Learning to lift: Upper school students join A-train, Barbell Club


Photo credit: Kim Smith

Junior Malia Apor lifts the bar and two additional ten pound weights during A-train Sept. 22. A-train takes place from 4:15 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

By Surya Patil, Sports Editor

Most students do not step foot on campus for three months when school gets out, but there is no summer break from training for student athletes.

Athletic Director Kim Smith sent out an email at the start of the summer giving upper school students the opportunity to sign up for Archer’s Summer Strength and Conditioning program. A-train is a year round athletic program that began three years ago for students who are not able to commit to a sport for a season, or for those who do not play a sport but want a place to safely workout.

“We have a rule where you have to attend three out of four practices for middle school sports and four out of five practices for upper school sports each week — that is a commitment, ” Athletics Assistant Madison Witt said. “I think it is really great that we have something that is only held twice a week. You don’t have to come every time — it’s there if you want it, and it will still help you stay active.”

The students who signed up over the summer met twice a week on campus and worked with trainer Kirsten Stallone, who put the students through a variety of workouts both in the training center and outside on the backfield.  One session per week was focused on agility, and the other session was centered around weightlifting.

Sophomore Kennedy Chow, a member of the JV tennis team, attended several of the weightlifting sessions over the summer. Chow said it was an enjoyable experience, and it was really nice to get to know her new teammates before the season started.

“The sessions definitely helped me with my strength, especially since I have really weak wrists,” Chow said. “It helped me prepare for the tennis season in terms of conditioning and my stamina.”

Freshman Serenity Jones also said the conditioning improved her strength and endurance for the JV volleyball season and upcoming soccer season. The class size of the sessions during the school year are about 5-10 students, however, during the summer, the sessions tended to be smaller.

“There was only one or two other girls in each of my sessions,” Jones said. “It was nice because Coach Stallone would help me, for example, with benching because I had never benched before. She would really focus on us individually, so if you got something, she could help the other person, or if the other person had it, she could work with you personally. “

Over the summer, the Barbell Club was an additional program introduced to upper school students. In order to be a part of the club during the school year, students are required to take the Intro to Barbell class, which is held every Thursday from 3:15 to 4:15 p.m.. In the class, an introduction video demonstrates how to prevent injuries and lift correctly. The club meets every Tuesday and Thursday, and it is run by Kirsten Stallone.

“Some of the girls are getting into heavier weightlifting and are definitely interested in competing,” Witt said. “It is definitely a good segue for the girls to learn how to lift correctly so that they can go into a gym and know they are doing their movements right.”