The fitness center plays a crucial role in many DA athletes’ daily lives. Emma Theriault, Tom Reynolds, and the rest of the strength and conditioning team are a big part of why fitness has such a widespread effect on students at Deerfield. “As trainers, we recognize the importance of exercise. Physical activity impacts our physical well-being as well as our mental well-being,” said Ms. Emma Theriault, Strength & Conditioning coach and Fitness Center manager.
Hundreds, if not thousands, of studies have shown the benefits of exercise and fitness. Medline Plus, a leading provider of trusted health information, has emphasized that “Regular exercise is one of the best things you can do for your health.” At the Academy, the fitness center is open 10+ hours most days of the week, making equipment and machines easily accessible to all members of the community, regardless of their schedules.
The fitness center does a phenomenal job of incorporating exercise into students’ lives From tailored programs to team lifts, the Strength and Conditioning team constantly emphasize the benefits of regular exercise. Ms. Theriault notes that “the fitness center is always trying to figure out new ways to offer programs for students.”
For the Deerfield Varsity football team, these team lifts are extremely impactful. The team lifts allow for better team chemistry and potential advantages on the field. These sport-specific programs are based on balancing out movements that apply to certain sports. “A cross country-runner and a football player are going to have very different workout plans,” said Ms. Theriault. Coach Brian Barbato constantly stresses the importance of “showing up and dialing in” during these team lifts. During the lifting period, Strength Coach Tom Reynolds ensures that athletes are using proper technique to maximize gains and make the overall lifting experience better.
“By lifting during the season, athletes reduce their risk of getting injured, maintain their strength throughout the season, and translate that strength to the game itself,” said Ms. Theriault. She emphasizes that “sometimes athletes don’t train effectively enough”, detracting from the benefits of exercise. The fitness center strives towards a safer and more effective usage of the equipment during these team lifts.
Moreover, the fitness center seeks to rid the image of lifting heavy weight that has been associated with strength training. The Strength and Conditioning Team makes programs for anyone and everyone, creating custom plans that make your fitness goals one step closer. Whether this is your first time touching a barbell or a regular part of your week, each program is flooded with the best exercises to target specific or multiple muscle groups.
Max Kainamura ‘22 reflected upon his experience with a custom program, commenting, “It helped me learn the techniques of certain exercises and familiarized me with most of the equipment in the fitness center.”
The Strength and Conditioning Team have taken steps to make lifting and physical activity an integral part of students’ lives on campus. “The more students we can help, the greater the impact of exercise upon the community,” said Ms. Theriault. “We are always seeking to improve the fitness center space and equipment to benefit all.” The advantages of regular exercise and fitness are endless.
Reach out to any member of the wonderful Strength and Conditioning Team for your own custom workout plans and get after your fitness goals.