Do You Even Lift, Bro?

Westmore students reveal the internal and external struggles of weight lifting


Emily Labeth

Working out at 10GYM, a local student hotspot for fitness, senior Ryan Bundy curls dumbbells.

Trying to get a summer body during the three months in spring is a struggle for most, but some students try and maintain a summer body year-round. Everyone has a different motivation while weightlifting. Some want to look like Dwayne Johnson, and others just want to be toned. But they all have one thing in common. They all want to become a better version of themselves, both physically and mentally. 

Thoughts around weight lifting have and will always be very controversial. Some students view it to be a socially acceptable form of torture. However, for people like freshman John-Austin Little, it is a therapeutic part of his daily regimen, even when it may be hard to find time to do what he loves because of golf and speech.

“I try to work out daily, but I spend nine hours a week on golf alone on top of debate; it’s more like every other day. It’s worth it because in the morning you get up and you’re so sore you can’t get up, but when you get that sore you know you pushed yourself, ” Little said. 

Hitting a new personal record (PR) is not the only challenge weight lifters run into. It can also be an internal hurdle they must get over.

 One thing Little struggled with when he started lifting was trying not to compare himself to others.

“It was hard staying positive. You have to focus on what you’re doing and not what other people are doing because you can get discouraged. My weight lifting partner does my PR for warm-ups, but I focus on my own gains,” Little said.

Although struggles around weight lifting differ for everyone. The trifles can be internal in addition to external. For junior Ruta Andrews, her conflict came from trying to find the motivation to work out. However, she pushed herself beyond her limits by thinking about her goals and the progress she has already made.

“Sometimes you’ll just get into a slump, but you just got to get yourself motivated to do it. My goal is to be able to bench 150 by the end of the year. At the beginning of the school year, I could barely do 45, and now I can bench 115 for reps,” Andrews said.

There are a multitude of misconceptions about weight lifting, but one of the most popular ones is that it solely improves your physical appearance. Avid weightlifters like senior Ryan Bundy prove this myth wrong because he believes that weight lifting helped mold and improve his mindset about himself as well as his physique.

“Mentally, I have noticed an increase in self-love and pride in who I am and the body I have,” Bundy said.

 This ties in with his motivation to work out. Unsatisfied with the way he looked and tired of others picking on him, he began lifting.

“My motivation is I just want to change my strength and size because I used to get made fun of from junior high to early high school since I wasn’t strong enough. I wasn’t strong in the weight room, and thinking about it pushes me to change and prove others wrong,” Bundy said.

Students start and continue weight lifting for various reasons. Overall, weight lifting helps improve not only one’s physical fitness but also one’s mental self-image.