Each Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday afternoon of the winter season, a sea of Fall and Spring athletes descends on the school’s elite weight training facilities, ready to punch the clock. All too often, however, these workouts consist of wearily pacing Jordan’s corridors, anxiously awaiting the belated arrival of the sign-in sheet. Overburdened by impending projects, essays, and innumerable other assessments, many students view the prospect of devoting any significant amount of time to lifting weights as incompatible with their other responsibilities. Consequently, the sound of Mr. Bradley’s voice bellowing through the Dining Hall, scolding the students who forgot to mark their names in the weight room, has grown increasingly familiar.
What I propose is simple: a new weight training regimen wherein students must sign in for a predetermined number of days over the winter season as a whole, rather than each week. The effectiveness of such a program would be exceeded only by the increased ease-of-mind it affords its participants. Over my four and a half years on the Hill, I have learned that, especially in the Upper School, there are good days and there are bad days. With my new proposal, students would not be forced to slog through a weight training session, only to be greeted by a DBQ at home. Rather, the enhanced flexibility would afford students the opportunity to pick and choose which days they will work out, allow for more legitimate workouts on the days when time permits, and maximize academic productivity. After all, myself not included, most weight trainers play high-level sports in other seasons and regard the winter as a much-needed opportunity for rest and recovery. Belmont Hill’s sports requirement is part of what makes the school special, but at times, mandatory weight training can result in too much heavy lifting.