Consistent Habits Increase Students Personal Fitness Success

Isaiah Manning, Staff Writer

Alexander Walker, 10, does a hang clean in the weight room during summer strength and conditioning. According to Childhood Obesity, only 23.2% of high school students are physically active for at least 60 minutes a day. (Photo by Caroline Schlieker)

12:30 pm. As third period ends, Senior Ykciam Matias packs his things into his Nike backpack and prepares to go to 24 Hour Fitness for his fifth straight day this week. “Consistency is key,” he says to himself as he gets ready for the first set of his workout.

“I started getting influenced [to work out] by seeing a lot of people online getting big and how simple the process seemed,” Matias said. “It made me realize that I can get really strong if I stay consistent.”

Consistency can be the hardest part of staying fit for many people. According to Childhood Obesity, only 23.2% of high school students are physically active for at least 60 minutes a day. This has led to an increase in adult obesity, which is now at 41.9% compared to 30.5% in the year 2000.

Staying consistent is one of the most important aspects of personal fitness for Matias. He works out daily, and is working on inspiring others to do the same through social media. With multiple videos on his Tik Tok account (@ykciam) above 100,000 views, he’s on track to continue to help people create their fitness identity.

“My goal is to get a big enough audience on social media to be an influencer,” Matias said. “Then I can teach people how to properly workout and make gains the right way.”

Another fundamental aspect of fitness and lifting weights more specifically is doing it the right way. Maintaining proper form is crucial to working out and can make all the difference between seeing the results wanted and not seeing any at all.

“If workouts are performed incorrectly you won’t get the preferred results,” Matias said. “Having good form not only protects you from injuries, but it also increases the chances of hypertrophy.”

Hypertrophy, in more simple terms, it’s the most efficient way to grow muscles. Matias, alongside many other gym regulars, work towards an ideal physique, which comes from consistent hypertrophy.

Alongside getting stronger and having bigger muscles, people workout for optimal performance in their sport. Senior cheerleader, Jessica Aldridge, works out so she can achieve her goals after high school.

“I want to be a cheerleader at the University of Arkansas,” Aldridge said. “I’m motivated by getting better for college, and I know that I have to work out to get to that level.”

Participating in college sports is already very hard to achieve, with only 7.5% of athletes who compete in high school sports making a college roster. Being familiar with more workouts can give athletes an advantage over the many other players they are competing with for these coveted roster spots.

“I like to use the StairMaster machine and do leg curls,” Aldridge said. “I didn’t do these before but some of the cheerleaders I know in college said being used to it would help make my transition to college easier.”

Working out on their own can help make the major changes and transitions in athletes’ lives and bodies easier. Matias feels that the habits he’s developing now will stick with him throughout the rest of his life, even when he no longer participates in sports.

“Working out right now has made me very disciplined, no matter how I feel I still find a way to go to the gym,” Matias said. “I don’t think that’s ever going to change.”