Work it out

Strength and conditioning pushes students physically and mentally

Holden Taylor, Social Media Manager

After strength and conditioning class I learned to be so much more confident in myself and when I workout,” said one veteran of the class, Alexandra Lafferty (12). “Even though it was difficult taking the class, I’m so glad I had to because it taught me how to workout and keep a healthy lifestyle.”

Strength and conditioning is a class all freshmen are required to take that focuses on encouraging students to exercise with a mindset of hard work while helping create a culture of discipline.

The St. Mary’s mission statement serves as the foundation for the strength and conditioning program, which aims to maintain students’ physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing while enabling each student to realize their full potential. This class is intended for freshmen to get a better understanding of work ethic and what it means to be a team player. 

Freshmen begin the class with a warm up and move on to three major lifts that strengthen the entire body, the lower body and balance. They then move on to accessory lifts, which are designed to work and build the smaller muscles. The workout is completed with a finisher specifically designed to challenge the athletes physically and mentally and bring their heart rate up.

Walking into a gym can be intimidating for anyone, let alone a freshman, so it is important to approach the class with an open mind. As a junior, Claire Ledbetter (11) has gone through the class and understands how much effort it takes. 

“Honestly, just take it at your own pace and do what you’re comfortable with,” Ledbetter said. 

Along with every freshman being required to take this class, all athletes playing any sport at St. Mary’s are required to do two workouts a week to build up strength and skills, like Ava Cohen (9) who is a member of the volleyball team. While other (non-freshman) athletes must use their time outside of school to complete these workouts, Cohen uses this class to her advantage, leaving herself more time for other school work or activities she needs to do. 

“This class makes my workouts easier so I don’t have to go after school and can just get them done,” Cohen said. 

Athletic trainer and strength and conditioning coach Claire Betti is confident that this class helps students branch out, feel prepared for working out after high school and learn more about their health and exercise.

Lafferty encourages freshmen to put everything they have into the class. 

“It teaches a lot about … who you are as a person,” Lafferty said. “You only get out as much as you put in.”