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First-Year Planning Physical Fitness club

Student Develops Challenging Cross-Training Program for Health-Conscious

By Jennifer E. Moon

While most first-years are still trying to adjust to college life, Spencer G. Rhodes '00 already has plans to start a new athletic program, Harvard's first-ever cross-training team.

Rhodes, who played soccer is high school and currently participates in the Marine Reserve Officer's Training Corps (ROTC) program, says he seeks to create an organization whose members are devoted to maintaining physical fitness.

"When I came here, I was looking for a physical fitness type of activity that didn't have much to do with athletics, and I didn't really find anything," he says.

Rhodes, who says he has yet to work out all the administrative details with the director of club sports, stresses that he would like his cross-training group to be a team, rather than merely a club.

"I want people who are dedicated to it, and 'club' sounds too much like you can just come when you want," Rhodes says.

Rhodes has developed a strenuous and challenging seven-day program for his cross-training team. The schedule is designed to both build muscular strength and improve cardiovascular efficiency in daily workouts lasting one or two hours.

Mondays consist of running and weight training to develop the biceps, triceps and forearms. On Tuesdays, participants row and use leg weights, and Wednesdays, they bike and complete an upper body weights workout. This three-day sequence is repeated, and on Sunday, the participants rest and recover with a little swimming.

Although Rhodes says some students may find the workout schedule a little formidable, he believes the program is managable.

"It's not unreasonable, and if you're consistent about it, it should really get you in shape," he says.

Rhodes has also developed a less stringent, four-day program for people who already train in an organized physical activity like ROTC or a varsity sport.

Rhodes plans to divide participants into groups of four to six people. By making personal physical fitness into an organized, group activity, he hopes to keep members dedicated and motivated.

"If you know you have five other people waiting for you to work out, then you're probably going to go and do it," he says.

Rhodes envisions the cross-training team as "a good support group" to help members reach their individual fitness goals, and he plans to keep records so that members can monitor their own progress.

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