Potomac’s New Streamed Workouts: Hit or Miss?

Avery Richardson, Sports Editor

Members of the athletic department have been leading Zoom workouts three times a week: Monday for cardio with Ms. Barnes, Head Athletic Trainer, Wednesday for yoga with Ms. Brock, K-8 Health Coordinator, and Friday for strength with Mr. Remmo, Interim Operations Manager. All students in grades seven through twelve can attend at 3:00 for a thirty minute workout.

“The purpose of these workouts is to offer our community a routine opportunity to workout together. Beyond the benefits of physical activity, we feel that interaction is paramount to emotional and mental well-being,” said Mr. Remmo.

One issue presented with these workouts is that kids from grades seven to twelve have all been invited to attend these workouts, but seventh and eleventh graders have very different strengths and athletic capabilities.

“We have specifically designed our workouts to be body weight only, such that students with a wide variety of strength and athletic abilities can fully participate and benefit from these workouts.  Further, we encourage our students to do what they can with an emphasis on form and focus,” said Mr. Remmo.

For the newly implemented zoom workouts, there has been a fair amount of success. Although they would still love more students to join, so far they have been receiving about 20 to 40 participants each session.

“Last Wednesday was day #1 for ‘Warrior Pose Wednesday.’ There was a screenful of participants, probably 15 people or so… We breathed, balanced, built strength and flexibility. In the process, a number of us broke a sweat. To my way of thinking, the class was a success,” said Wednesday yoga trainer Ms. Brock.

“We have over 400 students in our upper school. I would love to see at least half of our student population join at least 1 session (Monday HIIT, Wednesday yoga, or Friday strength),” said athletic trainer and head of Monday HIIT classes Coach Barnes.

The workouts not only help with building strength but also aid in shaping the mental aspect of being active. The idea is to give inspiration to all the Potomac athletes.

“I want everyone to know that there is a deep-rooted core of strength in all of us. This strength takes many forms in our lives, not just the energy generated by our muscles. Fortitude Fridays are specifically designed to harness your strength,” said Mr. Remmo.

Similarly, the coaches do not care about a person’s current physical state. They just want to get to interact with the students and help each and every one improve their form, stability, and strength.

“It doesn’t matter if you haven’t moved off of your couch since March. I want everyone to feel comfortable bringing their best self regardless of whatever their level of exercise is. We are NOT training for competitive sport right now, we are training for our own health needs. This is a no judgment zone,” said Coach Barnes.

One point about these workouts is that everyone turns off their cameras and puts themselves on mute. One reason for this is that people can be embarrassed or uncomfortable working out in front of a camera. Another reason, however, is that once one person turns off their camera, everyone else does too. At some point, even if a person wanted to have their camera on, it would be weird for them because they would be the only one.

“One, I want to see everyone’s amazing faces because I miss you all so much. Two, I don’t know if everyone is doing the exercises correctly (If you know me, then you know that I am a stickler for form. I would hate for someone to do a move incorrectly and suffer an injury). Three, I feel like I’m talking to myself. Turn your cameras on people! (If you feel comfortable, that is),” said Coach Barnes.

Along with streaming workouts, the Athletic Department has also taken advantage of the google classroom page shared with everyone. On their page they include information such as strength workouts to do at home, conditioning ideas, guided meditations, reducing anxiety, and more.