Wellness department discontinues “girls only” weight room hours

Pictured above are weights from the weight room. The wellness department at WHS has decided to stop implementing Girls Only hours for the weight room.

Credit: WSPN Staff

Pictured above are weights from the weight room. The wellness department at WHS has decided to stop implementing “Girls Only” hours for the weight room.

Olivia Waldron and Andrew D'Amico

The WHS wellness department has discontinued “girls only” hours in the WHS weight room. In the fall, the department implemented the designated time slot when only women were allowed to use the weight room and equipment. However, due to the low number of female students and teachers using the weight room during these times, along with feedback from boys, the “girls only” hours will no longer take place.

“I’ve been running [“girls only” hours] with [math teacher Jeff] Brewington in the winter and the numbers don’t support us to keep it going,” Wellness Director Scott Parseghian said. “The reason is that we’ve tried in between seasons to see if the [girls’ attendance] went up.”

“We keep an attendance sheet every day and we track who comes in and when,” wellness teacher John Berry said. “I was waiting for [the time] in between seasons because the field hockey team was coming in on Tuesdays and Thursdays during the fall, so I was seeing if anything changed. After [the fall sports] season ended, only a couple of girls came in.”

According to Berry, the highest number of girls that worked out during the designated hours at once was five, and usually, there were only one or two female athletes using the gym during that time.

The main reason that the hours no longer take place is due to low attendance, but wellness teachers realized that it did not fit with the current WHS wellness curriculum.

“The other part [of the problem] is our curriculum now. Freshmen take Fitness 1 and sophomores take Fitness 2, and [in those classes], we are advocating working out with boys and girls,” Parseghian said. “We have girls spotting boys and boys spotting girls and doing the movements together in the fitness room. We’re encouraging that to happen, and now it feels like we’re doing something different [with “girls only” hours].”

Students around the school also expressed that they didn’t think “girls only” hours changed much about the weight room.

“I don’t think they’re very beneficial, because the girls that are in there during that time aren’t afraid to go in when the guys are there,” sophomore Christian Kiernan said. “I don’t think it brings any new faces to the weight room.”

Other students said that they couldn’t tell that the hours were taking place.

“I’ve been to the girls only hours but it wasn’t on purpose,” freshman Emma Sheehan said. “I didn’t care [about working out while boys were in the weight room], I just couldn’t go any other day.”

Parseghian also felt that it was counter-intuitive to make the boys wait to exercise even when there were no girls using the weight room. However, the wellness program still wants to make the weight room easily accessible to females.

“If we hear that females really want their time, we’ve talked about flipping it and making the girls hours later in the day,” Parseghian said. “Also, because we are getting rid of female times in the fitness room, any time a female is in there we are going to make sure they have a rack to work out on and that the boys do not take over the entire room, leaving no equipment for the girls to use.”