Support our mission
 
Patch American High School physical education instructor, right, Carol Heffernan and junior Adam Fugent joke during a conditioning class Friday at the Patch Fitness Center.
Patch American High School physical education instructor, right, Carol Heffernan and junior Adam Fugent joke during a conditioning class Friday at the Patch Fitness Center. (David Josar / S&S)

STUTTGART, Germany — On Friday morning, the Patch Fitness Center was jammed with teenagers from Patch American High School.

They ran on the treadmills, meticulously curled barbells and waited in line to do chin-up after chin-up.

The 26 teenagers are sophomores, juniors and seniors participating in a “conditioning” class being offered by Patch American High School. The class is so popular that Patch physical education instructor Carol Heffernan said the school is planning to offer another section in the fall.

“We’re teaching kids about fitness, how to take care of themselves and how to take care of their bodies,” Heffernan said.

This is the second semester the conditioning class has been offered, and students are able to see the gains in their physical strength, Heffernan said.

“They come up to me and say: ‘I’m so much stronger, my legs are bigger, my arms are bigger,’” said Heffernan, who has taught at Patch for 26 years.

Junior Adam Fugent, a member of the golf team, is one of those students who has improved. He has only taken the class for a few weeks in the new semester, but he said he already is feeling stronger.

“In golf, nowadays, you have to be able to drive the ball farther, and this should help,” said Fugent, who adds he is a 12-handicap golfer and can drive the ball 280 yards.

The class was offered for the first time this fall. Initially, 15 students signed up.

In January, the American Heart Association said 15 percent of American children and teenagers are considered overweight. That number has grown from 6 percent about 20 years ago.

Heffernan said a conditioning class helps young people take better care of their bodies.

Patch students, who already are required to take a yearlong physical education class, also receive an introduction to weight training. All teenagers who take the conditioning class must have completed the yearlong physical education class, Heffernan said.

The students meet usually every other day for 90 minutes of training. They do a mix of cardiovascular exercise, such as running, and weight training.

Not all of the students are high school athletes, Heffernan said, but most are.

Patch wrestler Josh Anderson, who recently won a record fourth Department of Defense Dependents Schools wrestling title, credits the class for allowing him to remain competitive despite repeated elbow injuries.

On Friday, Anderson, who also plays football and soccer, was doing a number of exercises that allow him to keep his arm strong, despite being hit by a rash of dislocated elbows.

“What I’ve learned it to be consistent and focused,” he said. “You have to do what is comfortable for you, not to show off in the gym.”

Migrated

Stripes in 7



around the web


Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign-up to receive a daily email of today’s top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign up