Students feel pressure to achieve ‘beach bod’

Elliott Miller
BYU student Alyssa Petty works out in a local gym. Students increasingly flock to the gym during the spring time in preparation for summer.

The popular phrase “sun’s out, guns out” takes on special meaning for Provo residents during the spring and summer.

Vasa Fitness, a popular Provo gym, experienced an increase in attendance during the spring and summer months due to the beach body season. Vasa employee Jake Stephens said a lot of members increase their attendance in the weeks leading up to summer because “they think they can get fit in just a few weeks.”

“At Vasa we want to promote a healthy lifestyle and achievement of long-term goals, not just a quick fix,” Stephens said.

Comparing summer and winter workouts, Stephens said there shouldn’t be a difference between the two. “You should always focus on all muscle groups so that you aren’t disproportionate and work on each group at least once a week.”

Stephens also mentioned that workouts differ depending on personal experience with the gym and exercise. For example, he said, girls usually focus on different muscle groups than guys.

Ren Hansen, a junior studying supply chain, admits that although he attends the gym frequently throughout the year, his workouts change in preparation for summer starting around March.

“I am confident with myself and don’t feel pressure to get a beach body, but I still focus a lot more on my chest, abs and arms before and during the summer,” Hansen said. He also said he preps for summer by eating a lot before working out to “get big.”

Personal fitness trainer Joe Feinauer, interning at BYU, said spring is the second-busiest time for personal trainers, following closely behind those making New Year’s resolutions (whose attendance usually drops off after only a few weeks). “It seems like everyone has a goal to lose weight and be slimmer for the summer,” Feinauer said.

Feinauer added that this rush to get fit is not effective. He said it is good to work out, but it is best to commit to a consistent, healthy lifestyle rather than try to hurry and get slim for summer.

He also said the personal training services at BYU combine nutrition and exercise plans to ensure participants are receiving assistance and information about all aspects of physical health, not just working out.

BYU’s student fitness center is open during spring and summer terms for no fee to students who are taking at least six credits. To part-time students taking fewer credits, the facility is available for a fee of $22.50 a term or $45 a semester. The personal training services offered by the facility are also free for students.

For more information about BYU’s fitness center, visit

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