The High School Student News Site of The American School in London

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The High School Student News Site of The American School in London

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Fitness team formed

A fitness environment often appears both intimidating and daunting for students looking to build stronger and more athletic physiques. The perpetual fear of judgement coupled with that of failure can prove detrimental to those wanting to gain some fundamental gym experience.

Initially brought forward and now led by Fitness Room Supervisor Andy Patros, the new fitness team hopes to put such qualms to rest, as it will be open to students intent on building a more tailored and regulated training regime.

“[The Athletics Department] wanted to announce that I’m here for High School students that need or want to come and exercise, get some advice, get stronger, or lose some weight,” Patros said.

While Patros admits many students already see him on a regular basis and coordinate fitness regimes with him individually, the fitness program will create a more formal and transparent experience for its members. Meeting for just over an hour on Mondays and Wednesdays, the sessions will be short and intense, equipping students with an array of basic routines based on Patros’ evaluation of their strengths and weaknesses.

“[The training regime] all depends on the individual student. [A lot of students] here come in and I would base it on the sports that they are playing,” he said.

Established in the midst of the already-present “cliques” predominant at ASL, the fitness team plans to create its own tight-knit community, wherein any student can find solace and comfort.

Izzy Wakefield (’19) is one member of the fitness team who worried about starting to workout in the gym. “I was a little nervous because I thought I’d be one of the only freshmen in there and it would be super weird at first,” he said.

Wakefield however no longer feels tenative about the gym environment and attributes to his joining of the fitness team.

Through this program, Patros hopes to reach out to students who may have failed to earn a place on an athletic team in the fall, or simply those who harbor long-term aspirations of achieving that spot in the future. He will maintain his ultimate goal of endowing the students with a fundamental repertoire of skills that will then hopefully motivate and inspire them to become part of an athletic team in the school.

Tyler Whitman (’19) sees the benefits of being on the fitness team for basketball during the winter season. “It just helps with every aspect [of athleticism]. You’ll be better at everything by getting fitter and training,” he said.

Patros concurs with Whitman’s sentiments. “I’m very happy with [the program]. I think we need to put ourselves out there as an athletic department to say ‘look, come and strengthen yourselves up for future games and activities, sports that you do or want to try out for in the future, or just have a healthier living and healthier well-being’,” he said.

Patros however remains fixed on an issue he has seen prevail around the gym all too often. Rather than focus on heavy weights – which many believe to be the source of getting stronger and bulkier – Patros will focus on building the student’s strength through repetition-based workouts. “Sport science is always improving so we have to keep up with it… One of the most recent studies on heavy lifting is that if your repetitions last for 40 to 70 seconds, [it] shows now that you can still get bigger and bulkier with a ‘lighter’ weight and you’re not going to put extra stress on your joints and ligaments,” he said.

Nic Demetris (’18), a current member of the fitness team, attests to this prevalent and ever-growing sentiment. “I was a little nervous because I’d seen a lot of guys in here with big weights, and I wanted to do that straightaway. But [Patros] showed me it’s more about hitting a lot of reps and then resting off, rather than just starting with something that your body is not ready to do,” he said.

Demetris, similar to other members on the team, signed up for the team to prepare for the upcoming winter and spring seasons. With no prior gym experience, he already feels much more comfortable in an environment he initially felt apprehensive about.

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