New physical education class introduces students to weightlifting


Dorie Xie

The Physical Education Department will be introducing a new class, Weightlifting, in the 2023–2024 school year. The class is open to students of all physical abilities and will focus on strength and agility training.

Starting the 2023–2024 school year, Los Altos High School is offering a new physical education (PE) class: Weightlifting.

Currently, students are required to fulfill 20 credits (or two years equivalent) of PE courses. All freshmen must take PE and later get to choose between yoga, dance or an after-school sport in their sophomore year. 

Now, eligible students who fulfill the freshman PE requirement have the option to take the new weightlifting course, which will be a yearlong, co-educational and participation-based class worth 10 PE credits.

Unlike the currently-existing options, the new weightlifting class will focus on different fitness activities outside of sports, including strength training, flexibility, stretching and footwork. The class is designed to cater to students of all fitness levels, from beginners looking to start lifting to advanced athletes aiming to get even stronger.

“A lot of students seem to enjoy the weight training unit that we do during freshman year,” PE department coordinator Kiernan Raffo said. “The goal of this class is to learn more detailed movements and go more in-depth into how to strengthen your body.”

“I’m so glad they’re making it an option for both people who already enjoyed the unit and those who maybe aren’t into it but want to give it another try,” said freshman Andy Carrera, who plans to take Weightlifting next year.

Students will also be taught ways to incorporate weightlifting into their daily lives to build good habits outside of school.

“I hope that this class builds a strong foundation for an individual to be able to structure their own workouts pertaining to whatever their life goals are, whether that’s for a sport or just overall fitness,” PE teacher Bryan Edwards said. “Plus, weight training as a whole is crucial to maintain health, fitness and wellness.”

The class covers not only exercise but the importance of daily physical fitness and proper nutrition for lifelong health benefits as well.

“The world is changing, and we’ve never seen such a high incidence of issues that can be alleviated by good health,” PE teacher Bob McFarlane said. “Building lifetime habits will teach students to embrace and enjoy physical fitness and eating properly — it makes you feel so much better and confident about who you are.”