The Junior Flex program now requires students to take a test upon entry

Notoriously known among the student body as the most failed class at Hockaday, the Junior Flex program has added a new requirement for its participants: a qualifying exam that will test their knowledge of the muscles, specific exercises and the machines in the fitness center.

Junior Flex refers to the alternative way for juniors to meet their physical education requirement. In order to meet this prerequisite, students must complete a designated number of workouts per quarter.

Head varsity volleyball coach Adaku Achilefu, who administers the test, said that the new requirement came out of the doubt shared by some coaches that the juniors going into the Fitness Center were not equipped with enough knowledge about the equipment and motivation to work out properly and safely.

“As our entire Upper School P.E. Department has been restructuring to include a stronger fitness core, we wanted to make sure that the Junior Flex program reflected that,” Achilefu said.

The test is comprised of two sections: a written portion that measures the student’s knowledge of muscles and good exercise habits and a walkthrough of the fitness center with Achilefu where the student would have to be able to name specific machines and exercises that would target certain muscle groups.

The junior class responded in a number of ways to this new requirement. Junior Nathalie Naor, who did not pass her first attempt at the begining of the first quarter, said that the test was a lot harder than she had expected.

“I have been in P.E. classes all of both freshman and sophomore year, but I didn’t feel prepared for the test, especially the walk-through section,” Naor said.  “It made me feel like I’m not cut out to work out on my own. Even people who passed left feeling dejected.”

Junior Evan Michelle Miller, who did pass the test in the first week of school, said she found the new requirement to be redundant after years of P.E. classes. “It’s kind of a condescending process,” she said.

However, both Miller and Naor agreed that the being able to participate in Junior Flex was worth preparing for and taking the test and are glad to begin this new alternative to activity classes.

– Avita Anand