I’m here to conduct an extensive investigation into one of the most troubling questions that has plagued society since the magical world of Harry Potter was first introduced to the world in 1997. I’m kept up at night pondering whether or not there was there or was there not a weight room within the great walls of Hogwarts.
This question first came into my head while watching The Sorcerer’s Stone, the first movie in the series. I was watching one of the early scenes where they sit down in the great hall and pig out on what looked to be the most delicious of banquet foods. My mind immediately thought “How is everyone at hogwarts not packing on the pounds if they always have such a large selection of food?” Then realized that there needed to be a gym of some sorts to help them burn off those calories from all the Cauldron Cakes, Chocolate Frogs, Every Flavor Jelly Beans, and Butter Beers.
Throughout the series, almost all of the cast kept the same slim body proportions, except for one Neville Longbottom. Sure, Hermione hit puberty, Harry can grow a mean beard, and Ron kinda looked like Ed Sheeran towards the end, but Neville was truly the only character that we saw bulk up, as seen below. But how was he able to do so?
Now we also have to consider the fact that there are sports teams at Hogwarts. They must have had some sort of place to train and prepare for competition. The only true sport that is ever seen throughout the movies and books is Quidditch, a sport where 14 players fly around on brooms throwing balls into hoops to score points. Since there are only 4 houses at Hogwarts ( Gryffindor, Slytherin, Hufflepuff, and Ravenclaw) that means that there would only be 56 student-athletes at a school with a student body of of “About a thousand,” which is according to an J.K. Rowling in a 2000 Interview. Now to have a gym for approximately 5.6% of your school’s population seems somewhat ridiculous. And you must also consider that quidditch doesn’t really require much muscle or athletic prowess to begin with, since player are sitting on a stick for 99.99% of the game (the other .01 is from when Harry stands up onto, then falls off his broom in the first film The Sorcerer’s Stone.) This then begs the question of whether or not quidditch players actually need to lift. And the answer, at least from my point of view is no. Why would you need to have a high endurance, low body fat, or big muscles for a sport that requires you to lift your arms up, and fly? Exactly, you don’t.
“But David, remember how physical the games got between Gryffindor and Slytherin?” Yes, I remember when the two slytherin players teamed up to beat down on Gryffindor captain Oliver Wood. And my response to such a whiny comment is this: half the sport of quidditch is just people buying or acquiring faster brooms, so if Oliver doesn’t want to get pummeled again, he should get a Nimbus 2000 like Harry.
The next thing that stuck out to me is the Room of Requirement. Which, according to HarryPotterwiki is a room located on the seventh floor of the castle. The room was used to hide the Half-Blood Prince’s textbook, used to let in Death Eater’s, and most notably used to train a fleet of young wizard’s who called themselves “Dumbledore’s Army.” Now, if any wizard or witch was in need of a quick jog, they could use the grounds around the castle to do so, but say they needed to get a quick pump in before the Yule Ball so that their guns would look good for their date, they could go to the Room of Requirement, and it would give them the proper equipment necessary to do so. I can see the bench, the squat rack, and several motivational posters around the room now. I see them plastered with phrases such as
“Never lift without your Harry Spotter”
“Go from Lord Voldemort to Lord Swoldemort”
“Do you even Leviosa?”
“Albus Dumbbelldore wants you to return your weights to the rack”
“Turn that Hufflepuff into Huffletough”
And an ad for “Brofessor Snape’s natural supplements”
I could go on and on with these, but I’ll save you some eye rolling. Now, it is obvious that the Room of Requirement could be used as a gym, but the real question is was it used as a gym?
It is clear the Neville was working out during his years at hogwarts, but we don’t know whether or not he did so over the summer when he was at home or at Hogwarts. The key to this question can be answered in Chapter 26 of the Half-Blood Prince titled The Cave.
“‘Then take off your Invisibility Cloak – there is no need for it now – and let us take the plunge.’ And with the sudden agility of a much younger man, Dumbledore slid from the boulder, landed in the sea, and began to swim, with a perfect breaststroke toward the dark slit in the rock face, his lit wand held in his teeth.”
This is the answer I had been searching for. If an old man like Dumbledore can swim through rocky waters with a perfect breaststroke, there is no doubt in my mind that the crusty old wizard had always been in the gym pumping iron. It also is the reason he is able to be up and about at such an old age too. And if an old wizard like him was in there, then I have to assume the younger wizards, who are clearly much more spry and energetic, would also be in the gym working out alongside him.
If you’re asking why I didn’t consider the fact that they could just use magic to burn off their muffin-tops, or give themselves bigger biceps, my answer is that there are still obese people in the school. For example: Crabbe and Goyle, are both depicted as somewhat chubby slytherin students. Now if spells existed that would allow the user to shed off a few pounds of fat, then these two, and others, probably would have used such spells to do so.
After days of conducting research, reading the books, reading through dozens of wikipedia pages and other related online articles, I have reached the conclusion that Yes, there is 100% a weight room within the castle of Hogwarts.