Second Year Med Students Sprint to Fitness

Thursday, October 24, 2013

For Libby McNiven, a second-year medical student at UCSF, reaching out to a friend to join her for a workout at Kezar Stadium was simply a means of motivating herself to stick to her training regimen.

Now, McNiven posts nearly every week to a Facebook group that has swelled to 36 members, suggesting workouts ranging from the difficult (sprints) to the insane (laps of walking lunges).

On one particularly sunny day, six MS-2s took advantage of a free afternoon and met at Kezar Stadium for a high-intensity workout.

The day’s session began with five minutes of dynamic workouts, which had the students jumping, lunging, kicking and skipping on the track, past the jogging lunchtime warriors. The group then regrouped and decided on a sequence of sprints, push-ups and one-legged squats, with ample modifications for the uninitiated and unfit.

After half a year of track meet-ups, McNiven and a core group of regulars have infused the workouts with their own fitness interests and goals. Given the diversity of the workouts, McNiven has a hard time picking what she likes best about the group. But the same spi

rit of camaraderie that inspired her to start these workouts still motivate her today.

“I think I like doing things with people that I wouldn’t do myself,” said McNiven. “A sprint Tabata is 20 seconds of sprints and 10 seconds of rest, repeated eight times. It’s four minutes of really hard work. When you’re done, you feel so good for having done it. But I would never do it by myself.”