The clock just strikes seven o’clock and the sun is still slowly making its way over the trees behind the Forum parking lot. At this time, the football team is well into their workout, grinding through their last sets of squat, bench, or cleans, before moving onto the next stage of the workout. Trails of sweat cover the floor, as players go through the different exercises, fist bumping each other as they pass by, or bobbing their heads to the rap or rock n roll that’s pulsing through the speakers.
The weight room in the Harold Alfond Forum is where the football team begins their mornings Monday through Friday. Other teams file in at other times throughout the week, and you can always find someone in there getting extra work in.
After undergoing renovation in 2017 to accommodate football and rugby, the weight room looks vastly different than what it did just three years ago.
The space features twelve racks with weights ranging from 2.5 lbs. to 45 lb. weights, which are also known as “plates.” The blue turf that defines the athletic fields is also present inside the weight room. About thirty-five yards of blue turf stretch across the right side of the weight room, that allow athletes to warm-up, do agility drills, and push sleds just like they would if they were on the field. The walls are lined with acronyms such as G.R.I.T. and other sayings, and all of the weights and dumbbells are organized with the logo facing up and everything is wiped down and put away neatly after every team or individual lift session.
Junior Joe Kucky, who has been a member of the football team since 2017 believes the environment in the weight room greatly improves the workouts for himself as well as his teammates, “We have great intensity and are motivated to get better and stronger,” Kucky said. “It is also helping the team build chemistry we need to compete on the field.”
As someone who likes to workout in his spare time, Kucky also finds it useful that he can access the weight room whenever he a gap in his schedule, “Being able to go in at any time and do extra work is very beneficial,” Kucky stated.
The staff in the weight room also set the tone for the type of environment that the Nor’easters walk into for every session.
The weight room provides a unique opportunity for athletes and non-athletes alike who major in Athletic Training, AES, or simply need a work-study job. Students have the opportunity to work the desk at the front of the room, and keep the weight room cleaned and organized. One of those interns is Freshman athletic training major Hannah Ehlers, who became a certified personal trainer in high school, and asked over the summer if she could help out with teams.
Since becoming an intern in the weight room, Coach Hannah, as the football team calls her, has gained some valuable experience working with the team, “I realized that strength and conditioning requires me to be even more confident,” Ehlers said, “I didn’t realize how tedious programming was and the science behind it. To create one week worth of workouts you have to think months in the future and how athletes will progress.”
Gaining that experience of working with teams, along with physically performing daily tasks of keeping the weight room clean and organized, will help students like Ehlers, who wishes to be a certified strength and conditioning specialist, make a difference in their fields after graduation, and keep the weight room environment where it needs to be for the athletes to be able to perform on the field.