Teachers implement new CrossFit workout program for athletes, others

January 29, 2010 — by Cullan McChesney

Starting this past fall, world history/PE teacher Rick Ellis and athletic director Peter Jordan have led a movement to implement a new workout programs for teachers, P.E. students and teams and made sweeping changes to the weight room to accommodate the new philosophy.

Ellis has implemented many of the workouts and techniques from a program called CrossFit, which is designed to improve all aspects of physical fitness to create a complete athlete as compared to those who focus on a narrow spectrum of activities and exercises.

According to the CrossFit website, “Our program delivers a fitness that is, by design, broad, general, and inclusive. Our specialty is not specializing.”

The workouts for students vary from day to day. One can expect to be doing anything from squats to rowing to running 400 meter repeats. The next day participants might do bench jumps, burpees, pull-ups or wall ball throws using medicine ball. Whatever the exercise, the basic premise remains the same: to build total body endurance and strength.

“I am completely sold on the CrossFit program; a lot of people focus on just one aspect of fitness which in my opinion does not create a complete athlete,” said Ellis.

Typically there are any where from 30 to 40 people participating in these workouts after school, some engaged in sports, others not.

“I workout on my own a lot but it’s nice to have Mr. Ellis’s workouts since I don’t have to think about what to do next. It’s all planned out for us,” said sophomore Paras Undatkat.

Many of the exercises are so-called “ground-based” exercises. These exercises require the participant to be standing and to do a movement that engages not just a single muscle group but the body as a whole.

“The program aims to include everybody and I think that more and more people are hearing about it now that we’ve gotten the momentum going,” said Ellis.

Along with the workouts for the students, several teachers and staff members have also started to use the weight room and participate in group CrossFit workouts both at lunch and after school.

Perhaps the biggest impact the new program has had is on those in school sports. Almost all teams are now doing workouts headed by Ellis.

“It’s nice to have the workouts because it give us a change of pace from the usual drills,” said varsity soccer player Sawan Shah

There is something for everyone in the new weight room students and faculty alike. Everyone is welcome to join all they have to do is just show up at the weight room around 33 or so for the student program, the workouts generally last one to two hours.

“The point is to get everyone involved and to develop more than just bulk,” said Ellis

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