The gym is home to many different experiences. When you go there, you have probably sparked quite a few questions regarding the bizarre things you have witnessed. Maybe you even had some questions regarding yourself. Either way, there is usually an answer and reasoning to any of these questions that will hopefully make more sense of what is actually happening at the gym.

1) Why isn't anyone else sweating?

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Caroline Ingalls

Ever wonder how some people still haven't broken a sweat while you're already drenched during your routine cycling class? Sweating is the body's way of cooling itself off. When your body heats up, your sweat glands begin to release fluids which evaporate into the air and cools yourself down. Gender, hydration, intensity, body fat, and fitness level can influence how much you sweat. Men tend to sweat more than women. Having a higher body fat percentage or performing a higher intensity workout will cause the body to work harder, producing more sweat. Sweating is also a sign you're in shape. As you get more fit, your body becomes more efficient at sweating. It will start to sweat more, sooner, in order to cool you down and enable your workout to last longer. Hydration also plays a role in how much you sweat. When you don't hydrate yourself properly, you don't enough fluid to sweat.

2) What are those fancy belts and gadgets for?

If you belong to a gym where there are squat racks and specific areas for powerlifting, then you've probably seen someone sporting a big, clunky-looking belt around their waist, knee brace- looking things, and/or wrist wraps at some point. But what do they do?  Most times, weightlifting belts are used to help generate more force in order to lift a heavier weight. Others believe that wearing a belt will help prevent injuries. However, studies have shown that belts may not reduce injuries or back pain. As for knee sleeves and wrist straps, knee sleeves are used to prevent future injuries from all the strain and stress of heavy lifting while wrist straps are used to help you hold a stronger grip so you can train more frequently with more weight and repetitions.

3) What are people using chalk for?

At some point, you may have found yourself with white chalk all over your hands and shirt while at the gym. Although many gyms do not allow the use of chalk due to the dusty mess it can create, chalk is primarily used for getting a better grip. When your palms sweat, there is a good chance that you will loose your grip before hitting your maximum amount of repetitions. By rubbing chalk on your hands, it will absorb the sweat which allows you to maintain a good grip. Unlike wrist straps which can stunt the development of the forearm muscles, chalk helps accelerate the grip and forearm strength and development while also preventing blisters and tears of the hand. 

4) What is foam rolling?

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Mairen Hilary

Foam rolling is predominately a method of self-massaging that is done before or after your workout. By applying pressure to specific parts of your body, the compression will relax tight muscles, improve circulation, and heighten tissue integrity. Although it is most commonly used to relieve soreness and tension and to speed recovery, it can also be used for improving balance and flexibility, and strengthening your core. 

5) What should I eat after my workout?

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Briana Walsh

Post-workout nutrition is just important as pre-workout nutrition when it comes to yielding the best results from your workout. When you are at the gym and working out, you use a lot of energy in order to fuel your workout. You want to make sure you replenish your glycogen stores, aid protein synthesis, decrease muscle protein breakdown, and improve recovery through proper foods containing both protein and carbohydrates. Good post-workout meals include: chocolate milk, grilled chicken and veggies, plain greek yogurt with fruit, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on whole wheat bread, or a homemade stir-fry featuring rice, veggies, and a lean protein or tofu.


Taylor Kozloski

The gym is definitely an interesting place to go to. There is almost a guarantee that you will encounter something that you have never seen before while there. Whether it be learning about new equipment, new workouts or proper recovery, this new knowledge will surely answer those questions and can definitely be used for your future kick-ass workout.