When to gym, or not to gym

Did I break a sweat? Did I sweat too much?

“It’s 5 o’clock in the morning, conversation got boring, you said you’re going to bed soon, so I snuck off to the bedroom.” Why does Lily Allen get to hit the sack and I don’t? Sleeping (anywhere) at 5 am is only for the weak. Here at Yale, we like tradition, and we also like to compete for everything. In combination, during midterm week, the competition is no longer about who can chug the most during the weekend, who can eat the most wenzels, or who can survive the most frat parties, but about who can pull the most all-nighters.

Exhaustion, frustration, anger and a horrifying inability to stop eating are just some of the things that I experience during the days that precede mid-term exams; this usually makes my friends think I’m on some sort of constant PMS that just does not end. So what do I do? Following the patient and somewhat frightened advice of my roommate, I decided to go exercise. More endorphins, less caffeine, YEAH!

But how can we find the time during these hectic weeks? As a sign of too much time reading Yale memes and too little time enforcing self-control, I say, “One does not simply go exercise at anytime.” The amount of people in the gym has to be perfect; not too many, not too few. So what is this perfect time?

If you’re planning to be really hard core, or at least pretend you are, it’s best to go early in the morning before most of Yale wakes. Wear your most flattering workout clothes (do they even exist?) and start doing some serious stretching. This is the best time to listen to some really intense music, look like you know what you’re doing with those machines and to stop being afraid of looking completely unattractive. Au contraire, people around you will respect you for that hard earned sweat (if it isn’t happening, water drops are always a believable way of faking it). When you go early, you’ll look around yourself and hope that everyone is impressed by your dedication. You woke up at 7 a.m. to come here; your life is so hard.

All other times of the day till 9p.m. could be considered the twilight zone between the two exercise stratas. On lucky days, you’ll see a few people in the gym around 5 p.m. but it’s more likely that your fellow exercise buffs are going to be in class studying, like you should be. But if you really do insist on not going to class, I’d suggest a brisk walk to get some froyo instead. Walking + dessert that’s actually yogurt but is still dessert = win-win situation.

Now, if you don’t want to be working out in the morning, I would go around 9p.m. Now this is when all the excitement occurs. Have you been meaning to catch the eye of that cute girl in your college, or been staring at someone’s sculpted behind? Chances are, you’ll be able to find them in the gym around this time, exercising with everyone who’s too dedicated, but too lazy to wake up in the morning for it. If you want to attract some attention to yourself or have a breathless conversation with that athletic senior, now’s the time to do it. Just make sure you don’t break into a sweat; that would just ruin the last hour you spent looking good. Also, fight dirty or you’ll never snag a treadmill. “The wait time for cardio machines is too damn high!” Yale memes have never been truer.

But if, instead, you get too sweaty, feel uncomfortable having your body fat jiggle in front of other people, enjoy blasting your loud music in a room that’s all to yourself, or just “prefer” to be alone, the best time for you to go is 1a.m. or later. The gym is deserted except for that awkward freshman and you’re free to play any music you want. Out. Loud. More so, no one gets to see your look like an Oompa Loompa and you can fake that 3 mile run the next day (when it really was just half a mile).

Personally, I like to go at 1a.m.. No one makes fun of me watching Gossip Girl, and no one’s there to watch my fall from grace as I “do” some leg-raise crunches. As for you, I don’t know when you choose to hit the machines, but if you do so at all, I just have one thing to say: Respect.

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