T Nation

Working Out At College

I am leaving for college in a week. They have a great gym with lots of free weights. Since mostly girls work out there only the treadmills and stair masters are always taken. There are not too many guys hogging the weights.

I just wanted to know how any college students here balanced working out, studying, holding a job, and socializing?

When I get stressed the exercise and healthy eating is usually the first thing to go out the window. I called my roomate and she is a workout fanatic so maybe we could go workout together? I just don’t want to do what I did last year and quit.

Tiffy-

You better be going to USF because there aren’t too many T-vixens in this neck of the woods…

The best advice I can give you is to evaluate who you hang out with. Don’t allow other people to dictate your life and pull you away from working out and eating healthy. Yes, you’re in college and you’re going to have the time of your life but don’t go hog wild on beer, pizza, and ramon noodles. Spend any extra money on multi-vitamins and other various supplements.

Finally, if you’re going out anywhere, do some pre drinking because at 6 bucks for a weak drink, that shit adds up fast… real fast… Captain and diet coke has been a favorite of mine for some time now… :o)

Anyhow, good luck in school and stay focused!
T-M@tt

I’m lucky to have access to a decent gym at my college as well. What I usually do is go to class- go to work- go to the library- go to the gym. By hitting things in this order (if your work schedule allows it) allows me to keep my priorities straight and encourages me to go to the library to study because I live off campus. Its better to miss a training session then not study enough so this works well for me. Also by going to the gym later I’m less likely to run into a bunch of idiots. Also I would not plan bench or arm work in the early part of the week because this is when all the frat boys are training.

For me working out at college is part of my routine, kinda like studying and socializing with the frat brothers. I learned good time management from my training in the Corps, so I just make a schedule and block out times for PT. I also work and study my ass off. I am also involved on campus, so it can be done. Just be ready to sacrifice sometimes… hope that helps

You’ll probably find that everything is busy from 5pm to 8pm. I mean everything, from the lib to the gym to the liquor store.
That is time to eat/study. There are always spaces in the lib if you look hard enough, but be aware that the lib can be more social than any gym or bar. But as mentioned, early in the week the knuckleheads come out in droves, especially during these times.
Effective for me has been midday workouts during breaks from class early in the week, late night (9-1030pm) workouts later in the week (just before working at a bar), and lifting a hard day saturday. If you count saturday as the first day of your cycle, it works pretty well.

And don’t be afraid to miss a lift now and then. everyone needs time to chill.

And I must add that I never though Captain would be mentioned here.

Just remember that working out takes only about an hour, which is so short. So much time is spent worrying about it when you have a big assignment, that before you know it you could have gone to the gym. An above poster was right, 5 to 8 at night is very, very crowded in the gym. I used to lift from 9-10 at night, but it screwed up my whole schedule. Then I started being an uncertified personal trainer for someone and he wanted to lift at 2, right after class. I started lifting then and I had so much more time and felt so much better about myself.

Don’t buy crap food. If tuna and whole wheat bread are all you’ve got in the fridge, it’s tough to eat poorly.

Lifting doesn’t occupy more than four hours a week. If you care about it, you’ll squeeze it in.

That said, this is college. Have some fun.

DI

I’m not sure where you’re off to but I can give you the rundown on the SWRC at UF. Stay away from around 4pm-9/10pm and you should be ok. Also the two weeks before spring break are horrendously crowded all day long except for the early morning b/c people somehow think they’re going to change their body in 2 weeks.

I found the best way for me to balance lifting and college was to lift early in the morning (8am) since all my classes were in the afternoon. You may not be able to manage this schedule if you’re a freshman since you won’t have as much flexibility in scheduling your classes b/c you register last. Also, go out and have fun, but just watch what you do. I’ve been at two different univeristies and it’s definately easy to find a party almost any night of the week if you want…don’t get sucked into that. I’d say just try to keep a balance. If you want to go out and drink once a week do so, but make sure your meals the rest of the week are dialed in. If your friends aren’t cool with your dedication then find new ones. I found it was pretty easy b/c I’d volunteer to be the designated driver when I didn’t want to drink and everyone else was happy to accept that.

I will admit freshman year I went quite a bit overboard, but I don’t think it’s all that unusual.

  1. Schedule your workout time like you would schedule a class.

  2. Schedule your meals and if you need to bring them with you, buy some cheap tupperware and bring them.

  3. Don’t keep crappy food around. Your kitchen is your temple. Don’t fill it with shit. It’s better to throw out the 3 AM drunk munchie pizza leftovers than slowly eat away at it all day Sunday. Of course it’s better to not have it in the first place, but you already knew that.

  4. If you want to be wildly successful in your training, prioritize 1, 2, and 3 above everything else.

  5. Surround yourself with people that have similar priorities and interests.

  6. Reading material:

School Days part I
http://www.t-nation.com/readTopic.do?id=460575

School Days part II
http://www.t-nation.com/readTopic.do?id=459620

Diet Planning for the Long Haul
http://www.t-nation.com/readTopic.do?id=459373

PM me if you need any more help. I’ve been doing the college/training thing for 3 years.

RIT Jared

I find that working in a schedule to lift has in on and off times. Certain semesters you will have a pretty easy/light course load and will be able to focus more time on the gym, other semesters you won’t. But that’s part of building a solid workout is being able to adapt to different time restraints. Set a regimen that you’d like to follow and try to stick to it, but if you miss a day occassionally, don’t stress over it.

Also, I find that when I get stressed from classes and work and everything, going to the gym helps relieve it all. Just a place to escape and clear up your head. Plus the work-out high and endorphins help out too.

When you work out during the day all depends on your class schedule and how crowded the gym gets. As many people have already said, the gym normally gets packed right around 4-7. The gym here at UCF in orlando is great, but you gotta deal w/ the standard “frat boy” workout groups right around that time. Just check out what the gym is like at certain hours on certain days and you’ll be able to fit in a good routine.

Don’t worry, you’ll be fine. I don’t know about too many other schools, but here at Penn State, we’re always a top 5 party school. I’ve been the social chairman of my fraternity for a year, hold a 3.2 GPA in my major, have a weekly radio show, work for the school’s housing office, and hold 2 gym records.

Just don’t let anything derail all of your hard work and progress. Always remember, you are who you roll with. Your roommate sounds like someone that can help you stay on track.

Best wishes,
Vitamin Tizzle

When I was in College I was draggin ass in the afternoon. So I made a radical shift that worked great and has carried over really well into the “real” world of having a Job. 5 - 6 AM, crack ass of dawn. Getting up that early hurts at first but it does several things:

a) Forces you to get to bed earlier.
b) Other activities, esp. the spur of the moment stuff that happens in college, you can do because it won’t conflict.
c) Helps get your disipline higher.
d) Helps you be awake for those early 8 and 9 o clock classes.

Do that for a couple of years while in college and then when you get a job, your body is already in the habit.

The same challenge exists for all sorts of people Tiffy. Whether they are students or not, when life gets busy and stress levels climb, consistent training and good nutrition seem to fall by the wayside for a lot of folks. The irony is that it’s during those periods in our lives that we can benefit most from regular strenuous exercise and proper feeding to help us manage the stress, and stay alert, productive and healthy.

No one is immune to this either. Even among those of us who work in the fitness industry, it takes dedication and hard work to stay on track when things get hectic. I cannot even begin to tell you how many times I’ve seen it happen over the years. It may seem strange that it should be a problem for trainers, who spend the majority of their time at a fitness facility working with clients on their nutrition and exercise programs; but the first thing that usually suffers when a new trainer begins to get busy, is their own training and diet. It can be very challenging to find the time and motivation to prepare your food and train consistently when you arrive at the gym at 5:00 or 6:00am each day, and sometimes don’t finish with your last client until 8:00 or 9:00pm. A lot of trainers also find that the last thing they want to do after working at a gym all day long is venture out on the floor to do their own training. In any event, my point is that everyone has to work at staying on track during busy times.

Good nutrition is something you really do just have to commit to doing, no matter what; and although it sounds almost too simple, one of the best answers I’ve ever found is to simply not allow yourself to walk out of a store with food you don’t want to be eating in the first place. It all starts there; if you don’t have crap in your cupboards in the first place, then you can’t eat it. If you can manage that, and compliment it by setting a strict limit on how often you allow yourself to eat food you haven’t prepared for yourself; then you will find it a lot easier to stick to your plan.

You should also make sure you plan specific times every week to shop for groceries so you will have the food you need on hand; and prepare as much of your food as possible in advance and package it up. That way it’s there and all you have to do is grab it on your way out the door each day. If you have the right food with you at the start of the day, you are far more likely to stay on track, and will not have an excuse for eating out.

Making sure you are training consistently and hard is also one the best ways to support your efforts at good nutrition. If you are not eating well, it will definitely begin to show in your training before long. If you can make the connection in your mind between your nutrition and how effectively you are able to train, and then begin to eat with productive workouts in mind, you have another good motivator to keep you in line.

As for making sure you get to the gym, the single best strategy I have ever found is the very one you have already thought of; to get yourself a committed training partner. You are far less likely to blow off a scheduled session if you know there is going to be someone waiting for you at the gym.

A training partner can also help with your nutrition as well. If you make yourself accountable to your partner, and make a habit of discussing what you ate between workouts, you are more likely to stay on track; if for no other reason than to avoid having to confess to someone else that you failed to stick to your plan.

I hope this helps.

Thanks for the replies. And yes T-Matt I am going to USF so I’d better see you in the gym!

At the USF gym? HAHA… I train at Powerhouse on Florida and Fletcher, a REAL gym… lol… and Velocity Sports Performance (start there on Monday). If I do ever decide to workout there you’ll be seeing some hot guy doing snatches and power cleans, so come over and say hey!

I better see YOU around and let’s keep you away from that Freshman 15 virus that’s DEFINITELY going around campus… haha… AOP’s… Army of pigs… haha…
See you around Tiffy,

T-M@tt

Hmmmm…Powerhouse gym. Never heard of it. Is it coed?

Yes, Powerhouse gym is coed. It’s a local family owned gym. It is by far the most hardcore gym in this area. Everyone in there is like a family but when it’s time to work out all the laughter, fun, and games stop. There are very few girls that do actually train in there but the ones who do are definitely T-vixens. I actually saw one last week doing the Meltdown I workout plan but she was so damn close to puking I decided not to ask her if she’s a regular at T-nation or just got the workout from someone else.

Nehow, hopefully we’ll see you around. And yes, I’m off to another night at the Hard Rock Casino to play some Hold 'Em… Last night I won a $80 hand with 4,3 off suited with a full house on the flop!
T-M@tt

How much do the memberships run and what would be the advantages of working out at powerhouse vs USF’s free gym?