Today: May 22, 2024

Moore Field House regulates weight room

Edward RudmanSports Writer

A challenge presented by the COVID-19 pandemic to the athletic department has been figuring out how to get all its athletes into the weight room while still adhering to the strict protocols in place, according to strength and conditioning coach Dave Hashemi.

“The programming has to totally change. Warmups had to change, cool downs had to change,” said Hashemi. “The way we instruct and the way we file teams in and out of the weight room had to change. Traditionally, depending on class schedules and how busy the weight room was during the time of year, we actually could fit two teams in at once.”

That is no longer a reality, as the weight room has restrictions of 15 athletes permitted at one time and another five coaches or personnel, for a total of 20.

Sessions have also been cut down to 30 minutes each instead of the standard pre-pandemic hour it used to be before the pandemic. This is so that every athlete has the chance to get their strength and conditioning.

“We’ve broken down the calendar or the day to try and fit everybody in. So, the most pretty much anyone’s in the weight room is for no more than 30 minutes,” said Joe Hines, associate director of athletics and coordinator of athletic facilities. “The time frames we have to fit 400 and change athletes in to any given day just makes the time frames smaller for their workouts.”

The workouts themselves have had to change due to the new schedule. It has been Hashemi’s responsibility to figure out how to have productive sessions for the athletes in such a brief time span.

The athletes are required to clean the equipment before and after use, the time required to do so is included in the 30 minutes provided for each session. This means the athletes only have about 20-25 minutes in actuality to workout, according to Hashemi.

In response to the shortened sessions, Hashemi came to the decision to do lower weight and higher volume training. This is also necessary due to the fact that the athletes who are workout out have to social distance and cannot spot their teammates lifting heavier weights like they were able to in the past.

“Do I think it affects performance? It absolutely affects performance,” said Hashemi. “Would I sacrifice not getting them as strong, as physically as possible, I can’t. And because this has never really happened, nobodies been through a pandemic during a college weight training setting. We’re kind of experimenting and we’re going to see how this thing pans out.”

Hashemi is also dealing with more athletes at one time then he usually would have because teams that play in the winter, like basketball and swimming and diving, would be getting ready for the end of their seasons meaning they wouldn’t be in the weight room like an offseason program would be.

The first week of returning to the weight room was used to getting the athletes prepared for the weeks to follow and focused on reacclimatizing everyone to the lifts and workouts.

Rob Eggerling, defensive coordinator for the football team, said, “We’re starting everyone at the same level. Get back and get that muscle memory back and get yourself to where you need to be. Not everyone is on the same playing field when it comes to having the ability to get a gym membership or get in somewhere to do a workout. You kind of have to reteach it all over again

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