DAVE RAMSEY demonstrates one of the leg machines to Kingswood coaches during a briefing on the use of the new machines in the Kingswood weight room. Joshua Spaulding. (click for larger version)
July 16, 2012WOLFEBORO — Officially, the fall sports season at Kingswood Regional High School doesn't get under way until August.
But with the latest NHIAA mandate allowing coaches to work with athletes in the season prior to their respective seasons, many of the fall sports athletes have been working out and getting ready for the new season.
Now, the kids have a place to get in their work, thanks to the latest improvements at the high school.
The new weight room was recently completed and the equipment arrived earlier in July and on Wednesday, July 11, many of the fall coaches gathered with Athletic Director Andrea Ogden and Dave Ramsey from Precision Fitness to go over the equipment and the proper maintenance.
The new equipment features a little bit of everything, something for every muscle group, as well as cardio machines and a large number of free weights.
"You can cover all the muscle groups and then some," Ramsey told the coaches.
However, Ramsey cautioned against the major problems that most high school fitness facilities run into, which is the inability to keep clean.
"The biggest enemy of all these machines is dirt and sweat," Ramsey said. "They've got to keep it clean and you'll find the machines last much longer."
The weight room features three different machines for the legs, as well as a machine for the back, chest, shoulders, biceps and triceps.
After demonstrating the leg machines, Ramsey got to the most impressive piece of equipment in the room, the multifunctional trainer, which features a wide variety of exercises for athletes in all sports.
"There are so many things that you can do with this unit," Ramsey said.
He pointed out the machine had a range of 14 feet, which would allow athletes to work on explosive movements. It also moves around in different directions to allow for all sorts of rotational activities.
"You'll know once you get on it and start playing, you'll figure out what you want to do with it," Ramsey said. "I encourage you to get on it and try it. That's how you'll learn."
The multifunctional trainer features grips for both baseball bats and golf clubs that can attach to it, allowing athletes to work on swings and form. Grips for tennis rackets, hockey sticks and other sports equipment are also available, which expands the machine's capabilities.
The multifunctional trainer is not the only multifunctional piece of equipment, as there is also a multifunctional weight bench, which allows for numerous ways to use the weight benches.
The weight benches themselves, are all on wheels, so they can be moved around the room very easily, so the athletes can move them from station to station to increase their workout productivity.
Each piece of equipment has a placard that explains what the machine is used for and the proper way to use it. The moveable pieces are all marked in yellow, so those using the machine will know easily how to adjust the seats and other apparatus on the machines.
The cardio machines all line one wall and feature a number of standard bikes, a couple of treadmills, three elliptical machines, a recumbent bike and a machine that can be used to do arm training while standing up.
All of the boards on the machines are identical, meaning once someone uses one, they should have no problem using the others. They all use the powerfit program, which allows the athletes to do strength training on the cardio machines, in addition to the work they usually do.
Ramsey pointed out that the machines can be programmed to respond to the amount of work an athlete is putting into it, meaning those that are interested in dogging it on the bike will find it much harder. The harder the kids work, the bike responds by making things easier for the user.
"What the user is capable of doing, the machine is going to give back," Ramsey said. "It's a good tool for working injured muscles up as far as it is physically capable of going.
"If they're dogging it, the work load gets harder," he continued. "If they do the exercises, it gets easier."
The consistency of the programs on the cardio machines makes them very user friendly. Additionally, the machines have USB ports in them, so an athlete or a coach or trainer Alex Dria can keep track of how an athlete is progressing on his or her training or how he or she is rehabbing from an injury.
"It's a good took to encourage people to exercise," Ramsey said.
An interesting feature on the exercise bike is the ability to pedal backward, which most bikes don't allow. Thus, if an athlete is growing tired working the muscles forward, they can go backward and use different muscles, increasing the amount of time they spend working out.
Additionally, the machines were purchased with a grant through the Americans with Disabilities Act, which means that there are many machines that are handicapped accessible, including one hand bike that the seat slides completely off of, allowing a wheelchair to access it with ease for upper body exercises.
Overall, Ramsey informed the coaches that they were lucky to have such impressive equipment at their disposal and advised them to take full advantage of it.
"You're very lucky to have this," he said. "There's not many high schools that have these abilities."
The football coaching staff, led by head coach Chip Skelley, was already planning out routines with strength and conditioning coach Nick Docter for the start of the training camp. New girls' soccer coach Tom Merrell was also working on scheduling a time to get his team into the room for workouts as the season got started.
Joshua Spaulding can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 569-3126