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Some Tips for Staying Fit at the Claremont Colleges

February 19, 2009

by Kyle Ragins
Some Tips for Staying Fit at the Claremont Colleges

Partnered with my senior tips on athletic facilities at the Claremont Colleges I wanted to provide you guys with some tips on staying fit at CMC (not that I am a fitness master by any stretch of the imagination).  While many CMCers don't have to worry about fitness too much as they play on CMS sports teams that provide them with as much of a work out as they can handle, for the rest of us things can be a little more tricky.  Here are some quick tips I have developed over time:

  1. Be Aware of the Facilities Around You -- Look at the list in my article and explore the different options around the colleges.  Find a place that has the things that you want/need to work out, is open at times that work for you, and will make you feel comfortable.

  2. Block Out Regular Times to Work Out -- If you literally schedule work out time into your day, putting it on your computer/phone calendar with reminders and such, you will have a better chance at success.  Vague ambitions like planning to workout a couple times this week never seem to work for college students.  Sometimes it is a good idea to sign up for PE classes (not just because we need PE credits to graduate) but because it will make you feel like you have to go work out at a certain time every week.

  3. Get a Work Out Buddy (or Buddies) -- This has a few advantages.  1) For some exercises, like bench press, you can't really push yourself safely unless you have a spotter.  2) You can keep each other in check.  If you are feeling hung over or just lazy and don't want to work out, a call from your work out buddy saying, "Hey, let's go lift" can often provide the needed motivation to get off your ass.  3) Working out can be more fun with someone else, you don't have to trap yourself in the world of your iPod, you could always just act like a 13-year-old girl and gossip away while spotting your partner.

  4. Do Something Else While Working Out -- This is kind of the opposite of the tip above.  If you don't have a partner make use of your work out time by accomplishing something else while working out.  You can download podcasts, audiobooks, or just some music you have been dying to listen to and do that while working out.  Alternatively, you can literally read a book while doing cardio.  I always see people doing this stuff and while it doesn't work for me, maybe it will for you.

  5. Think About How Hot You Could Be -- Let's be honest, while we would all like to think we are just working out so we can be "healthier," most of us are doing it for aesthetic reasons.  That being said, when working out, I always think about how if I push myself for just a few minutes right now, I will be able to enjoy the results all week.  Think about it.  A few hours of lifting or cardio a week can translate into being able to enjoy looking hot 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  I even had a suite mate once that after every work out would stare at himself shirtless in the mirror for like 10 minutes as a "motivational reward."  While this was a bit egotistical, I think the attitude behind it is something that can be a good thing.

  6. Have Fun -- If you hate working out and do not enjoy it one bit, do a different work out.  At least for me, there are certain types of work outs that I genuinely enjoy doing and hopefully if you look around you can find those for you too.  If you hate running or using that cross-training machine, try swimming laps.  If you hate the lat pull down machine in Ducey, look for another one, or look up other exercises online that workout the same muscles.  You get the idea.  If you hate doing "work outs" then figure out other physical activities that you do enjoy.  Maybe you can join the Rugby team or the Lacrosse team (most club sports will take people that have never played before) or just get some friends together for a pick up basketball or soccer game.  Finally, one other thing that some people enjoy is setting goals for themselves.  For some people that can be depressing when you don't reach them or when you constantly fall off the wagon and stop working out (like I do), but for others it can be fun and motivational.

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