Gym class gets an upgrade

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Joel Kachappilly

Students use the new fitness area facilities.

Joel Kachappilly, Staff Contributor

There were many new additions and extensions made to the school in the past year, one of which is the new gym and fitness room. The new gym is in the lower level of the school and the new cardio room is adjacent to it. With these new additions come changes, including a new gym curriculum.

In addition to the already existing stationary bikes, ellipticals and treadmills, the new fitness room houses newer machines as well. There are now also rowing machines, a skiing machine, and a new machine called a zero impact runner that is similar to an elliptical.

There are also now numerous new exercise balls, slam balls, medicine balls, wall balls, and kettlebells for strength training. Strength training was an area that didn’t receive much attention in prior gym curriculums as cardiovascular health and simply raising one’s heartbeat was the main focus. However, with the addition of this new strength training equipment, the new gym curriculum has been able to add something new to the program.  Strength exercises and the use of weights will no longer be limited to strength and conditioning classes.

The gym teachers are very happy to be able to make use of the new and improved facilities. They are excited to improve the quality of the gym program with the new equipment and are ready to make full use of the new facilities. Brett Ahlgren, Pleasant Valley gym teacher, comments, “I think with the new fitness room you’ll see an increase in doing more cardio and strength based warm-ups before jumping into an activity. It gives us more options and it gives us the opportunity to add an extra element to the existing day to day activities.”

The students who are enrolled in the revamped gym classes are ready to take advantage the new facilities as well. Cade Lewis, senior, commented, “The new equipment has contributed to my increased participation and is giving me a better opportunity to positively impact my heart health.” Students are very appreciative of the ability to do more to improve their physical activity.

Lewis also notes how the gym program has changed over the years. “When I was a freshman, there wasn’t really sense of accountability during gym, and people didn’t really try a lot. However, every year the gym has gotten improved, with the addition of the heart rate monitors the last couple of years and now these new facilities.”

The gym curriculum has been very consistent and hasn’t undergone many changes as the resources at the time haven’t allowed for much growth. However, with the new addition and the new gym facilities that come with it, the gym program will undergo a complete evolution.