Forging Elite Fitness


A CrossFit class with Mac

Chloe Reoyo, Journalist

CrossFit classes offered at Shadow Ridge High School are all thanks to Heather McEnaney, “Mac,” who is the CrossFit teacher in the P.E. Department. 

This is Mac’s 19th year in the school district and chose to teach this CrossFit because of the variety of the exercises. Each training is different even when students work out the same part of their bodies. CrossFit mixes cardio and weight lifting which appeals to a lot of students. Mac’s students seem to really enjoy this way of working out. 

“I have always worked out but I like that CrossFit changes daily,” explains Mac. “I received my CrossFit Level 1 in 2019 and started implementing it in my weight training class and the student’s seemed to participate more.  When I was given the opportunity to teach it at Shadow I made the move.”

Chloe Reoyo

But even if this class is adapted to a large number of people, students need to at least be a sophomore to take the class. 

Each class, students work out a different part of their body, upper or lower. And on Wednesdays they run, or walk, on the track. Students start with a warm up, then they discover a new exercise or try to beat their personal record (PR). Then, a program is displayed on the walls. It changes everyday. Sometimes the goal is to do as many repetitions as possible and as fast as possible, while some days the requirement is to do that many reps in that amount of time. 

“CrossFit  is constantly varied, high intensity workouts of functional movements,” tells Mac. “ When we are completing a strength cycle we do that movement for about six weeks but the workout of the day changes.”  

To choose those exercises, Mac inspires herself with the workouts she teaches at a CrossFit gym, but many other factors are involved as well, like the amount of students who are participating and what the room allows the students to do with the material and space available. 

“I also coach at a CrossFit gym and I will get some workouts that we do there but a lot of times I have to consider how many students I have, what equipment will be used and the layout of the room,” explains Mac.

But a CrossFit class with no music is not a real CrossFit class and it is not always easy to please everyone’s musical tastes because her classes involve all types of students. Mac has found a very good way to make sure everyone can listen to something that stimulates them to push harder. At the beginning of the year, she opened a Google Form where everyone could submit songs they liked. Obviously, explicit are not allowed.

CrossFit plyometrics (Chloe Reoyo)

“It depends on one’s preference to make a fire playlist,” comments Mac. “Everyone enjoys different genres of music and I allow students to submit song choices; however, everyone likes to complain about the songs but not submit one themselves.”

During the classes, every student is split up into groups of four. Every group has their own station. There are two stations at each power rack. Every group has a “man” bar and plates. There is also a “woman” bar at each power rack. In the classroom there are dumbbells and kettlebells, battle ropes, and all the essential material for CrossFit. Mac had to choose who she was putting at each station. 

“At the beginning of the year I did it alphabetically to learn everyone’s names.  After two weeks, I allowed students to try and place themselves with other students who lifted similar weight,” remarks Mac. “You want a good experience working out and it helps when you have support around you.” 

CrossFit is a sport where students don’t need to be at a certain fitness level to have fun and progress. In CrossFit, everyone has different goals but everyone is helping each other by spotting or cheering on others. Some students have been lifting for years but they will always help the new ones and never make fun of them.. 

“Not only is personal fitness and wellness a PE credit, but it is an opportunity to workout during the school day if you have a busy schedule,” observes Mac. “It also allows you to challenge yourself and get out of your comfort zone while working out.”

Mac has the same goals for the students that the students have for themselves: gain confidence, abilities and strength, but still have fun and make new friends. 

Mac states,  “My goal is that each student can take something away from the class.  I have had some students afraid to try the standard Olympic bar (45 lbs) and watch them add weight to it by the end of the year with ease.”

She doesn’t only teach CrossFit at Shadow Ridge, and is a personal trainer at a CrossFit gym. She also teaches weight training and is the tennis coach.