LACES Untied

LACES Untied

LACES Untied

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Waiting for Weights

Atticus Stevenson

There is a room adjacent to the gymnasium. A room that, save for a few weeks during the school year, goes practically unused. And although it is labeled “Weight Room,” there are no weights to be found. Instead, it is filled with aerobic equipment that helps strengthen cardiovascular endurance.

When discussing LACES athletics and physical education, one subject that often comes up is the fact that LACES does not have a weight room, or seemingly any access to weights at all. Well, as it turns out, the school used to have access to weights, and they may again in the near future.  

“We shared a weight room with the City of Los Angeles when we had a dual-use agreement with the pool, weight room, and the gym,” said Mr. Marlon Shows, athletic director of LACES. While this agreement is still in place for the gym and pool, the weight room fell into disrepair. 

“[The weight room] was open to the public … there was no way to keep those machines up to par in terms of repair and maintenance … at that point [the weight room] was unsafe to use,” said Shows.

Fortunately, LACES qualified for a $40,000 grant with UCLA Health’s Sound Body Sound Mind, which provided an array of spin bikes, which went in the now unused weight room. 

Spin classes have been conducted in P.E. for some time and provide easily accessible cardio for many students, particularly those in Ms. Sherry Stewart’s class. While the spin bikes have been put to good use for a while, Shows is hoping to acquire additional weight equipment. 

“We were given an opportunity to secure some free weights and bench equipment, and also some machines to add to our current inventory of spin cycles,” said Shows. 

Although it is uncertain, Shows plans on receiving the new equipment for the weight room this year.

“We’re hoping [to get the equipment] at the end of the semester. It’s through a partnership the district has with ESPN … they pledged to give us some equipment, and I’m hoping it’s going to continue to happen but the plan hasn’t been done yet.” 

From a sports perspective, the lack of weights has put LACES at a slight disadvantage, according to team coaches and players.

“For me, a weight room at LACES would be a necessity,” said Ishaan Jain, a 11th grader and varsity baseball player. “Having a weight room would help tie into numerous teams’ workout routines and would allow for students to train harder for their teams.”

The need for a weight room is also expressed by team coaches.

“I think it [not having weight access] puts us at a little disadvantage for sure … I think the top programs use weights a lot more than other programs,” said LACES Baseball Coach Todd Israel.

With the possibility of weight access soon, Israel believes that access to them will benefit younger players the most.

“I think it’ll definitely help us, especially the young kids just getting bigger,” said Israel. “Also, increased strength will help players pitch faster, throw harder, and move faster, which  will help our baseball teams.”

Speaking on how he would organize practices with weights, Israel said he would put the players in groups, some would be working out with weights while others hit or do fielding. This would allow for a balance between time spent on building strength and playing baseball. 

Getting access to weights would not solely affect athletics, but regular P.E. classes as well. Students in P.E. classes could possibly benefit from having weight room access and add to the rotation of athletic facilities available at LACES, including the pool, gym, and fields.

“I think that it would give a variety of activities for students to participate in,” said LACES P.E. teacher Mr. Christian Dymally. 

The addition of a weight room could add another place for students to be physically active, which can help relieve stress, according to 2022 Mayo Clinic research. 

LACES students, coaches and teachers can look forward to having weight access (hopefully) by the end of the year, but in the meantime will have to make due with the spin room. Still, Dymally believes that the lack of weight room does not directly harm students. 

“No, I think it doesn’t harm [students]. There is still a variety of activities they can do, but I think it would be a benefit. But I think what we have now is still good.” said Dymally.

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About the Contributor
Atticus Stevenson
Atticus Stevenson, Staff Writer
My name is Atticus. I am currently 6’3 and I love to kickbox and box. I guess you could say I dabble in jiu-jitsu as well. Oh my, I almost forgot, I’m not a half-bad writer or illustrator.
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