P.E. Alters Curriculum to Prepare for Netflix Show


Abi Wessel

Featuring Whitney Wood.

Kathleen Xie, Features Writer

Picture a room with sleek black marble floors, professional cinema cameras in every corner, suspenseful music playing, and a line of burly Pinewood students flexing their muscles.

This is what the Pinewood gym will look like starting April 24. On that day, the Netflix crew will come to Upper Campus to begin shooting a spinoff of its hit reality competition show “Physical: 100.” 

Similar to the original show, the Pinewood version, “Pinewood Physical: 100,” will feature 100 volunteer contestants who will compete in a series of grueling challenges in areas of strength, endurance, and agility to win the grand honor of being named the “The Muscle Monster.”

When Netflix first pitched this idea to Bay Area schools, Pinewood’s physical education department pounced on the opportunity. Now, the P.E. teachers have devised a new curriculum to train students for the competition.

“Forget badminton and pickleball,” athletic director Matt Stimson said. “Our new and improved program features an assortment of unique high-intensity tasks. You never know what obstacles the students will have to tackle in the competition, so we’re trying to prepare them as well as possible.”

Stimson says these new tasks will be wrestling until blackout, hanging onto tall structures with teeth, jumping from roof to roof, climbing trees while dodging arrows, and more.

The general consensus among Pinewood students has been exceedingly positive, with students embracing every minute of PE class in hopes of maximizing their chance of becoming the next Netflix star. Sophomore Jolyn Ding observed their tenacious determination.

“When I went to shoot in the gym yesterday, I was flabbergasted to see students in P.E. uniforms doing pull-ups on the ceiling pipes,” Ding said. “Their arms looked like bags of bread rolls because of how much muscle they had.”

In addition to training robustly within the scheduled P.E. block, some students have chosen to spend their free time drilling exercises as well. One of those students is sophomore Josephine Tu.

“I’ve never been so motivated in my life,” Tu exclaimed while attempting a squat with both an AP World History textbook and chemistry textbook balanced on her head. “Now, whenever I practice playing my cello at night, I also make sure to bench press it for at least 37 reps.”

While this new, vigorous training has driven students to optimize all aspects of their physical capabilities, it has also understandably led to some minor injuries. 

“We had a student who was climbing a wall intensely and fell, which unfortunately shattered his bones and required him to get his left arm amputated,” P.E. teacher Whitney Wood said. “My heart truly goes out to him, his family, and especially, his arm.”

In the future, Wood said the P.E. department will be looking into precautionary measures to ensure minor accidents like this don’t occur again; however, they don’t plan on making any major change to their curriculum, as they believe injuries are insignificant in the grand scheme of things. Wood and Stimson indicated that their priorities still lie in building a group of excellent physiques.

“By the time the Netflix crew comes to Pinewood, our students will be more than ready,” Stimson said with a large grin. “Our newly-trained, ultra-muscular PE students will make Pinewood proud.”