Mercer Island Strength + Conditioning
It’s what you do during the off-season that makes you a champion
This new program targets high school athletes and helps them become well-rounded, well-performing athletes through improving flexibility, mobility, speed, agility, strength, power, and fitness in a safe and effective way while preventing common sports injuries. This course is intended to supplement multi-sport participation – a concept we’ve seen less and less as teens are often encouraged to focus all their training on a single sport. However, recent studies show that participating in several sports at a young age can lead to better performance, less burnout, and more lifelong enjoyment of sports.
Stay tuned for a new session of MISC.
If you are interested in our training program, contact SJCC General Fitness Manager Josh Cross or call 206-388-1989.
How does it work?
Mercer Island Strength and Conditioning is inspired by NASM’s Optimum Performance Training (OPT) phase-based approach. We first build a foundation of mobility, stability, and recovery. Once the base is set, athletes’ bodies will be primed to build endurance, strength, and power.
All athletes must start with our MISC Fundamentals course, where they’ll build a foundation of mobility, stability, and muscle recovery. This intro series also gives our trainers a chance to assess each athlete so we can provide a more personalized approach. Once the base is set, athletes’ bodies will be primed to build endurance, strength, and power in our ongoing classes of 4-week sessions. Twice a year we offer on-ramp classes for new students and current athletes who want to continue their training.
Why do we focus on certain aspects of training?
Why: Increasing the range of motion.
How: Creating space in capsule joints, increasing the range of motion throughout the entire body, and addressing trauma of tissues caused by strength training. Defining the difference between muscle flexibility, increasing range of motion, and muscle extensibility (the actual elasticity of the muscle tissues).
Why: Going past sit-ups to working on stabilization.
How: Pilates-inspired floor exercises in prone or supine positions to better engage core muscles as well as help the athlete establish better neuromuscular connections.
Why: Using the core to establish balance rather than the upper and lower extremities.
How: Understanding that balance comes from the middle of the body.
SAQ: Speed, Agility, and Quickness
Why: Focusing on the athlete’s ability to move their body quickly and efficiently.
How: Building on the neuromuscular connection to now not only be able to move muscles but move them more efficiently and in a shorter duration of time.
Why: Focusing on the difference between strength and power.
How: Strength is the ability to move weight while compromised. For example bench-pressing on a bench and pressing weight using JUST the chest, triceps, and shoulder. Whereas power is the application of strength over time. For example, deadlifts, back squats, or a push-press.
Why: Extends the athlete’s highest levels of output for longer periods of time.
How: Through modalities like high-intensity interval training (HIIT) programming or Tabata protocols we can put the body’s recovery processes at odds and burn more subcutaneous fat while increasing our strength and cardio capacities more efficiently. These anaerobic exercises increase the volume of oxygen consumed thereby extending the higher level of productivity throughout the course of the activity.
Meet the Trainers
JD has been an NASM personal trainer for nine years. He has worked at the SJCC for eight years – six of which have been spent running the Personal Training department and two as the Fitness General Manager. JD was a high school wrestler. At age 15 he took weight training instead of gym class; that was 25 years ago.
Amy was a 400m hurdler at the University of Washington, earned her masters degree at Seattle Pacific University in physical education/sports administration, was a Recreation Director at the Bellevue Club, and has coached track and field at Mercer Island High School since 2001. She is very active in the Mercer Island community and has three children in the Mercer Island schools. She is very passionate about sports, whole wellness, and coaching with positive energy.
Testimonials for Multi-Sport Training
Several athletes were asked by Bellevue Club Reflections magazine (June 2015): “What do you know now about training that you wish you knew when you were a budding athlete?”
Jeff Cirillo, retired Seattle Mariner: “Bigger is not better! My best years were when I would play squash, go to stretching class and work on core functional strength. Especially when I was older, in my mid 30’s, I found the excess weight was hard on my back, and my muscles wouldn’t fire as quickly.”
Detlef Schrempf, retired Seattle SuperSonic: “At the time there was no program. I lifted hard, really hard. I was doing everything from power clean to squats to bench pressing 300-plus pounds, all the stuff that’s more likely for football. I started to do plyometrics when I was traded to Indiana from Dallas and that changed me as a player; it made me more athletic. Now, most of the guys don’t lift heavy; it’s more about the core stuff, explosion stuff. Also, I never took a day off and now it’s all about rest. I didn’t know what that meant. The diet also. People said to eat healthy, but we had no idea what that really meant. I thought, I’m not going to eat dessert, but I’m going to have steak and potatoes with everything on it.”