Wednesday, March 11, 2009

This is an article written by SJP CrossFitter Michael Harney that was published in the Concordia. The Concordia is the news paper of St. John's Preparatory School.

Senior Vinny Yadgood working on his pull ups.

It’s 3:00 and athletes congregate outside of the Eagle’s Nest anticipating the Workout of the Day (WOD). Mr. Miserandino, the director of CrossFit, is greeted with pairs of eyes as he walks towards the door to the weight room with keys jangling in hand. The door flies open, the students pile in, the WOD is posted and the weight room roars to life.
CrossFit is a strength and conditioning program that trains athletes to be physically well-rounded and prepared for the challenges that meet them. At the Prep, CrossFit has attracted athletes exponentially since its debut in the weight room last spring.
Before CrossFit, the weight room was incomplete. There was just something missing and the weight room needed to be filled with a program that suited all students, no matter where their goal fell on the spectrum: cardio, agility, strength or endurance.
Inspired by the chiseled Spartans from the movie 300, Mr. Miserandino wanted to know just how these actors got in shape. After some investigation of CrossFit journals and articles, Mr. Miserandino knew that CrossFit would fill the niche in the weight room. He flew to Camp Pendelton, a Marine Corps training base in California, to become certified in CrossFit.
To see if CrossFit would truly benefit the students of SJP, Mr. Miserandino tried out CrossFit in his workouts. He immediately saw the benefits of this high intensity program. In his recent triathlon season, he won first place in three races and second place in two.
On April 9, CrossFit became an official club affiliate on the Prep campus. Since then it has grown to attract 15-40 athletes per day. The athletes who participate range from varsity athletes to people who want to start working out.
When asked if he saw any benefits from using Cross Fit, Vincent Yadgood ’09, a member of the fencing team replied, “I don’t get as tired as my teammates. In fact, I have gone whole practices without breaking a sweat.”
Vincent’s increased athleticism is attributable to the goals of CrossFit set forth by Mr. Miserandino. “My hope for bringing CrossFit to SJP is to instill the ten skill components: cardio/respiratory endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, speed, coordination, agility, balance, and accuracy into the athletes to produce a well-rounded athlete.”
Due to its overwhelming success as an extracurricular activity and its growing popularity, Mr. Miserandino decided to bring CrossFit to the classroom. Starting next year, sophomores will have the opportunity to take CrossFit as a Physical Education elective. In this half-year accelerated class, students will use the CrossFit workouts to achieve their personal goals while keeping a portfolio as they track their progress throughout the course. Students are expected to complete the course with the knowledge of correct strength training and the values of living a healthy lifestyle.
Current CrossFit participant Matthew Hassey ’11 showed interest in the CrossFit class but was frustrated when he found out it will only be available to sophomores.
“I enjoy CrossFit. We get a group of guys together and have fun. You learn about the kind of person you are. However I’m bummed that they will only offer it as a class to sophomores next year.”
Although the class is limited to sophomores, the CrossFit program that runs from 3-5 pm after school is open to everyone. Mr. Miserandino has even worked to extend CrossFit beyond the school months to a summer program. CrossFit at SJP continues to expand its horizons and shows no signs of stopping.

-Michael Harney ‘09

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