Don’t weight to go to the weight room

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Don’t weight to go to the weight room

Núñez explains an exercise to sophomore Isaac Frankel during football’s weight training.

Núñez explains an exercise to sophomore Isaac Frankel during football’s weight training.

Núñez explains an exercise to sophomore Isaac Frankel during football’s weight training.

Núñez explains an exercise to sophomore Isaac Frankel during football’s weight training.

Amelia Harris, Staff Reporter

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Before Ernesto Núñez became Burlingame’s strength and conditioning coach in 2017, the weight room was used sporadically, mainly when teams were brought in with their coaches. Núñez, who also works in Burlingame’s special ed department, is a former high school and collegiate wrestler,  and has trained with weights through his life. As a Burlingame teacher, he would use the weight room for personal gain, and when Athletic Director John Philipopoulos saw this, he asked Núñez to take on a new coaching position in the weight room. Since the Athletic Boosters began funding the job in 2017, more teams and individuals have come to the weight room to work out.

Teams have scheduled days and times to attend the weight room, sometimes with a coach, but having one present is not mandatory. Students who are medically cleared are allowed to work out in the weight room during either their offseason or to stay in shape in lieu of a traditional gym.

“My favorite part about [being the strength and conditioning coach] is that I get to work with just about every team and it gives me the opportunity to meet the rest of the students here,” Núñez said.

For junior Cooper Glavin, who runs cross country and track, the weight room is a way to supplement track workouts, and he also comes on his own time, without a coach.

“I really like having Coach E. in here helping us know what to do, and he makes sure that if you want to progress, you can. You can see yourself getting stronger,” Glavin said.

Sophomore Isabella Aitken attends morning workouts in the weight room twice a week as part of her training for swimming. According to Aitken, the workouts focus on varying muscle groups but are almost always full-body and have helped her become a stronger swimmer.

“After experiencing the weight room and being a part of something bigger than myself, it is oftentimes hard to visualize it not being there. I think once you become a part of the weight room and its community, it is hard to step away from it,” Aitken said.

The weight room is open Monday through Thursday after school until 6:00 p.m. as well as some mornings based on demand and scheduling. Both Núñez and the athletes who use the weight room emphasized the community mindset and support in the weight room.

“This is a welcoming place. As long as you’re [medically] cleared, I’ll find a time slot for students to work out. Everything is, in my mind, family-oriented,” Núñez said.