Lifting Builds More Than Muscle


Jack Bunzel-Hardie, Staff Writer

I’ve always credited my water polo success to the time I’ve spent lifting weights, and I make sure to encourage new freshman and sophomores players to lift as we prepare for the fall season over the summer.

After 3 years in the campus weight room, I can attest that lifting not only makes you a better player, but also a better teammate.

Along with building strength, the weight room offers an opportunity to bond with peers and develop mental toughness.

Besides physical strength, lifting has given me a sense of ‘I can do this.’ It gives me a whole lot more confidence in my sport but also in my everyday life,” said sophomore varsity football player Elijah Klock. 

Weight lifting is also a critical way for athletes to avoid injury. While some athletes look to the weight room for gaining muscle mass, according to cross country and track coach Chuck Woolridge, his athletes lift in order to build bone density and avoid stress fractures.  Woolridge says lifting heavy weight counteracts the detrimental impact distance running has on bone health.

We don’t need to go into the weight room and do more aerobic work. We need to do the things we don’t do while we are out on a run,” Woolridge said.  It is a strategy that has earned the cross country program a reputation for producing outstanding athletes who often go on to compete in college.

The stronger you are, the better your flexibility and mobility is, the less likely you are to get injured, which is huge,” said weights coach Rob Keivning, who has been training Campolindo athletes in the weight room for years.

Keivning also believes that weight lifting in high school is important in preparing athletes for the next level. “Whatever college you go to, there is a strength conditioning program there for a reason. And you will be required to participate in it for a very good reason.  Let’s get you started a bit earlier so that you’re prepared,” he said.

Keivning sponsors an informal “1000 Pound Club” for athletes he coaches in the weight room. Membership can be earned by any an athlete from any sport who lifts a combined 1000 pounds in three exercises: The Squat, the Deadlift and the Bench Press. 

Principal John Walker has seen the success the weight room has provided to the school’s athletics program and “love[s] having 2 certified trainers, professional trainers, working with the student-athletes.”