You don’t have to be a jock to hit the gym

Answering a common misconception about weightlifting with a rather simple answer.


Photo of Jackson Nealis 23′ doing a concentration curl (Joshua Sket)

Joshua Sket, Staff Writer

For many, a weightlifting gym can be an intimidating place to be, but for some, it’s a second home. Like many others, I frequently spend hours in the gym every week, but a question is always brought up when talking about the gym: is it just for athletes? 

As a freshman, I entered high school feeling weak and skinny. I hardly participated in sports or other activities. I wanted to try out different sports, but I couldn’t build myself up to doing them. As I closed out my sophomore-year track and field season, I finished with times I wasn’t proud of.

The idea that the gym is only for jocks is a misconception

— Josh Sket

During the fall of 2021, two of my closest friends, Matthew Talbot and Bryce Griggs, introduced me to the gym. I was not playing any fall or winter sports, so I spent time in the gym learning to grow and train my muscles every day. After starting out skinny and weak, the gym pushed my body to grow and become stronger, healthier, and happier.

The idea that the gym is only for people participating in sports or who are jocks or who already have prior experience is a misconception. Many high schoolers feel that they can’t go to the gym. They think it’s not beneficial because they aren’t active in sports. The gym is home to athletes and people geared toward staying physically active, so others need not apply.  But this couldn’t be further from the truth.

Much like going to school to enrich your mind with education, going to the gym to build muscle is just as important. The average person needs to stay physically active to keep a well-balanced body, which transfers to life and wellness.

Senior Bryson Shrimplin discovered the importance of weightlifting and the gym from a young age. “I began going to the gym for personal fitness; I didn’t play any sports and was relatively skinny.” Shrimplin has been lifting weights for four years now and continues to compete on the weightlifting team. 

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle can lower the risk of serious illnesses (such as heart disease and diabetes), boost confidence, and improve academic achievement (such as heart disease and diabetes). Additionally, regular exercise can teach teenagers how to handle the daily problems they experience physically and emotionally.

To answer the question, you do not have to be an all-star athlete for the gym to benefit you. The gym is a fantastic way to stay physically active and have a balanced life. Whether you’re an athlete or want to keep physically active, the gym is home to thousands of people who want to stay healthy and happy.