How One Sports Performance Center Improved the Way It Trains

Jake Hesse in front of a Hammer Strength HD Athletic RigOlmsted Medical Center’s Sports Medicine & Athletic Performance Center in Rochester, Minnesota is in the business of training athletes. Athletes ranging from a toddler learning to ice skate to an 80-year-old trying to improve his skills for church league softball.

Team training is a key focus. In 2016, the center added a Hammer Strength HD Athletic rig to its workout space that has expanded its strength training options and allows larger groups to train simultaneously.  

“We started looking at how to change the configuration of the room to maximize the space for what we actually do, which is training athletes,” explained Jake Hesse, the operations manager at Olmsted Medical Center. “(The rig) almost doubles our total rack space and training space. It’s done exactly what we hoped it would. It allows us to have more athletes in here at a time or more small groups in here at a time.”

The 24-foot long rig includes Olympic lifting spaces, and plenty of spots for pull ups and suspension training. It also has ample space for the storage of kettlebells, dumbbells and weight plates.

“Being able to run larger groups is something we had to say no to before because we couldn’t handle it or we had to split them into separate time slots,” said Hesse. “When you’re talking about a ‘team’ that starts to kind of break down or erode that whole purpose.”

The Sport Medicine & Athletic Performance Center offers a wide range of athletic training including off-season and preseason conditioning, sports performance personal training, speed and agility training. The center also offers strength and cardio group classes.

The HD Athletic rig doesn’t just add functionality and performance training to the center, it also brings a “wow” factor and has been responsible for an increase in traffic at the facility.

“We’re getting more kids bringing other friends than we have in the past,” said Hesse. “It feels more like what they envision as a place where athletes train. Compared to a lot of weight rooms in their high schools this is pretty significantly different in what it looks like, feels like, the quality of the equipment and things like that. It helps us garner a little bit of interest from groups we haven’t before.”

The Sports Medicine & Athletic Performance Center has seen a steady increase in use since opening in early 2014. Premium equipment is a factor, but the best fitness equipment in the world doesn’t matter as much without proper training.

“Our coaches are what sells this facility,” added Hesse. “The facility can be the most amazing thing in the world, but if you have bad coaches, people still aren’t going to come.”Olmsted HD Athletic Rig