The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

EIU Weightlifting uplifts each other, newcomers

While working out and going to the gym can be intimidating, EIU Weightlifting has created a community dedicated to learning about self-improvement, the role weightlifting plays on overall health and how to properly use the gym as a resource regardless of experience level. 

The weightlifting group’s overall mission is “to create an atmosphere that promotes healthy living,” said Vice President Mikaela Inskeep. “We just want it to be open to anyone, whether you are super experienced or have never touched away before. Everyone’s super nice and wants to help each other, which is awesome because I feel like you don’t always have that,” Inskeep said. 

Mikaelia Inskeep, a senior physical therapy major, works out with other members of the organization in the weight room of Lantz. “I always say discipline over motivation” Mikaelia said about starting out and staying consistent in the gym. (Ashanti Thomas)

The reason the club was created was because Eastern did not have a weightlifting organization on campus.  

The group meets every other Friday this semester at 3 p.m. in the lobby of the Student Recreational Center. During the first 20 minutes of the lift, the group has a talk about topics like powerlifting, weightlifting, supplements, dietary things or topics brought up by members.

“It’s very like open form,” said EIU Lifts President Ryan Escudero. “Whoever wants to ask whatever questions they want or provide whatever information they have learned, that’s what it’s for.”

What makes this group so unique is its stride for inclusivity and a sense of community.

“I can see from the outside looking in how all of this here can be very intimidating when people have been lifting for a long time, but the thing is everyone including myself, is really willing to help because we know how beneficial it can be for anybody honestly,” said sophomore physical education major Chris Short. 

Being that there are people in the gym who are more experienced than others, that level of experience can come off as intimidating and scare off newcomers. The organization’s purpose is to use the knowledge of the more experienced members to assist those who are still learning the ropes while also creating a space for positivity, like-mindedness, and a place for everyone to fit in. 

Newcomer Cassius Burks expressed why he was able to let go of his original thoughts coming into the meeting after hearing what the organization had to say.

“I did have a stereotype that it was gonna be, you know, like a bunch of bodybuilders, so like seeing some people that, you know, look like me, it like, kind of calmed my nerves and I feel like I could really be at home at a place like this,” Burks said. 

At their first meeting of the year last Friday, the group started with a mission statement and what benefits come with the paid membership dues.

The latter portion of the presentation consisted of some of the board members taking the time to explain what certain equipment was called, what they were used for, and their function. Towards the end of the presentation, the president gave a short explanation of three types of lifts which included barbell squats, deadlifts, and barbell bench-press.

After the explanation which was accompanied by photos depicting proper form and technique the president proceeded to start the lift session and provided demonstrations and guidance for those who needed it. 

Kris Hanratanakool a nutrition dietetics graduate student, gets help from a spotter while weightlifting during an EIU Lifts meeting. (Ashanti Thomas)

Chass Cambel, a student recreation center general assistant shared his thoughts on what he hoped more people would do when they think about coming to the gym.

“I wish that people wouldn’t be as intimidated by the weight room,” Cambel said. “I feel like a lot of people get scared and intimidated when people are gonna judge them. While in contrary, I think at least all of us here want to push people to do better. We want them to strive into like being more healthy.” 

Financial planning major Elijah Buscher expressed the change in mindset he had to go through to get over the idea of being judged.

“I really think the biggest thing people are scared of is the judgment they’ll face in the gym,” Buscher said. “The only people who are gonna judge you are the people who are insecure in themselves in the gym…” Buscher said. That’s something I really think that I’ve learned is just like, like I’m in my own head. These people aren’t judging, they’re here to help ask questions, be open.” 

To get in contact with Eastern’s weightlifting group or the members of their executive board, they can be reached here. 



Alexis Moore-Jones can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].

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About the Contributors
Alexis Moore-Jones
Alexis Moore-Jones, Feature Reporter
Alexis Moore-Jones is a senior broadcast journalism major. This is her first year at The News.
Ashanti Thomas
Ashanti Thomas, Photographer
Ashanti Thomas is a senior digital media major. She previously served as photo editor and assistant photo editor at The News.

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