes won’t affect your stride.
Image Sources: hellodaughter.tumblr.com, fitnessmember.com, angrytrainerfitness.com, gymaddicts.com