Pumping Iron

Arnold SilhouetteI believe that the gym is one of the most under appreciated resources at Union College. In particular, the weight room. I think that strength training is one of the most valuable tools available to a college student. Now before everyone gets their panties in a bunch about how cardio/aerobics/conditioning is just as important to a healthy lifestyle, let me clarify that I am only referring to a very specific psychological benefit of training. I personally do run and believe that it is beneficial. Strength training has several benefits:


  1. Quick: Consistent strength training can take only 7 minutes a day.
  2. Relaxing: The intensity of strength training allows you to relieve all the tension from your classes.
  3. Healthy: Strength training increases muscles tone and bone density which are both important for healthy aging.
  4. Strength: Obviously with consistent training your strength will improve. Besides “Strong people are harder to kill than weak people and more useful in general.” – Mark Rippetoe     
  5. Safe: Strength training results in an injury only once in about 28,000 hours.
  6. Quantifiable: Most importantly, strength training can be quantified. Sets, reps, and weight are all numbers and it is easy to see when they go up.  There is nothing quite like seeing your own improvement from week to week. It motivates you and pushes you to do even better.


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Xavier '16

Xavier Capaldi comes from a homestead in Northern Vermont where his family raises sheep, chickens, and rabbits. Xavier was homeschooled his entire life before college. He is majoring in physics and minoring in nanotechnology and math. At Union, Xavier is the social host of the Beuth Council. He is also the captain and president of the rugby team and is a tutor in the Physics Help Center. Xavier has participated in a variety of research projects including: the study of embryonic heart development, analysis of gas released during coffee bean roasting, the development of a vanadium catalyst to neutralize chemical warfare agents on fabric, and study of the crystallization of polyethylene oxide.

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