Stepping into the MVHS weight room

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Stepping into the MVHS weight room

Ruth Feng

By now, the MVHS weight room has more dirt and grime than weights. Gray bars have turned brown and stained, and clean glass mirrors now show their age with cracks and smudges that have become permanent over time. The barbells have been here longer than most students, and this year they have a new owner. Stepping into a position many students may not known about, strength and training coach Justin Yu is now bringing the weight back into the MVHS weight room. In a job position that is described as flexible and undefined, watch how Yu is taking charge to condition athletes off the field or pool and into the weight room.

Sweat and the sound of rap music fills the MVHS weight room, a familiar scene for many athletes and people looking to get in shape. But a new face can be seen leading a workout for the boys’ water polo team.

The new strength and conditioning coach, Justin Yu, was hired this summer. MVHS was in need of a new coach after the previous strength coach, Tim Deegan, left last year. They called Yu in August and asked if he would take over as the new strength coach, and he agreed. After studying kinesiology at California Polytechnic University and later returning to the Bay Area, Yu decided to bring his craft to a different population — MVHS athletes.

From 2:30 to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday, Yu is in the weight room working with MVHS sports teams.

He guides the athletes through his strengthening program, which helps them maximize their potential on and off the playing field.

“[The training] helps us be successful because we’re not as tired in the water,” sophomore water polo player Ashna Maheshwary said.
Yu has been working with Maheshwary since the third week of this school-year. On some select days every week, different teams train with Yu.

Yu enforces sports specific training by having athletes of different sports train differently. A football player would do more exercises that lend itself to overhead movements, whereas a field hockey player would work on stamina training. Core strengthening and muscle building are universal since they are the foundation of everything that Yu does with the athletes.

Outside of MVHS, Yu is an assistant head strength and conditioning coach for Fitness Never Sleeps, a training center in Santa Clara. There, he works with all types of people — from high school athletes to collegiate athletes, to people who want to lose weight to people who are trying to get ready for a particular sport. For now, MVHS is a part-time gig he took to explore a different population.

“General population to athletic population, all that,” Yu said. “Now I’m starting to focus a little bit more around the sports realm versus just weight loss and things like that.”

Although the school year has just started, Yu is looking forward to seeing improvement within the teams he works with. Seeing athletes have fun and reflect what Yu teaches them is the most rewarding thing to him.

“This is something new for me,” Yu said. “It’s something that will benefit the school and help me down the road as well.”