Women enrolled in the Liberty County Recreation Department’s body-sculpting and fitness class, run by Keith McGee, may never run a 4.5-second 40-yard dash like former Liberty County High School running back Shadrach Thornton or squat 500 pounds like current Panther linebacker Raekwon McMillian.
However, McGee, who oversees strength and conditioning for the Panthers football team and also is the head track coach and a weight-training instructor at LCHS, uses the same lifts and techniques in his class that he has used to improve LCHS athletes.
“This is the total package. I am rejuvenated, motivated and encouraged. Getting in shape is just the icing on the cake,” Bradwell Institute math teacher and cheerleading coach Alicia Jackson Cheney said.
Arizona native McGee, who is going into his 10th year at LCHS, is certified through the National Strength and Conditioning Association, which is considered the pinnacle of certification for strength coaches.
“I had been certified through United States Weightlifting, and I found out that the NSCA was the top organization to be certified through, and it was a long process, but the things that I learned helped me to do more with my athletes and learn what was cutting for personal fitness and weight training,” McGee said.
The top athletes McGee has coached in his LCHS career are listed in faded dry-erase marker on a white board in the Liberty weight room. It’s a testament to the correct techniques applied to an athlete’s work ethic and also applied to participants in his LCRD class.
“One of the most important things that I teach in the LCRD class is to have strong core strength,” McGee said. “That core strength is in the legs and the stronger the core, the better people will feel. Strong legs will make the ladies feel young forever. My goal is to help all of the ladies in the program develop functional strength.”
McGee develops that strength through Olympic lifts such as snatches and clean and jerks. Women in the class also get a lot of abdominal-muscle work along with routine lifts such as bench press and squats.
McGee has been teaching the class for about two years through the Liberty Recreation Department.
The class is $30 a month and offered Monday through Thursday from 7-8 a.m. During the school year, the class is offered from 5-6 p.m. For more information, call 876-5359.