New Team Hopes to Sculpt Campus

Watch out Arnold, here comes Harvard.

With three-time state champion bodybuilder Chris M. Pappas as their trainer, students on the new Bodybuilding Team will meet five times a week to flex their collective Crimson plex.

The unofficial team, founded by Spencer G. Rhodes '00, is designed to provide Harvard weightlifters at all levels of experience with the opportunity to train in an organized program.

"Bodybuilding can tend to be a solitary thing," Rhodes said, "and it's important to bring people with the same interests together so that we can get the same level of camaraderie that other teams get."

Coach Pappas, a longtime cook in Currier House for Harvard Dining Services, will teach technique at the workouts and encourage good eating habits afterward.

"Fifty percent of what you're going to get out of the gym is what you eat," he said.

Team members will practice on four weekdays at 6:30 a.m., and eat breakfast together at one of the river houses. The Saturday practice will take place in the afternoon.

"While all the rest of the college slime balls are still in bed," Rhodes wrote in his e-mail to new members, "you will be sculpting yourself into a work of art."

Team members such as Tanzi Shams '99, a transfer student from Rutgers, say they had been disappointed with the lack of opportunities for organized weight lifting at Harvard. Having teammates will motivate them to work out more, they say. And several praise the ambitious schedule.

"I think if I weightlift in the morning, I'll feel good all day long," said Inga C. Hunter '00.

There are some problems that the team has not been able to solve yet. Currently, team members have to lift in the "cage," a weight room behind the indoor track on the Allston campus using equipment that Rhodes calls "sparse." He hopes to make special arrangements with the Malkin Athletic Center to accommodate the team's early morning weight room hours.

The team already has 10 members. Rhodes says that next semester he will apply to the College for status as an official club. The first-semester deadline for such applications already has passed.

The team's founder says he sees expansion in the future. Rhodes may sponsor a "Mr. Harvard" competition.

Rhodes said the event would be adapted to students' needs. For example, he mentioned that tight underwear would not be a necessity "so that people won't be scared off." Rhodes did not mention whether cosmetic oil would be used in the contest.

The team requires no prior experience and, according to Rhodes, has only one prerequisite: dedication.

"I definitely want people who want to take themselves to the max," Rhodes said. Rhodes signs his correspondence, "Stay Pumped."