Time To Add More Weight

Students and faculty push for the opening of the weight room throughout the day

Senior+weightlifter+Alexia+Steinberg+lifts+after+school.+However%2C+if+the+weight+room+were+open+throughout+the+day%2C+she+would+be+able+to+come+during+the+school+day+or+off+season.+

Ella Craghill

Senior weightlifter Alexia Steinberg lifts after school. However, if the weight room were open throughout the day, she would be able to come during the school day or off season.

Ana Carolina Marques, Staff Writer

On a normal day at a school like Lake Highland Prep, students have access to the campus weight room to work out sometime during their school day. At these schools, a trainer is available whenever the room is open; however, this is not the case at Trinity Prep.

The weight room at school is closed throughout the day, and some students and teachers hope to change this.

“If the weight room were to be open throughout the day, it would really help me manage my time,” senior weightlifter Alexia Steinberg said. “I would be able to get more school work done after school, and also it would give me a break from a stressful school day.”

Physical education teacher Dee Starling strongly agrees with Steinberg and has personally seen how exercise can be used to decompress and relax.

“I did corporate fitness years ago, and I managed a corporate facility with 3,200 employees, and instead of going outside to take a smoke break, they would come to the fitness center and walk on the treadmill,” Starling said. “It was really just to manage your stress and take a break from the day.”

Physical education department chair Scott Sukup also believes lifting throughout the day will give an upper-hand to student-athletes.

“[Student-Athletes] could get pre-season conditioning and lift prior to the season which they wouldn’t be able to do due to [other teams’] practice,” Sukup said. “They could get stronger before the season starts, but then they could go home at 3:30 and do schoolwork, and not feel like they need to get their strength and condition done.”

Allowing students into the weight room is not just a matter of opening the doors, as staffing the space with an adult is required.

“We currently don’t have staff availability, and there has to be someone in there,” athletic director David Langdon said. “All of that is being discussed. It actually is a big discussion going into next year.”

Even if staff were available, Sukup and Starling brought up the possibility that interest could wane over time, making it not cost-effective to hire a trainer to staff a space that is empty half the day. To address that, they both suggested that an elective would be most cost-efficient.

“So there’s the advantage of having it as an elective,” Starling said. “If they’re going to fund it, they need to know that it will be used consistently.”

Langdon agreed with Starling and said that a lifting elective could be very beneficial for health and would give high schoolers another chance to take a PE class.

“I think there’s more stability with being an elective,” Langdon said. “The problem with having an elective is it takes away from the so-called academic classes, and I know that we always hear that people are so concerned about their academic resume, who don’t realize that it looks good that you’re taking care of your physical body and mental health.”

Langdon, Starling, and Sukup all agreed that a trainer is necessary to have, not only because of safety precautions, but to help students with training.

“We would rather see somebody that’s hired that could help you if you came into the weight room,” Starling said.

Many students are happy to just have access to the weight room whether it is during a study period or elective. According to Langdon, the possibility of opening the weight room either as an elective or during a free period is being looked over for possibly next year.

“I have been waiting for the weight room to open up since I knew I was going to have free periods in my schedule,” senior weightlifter Philip Rubin said. “Even though I will not be here next year, I am still excited for the possibility of the weight room opening. I believe it would bring many advantages to student athletes and my peers on the weightlifting team.”