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Ditch the Bro-Infested Rec For Good

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at KU chapter.

You finally get the motivation to workout. You put down that bag of Oreos, turn off Netflix and get out from under the cocoon you made for yourself in your bed. You slowly walk up the steps to the Rec center, wondering why you even left your bed in the first place. Your bed loves you. The gym on the other hand, well, it’s a love-hate relationship. You pull open the doors while scrolling through Twitter on your phone and it hits you. No, not the door. You run straight into the person in front of you. Barely a step inside and there is a line of people to the door.  

After the long line of swiping IDs, you finally make it through the gate and head downstairs to the locker room only to find every locker taken and girls running around in packs. Your luck seems to come in handy when you finally find an open locker upstairs, but it slowly fades when treadmill after treadmill and elliptical after elliptical house sorority girl after sorority girl.

Not sure what else to do, you walk aimlessly around, somehow making your way into the weight room where the rush of bro tanks, loud grunts and B.O. swirl around you. Yeah, no thanks man, you say to yourself as you quickly pivot and make your way out of the bro-infested weight room. Treadmills and ellipticals? Taken. Weight room? Gross. Weighted machines? Taken. Well, looks like it’s back to your fort under the covers with a nice episode of “American Horror Story.” Maybe you’ll work in a little cardio jumping from the scary scenes.

Sound familiar? The Rec: a place where bros go in tank tops that barely cover their chest, every machine is taken and has a line of people waiting, and the best times to go are early in the morning or late at night. Although the convenience and cost of the Rec are in your favor, the frustration of a packed gym is doing nothing for your body. So, ladies, get your motivation in gear and ditch the Rec.

Enter The Summit: a place where treadmills are always open, the only line is people in the boxing class running stairs and the saunas are always ready for a burn. Located off 9th and New Hampshire, The Summit is a lively gym that people of all ages call home. Only two years old, this gym incorporates personal training, massages, group training classes and solo training into one.

Wanting to get out of my typical routine, I decided to test my punching skills at one of The Summit’s boxing classes. Knowing it was taught by a police officer, I knew my body was in for a rude awakening. My anxiety levels sky-rocketed as the clock slowly got closer and closer to 8:30 on Saturday morning. Not knowing who was going to be in the class, their skill level or really what to expect at all, I thought of all the worse things possible that can happen.

I walked into the boxing room and to my surprise was greeted by a room filled with a wide variety of people, some younger than me, some a little older and some who were in there 60s. The room was filled with punching bags, music blasting and a boxing ring. My anxiety quickly turned to excitement at the thought of kicking my butt in this boxing class. Intervals of bag punching, running stairs, lunges, abs and boxing the instructor in the ring filled the full hour of class. My heart was racing, but this time in a good way. During all of my workouts I wear a heart rate monitor watch to track my calories burned through exercise. At the end of my workout, to my surprise, it read that I had burned 952 calories in an hour. That’s almost 16 calories a minute! I’m sure pacing the gym at the Rec waiting for a machine to open won’t get you those results.

Along with the crazy amount of calories being burned in just one hour, there are many other benefits of boxing. One of the most important benefits is body confusion. If you stick to a strict routine of running so many miles a day or lifting the same amount of weight, your body gets used to these workouts and it makes it harder for your body to change. By adding a new workout into your routine, like boxing, your body will be confused and, in turn, respond better to these changes.

Another big benefit of boxing is that it’s a huge stress relief. Whether you’re having a fight with your best friend, just failed a test  or stressed about all the work you have to do, hitting a bag is a sure fire way to let that anger out. With boxing, there is always something new to learn, so focusing all your energy on learning the technique will make it easier to forget about those worries- for an hour at least. Along with these benefits comes increased self-esteem, learned humility, mental strength and being an overall better athlete.

The Summit also offers many other classes, from kickboxing, to cardio resistance training to jump training to rock climbing. When you’re done tearing your body apart, which I know sound brutal but your body will love it, ease the pain with a relaxing sauna session, post workout shake or Questbar. Since it is a smaller gym, the staff at The Summit gets to know each and every person individually, not just a swipe of an ID. A gym can be a scary place and the staff at The Summit prides themselves in making the gym as comfortable as your home. No matter your goals, your age or how often you work out, they are willing to help in any way possible. Now, I’m not saying drop your ties with the Rec and run to The Summit (OK maybe I am) but you’ll never have to wait in a line full of bros again and that, to me, is motivation all in itself.