All worked up over working out

Like many people, when the new gym opened last semester, I was beyond excited. I couldn’t wait to use the new equipment, the machines, and my favorite part — the fitness classes!

The gym opened and things were going great; I was working out every day and I was all around a pretty happy person. But then, bureaucracy happens. Someone at the top of the food chain decided to ban tank tops. Why ban tank tops? I honestly don’t understand. How is wearing a tank top causing harm?

Are tank tops really increasing the spread of germs? Graphic by Katie Gibson
Are tank tops really increasing the spread of germs? Graphic by Katie Gibson

At first, I was totally one of those people who thought, “It’s not a big deal. We can only wear t-shirts now and that’s fine.” But eventually, it really started to bother me. It gets really hot under a t-shirt and wearing tank tops is the norm for high energy fitness exercise classes, or just exercising in general. The tank top is the preferred design by most fitness apparel companies, especially for women.

It’s my understanding that the reason why we have this new rule about no tank-tops is to prevent the spread of staph infections. I feel like this rule would not be a problem if there were multiple cases of staph infections happening at Radford due to there being tank tops worn at the gym instead of t-shirts. I learned that being in humid areas where there is a lot of sweating, or where people touch the same thing contributes to the possibility of a staph infection breaking out. I can understand the worry of a staph infection because of those few facts, but then I believe since we’re supposed to wipe down the machines after every use, that should reduce the problem of a staph infection breaking out. So yes, those are all valid reasons to ban tank tops if there were issues of staph infection breakouts in the past.

Personally, being a college student, I like to save my t-shirts for my lazy days (everyday) to lounge around and not have to put any actual effort into what I wear to class. But now I have to pack double the t-shirts I would normally pack so I can have my t-shirts I wear to class and those I wear to the gym. I know I can’t be the only one who feels this way. Who else disagrees with the tank top ban at the gym?