PE.720 | Spring 2006 | Undergraduate

Weight Training


Course Meeting Times

Lectures: 2 sessions / week for 6 weeks, 1 hour / session

Course Description

This 12 session course is designed for the beginning or novice weight lifter, or for those who have experience lifting but lack proper instruction. We will provide an understanding of the biomechanics involved, muscles used for a given exercise, and program development.

Four days of lecture, demonstration, and hands-on learning will provide the student with the basics in lifting and spotting technique, safety, the benefits of weight training, weight room etiquette, and the ability to develop a basic weight training program.

Sessions five through ten& will be a practical application of what they have learned in alternating upper and lower body workouts. Supervision and constant feedback regarding technique and overall approach will be given.

The final two sessions will be dedicated to maximum effort testing in three lifts: the squat, the press, and the pull-down. Careful instruction will be given on proper technique and safety for maximum effort lifts. Once completed, the student will have a much better idea of their strength in each lift, and then can choose a heavier and more appropriate weight for each exercise.


  • To encourage students to incorporate weight training into their lives as a part of their overall fitness regimen.
  • To instruct the students in the proper and safe way to lift and spot weight training.
  • To build the students’ confidence in the weight room with the hope of reducing or eliminating the air of intimidation that is present in some weight rooms.
  • To provide the students with sufficient information and knowledge to allow them to develop a weight training program that can be incorporated into their fitness needs.

About the Instructor

Halston Taylor’s cross country coaching career began at MIT in 1982 and since that time, the squad has become one of the most successful programs at the Institute. Coach Taylor has led Tech through 10 undefeated seasons and three others marred by one loss. The Engineers are also a perfect seven-for-seven at the NEWMAC Cross Country Championships under his watch.

During Halston’s tenure, the cross country team has been ranked as high as fifth nationally. He has been on the receiving end of numerous postseason coaching accolades, including a streak of five-straight Constitution Athletic Conference Coach of the Year awards in the 1990’s; replaced by a current run of seven consecutive awards from the NEWMAC citing Taylor’s coaching excellence.

In track, Halston begins his 14th season as head coach of the men’s track and field team at MIT as one of the premier recruiters and coaches in the nation. With a combined coaching record of 215-21, Taylor has solidified MIT’s position as one of the most dominant track and field programs in the region. In 2005, Taylor copped his sixth NEWMAC Coach of the Year citation. He guided the Engineers through an unblemished year in 2003 (15-0 indoors, 8-0 outdoors), leading to two New England Division III Championships. Taylor’s teams have also captured six of the last seven NEWMAC Championships.

The indoor and outdoor teams regularly qualify individuals for the NCAA Championships, and under Taylor’s guidance, MIT has elicited 122 All-Americans and 12 National champions.

Before arriving at MIT, Taylor coached the women’s track club at South Carolina and was the boy’s track coach at both Granby and Mohawk Regional high schools in Massachusetts.

A native of Columbia, S.C., Taylor is a graduate of the University of South Carolina where he was a four-year letter winner and a 4:05-miler. After receiving his undergraduate degree in Physical Education, Taylor entered UMass-Amherst to study and receive his Masters in Exercise Science.

Course Info

As Taught In
Spring 2006
Learning Resource Types
Demonstration Videos
Lecture Notes