Gym Class Heroes: Do You Even Lift?

One of the three Vertimax systems bought for the new school.
One of the three Vertimax systems bought for the new school.

By: Kitty H

As many athletes have found out, sports take time.

Most Duxbury school sports, with the exception of a few, have afternoon practices and games which leave time for little else. So, sports that require separate weight lifting workouts create an additional struggle for their participants. The football players, for example, struggled to coordinate their busy schedules to fit in a second workout during the day. After all, there are only so few hours that the average high school student can work with.

So, the Sports Strength and Conditioning class was born.

Coach Rob Ferreira, the current teacher of SSC, created the class in 2006 to let students “get their training [done] in school, on school time, as opposed to trying to fit it into their after school day.”

Senior captain of the football team, Matt B., has seen the effects of the class himself. Matt knows students from other towns who do not have a class like SSC who “[do their] lifting before practice, [and] then complain that they’re too sore [during practice].” Sophomore Ben Q. has also seen a difference in his overall strength since taking the class.

Senior Ben B. also understands how the class has helped him. Ben B. said the class was required for all football players during their season, since everyone “needed to get their lifts in outside of practice.” Ben B. said that players got great results when they “put in the time and effort.”

Football is not the only sport that benefits from additional workouts. Ben Q., a hockey player, took the class this past fall to improve his overall strength and prepare for the upcoming season. Senior Kevin O. is the captain of both Cross Country and Baseball, and took the class in the old school. Even non-athlete Skyler W. participated in the class to improve her overall fitness.

The class isn’t only devoted to free lifting workouts however. Ferreira said, “each day begins with a general and/or specific warm up… Following warm up, the class enters into their pre-assigned workout… Everyone is always working towards specific training goals.” The class-specific workout could be a series of stations, or a day of lifting, or a roll out and relaxation day for athletes with a game, or a day centered on the new Vertimax system.

The Vertimax Training System is one of the perks that came with the new school. Along with two brand new college-level training rooms, the school bought all new equipment, and even some new things, such as the Vertimax. College and professional athletes use the same system, and it has already changed the class since last year. Ben B. explained the system as a “resistance training system, where [students] strap [themselves] in and use cord to so jumping and sprinting exercises.”

While Ferreira hopes that the class gives students lifelong fitness skills and goals, some students don’t view it in the same light. Senior Kristin S. has never taken the class herself, but knows people who did who “said it was just like Dragon’s Lair.” Kevin O. disliked how infrequently the class met, and thought that it was ineffective as a regular workout.

In-season athletes participating in the class have the option of doing either a relaxation technique or rolling out their muscles during the class period, in order to preserve their strength for the game, and stretch to prevent injuries. “Most days [during baseball season] I would just roll out,” says Kevin O., and since it didn’t meet every day the class was just a “less frequent D-lair.”


As confirmed by DHS Director Thom Holdgate, football players are not required to take Sport Strength & Conditioning.

The class is open to all students.

The new facility made for both the SSC classes and Dragon's Lair.
The new facility made for both the SSC classes and Dragon’s Lair.
Rows of barbells neatly put away after students finish with them.
Rows of barbells neatly put away after students finish with them.

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