I’m a grad student at the University of Miami and I want to explore some of the changes that I have noticed in the gym in the last decade.
I’m no intellectual, but it seems to me that professional athletes and the hip-hop culture are ever more pervasive and influential. Are 50 Cent videos that inspiring?
I hear people talking about PX-90 in the gym, which to me sounds like some high-performance oil that you put in a racing car, while they’re downing protein-fueled shakes with names like “Beast” and “Hercules.” Or, they are doing dips with weights draped around the waist, which look like some Gothic chastity belt.
Is it our muscles or our brains that are supposed to “grow” in the academic environment? Is it healthy to play chemist with our bodies?
Also, the outfits, or costumes, vary from something out of Key West to a fully decked out Armour wear suit with matching faces that look like they are going to combat. We’ll skip over the manly men shaving their chests and legs, the bicep mirror flex-offs and comparing tattoos, because these are all signs of someone screaming for attention.
Whatever happened to allowing your crush to wonder what you look like without clothes?
I’m no stranger to the gym, but I’m confident that even some of the chicks can bench more than me and some of the chicos can lift up the side of a house. What do you do with all that strength?
I would welcome the opportunity to make a video of keg tossing and alligator wrestling in the Everglades. This is purely speculation, but it would not surprise me if surgery is on the rise from doing too many weight-bearing exercises, e.g. shoulder surgery.
As for me, yes, I too have been influenced by societal norms: I have gained 10 pounds, but it’s all gone to my stomach.
Anyway, before you power flex in front of the mirror or spend multiple hours in the gym, remember the university is a place where we should all grow, but not just physically. One must exercise their mind, body and soul. In the words of our beloved dance hall artist, Buju Banton, vanity is the destruction of the soul.
Max Castillo is a MBA student in International Business and Marketing. He may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.