By Cybele Sack
Frustrated with long line ups at campus hot spots? Well, the gym isn’t any better.
Since the beginning of the new year, the Ryers14on Athletic Centre has been rammed with Resolutionists trying to work off those holiday pounds.
According to Leona Mouliakis, RAC customer services coordinator, 500 new memberships were sold in the first three days since the gym reopened on Jan. 5.
RAC marketing and communications manager Jane Brown added that January is the second busiest month for membership sales after September.
But Nino Robles, fitness centre coordinator, says January is even busier than September in the weight room.
“January is the busiest time of the year because you have new year resolutionists working off goodies and turkey from the holidays,” says Robles.
“Those who make it through the first two weeks of the semester generally stick [to their workout routine], but then gym use generally goes back to the same number of people who were there in November,” says Brown.
Brown says that the students who keep going to the gym are usually self-motivated or have a workout buddy. She recommends intramural sport and fitness classes to help students feel committed to their teammates or class schedule. She added working out helps students sleep at night, reduce their level of stress, eat better and prevent disease.
Mouliakis says that another key to sticking to one’s gym routine is to set realistic goals instead of overly high expectations.
Currently, a personal trainer is available at the RAC for assessment or session packages. Robles encourages students to use this service to increase their cardio fitness, improve muscle tone and lose weight.
He says that students haven’t complained to him about the increase in enrollment in January but that “it might get a little annoying because it is busier and you might have to wait a little longer to use the same piece of equipment.”
Samuel Lam, 20, has been using the RAC since September 2002.
The second-year film student looks forward to the end of the month, when only the committed gym members remain.
“That is when the people that are focused come daily. There is just a better atmosphere when the new years resolution thing is over,” says Lam.
He uses the gym every day for about two to three hours per day. “This is my sanctuary,” adds Lam.
He uses the track and weight room and break dances in the gym’s studio with his friends.
“I come to the gym to vent out my stress and anger over schoolwork,” says Lam.
He adds that some people work out for the wrong reasons.
“Some people just want to work out to get big for appearance sake. For me, it just feels great. It’s an adrenaline rush. Working out is not for everyone. It depends on your mindset, what you want to get out of it,” he says.
First-year graphic communications management student Ben Brott uses the RAC about three times a week, running, lifting weights, and swimming for over an hour each time. He is happy to see more students trying the gym this month.
“They’re showing an interest in fitness,” says the 18-year-old.
He thinks students give up on their routine because they compare their weight and size to others.
“Don’t pay attention to the big guys here and get discouraged. Just be here for yourself.”
Anna Lee, 30, an alumni of the nutrition program at Ryerson has been using the gym for five years. She is frustrated by the surge in membership in January.
Zena Reslan, 23, a fourth-year interior design student at Ryerson, just signed up for a membership at the RAC to fulfill her new year’s resolution.
“I want to take care of my body now. Joining a gym is what would push me. It’s the motivation,” she says. Reslan plans to “do everything,” including weight and strength training and taking fitness classes.
The busiest time of the day at the RAC is from 12 noon to 1 p.m. and during dinner hours from 5 to 7 p.m. Brown encourages gym members to use their facilities from 6:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.