Fitness center becomes hotspot for after school weightlifting and conditioning

November 26, 2018 — by Selena Liu

On a typical day after school in the Ray Goñi Fitness Center, around 20 to 30 students, water bottles and sweat towels in hand, slowly trickle into the fitness room and begin setting up barbells, rowing machines, yoga mats, and various other equipment to the sound of rock music blaring in the background.

Some come with friends to lift recreationally in the back part of the Fitness Center. But most are members of sports teams taking part in instructional coach Kristofer Orre’s weight training and conditioning program.

Orre conducts his own hour-long program of general strength and conditioning exercises to train the teams and target certain strength areas.

“The programming I create is typically focused on sport-specific needs,” Orre said. “I draw a lot of my inspiration in programming from CrossFit, but I would not call what we do [in conditioning] specifically ‘CrossFit.”

As the sports season transitions from fall to winter, Orre expects to be leading conditioning sessions with more winter teams in the upcoming months, but for now, he is working with most of the fall, year-round and a couple of the winter sports teams. These include boys’ and girls’ volleyball, softball, wrestling, boys’ and girls’ soccer, baseball, cross country, water polo, lacrosse and the dance team.

The cross country team has done weightlifting under Orre’s guidance for several years now, and senior runner Kiran Illindala said weightlifting has benefited both his own and the team’s strength and fitness.

“[Weightlifting] is somewhat intense but it was fun and for me wasn’t too difficult,” Illindala said. “The best part was working hard with the team.”

Besides these after-school teams, many other students not partaking in Orre’s conditioning sessions also come to the fitness center on their own time.

One of these students, junior Daniel Ning, comes to the weight room nearly every day to lift and build muscle.

“I used to work out on my own, but I really didn’t know what to do, so I got some help from my friends to properly work out,” Ning said. “Because my friends go to the weight room at school I figured, ‘Why not join them?’”

With so many students taking part in conditioning sessions and weightlifting after school, the fitness center is a hotspot for both athletes and recreational lifters like Ning.

“It’s fun to keep experimenting and working out with my friends,” Ning said. “I think it’s a great place to be.