Body Conditioning Class Gets Physical at Home

Alex Joaquin, Staff Writer

Ever since the start of the pandemic back in March, classes including physical education and body conditioning are taking place virtually. 

Body Conditioning is taught by Sara MacLennan, PE department head, and it deals with working out the body whether it’s weight training or cardio with a large range of exercises. 

According to MacLennan, body conditioning started in the second week of school in order for students to get their daily dose of exercise. One of the biggest and obvious changes that students face is exercising at home. 

MacLennan said that in this time of pandemic, it is important for students to work out even if it is for a small amount of time. She works to make the experience fun and enjoyable.

“Exercising during this time is one of the best things you can do for your mental health as well as physical,” said MacLennan. 

Normally, the students would usually weight lift in the weight room with a rotation of other workouts including outdoor cardio work. 

Junior, Gamaliel Palma, who had body conditioning before the pandemic feels the difference.

Palma said, “Even though it is limited, it’s going great with the new workouts shown on websites.”

I miss being in the weight room with my friends ”

— Gamaliel Palma

Workout videos from MacLennan’s YouTube channel are shown to students during class as well as exercise sheets from websites.

MacLennan said, “The class is going really well but it is a completely different format from what a normal body conditioning class is.”

Having an online physical education class has its challenges for teachers and students.

“My obstacle is the lack of checking for understanding, not getting the personal connection from students, and the lack of motivating my students to do another rep,” added MacLennan. 

Junior, Jacob Azarias, in his first year of body conditioning said, “I would have liked to be in the weight room because I barely have weights at home, but I’m still seeing results.”

Palma added, “I miss being in the weight room with my friends and working on other forms of exercise.” 

Although it may be some time until students return to school, MacLennan reveals her plans for the future of body conditioning. 

“I will try to incorporate household items in more workouts and try to give students the opportunity to choose their own workouts second semester but if you guys return next year, I would give students more freedom,” said MacLennan.  

The discussion about possibly returning to school in January has had MacLennan planning on how body conditioning will be like for students. 

“My plan is to use the turf field at school and make sure students are six feet apart from each other and have their own area to work out and stay safe and hopefully give them more challenging workouts,” added MacLennan. 

As a return date remains pushed by Superintendent Jerry Almendarez with more information to be given after the new year, MacLennen is hopeful she will see students in person soon.

She knows when that happens that, “I will only see each group once a week and students will have to wear a mask.”

Despite the challenge, body conditioning is going well for most students and improved as the fall semester comes to a close.