After a successful introduction last year, the Fitness Club hopes to inspire more students to become healthier

October 8, 2021 — by Howard Shu
Photo by Sanjoli Gupta
Fitness club members listen as club advisor Mr. Ellis presents the workout for the day

On every other Tuesday at the start of lunch, senior Fitness Club co-presidents Ishaan Bhandari and Christopher Liu head to the weight room with around 20 club members, anticipating a captivating workout session.

“My favorite part of Fitness Club is actually working out and weightlifting with the club members and officers. It’s a great way to start off the week as it’s fun and engaging,” Liu said. “The most memorable moment for me was watching the group members slowly develop a passion for fitness.”

The club was founded last year and despite being online, it was still successful, Liu said.

The club covers all aspects of fitness, from live workouts in the weight room targeting all muscle groups to a nutrition and anatomy section which focuses on the mental and autonomic functions in the body.

During each meeting, one of the officers — Bhandari, Liu, senior vice president Anjali Nuggehalli or junior treasurer Lisa Fung — reveals the workout for the day and members branch out into different stations, where each officer leads a different exercise. Each meeting either focuses on the chest and tricep, back and bicep or legs. 

During meetings, club officers present slideshows and use interactive examples and demonstrations. Last year, for example, the club held a live cooking day together where they broke down the macronutrients and micronutrients of the food.

“Our main goal for fitness club is to improve the overall health and well-being of Saratoga students, whether that may be in a physical or mental way,” Liu said. 

Apart from the lunch meetings, they are also planning to host monthly jogathons around the neighborhood, Liu said. The club is also considering engaging with the Los Gatos High community in inter-school weightlifting competitions.

They also want to have as many club members as possible participate in the school-wide Falcon Fit competition, an individual competition in which students strive to meet various challenging exercises, relative to the weight of the participant. Challenges include bench pressing, power cleaning, deadlifting, shoulder pressing and squatting.

During remote learning, the club met on Zoom every other week. In addition to regular meetings, they hosted a speaker series with professional bodybuilder Bobby Bluford, who spoke about his fitness journey and gave advice on healthy living. Additionally, they held cooking meetings demonstrating how to make post-workout meals like omelettes.

They are planning to continue doing speaker series events to bring people in to talk to their members, Nuggehalli said. They may also do IGTV videos for cooking lessons that people can watch online.

Now that the club is operating in-person, they are able to utilize the equipment in the weight room. They are also encouraging members to form workout pods to make working out more collaborative and inclusive since COVID-19 restrictions have loosened.

“People will definitely feel more comfortable doing our workouts if we’re all in person and we also have the guidance of Ms. Aoki and our club advisor Mr. Ellis,” Nuggehalli said.

The club had 20 members attend their first meeting, during which the officers introduced themselves and held a short presentation on choosing healthier diets.

Senior Curtis Ng, a fitness club member, is looking to become “bigger, faster and stronger” from the club. Ng, who plays on the boys’ varsity basketball team, enjoys being in the club because of the people he gets to meet and work out with.

“I feel like the people there are generally nice, and working out with friends really helps me motivate myself,” he said. “The whole group just makes me better.”