In This Issue:
Lee County High School - Leesburg, Georgia
Five years ago, Lee County High School in Leesburg, Georgia worked with Dynamic Fitness & Strength to equip their new 9,000 square foot weight room. We decided to touch base with Head Football Coach Dean Fabrizio to see how their weight room—named a MaxPreps top weight room in the country in September of 2020—is fairing after all this time.
But first, a little trip in the “wayback machine” to 2016.
Back then, Lee County High School’s old weight room could handle around 35 students at a time. Their strength training program was solid, but the limitations in size and scope crimped their efficiency.
When construction was approved on a new 9,000 square foot weight room space with connecting offices and new locker room, they had a couple years to shop around for the right strength equipment manufacturer to build the ultimate weight room for them. “We wanted something that was going to be high-quality and was also going to last us a long time,” Coach Fabrizio said.
“We realized you don’t always get this opportunity to build and outfit a brand-new state-of-the-art weight room like the one we have, and we knew we had to get it right,” Coach Fabrizio explained. “We did a ton of research on just about every company we could see because this was such a big project. We needed something that was going to last us a long time and something that was going to hold up and look good over the years as well.”
It was late in the game when Coach Fabrizio and his team connected with Dynamic Fitness & Strength. They learned everything they could about our company, our process, and investigated our equipment thoroughly. “We decided to go with Dynamic for their product—the reasonable cost, and the quality.”
During the planning process, Coach Fabrizio said that our Dynamic team worked with Lee County’s coaching team on the design and functionality of the weight room layout, which ended up being a huge help to their program. “That’s where Dynamic did such a good job—they kept sending us different design patterns on how we could do it.”
Coach Fabrizio explained that Lee County wanted a high-functioning weight room that optimized efficiency and emphasized working together as a team. “We chose to go with a circular design where everybody can kind of see each other and someone can logistically stand in the middle and see everybody.”
Now, with their new room, this summer alone they have all their teams from football, wrestling and baseball, as well as the cheerleaders using the equipment, so it’s seeing 250-plus students in the room each day. This became the biggest adjustment for them in running their strength training program—tripling the number of athletes in the room at any one time. Use of the PA system to direct the room and getting workout programs on the TVs has been a key component to effectively running their training sessions.
The flexibility this new room as allowed them, in addition to having a clear view of the room from their offices, has made a big difference in maximizing their program’s success. “It’s allowed us to be a lot more efficient with our time, and much easier to keep the weight room open for students to access.”
The new weight room has also been a big motivation for the students. “When you have a beautiful weight room like this, kids want to be in there,” Coach Fabrizio said. “The neat thing is, kids come back to town from college when they get a break and they’re coming here to lift because the facility’s so nice.”
Since having their new weight room installed, Lee County High School football team’s record is 52-6 with 2 state championships and 1 state runner-up. Just how their new weight room had anything to do with that, who knows, but one thing is certain—it’s where champions train.
PERSPECTIVE ON THE
NHSSCA National Conference
The Dynamic Team headed over to Plymouth, Minnesota toward the end of June to attend the 2021 NHSSCA National Conference at the amazing Wayzata High School. It was a terrific event with great attendance. We met up with old friends and made a lot of new ones.
Our Athletic Training Arms were one of our biggest attractions at the event. We were able to showcase and demonstrate the amazingly smooth operation and quick, easy adjustment to raise and lower the arms. We also had our inverse leg curl on site, with V.P. of Performance Education Joe Kenn giving demonstrations.
What’s the biggest takeaway from the event? Strength and conditioning at the high school level is stronger than ever. Why? Because of the unprecedented amount of knowledge and experience that continues to develop the field, the ever-increasing caliber and quality of coaches, and the recognition by administrations and sport coaches of how important a robust strength program is to the safety and performance of their athletes.
Obviously, we know that well-designed quality equipment is a key component to a successful strength training program. That said, as a manufacturer of strength equipment, we also appreciate and continue to learn from strength coaches how space limitations, administrative challenges, communication, resource development and budget administration are additional elements to their program management and success.
That’s why we continue to work on ways to support strength coaches and athletic directors as they try to achieve their ideal vision for their program. Events like this help guide us in our mission to help coaches build a better athlete by supporting them in building their dream facility.
Join the Dynamic Discussions Online
Register for the Wednesday, July 14 Zoom Event
At the end of June, Joe Kenn and other Dynamic team members attended the NHSSCA National Conference at Wayzata High School in Minnesota. Following that, Joe travelled to Florida for the NSCA National Conference. During this month's Dynamic Discussions, Joe takes a quick break from the road to review his notes from all the presentations he attended. Join the discussion and hear what Joe's takeaways are. And, as always, he'll answer any of your questions, so make sure to submit what's on your mind when you register.
4 Recommended Accessory Pieces for an Athletic-Based Strength Facility
There's More to Weight Rooms Than Racks
By Joe Kenn
Vice President of Performance Education
In this era of filling a training facility with racks, racks, and more racks, I believe there is more to building a training environment for athletes than having more racks in your weight room compared to the school down the street. Training athletes is an evaluation of needs and assessments of what they need, what they are capable of doing, and what they need to improve upon. Based on 32 years of training athletes from ten-year-olds to professional athletes, I list below four of my top accessory pieces that should be considered in an athletic based training facility.
1- ISO LATERAL PLATE-LOADED LAT PULLDOWN
Upper Body Pulling movements are critical in the development and protection of an athlete’s shoulder region. The ultimate movement would be the chin up (or pull up) as is the classic vertical pulling movement and is a test of an athlete’s relative strength. As we know, this is also a very tough movement to accomplish for most athletes. With that said, there needs to be a piece of equipment in the facility that can help the athlete develop strength in a vertical pulling motion. This version of a let pulldown is a perfect way to increase vertical pulling strength and well as dong independent limb work by having uni lateral training arms.
2- PRONE ROW BENCH
As mentioned above pulling movements are critical in athletic strength development. The Prone Row Bench allows for athletes to now perform safe and efficient horizontal rows be having their chest supported on a bench. As the Chin Up is to vertical pulls, the barbell Bent Over Row is the standard for horizontal pulls. Because of the starting position of this movement, athletes with weak lower backs will have a hard time to maintain position that could lead to injury. Also, this movement is usually done with a lot of momentum and heaving of weights. For the team sport athlete, they are not prepared to perform this exercise like professional bodybuilders. Therefore, for safety concerns I recommend a chest supported option that protects the athletes low back and allows them to focus on the specific movement.
3- INVERSE LEG CURL
Knee flexion is one component of developing strong and resilient hamstrings and an important cog in overall posterior chain. The toughest of these movements is the Nordic Curl/Russian Lean. This movement is very rarely accomplished through a full range of motion and is usually done in training as an eccentric-only exercise. The Inverse Leg Curl allows for a full range of motion repetitions due to its counterbalance loading. Every athlete in the gym can perform this movement with proper technique through a full range of motion based on load adjustment.
4- 45 DEGREE BACK EXTENSION
Hinging movements (hip extension) are also a necessary need in developing a strong posterior chain. The simplest hinge movement is a 45 degree back extension. This movement paired with the inverse leg curl is a terrific start to developing a strong posterior chain that could lead to the athlete protecting themselves against soft tissue hamstring injuries.