Time to Get Jacked: Student Athletes Reflect on the Benefits of Strength and Conditioning

Annabel Andre, Staff Writer

Despite what some may think, the many LASA students who play multiple sports or do strength training along with their sports are not superhuman. They have to balance and manage their time accordingly so that they are able to maintain academics as well, but according to them, cross-training multiple sports actually benefits both their mental and physical health. During current times people have less to do, and sports can serve as an escape from school on Zoom according to Senior and football player, Logan Poore.

Poore has learned through his experience in football that student-athletes play multiple sports and strength train for many different reasons. According to him, these include conditioning for their sport, to recover if they have an injury or to better develop themselves for their power and endurance. 

Along with varsity football, Poore runs cross country, strength trains, and mountain bikes. Biking has been his main sport for many years, but he has recently joined the cross-country and football teams. Poore said important aspects of his life have changed as a result of working out outside of his main sport.

“I think all of these sports have changed my lifestyle a lot. I’m getting a lot more sleep and I’m just taking care of my body more,” Poore said. “It’s a good portion of my day. I’m working out about 20 hours a week and I’m dedicating a lot of my life to it.”

Recently, because of COVID-19, Poore’s schedule has changed, and he has decided to implement weightlifting into his daily routine. Weightlifting has provided him a way to exercise on a daily basis amid social distancing and helps him condition for the other sports he plays.

“The weightlifting is new because of COVID,” Poore said. “At first, I wasn’t really allowed to go do team sports because COVID was at an all-time high, so I started working out alone, and as I was doing that, I wanted to increase the intensity, so I added weights, and then I started really increasing the intensity.”

Junior Jette Morris plays club beach volleyball, strength-trains with her father and runs on her own. She enjoys playing beach volleyball and aims to play in college. She uses strength training to develop her game and running to help her endurance. 

“I am mostly doing all of this cross-training for beach volleyball, so I have goals like to be able to jump higher to hit harder, and my dad is going with me twice a week, and I’m working on leg strength and form, and I’m getting really good coaching from him,” Morris said. “And then cross-country, I’m doing that for endurance, so it’ll help me through long plays and long days of beach volleyball.”

Playing multiple sports requires dedication and is a large time commitment according to Morris. 

Senior and varsity basketball player Sam Whitlow believes that students who are constantly academically challenged can find balance in being challenged athletically as well. Along with Basketball, strength-trains to supplement practice and games.

“[Sports] help my academics because a lot of time, when I get home and it’s the off-season, I’m pretty lazy,” Whitlow said. “But when I’m in season and I’m training, I’m in a pretty good routine, so I come home, work out a little bit, and then I have some energy to do some homework.”

Whitlow believes that strength training will definitely be part of his life in the future. According to him, training helps him stay active, improves his mental and physical health, prevents injury and helps him with time management.

“I think strength training is definitely something I would like to continue after high school and after college, ” Whitlow said. “Doing both a sport and strength training will help in terms of doing time management because, in the future, I will probably be a lot busier than I am now. Making sure to get a work out will definitely be something that translates to the future.”

Junior Lane Loudamy plays both club and school soccer and runs cross country. In January, she tore her ACL and began doing physical therapy and strength training to recover from her injury. Loudamy believes that sports can have a big impact on people and encourages other LASA students to experiment with multiple sports to find what they like. 

“If you want to play multiple sports, you definitely should do it, especially if you are an underclassman and you want to see what happens, there’s no harm in trying it,” Loudamy said.