In This Issue:
FEATURED EVENT: Dynamic Sponsors 2nd Annual World's Strongest Operator Competition
SURVEY: Help Us Plan the New Season of Dynamic Discussions
DYNAMIC PRESENTATIONS: Dynamic Representatives Speak At Leadership Symposium
FEATURED ARTICLE: You May Be Thinking About Weight Rooms Wrong
DYNAMIC SUPPORTS 2ND ANNUAL WORLD'S STRONGEST OPERATOR COMPETITION
Event Honors Fallen Combat Controller
Last year, the 26th Special Tactics Squadron at Cannon Air force Base in New Mexico hosted its first strongman competition for operators (military personnel primarily trained for specific types of missions). Dynamic Fitness & Strength was honored to support the Dylan Elchin’s World’s Strongest Operator Memorial Event.
On Friday, September 9, 2022, the 2nd annual World’s Strongest Operator at the Destination Dallas Gym in Allen, Texas. Dynamic is once again thrilled to be a supporter, as well as providing grand prizes to the winners.
This year’s World’s Strongest Operator is expanding to include not only special operational forces operators but also tactical professionals such as FBI, SWAT, law enforcement and first responders. The competition will see the return of the “Deadlift for Dylan” Rising Bar Deadlift Challenge, and also feature a Wheelbarrow Zercher Chain Yoke Medley, Max Weight Pull Up, Husafell Carry, and a Mystery Event. The competition is made up of three divisions: heavyweight, middleweight and lightweight.
The event is organized and managed by SOF Strength and Conditioning Coach Jordan Betz of the 26th Special Tactics Squadron. Coach Betz has Dynamic equipment in the 26 STS weight room and he and all his squadron love their Dynamic plate-loaded and selectorized pieces in the room.
“Working with Dynamic has been amazing for our unit,” Coach Betz said. “Our operators notice the difference in quality.” For this reason, Coach Betz offered the WSO partnership opportunity to Dynamic.
Coach Betz shared his excitement for having Alaxey Germanovich as emcee this year. Germanovich is combat controller with the 26th Special Tactics Squadron, 24th Special Operations Wing, and one of only a dozen Air Force Cross recipients since September 11, 2001. “He’s one of the most decorated operators in the world and just a tremendous guy with a really cool story,” said Coach Betz. “I can’t speak highly enough about him.”
Last year’s competition was a huge success, with our Texas Territory Manager Coach Yox as one of the judges. The heaviest deadlift of the day an amazing 790 pounds! Heavyweight and middleweight champions took home Dynamic Fitness & Strength half racks. Meanwhile, middleweight and lightweight champions won Dynamic Olympic barbells.
The event is named and held in honor of Dylan Elchin, one of their own who was killed in action in Afghanistan in 2018. “Our purpose of WSO is remembering Dylan in the strongest way possible,” said Coach Betz.
ABOUT DYLAN ELCHIN
Air Force Staff Sgt. Dylan Elchin served in special operations as a JTAC Qualified Combat Controller with the US Air Force in the 26th Tactical Squadron. As a special tactics combat controller, Dyan Elchin was specially trained and equipped for immediate deployment into combat operations to conduct global access, precision strike, and personnel recovery operations. He was skilled in reconnaissance operations, air traffic control and terminal attack control operations.
Dylan was a recipient of the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Army Commendation with Valor, and many other medals. On November 27, 2018, Dylan was one of four U.S. service members killed by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan’s Ghazni province.
ABOUT ALAXEY GERMANOVICH
On April 8, 2017, Germanovich was attached to a team of Army Special Forces and Afghan Commandos while on a mission to clear a well-fortified valley in Nangahar Province, Afghanistan supporting Operation FREEDOM’s SENTINEL. During an enemy ambush, Germanovich repeatedly exposed himself to sniper and machine gun fire while directing numerous danger close airstrikes from an AFSOC AC-130 gunship within 35 meters of his position.
With the team expending all of their rifle ammunition and grenades, they drew their pistols in an attempt to suppress the advancing enemy. Germanovich directed his team’s withdrawal, then traversed 700 meters carrying a casualty up a mountain to a helicopter landing zone while directing close air support.
Germanovich is credited for the protection of over 150 friendly forces and the destruction of 11 enemy fighting positions over the course of the eight-hour battle.
HELP US PLAN THE NEW SEASON OF DYNAMIC DISCUSSIONS
Share Your Feedback by Taking a 1-Minute Survey
Coach Joe Kenn and the rest of us at Dynamic Fitness & Strength are looking forward to a new season of Dynamic Discussions starting in October. Joe will be returning as host as he continues to keep it real with talk all about strength and conditioning and coaching. As we plan out the next season, we’d love to hear from you! Let us know if you like the format, the day and time, and what subjects and/or guests you would like to see on future shows.
Click the graphic at left to take the survey now!
DYNAMIC REPRESENTATIVES SPEAK AT LEADERSHIP SYMPOSIUM
On Friday, August 5th, East Coast Territory Manager Kevin Mattocks and Vice President of Performance Education Joe Kenn were invited to speak at the CMS Athletics Coaches Symposium in Matthews, North Carolina. They spoke on topics including weight room planning, strength and conditioning and the importance of creating a safe and positive environment in the weight room. The event was held at Butler High School, part of the Charlotte Mecklenburg County School District, and was attended by district athletic directors, coaches and donors.
With Dynamic’s primary mission being to “Build a Better Athlete,” we recognize that this includes continuing education and information as a way to support both the coaching profession as well as the students and athletes whose success and safety we all work to support.
YOU MAY BE THINKING ABOUT WEIGHT ROOMS WRONG
Stop Automatically Asking How Many Racks You Can Fit in Your Room
By: Joe Kenn, MA CSCS RSCC*E SCCC MSCC
Vice President of Performance Education
Be honest. Whether you have—or you thought about—a new weight room layout, was your first thought: “How many racks can I fit?”
Sure, there may be one or two stand-alone pieces you might add to the room, but let’s face it—you’re all about the racks, right? The more racks the better!
I feel like ruffling some feathers today, so I’m going to give you my opinion. It’s because that’s how everyone else is doing it. We cram as many racks as we can in a room, then maybe sprinkle in a stand-alone piece or two, and we boast about how unique our room is (and how it has more racks than the school down the street). I honestly think we get too hung up on racks and don’t think enough about what is best for our students and athletes to succeed.
Now, I’ll walk it back a bit and say—I get it. The modern rack system packs an awesome punch for the price point, right? Look at everything your athletes can do at that station. You can assign three to four students at each rack and run them through a full series of routines.
Racks are the basis for establishing a room—no doubt about it. But I’m going to argue that there’s really only a few important decisions to make regarding racks: half or power rack, how many racks, and raised or inlaid platform.
Half rack or power rack?
For me, there’s one obvious question to ask: Are you having them do front squats or back squats? If you have a front squat program, a half rack may be perfectly fine because they can easily dump their load ahead of them if they fail the attempt. If you have a back squat program, though, a power rack is likely more desirable since, beyond the spotters, you’ll want a secondary assist via the caged environment and safety arms.
Unless your program is highly specific, however, there’s really no reason to have all power racks or all half racks. In fact, we’re suggesting to some coaches that they not only mix in half and power racks, but to sometimes install both Ultra Pro and Titan series racks to optimize function and diversity. This kind of mixing can be especially good in collegiate environments since it will support a more diverse crowd. I’ll tell you something else, too. When a room has more than just the same racks running in repetitive rows, it gives the impression there’s a lot more going on in it, which adds to the appeal.
Inevitably, thinking about racks leads to another question: “How many rack accessories can I load onto my rack?” Accessories can be a fantastic way to add movement variability to the rack. Let’s face it, though—in many cases, a stand-alone piece will do it better if you have the room and the budget. Meanwhile, when you essentially turn a rack into its own “storage unit,” a lot of times those pieces just end up on the floor when the rack is being used and become at best an annoyance and at worst, a hazard.
Here's my advice: unless space and budget are at a premium, don’t rely on your racks to specialize or diversify your program. A rack with a lot of attachment options can be great when you don’t have the room or the dollars for stand-alone plate-loaded or selectorized equipment, but if you want highly effective muscle isolation or limb movement, go for a piece that is built just for that. Here are four that I particularly love.
If you don’t have the space or the budget, then consider varying your rack stations to focus on different attachments—add athletic training arms to some racks, keep dip stations or squat rollers at others. Do what you can to minimize rack clutter.
How Many Racks
Someone may be reading this and thinking, “Man, House sure doesn’t like racks!” Wrong. I love racks. But I also love iso-lateral lat pulldowns, but I wouldn’t fill a room with them. All I’m suggesting is that maybe, instead of beginning weight room planning with, “How many racks can we cram into this space?” we instead ask, “What other equipment will support the level and need of each of my athletes?”
When I say level and need, I’m really talking about looking at both your program and the skillset of your athletes and students. Do you have athletes with advanced strength training where a reverse hyper will be appropriate? Or are your athletes just beginning a more robust training regimen and need equipment that will guide them along in their development and technique, such as the inverse leg curl? Are you making room for a lat/low row or other cable equipment that offers resistance training?
When space is a concern, this is where going with a double rack (half or power) can save on space and allow you room for additional equipment. You could also opt for cable attachments on the other side of your rack and resistance train while you strength train. Honestly, this is where working with Dynamic’s team to explore options is critical.
When considering how many racks you should have, you also need to ask how much space you need between your racks to keep your athletes and students safe. This takes us into the third and last primary decision to make …
Inlaid or Raised Platforms
If you’re talking about racks, you’re probably going to discuss platforms. Let me tell you, inlaid platforms are hugely popular and by far the platforms of choice nowadays. Yeah, I see you nodding your head thinking about it.
Would you believe I’m shaking mine? I understand why inlaid is popular. First of all, it looks clean. Second, it doesn’t overly constrict space. Third, it opens up more area for warming up your group before routines. There’s nothing wrong with any of this.
Personally, I like the raised platform for the very reason that it does restrict and define the action area. For me, that means greater safety. This is especially true when, nowadays, you’re seeing most installs having only two feet of space between platforms—everything ten feet from center, right?
Not in my dream room. If at all possible, even at the risk of having a few less racks, I’m keeping at least a full three feet between those platforms. Think about it—if I’m spotting the right side of someone squatting and next to me someone else is spotting the left side of another person squatting, we could easily crash into one another or worse if my guy starts to lose it.
As I’ll always say, there’s no right answer or wrong answer—but there is the answer that is better for your program and your athletes. I’m not saying that basing a room off the number of racks you can fit is wrong. Nor am I saying having a bunch of rack attachments is wrong.
I hope your takeaway from this article is that you consider more than one approach when planning your weight room before locking in on the most popular route. Before you fill a 1,200 square foot room with 12 half racks, think about your strength training program. Think about what your athletes need to succeed and what their skill level is. Consider what specialized equipment could really make a difference for them and your program. Then start looking at how mixing different styles and series of racks could offer more opportunities—and space—to your room.
Maybe you’ll still find those 12 half racks are the best option. But maybe not.
Coach Joe "House" Kenn is a 31-year coaching veteran and has coached at the high school, college, professional, and private sector levels. He is recognized for developing the Tier System Strength Training Program as well as the Block Zero Concept. Coach Kenn joined the Dynamic team in 2019 after completing a nine-year stint at the NFL’s Carolina Panthers. He heads our educational outreach as well as being a brand ambassador and a resource to the schools and coaching professionals we serve.