Editor’s note: All illustrations by Daily Texan comics artist Andrew Craft.
The freshman 15, the somewhat arbitrarily measured amount of weight often gained by first-year college students, is the result of erratic scheduling of your meals, sleep and exercise. And although UT’s recreational sports facilities are numerous and free, finding time to break away from your late night studying session to fit in a good workout can prove challenging.
William Prescott, a certified personal trainer who previously worked with the Round Rock Express and who trains amateur and professional athletes, helped develop a workout routine that can be done at any time, anywhere — including cramped dorm rooms.
These exercises, or general strength exercises, all utilize your body weight to work multiple muscles and joints at the same time — all they require is a flat surface to perform them. And because they use your body as weight, they can be used to see results for novices and longtime athletes alike. In fact, Prescott has seen these routines used by UT track and field coaches.
Prescott said it would be good to start with three sets of five repetitions of each move two or three times a week. Increase the number of sets and repetitions as you become stronger, and after about a month, change your routine. The Internet is rife with options.
Assume a prone position with your feet together, arms shoulder-width apart and your palms face down. Using your arms, raise your body until your arms are fully extended, making sure to keep your body in a straight line. Breathing in, lower your torso to the ground until your elbows form a 90-degree angle. Then push against the floor to the raised position, breathing out as you push.
Laying on your back, raise your legs and bend your knees to form a 90-degree angle. With your hands holding your head and your fingers just behind your ears, lift your head until your shoulders are off the floor. In as fast a motion as possible, lift and turn your right elbow to touch the inside of your left knee. Alternate between shoulders and elbows until complete.
Assume a prone position with your feet together and your body weight resting on your forearms. With your body raised, lift one leg until the bottom of your foot is parallel with the ceiling. Alternate between legs until complete.
Stand with your feet flat on the floor, about shoulder-width apart. Place your hands behind your head, your fingers just behind your ears. In one continuous motion, lower your hips until your knees form a 90-degree angle, making sure to keep your torso straight throughout.