Students strive for spring break bodyBy Hannah Widener | 07/01/2014 8:23pm
While most students are giving up swearing, over-spending at Chipotle or drinking soda for Lent, Maddy Higgins is giving up meat to get spring–break ready. Higgins, a sophomore majoring in fashion retailing, first began her quest for the perfect bikini body at the beginning of the spring semester.
Higgins was unsure of her spring break plans, but only had one goal in mind: sporting a crop top by March 21. Now, she’s spending at least two hours in the gym every night, getting ready for after spring break, when students return and the pool is open.
“It is so hard to watch my friends eat meat in front of my face, especially the pizza because I used to eat pizza all the time last semester,” Higgins said. “I haven’t eaten pizza, Chick–Fil–A or any fast food this semester.”
Higgins isn’t the only one getting her body “spring break ready.” Ryan Missanelli, informal recreation coordinator, said that last February the Rec Center had 89,000 action card swipes over a 28 day period.
Courtney McAdams, a senior majoring in secondary education, said the earlier spring break is, the greater the overlap between New Year’s “resolutioners” and spring breakers.
“Honestly I have no idea where the whole concept of ‘Oh, if I work out in two weeks then I will see results’, [comes from]. It takes at least a month,” McAdams said. “Four weeks to see results within yourself, eight weeks for your friends to notice the result and 12 weeks for the world to notice.”
McAdams said she believes the worst mistakes a person can make when trying to get in shape for spring break are decisions such as not eating all day and then hopping onto the elliptical. The Rec’s center’s staff is trained to recognize the signs of over-exertion and to know when to step in if a student is about to pass out.
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Until March 21, the Rec Center is offering personal training sessions geared towards students getting “spring break ready.” Two partner sessions cost $58 and six partner sessions can cost up to $160. Missanelli said he believes that working out earlier in the semester will give students the bigger benefit.
“To get the best results, I would recommend coming in at the beginning of the semester,” Missanelli said. “In a short amount of time I can tell you the ways not to do it. Don’t starve yourself. You need that food to jump start your metabolism, and to do it short amount of time is just not a good idea. To try and force yourself into some kind of paradigm of what you want to look like in two weeks is just not possible,” Missanelli said.
Missanelli said he thinks people believe that tanning also fits into the ideal of the perfect body for college students. According to tantoday.com, tanning salons see more than a 53.73 percent increase in business during the months of March and April. However, business drops 38.8 percent in May.
Talia Broadus, a sophomore on the pre-med track, has been going to Planet Fitness to fulfill her tanning needs. Over-crowding has pushed her to go as late as 10 p.m. on weeknights.
“In the past three weeks, they’ve started this little tanning list. Sometimes when I go in I can’t do it immediately like I used to,” Broadus said. “I go about five times a week at Planet Fitness. The black card only costs $20 per month, and if you have the black card then you can go an unlimited amount of times.”
Between spring break preparation costs and the cost of accommodations, many students cannot afford to stay at a hotel for more than a few days. Students such as Mary Pulliam, a sophomore majoring in business, gather a large group of people to afford their stay.
“We are spending about $42 per person including the deposit fee so far, and then need extra money for food, gas and going out,” Pulliam said. “We are bringing 12 people and staying four nights and three days at Panama City Beach. It’s been hard having our friends complain about some places being too expensive or too small because everyone has such a low budget.”
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Pulliam will reacquire the deposit fee, which will lessen the costs, but for students such as Higgins the beach is not an option. Higgins said she will be camping during her spring break to save money. In the meantime, Higgins continues going to the gym for the perfect “spring break body.”
“I have seen a difference in my body since I started working out, and I just feel stronger and healthier,” Higgins said. “After spring break, I’m definitely going to be ready for the pool.”