The War Waged by Weightlifters

Students from Aquinas are passionate about the rivalry between local gyms.

Kellen Hulla, Reporter

Over the last four years, Aquinas students have seen a major increase in the popularity of weightlifting. Every afternoon, dozens of students from each grade file into local gyms. Lifters from Aquinas have even gained a national reputation as seniors Sean Carroll and Austin Turner are both accomplished and highly ranked competitive lifters. The rivalry between gyms, also known as “The Gym Wars” has become a major talking point amongst seniors. 

Since the beginning of this trend, there has always been a competitive rivalry between the students at each gym. Most lifters from Aquinas work out at either Lifetime Fitness or Genesis Health Club. The gym at Blue Valley’s Hilltop campus was very popular among the class of 2022, but has since become a less popular choice. It’s not just about who can lift the most at each gym, but also about what equipment, amenities, and culture each gym has. For instance, Lifetime is more expensive than Genesis, but has very nice locker rooms and unique amenities, including a locker room and various fitness classes. Genesis offers a large array of benches and lifting machines, meaning that you will almost never have to wait for one. 

 According to senior David Nelson, “Nothing will ever beat the feeling of 1000 milligrams of caffeine, a fat whiff of smelling salts, and your buddies cheering you on for a deadlift max. There’s no better place to get this intense, amazing feeling than at the Genesis off of 103rd Street. While Lifetime may have all the flash and bling, Genesis is the epicenter of a true, diverse community.” David is very passionate about representing Genesis well and promoting a spirit of pride for his gym. 

When asked about his gym experience, senior Brooks Oddo said, “Lifetime promotes self-improvement and is full of absolute beasts. The people who go to the gyms define the culture. Genesis is full of a bunch of goobers, and I mean actual buffoons. Lifetime is full of people with self-respect and dedication. Another plus of Lifetime is how professional everyone is there. Every time I walk in, I see someone at the counter wearing a suit. If that doesn’t scream professional, I don’t know what does.” Brooks’ dedication to Lifetime is matched by all of his friends with whom he lifts there.