McKinley Tigers Hit the Gym

Chloe Cunningham and Jacky Oasay

Senior Allen Reyes curling 60 pounds at 24 Hour Fitness. (By Louie James Magcalas)

*This article placed 2nd in Multimedia Story Presentatino in the 2023 Hawaii High School Journalism Awards.

Sweat drips down your forehead as you clench your entire body, benching 245 pounds off of your chest. The people around you are yelling to motivate you as dopamine streaks through your veins popping out of your arms and neck. You smell your hands afterward and it reeks of metal. The sweat escapes your pores as a sigh escapes from your lips. You feel great, but you know there’s more weight and pressure to add on.

Working out is a practice that trains the body to strengthen its endurance, ability, and sustainability. McKinley High School students need one credit of PE to graduate. Physical Education is an important skill for people to live healthy lifestyles. 

According to the CDC, one in five children in America has obesity. Meanwhile, two out of three adults in America are obese. These statistics are alarming and prove the importance of physical education, especially when growing up.

“I think everybody should work out in some form or fashion. It’s good for not only physical health, but also mental, social, and emotional health,” athletic director Bob Morikuni said.

The Pinion sent out a poll asking about the gym experience. Out of 240 responses, 148 people said that they work out. Of those people, 24% work out about 3 or more times a week. 22.5% work out at a gym and 24% weightlift. 

McKinley is filled with various sports like tennis, swimming, basketball, etc. Taking into consideration those who do sports and the statistics of the poll, those who do these sports are expected to work out 3 or more times a week. Therefore, that is why those who work out may not do it in a gym.

Working out and being fit has always been a part of people’s goals but studies show that 50% of gym members end up quitting in the first couple of weeks. They don’t see the results fast enough and eventually lose motivation. Senior Allen Reyes talked about his positive experiences when he first started going to the gym.

“When I first started going to the gym I ended up losing fifty pounds,” Reyes said

As people find comfort in being home and doing nothing, Reyes expressed his feelings towards finding comfort in working out at the gym.

“It’s like my comfort spot. If I feel down, I go to the gym,” Reyes said

Why is working out so popular among teenagers now? There is a lot of talk amongst teenage friend groups about how much they lift, how many push-ups they could do, how long they can plank, and overall how athletic they are. Although this friendly bickering and comparison may seem harmless, it could get toxic fast.

Something that is very common in physical-related recreational activities is competition. Band director, Joseph Nakamoto, expressed his feelings about the toxicity of competition in the gym. 

“Everybody is different and everybody is unique, so sometimes people can overthink it and say that they’ll never lift as much as that guy,” Nakamoto said.

This toxicity of comparison and competition could lead to faltering self-esteem issues and carelessness relating to working out. Morikuni mentioned that the negatives could be related to the lack of knowledge about working out.

“If you aren’t educated on what you want to do, you could start over-exerting yourself when working out,” Morikuni said. 

This downside can easily be avoided with good knowledge of working out and what your body needs. Morikuni suggested to those wanting to work out to talk to their doctor, make achievable goals, and make sure they’re on the right track.

“When you see your results, it strengthens you emotionally and socially, not only physically,” Morikuni said.