by: Isabella Andreoni

When a group of three freshmen girls at The Catholic University of America walked through the doors of the Kane Fitness Center on Tuesday, Scudder Sodergreen waited with his arms crossed at the front desk. Mary Schwagerl, Sarah Keane, and Madeline Lombardo all knew what they were about to endure. But, after all, that is what they signed up for.

On campus all students have access to the Kane Fitness Center. The center provides a service free of charge, where appointments to workout with a personal trainer can be made. Students that wish to work out alone are more than welcome to, but the trainers also accept groups up to five. Each trainer, two of which are current seniors at the university, had to complete a physical education course and become certified in CPR. When students schedule their first appointment, they are given a sheet that asks them to write out their personal workout goals, so that the trainer knows what they hope to achieve by the end of the year.

Schwagerl, Keane, and Lombardo decided to get in shape once second semester started because it was all of their New Year’s resolutions. They signed up to be trained by senior Sodergreen for one hour twice a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays for the rest of the school year.

“I really regretted not going to the gym first semester, so I promised myself I would go to the gym at least twice a week after Christmas break ended. And I knew my friends would want to do it too,” Lombardo said.

On Tuesday, when the girls walked into the fitness center, they knew they weren’t going to be able to feel their legs tomorrow. Sodergreen made the girls do a series of lunges, squats, and box jumps. All three of them can squat up to 180 pounds. After they finished their last set of each exercise, the weight would drop to the floor and make a loud bang. It was impossible to set down the heavy weighty without making a sound. At the end of every workout Sodergreen gives them at least five ab works to do.

When the hour was up, Keane used her Philadelphia Eagles t-shirt to wipe the sweat from her face. Schwagerl ran to the water fountain and filled up her purple Camelbak waterbottle. Lombardo sat on the floor trying to catch her breath.

“Scudder, I might need to skip Thursday because that was one of the most intense workouts ever,” Schwagerl said.

Sodergreen doesn’t show any remorse for the girls when they show up for arm day on Thursdays. He makes them work just as hard as they did on Tuesday.

“The three girls have improved a lot since the beginning of the semester, I’m really impressed with the amount of weight they can lift and squat now. I don’t take it easy on them because I know they will come back stronger the next session,” Sodergreen said.

All three girls agreed that they will continue to use the free service at the Kane Fitness Center next year. They have also spread the word of the free service to their other friends who have also signed up. They all agreed that working out, even if it is only twice a week, makes a big difference in their health.

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