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Monday, January 18, 2010

A Training Enviroment


While this is not directly about throwing or lifting, a factor in the process is where you train. Obviously success does not depend upon having first class training facilities.(See Rocky III and Rocky IV for example)lol Seriously, in real life there are many examples of top competitors who trained in adverse conditions.In fact, there are some who would say that having it too good may actually be a barrier to success and I would tend to agree. Having said that, I had the opportunity to design a new weightroom a few years years ago at Monument Valley High School in Kayenta, Arizona. We are located next to beautiful Monument Valley on the Navajo Nation. I am currently in my 29th year as a teacher and coach. I began teaching on the Alamo Navajo reservation in New Mexico in 1981. Our school consisted of 6 portable metal buildings in the desert. I kept my weights underneath one of the buildings, chained to a beam, and we lifted outdoors. In the winter we wore gloves and multiple layers of clothing.Next I moved to Monument Valley, Utah where I had a small weight room located on a concrete floor above the gym. With 3 homemade platforms and a couple of homemade squat racks we developed a weightlfting club that won several Utah state championships.About 19 years ago, I moved here to Kayenta and inherited a "weightroom" that consisted of a broken Universal machine and 3 broken bars. We soon had 6 homemade plaforms and a set of quality bars and bumpers which allowed us to produce many state and national medalists. Outgrowing that facility we moved to garage on campus with more floor space and continued to beg, borrow, steal, and make equipment. We worked around the auto lifts that were still in the floor. About 5 years ago we put togather a grant which allowed me to design and equip a facility that I had dreamed about. The weightroom is 50'X100' and has 12- 8'X8' training platforms and 1 full size competition platform.The platforms are inlaid flush with the floor to eliminate shifting or tripping. They are 3/4 inch playwood and rubber. Each is equipped with 177.5 kg Elieko bumper set and a portable squat rack. There are 4 full size Hammer Strength power racks with sufficient height for over head work and each has a York bar.We have dumbells from 5-120 lb.in 5 lb. increments 2 sets of each. We also have some Hammer strength machines for things like neck work, pullovers, lat machine, rowing,leg curl,..etc. Things that are not high priority but good for rehab and filling in gaps that barbell work does not always cover. We chose the Hammer Strength units because they are durable and do not have cables to wear out or break. In a remote area like ours, getting service is tough. We have to do our own repairs and upkeep. We also have a Louie Simmons reverse hyper and half a dozen Glute-ham and back raise units. This fits our philosophy of Olympic style lifting and it's variations as a basis of training for all sports. Below are a few short video segments we did over Christmas break. It was in the evening so the weightroom was empty. The sound didn't come out real well, but I think it is clear what is happening. The third segment shows our record boards, a great motivation and tradition builder for our program and also our wall of fame which displays some of our top student athletes over the past 19 years. This also brings a great deal of tradition to our program.I couldn't imagine why any institution would not want to have something similar in their facility.

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