The Student News Site of Yutan High School

Chieftain Times

The Student News Site of Yutan High School

Chieftain Times

The Student News Site of Yutan High School

Chieftain Times

Student opinion: My lifting journey

Lewis finds a new passion for lifting

My freshman year, anyone could tell I had no muscle definition on my legs or arms; I was scrawny and very weak. On the basketball floor, this was honestly a struggle for me. Any time someone was much stronger than me (which was everyone), I couldn’t keep up with them. I would get bullied any time I was trying to get rebounds and play defense. Even though I had lifted the previous summer, I just didn’t see much of a change in the way my body felt or looked. I wasn’t confident in the weight that was on the bar and felt like I wasn’t capable of moving that weight. As my freshman year was ending, I knew that something needed to change in the way I was training. 

My older brothers both had done speed training in Wahoo at Saunders County Medical Center Edge Training and loved it, so my parents and I both agreed that it could be beneficial for me to start lifting there as well. I began lifting in Wahoo in March of 2021. Going in, I was so scared to start the lifting program with someone I didn’t know. When I arrived, I met Dylan McGill, who would be my trainer. Dylan is a certified personal trainer, a certified SportsMetric instructor and certified as an Instructor for BLS and Heartsaver (CPR). When I started, I could barely lift the bar while bench pressing, I could only squat ten pounds on each side and when I would hang clean, I could only do about five pounds on each side.

When I started, I could barely lift the bar while bench pressing, I could only squat ten pounds on each side and when I would hang clean, I could only do about five pounds on each side.

As the summer before in Yutan, I was putting weight on the bar that I couldn’t even lift, so going in I wasn’t confident with how much weight I should put on the bar. During that first workout, I literally thought I was going to pass out (I almost did) because it was a new way of training.  It was much harder, and I was much more active in what I was doing. At the end of my first day, however, even though it was probably the hardest and longest lifting workout I had ever done, I knew that it was going to be the most beneficial experience. 

As I continued training, Dylan showed me a new way of lifting. I wasn’t used to having a trainer that was right there, coaching me and making sure that my form was right and wasn’t hurting me. He didn’t care how much weight was on the bar but whether my form was correct. I was used to maxing out quite often, but I realized it doesn’t matter the weight I could you can lift—what matters is if it’s correct and safe.

Another thing that was brand new to me was speed training. I had never done it before and I was terrified of that treadmill, but after I did my first couple of runs, I really enjoyed it, and it is something I do quite often each week. This has increased my speed so much, and I am no longer scared of running on the treadmill.

Jade Lewis and Dylan McGill pose for a photo after a workout. Lewis has been working out with Dylan for over a year.

A third benefit I found was a program that was fit for me. I was doing workouts that fit my sports and not football. I was training my body and muscles correctly, and I wasn’t hurting myself. For example, the program incorporated many different exercises that I had never done before and that was very beneficial for my future self. One thing we worked on was being more explosive and having more power while jumping. Another thing I needed to work on was getting in better shape. Cardio wasn’t a part of my previous lifting routine, so that was something I had to adjust to but something that definitely changed the way my body felt. Our major goal was and is to keep increasing my muscular strength so that when I play basketball I can keep up with everyone.

Dylan also made me think about nutrition. I remember one of my first workouts, he talked to me about nutrition and what to eat and what not to eat. He told me that eating school lunch is not my best option, so then I stopped having school lunch. Next, he told me that after every workout, I should go home and have a protein shake. This was something that was hard for me because I never really took my protein intake seriously before. However, I would definitely say that because of the way I have been eating since my training started, I have gained over 30 pounds of muscle.

After lifting there for only a couple weeks, I was already noticing a difference. My form was so much better from when I started, I was moving weight on my own and I was comfortable with the weight that was on the bar. I had someone right next to me helping with my form and making sure I was lifting correctly, which was something that I never had. Having a trainer right there with me made such a huge difference. Dylan tells me what I’m doing wrong, he demonstrates exercises that I have never done before and he helps by pushing me each day; I credit all my lifting progress to him.

I had someone right next to me helping with my form and making sure I was lifting correctly, which was something that I never had.

I have now been training with him for over a year and a half, and he has really helped me develop as an athlete. As someone who went from doing a lifting program that I personally didn’t benefit from to starting Wahoo’s, I was seeing major improvements on and off the court. Dylan has helped me step out of my comfort zone with lifting and has helped me expand as an athlete. I have definitely learned and gained much knowledge with lifting from him, and I am really grateful that I am able to train in Wahoo because it has made me such a better athlete.

As I’m entering my second year of training there, I believe that if I hadn’t started training in Wahoo, I would still be that scrawny 115-pound player on the basketball court. As a result, I will be forever grateful to my parents and grandparents for supporting this opportunity and taking me to lifting, to Dylan for helping me reach goals that I thought I would never reach, and to everyone else who helped this scrawny freshman become a stronger person and a much better athlete.

 

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About the Contributor
Jade Lewis, Junior writer
Jade Lewis is a junior and is in her second year of journalism.  She enjoys writing stories and taking photos. Outside journalism, Jade is involved in NHS,  basketball, and lifting at Saunders County Medical Center.
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