Weighting for changes

Ify Anikamadu

As I look around my second period Weight Training class, I see on one side there are the fit athletes working hard to train for their respective sports.
Then I see the unmotivated students lifting 5-pound dumbbells, talking to their friends just trying to get repetitions in the short five minutes we are given at each station.
And I wondered: is this what this class is all about?
When I was in Weight Training last year, it was more individualized. The teacher would say, “Okay it’s a work day,” then the students would either work on strengthening their bodies to benefit their health or wander off and chat with friends.
I am in weight training again this year and the structure has changed drastically; the schedule is much more structured. Girls and guys work on upper body or lower body for the day and then rotate through five stations for five minutes each. Not only is this method repetitive and boring, who is the target for this new change?
The problem is that the new structure is diminishing the effects weight training has for the people who actually want to participate in the class.
“It is not a normal class where you are learning something uniform and everybody is doing something. It’s for what you need to work on to get better,” says senior Daryon Shariati.
For a soccer player, they would want to primarily focus on their lower body to improve their endurance and the power of their kicks. What use would it be if they wasted a day on the upper body when it is not being used most of the time? Absolutely none.
This is not only geared towards athletes. There are those people who want to work on their bodies just to stay in shape. More likely than not, these people already know what specific muscle and body part they want to work on, so spending five minutes on that does nothing beneficial for their bodies.
“Individualized allows me to do what I need to work on and structured only gets in the way of that,” said senior Roger Alvarado.
Plus, the teacher makes us students do the same routine every day and people like me get bored of it, so we don’t try, which results to lower grades and a lackluster attitude while weight lifting.
This is a lose-lose situation.
This new, structured format is targeted for the students who the individual workout period to did nothing.
“We gave them a little freedom and they didn’t use it very well so here, let’s use this way and get them in here,” says physical education teacher Mike Slattery.
But what weight training and physical education teachers fail to realize is that the students who never tried with the previous method will not dramatically start lifting weights because there are stations.
What I see is that they lift the lightest weight possible to get their repetitions completed and move onto the next station.
How does this make anything better when there is a simple way to not work just like last year?
The changes in weight training class should help people who actually want to work on their bodies for sports or their personal goals. This new method is sacrificing real benefits for the students who do not do anything.
This problem can be fixed. According to weight training teacher, John Hart, there needs to be different level of weight training which includes a beginner’s level for the freshman or underclassmen, then a moderate level for the normal student body, and lastly an advanced level for the athletes or the undeniably motivated.
Thankfully, this problem is getting fixed. The physical education department head, Jennifer Heuck, to present my concerns about the new structure of weight training, she told me that that there will be different levels of weight training like the advanced level, the personal fitness level, and a beginning level.
The upcoming levels of weight training for next year will incorporate different structures of how the class will be run. For the advanced level for athletes and the beginners, it will have structure, and the personal fitness will be more individualized.
This class “is not for everyone” according to Hart, but with the new upcoming levels, this class will be for everyone.
With the restructuring of the weight training curriculum, students will have a better opportunity to progress in their physical prowess and achieve their goals with other students of their same skill level.