Last week I had the opportunity to visit one of the most prestigious strength and conditioning facilities in the country, Cressey Performance. Located just west of Boston, CP is a serious strength and conditioning facility, producing serious results. Lead by Eric Cressey, CP is one the best run facilities I have ever stepped foot in, and from the minute you walk in the door you know you’re going to get serious results. To get serious reults, you have to train seriously. The starts with where you are training, and who is coaching you. A safe, fun, motivating environment is crucial for long-term strength & conditioning success. Here are 7 things a good strength and conditioning facility should have:
All the dumbbells, racks, TRX straps, and bars are not going to do shit for you if you’re not following a well designed program, with proper form and technique. In order to have that, a good coach should be at your side not only designing a good program and assuring good form and technique, but keeping you motivated, and communicating with you. Coaches should be educated, certified individuals whom you can relate to on a personal level. A coach with a masters degree and every certification in the book is no good if they can’t communicate with the client, and establish a relationship with them.
It is extremely helpful to be around like-minded individuals You should be at a facility that specializes in what you are looking for. At Cressey Performance about 85% of their clients are baseball players. If you are a high school baseball player working alongside a pro ball player, that is a motivating environment. Be at an environment that motivates you, and your performance will improve.
Music has been shown to increase performance. How can you deadlift 600lbs to classical music? At the same time, not everyone is the hardcore rap type. Whatever your music choice is, it should be played at your facility. The mental aspect of lifting is huge, and music plays a big part in it.
We are talking strength and conditioning facilities here. So, your typical client is probably performing some form of multi-joint lifts like deadlifts, squats, lunges, etc. Having a facility where you can’t drop weight, or you have to hang clean the bar every time you want to front squat is a bit of an issue. A good strength and conditioning facility should have racks to allow squatting, benching, pressing, chin-ups, etc. It should also have solid platforms for heavy deadlifting and other variations that requires dropping of the weight.
If you want to work with athletes a turf space is going to be needed. Whether it is lunging, sled pushing, or movement training, turf is a must.
Non Traditional Equipment:
We must always stay true to the foundational things that work to get an athlete bigger, faster, stronger. Things like deadlifts, squats, pressing, and pulling will always be a part of strength and conditioning. However, there are ample opportunities to give an athlete a more non traditional exercise that will benefit them. Things like sleds, tires, sled hammers, slosh pipes, slide boards, ropes, rings, and others are great examples of non-traditional pieces of equipment that probably are not seen at most commerical gyms. However, a good strength and conditioning facility should have them.
This is something a lot of facilities forget about. In a strength and conditioning facility, you work with a lot of athletes. A lot of these athletes are young kids, middle school, high school, and college. It is important to realize the impact you have on these kids, and realize that they see you as a role model. It is is also important to provide them a facility in which they enjoy coming to, not treating training as a chore. One of the coolest things I saw at Cressey Performance was their athlete lounge. Filled with couches, refrigerator, microwave, TV, and the ever so popular ping pong table. Kids would come in early just to get a match in, and stay hours after their training session to hang out with friends in the lounge. The training session is all work, dedication, and butt kicking. However, having a lounge for an athlete to hang out before and after creates a very welcoming feeling. The kids who may have seen going to the gym as chore, now look forward to it.
So there you have it. Seven things every strength and conditioning facility should have!
What is a must have for your facility?
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