Interest builds in alternative workouts

Greta Bjornson, News Editor

P90X is perhaps most synonymous with former GOP V.P. candidate, Paul Ryan’s, name.

The politician and then-running mate of Mitt Romney was named runner-up for TIME Magazine’s 2011 Person of the Year and earned himself a photoshoot demonstrating his allegiance to the workout method.

However, P90X isn’t just for 44-year-old Republican congressmen any more. Staples students have lately been trying the method that, according to its website, will “get you in the best shape of your life.”

The home workout system, created in 2004 and notorious for its intense difficulty, has recently been integrated into the Staples Physical Education curriculum in an effort to offer alternative workouts to students.

Since the implementation of the updated program this year, activities like Zumba and Yoga have also been offered along with P90X and Crossfit.

These changes come at an opportune time. This past April, the Congressional Fitness Caucus issued the first “U.S. Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth” and gave American children a failing grade in their amount of overall physical activity in 2013 due to sedentary behavior.

P.E. Department Chair David Gusitsch explained that these alternatives have been offered to expose students to lifetime exercises and more diverse options.

“We’re a general population program; we see every student at Staples High School…but we’re not a ‘one size fits all’ program, so we try and make sure that we have a little something for everybody,” he said.

Erica Hefnawy ’15 decided to try Zumba in her P.E. class as an alternative to soccer. “It’s something that anyone can do and requires little to no equipment. I think it’s actually really cool and a great way to get in some exercise while having fun,” Hefnawy said.

Some students, such as Bailey Rizza ’17, have even tried the activities offered in P.E. classes outside of school. Rizza tested out P90X at home after her family began to do it.

“I wanted to see if it was as hard as they were saying…you always get a good workout and it’s different every day. I’ve learned a lot of new exercises,” she said.

Physical education teacher C.J. Shamas also praised the new options, particularly those offered to his junior P.E. classes.

“Students want to be exposed to things like yoga, Zumba, and Pilates, specifically yoga and Zumba. Because they want exposure and want to participate, it’s become much more personalized for them, and their motivation level is off the charts. So, it is a win-win as far as I’m concerned,” Shamas said.

Gusitsch explained that the activities will continue to be offered and that the P.E. Department will “try and stay on the cutting edge of different offerings that are available to us.”