Photographer:Fotograaf: Joey Roberts/ Illustratie Janneke Swinkels
Strength & Conditioning
UM Sports opened the doors of the new university sports centre one year ago. Each week, Observant shows up in sports gear to participate in one of the sessions, and will do so until the summer. Today: Strength & Conditioning.
The beginner: “Did you hear how quiet it became halfway through the lesson?” trainer Edwin Janssen asks afterwards. Yes, now that you mention it. The chit-chatting of three friends had indeed ceased, but the reporter on duty hadn't much attention for it by then. Let alone be able to give an elaborate answer after the hour was up.
Strength & Conditioning is not for softies. That much becomes clear even during the warming-up. It is jogging (forwards and backwards), cross steps, knee bends, and jumping in circles around a track that has been set out. The heavy balls, mats, steps, kangaroo balls, and weights wait patiently for what is to come: two times nine exercises of one minute each, nine exercises of 45 seconds. All kinds of jumping, push-ups, fast dribbles, pushing and lifting of weights. No two stations are the same, variety galore. At the end of the third minute - there is a twenty second break after every exercise - the hands already rest on the upper legs and breathing is heavy, the towel now serves as a sweat cloth. What do you mean you are fit? Not much time to worry about that, because knee bends with weights of a few kilos on the shoulders await us. “Keep looking straight ahead,” Janssen encourages, “then your posture will be right”. A little later, wobbling and shaking on a large ball cut through the centre that you have to hold onto with both hands while your body, if you are lucky, looks like a ‘plank’, he comes around again. “It is going well.” As soon as he turns away, the plank collapses and the stolen moments of rest on the hard floor are a welcome break.
There is no energy left after an hour. No energy at all, because the day after the body is still tired. Anyway, you do want to improve your fitness. Don’t you?!
The expert: He suspects that some men underestimate the Strength & Conditioning training and therefore don’t participate. But those who do come, enjoy themselves, Edwin Janssen is sure. He is not just sports teacher at UM Sports (fitness, handball, fitness training), but also the national coach for the under-seventeen women handball team. “No two lessons are the same. Every instructor has his/her own style, but the aim is always to improve fitness, power, and balance.” Janssen points out that every exercise is a combination of different movements. “It is never just push-ups or jumping, you always use multiple muscles.” It is tough, he acknowledges, but also a good way to keep fit “and to get rid of frustration”.
Target group: For everyone, from beginner to experienced. “You can easily adapt the training to your own level. If it becomes difficult, you take lighter weights or you take things a little easier. If it is too easy, you can make things tougher.” The women are usually in the majority, but there is a fixed group of men who show up regularly.
The facts: Strength & Conditioning is held ten times a week: on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 11:30-12:30. On Monday also from 16:15-17.15, Tuesday from 19:30-20:30, Wednesday from 16:00-17:00, Thursday from 18:15-19:15, Friday from 18:00-19:00 and on Sunday from 15:30-16:30.