Short of time and money, many university students easily slip into unhealthy lifestyles. Their diets are based on cup noodles and ready-made microwave meals, along with fatty, salty and sugary food like fried chicken and beer. On top of unhealthy eating habits, students fail to exercise regularly, and the brief walks they take between classes become all the exercise they get. Others face excessive pressure to lose weight as the media acclaims the “beauty” of thin-framed celebrities.
“For us, being skinny isn’t the ideal. We view a muscular and healthy body as more beautiful.” Commented by TEAM LIFTERS, a fitness club in Hankuk University of Foreign Studies (HUFS), the club held the 30th bodybuilding competition called MR.HUFS on May 22. Ewha Voice introduces you to the health nuts, student bodybuilders, from Korea University, Yonsei University, and University of Seoul, HUFS who go through rigorous diet and exercise to keep their physique at their best.
Meet the student bodybuilders
Numerous universities have aspiring bodybuilders gathering together to better achieve their goal.
Established by Korea University students in 1937, POWER is the oldest weight-lifting club in the nation. What began as a weight-lifting club recently modified itself to a fitness club in step to the declining demand of weight-lifting, and rising popularity bodybuilding.
Similarly, Yonsei Fitness Club (YFC) started off in 1981 as a weight-lifting club. YFC’s goal is to build a healthy body and willpower through physical training. Their ideal physique aspires balance between the upper and lower half of the body, along with well-trained gluteus muscles.
YFC works out every Thursday on top of their group workout. The 53 members do separate workouts ranging from cycling to rock climbing. It is also one of the few bodybuilding clubs with a female president.
YFC hosted “Sinchon Fitness Festival” where they showed off their hard-earned physique on May 27 and participates in “Ms. and Mr. Yonsei ” held in November by Yonsei University.
Meanwhile, University of Seoul nurtures a bodybuilding club, The Artistic Body (TAB), consisted of students of Department of Sports Sciences.
“There is a stereotype that bodybuilders are all muscle and no brains, but I hope that such misconceptions can be broken,” said Lee Dong-wook, the treasurer of TAB.
Although TAB recently seated Kim Yon-sun as the first female vice president of the club, female members have only just begun increasing in the traditionally male-dominant club.
“Guys have male seniors to guide them but as there were even less female students last year, we don’t have female seniors guiding us,” Kim said. “Although we ended up following YouTube tutorials, we hope that the problem doesn’t repeat itself in the future as we now have some female juniors preparing bodybuilding competitions for the first time.”