By: Renz Gabriel Garduque

No pain, no gain.

That timeless adage inspired Shape UP!, the Alternative Classroom Learning Experience (ACLE) session held by the University of the Philippines Academic League of Chemical Engineering Students (UP ALCHEMES) last October 12, 2017 at Room 301-303 of Melchor Hall, College of Engineering, UP Diliman.

Physical fitness and productivity were the main topics discussed during Shape UP!, with the talks coming from Lyn Amarillo of the UP Weightlifting Club and Josh Nieva of Crossfit Greenhills.

Caitlin Ashley Yu of UP ALCHEMES, one of the organizers of the said ACLE session, shared the reason behind the chosen theme.

“This year, we wanted to allocate one acle for interests beyond academics (or beyond anything deep like we typically organize) and the other for discussions to raise our social awareness. We basically brainstormed a bunch of topics we wanted to learn more about. Then fitness, particularly CrossFit, won,” Caitlin said.

The ACLE session started with Lyn Amarillo giving a talk about weightlifting and the necessary warm-up exercises and drills to prepare one’s body for the exercise proper. After the talk, the attendees were made to do basic exercises such as squats and stretches. Amarillo, together with her friends from the UP Weightlifting CLub, also gave demonstrations on the proper body form required for weightlifting.

The second part of the session was handled by Josh Nieva, where he talked about Crossfit and how the said activity helps in developing one’s discipline. The attendees were also made to perform a seven minute routine of burpees, sit-ups, and jumping jacks.

Dave Tana, an attendee, expressed how she “ realized that striving for balance is really important in terms of academics, org work, fitness, and health.” She also added that “ignoring fitness may seem like it is not much of a big deal yet, but obviously it would cause adverse effects later on in life. So yes, a resolution I made after that ACLE was to eat well and exercise more.”

Caitlin, who herself is a fitness enthusiast, left some practical words of wisdom for UP students: “Make every day an opportunity to try something new. We can get so caught up in our academics and extra-curriculars that we forget to take care of ourselves. Always listen to your body and treat it right”.

Shape Up! is one of the myriad ACLE sessions offered. Aside from fitness, there are sessions about photography, cooking, and even the use of cosmetics. The ACLE is an initiative of the University Student Council (USC) and is done every semester, in coordination with the different student bodies in the university. Organizations in UP Diliman conduct these ACLE sessions, in line with UP’s thrust of nurturing well-rounded and well-informed citizens.