A little known part of the track and field team that does not receive a lot of attention at APU is the throwing team. Throwing consists of three different categories: shot put, discus, javelin and hammer. APU’s shot put, javelin and discus teams practice on APU’s football field while the hammer throwers practice at Citrus in their hammer ring.
During the season an APU thrower’s day begins with weight training and exercises.
“On Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings we start at 7 a.m. for weightlifting that usually involves Olympic-style lifting. You have programs based on the clean and jerk, snatch lifts and then lots of squats. There’s a lot of presses, so either bench press or push press, basically anything and everything that can involve a barbell,” Patrick Kern, a senior applied science major and a shot put thrower, said.
After weight training, the shot put throwers practice on Mondays and Wednesdays.
“On Mondays and Wednesday I would do shot put drills, because for us it’s really about repetition because our event is so quick. A 400-meter runner has to have the capacity to run for an ideal of 45 seconds and between 55 seconds, but with us our events last about two to three seconds,” Kern said.
Throwers also work on their flexibility and their core strength. Cale Campbell is a sophomore transfer from Grand Canyon College in Arizona. Campbell transferred in this semester as a history major and as a javelin thrower.
“We do a lot of core work, we do a lot of stretching like everyone on the team. We do some running, but not as much as the rest of the team,” Campbell said.
Throwers also work on their flexibility to keep their muscles used to throwing such heavy objects several times.
“There is a lot of flexibility that is involved, a surprising amount of flexibility. A thrower’s trunk torsion is going to be pretty flexible so that we can make the rotations that we need to and reach as far back as we need to,” Kern said.
For the javelin throwers, there are a lot of throwing workouts involved like core workouts and arm exercises. However, throwers cannot throw their actual instruments often because of the wear and tear it does on their bodies. The javelin throwers join the rest of the throwers in the gym when working on their strength with the weightlifting, running and core workouts. After completing the workouts, Campbell and the other javelin thrower, David Musson, split off and do their specific javelin throwing exercises.
Throwers also watch their diets, but they do not have to watch what they eat as much as the other members of the track team.
“We have more leeway than the sprinters who have to stay skinny. As for me, I eat protein throughout the day. We don’t have to watch our weight as much,” Campbell said.
The throwers do actually consume a lot of calories to keep their energy and strength up.
“We eat a pretty good amount, but you would be surprised. Some of the sprinters can eat as much as a thrower can. But for the most part our appetites are going to be bigger. For an example, an average day for me is about 3,500 calories, a really strenuous day can be anywhere from 4,000 to 5,000 calories and a light day is anywhere from 2,500 to 3,000,” Kern said.
During the off -season, throwers work on whatever their individual needs are.
“The off-season needs are so different for everybody. For example, there may be some throwers who need to trim down on their overall body weight so that they can be more mobile and flexible and more powerful. Some people just straight up need to get stronger, but it really depends on each individual. Some of the general needs are getting stronger or someone trying to trim down on fat mass,” Kern said.