Workout Wisdom: Finding The Line Between Passion And Obsession


Obsession or passion? That is the question Strength & Conditioning students and athletes need to answer in terms of weight lifting.

Sophomore Gerardo Santana said he is fully dedicated to weightlifting, normally working out four times a week – three days in Strength class and once on the weekends.

“I like the gym community because everyone is really welcoming and supportive of each other,” he said. “I’ve met people there that have helped me with form and showed me more optimal ways of doing things.”

Gerardo’s passion started roughly two years ago because he wanted to change his physical appearance by losing weight. Now that he feels more confident about his looks, his goal is to increase the amount of weight he can lift and gain more muscle. One of his many accomplishments is his personal record of 314 lbs in trap bar, a machine that uses your trapezius muscles – the muscles in your upper back- to move weights.

Besides the physical aspect of working out, Gerardo said it helps him cope with overwhelming emotions and school stress. You can “let it all out at the gym,” he said.

Like Gerardo, junior Britney Castillo Suarez lifts weights three to four times a week and is proud of her progress.

“At the beginning, I couldn’t lift anything and now I can lift over my own weight,” Britney said.

Ali Karver, who teaches Strength and Conditioning and coaches girls volleyball, defines a “workout obsession” as feeling off when you miss a workout, looking forward to workouts too much, and wanting to work out on most days.

Ali said some students work out more than they should. She said that as long as you do proper workouts efficiently, you don’t need to do a ton of training.


Sophomore Angelica “Geli” Paaga believes she is obsessed with weightlifting. Often working out six times a week and sometimes three times in a day.

“I try to explain to the kids that less is actually better,” she said. “Sometimes working out too much is actually a detriment to your results.”

Sometimes Ali fears that she ends up discouraging her students when she tries to warn them of the harm. She says some students can work out more than others because of their diet and other factors.

“I want to weightlift constantly instead of doing my homework and if I don’t, I feel like I haven’t accomplished my day yet,” Geli said.

Geli works out in Strength, has conditioning for Basketball and sometimes does an additional workout, too. She also jogs every weekend.

Gerardo warns his peers to take rest days seriously. He recalled last year, when he was taking  Strength class and running in Cross Country and Track, he didn’t give his muscles time to relax and recover. Feeling sore almost every day, he soon stopped seeing progress. He said he made the same mistake with the latest Cross Country season.

Ali also pointed out the misconception that many believe in: If you’re not exhausted or sore after a workout, then it wasn’t a good workout.

“Everyone has to realize that you are your own body, and everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses,” Ali said.