Cardio queen takes on the SCC

I’m almost half way through my second year here at U of T, and to be honest, until a few weeks ago I had not even set foot in the Strength and Conditioning Centre (SCC) at the AC. It’s been in the back of my mind as one of those things I should really check out sometime, but I always put it off. I love my cardio – walking, running, biking… that’s good enough right? Who needs weights?! Well, cardio is great, but deep down I know that it is important to mix it up and add activities like strength training to my regime to keep my core and all my muscles nice and strong. And with the weather only getting colder outside, I finally decided it was about time I ventured into this seemingly intimidating room. Since I prefer exercising outdoors and/or in team sports, I didn’t know the first thing about “weight rooms.” All those obscure and scary looking machines – where to even start?! Watching is the best way for me to learn how to do something, so I registered for the FREE SCC circuit orientation offered on Mondays during women-only hours. Talk about a good idea! I get kinda self-conscious when I feel like people are watching me, so I felt much more comfortable learning the ropes with only a few other girls in the room. The SCC staff person was really friendly and an excellent guide each step of the way. It was just me and one other girl doing the orientation, so there was plenty of time for the instructor to demonstrate how to use each of the eight machines in the circuit before we gave it a try. With just those eight machines we got a real full body workout – chest, shoulders, back, biceps, hamstrings, quads, glutes… it helped me realize what muscles in my body really could use a little more work! Unless you are in front of a mirror, it can be tough to see what you look like as you use the equipment. That’s why it was also super helpful that as we tried out each machine, the instructor would watch and make sure that we were doing it right. That’s really important, not only so that you look like a boss during your workout, but so that you don’t strain or injure yourself! Now that I’ve been-there, done-that with the SCC, I can honestly say that it is not so scary!! At least, not during women-only access. Ladies, we get it ALL to ourselves for an hour every day, so take advantage of it! Check the schedule to find out when they offer orientations, or pick up some printed info-sheets next time you pass through the turnstiles! -Lesia

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