When Brian Beck first started at Plainfield South High School in Illinois as a PE teacher, the school had one section of weight training. Now, the PE department chair, Brian says that the weight training program has exploded and isn’t done growing,
“We now have 7 weight training sections and hope to have 10-12 by next year. Getting everyone onto the same page has taken work, but it is paying off in a big way.”
Plainfield South has pushed for a school-wide weight training initiative by unifying teachers and coaches, investing in the weight room, and tapping into the power of technology. Here is how Plainfield South has made weight training a school-wide success.
The Vision For School-Wide Weight Training
In the past, Brian explains how the weight training at Plainfield South was like many other high schools,
“It was very disjointed. We had a good group of teachers and coaches trying to get students and athletes into the weight room, but we were all over the place.”
Jason Crowe, long-time PE teacher and coach at Plainfield South, says that the long-term goal was to unify teachers and coaches,
“We saw physical education classes as a place to bring everyone together. Not only would we get more students involved, but it would also free up students’ already hectic schedules after school.”
Beyond just looking to add more sections of weight training class, Brian says the school administration supported a significant investment in the weight room space,
“We just finished a brand new weight room renovation. In addition to equipment, we also invested in technology that would help bring everyone onto the same page.”
Weight Training Classes Powered By PLT4M
With a new weight room and 7 sections of weight training class, Plainfield South also implemented PLT4M to support the school-wide weight training program. Jim O’Connell, a PE teacher who leads many of the Intro To Weight Training classes, says that PLT4M has helped to spark a new level of motivation in students,
“We have a mixed bag of athletes and general population students in our classes. With PLT4M, they can all see progress and growth in real time.In fact, many of the general population students are seeing the most significant improvements, which is really cool to see.”
The progress and improvement in class aren’t going unnoticed. To help build the culture and excitement in the weight room, Plainfield South has incorporated personal best bells, t-shirts, and a “weight training champ of the day award.” Jim says that all the different pieces are helping to build the weight training program in an exciting way,
“With PLT4M, we can see the gains charted over time. We pull top performers and improvements that showcase all the hard work that our students are putting in during class. Data is becoming a driving force for our success.”
Stronger Together – Unified PE and Athletics
As Plainfield South has invested in the weight room during the school day, Jason Crowe explains the school-wide impact,
“It has helped get everyone on the same page. The sports coaches are on board, and it has made for a unified approach across PE and Athletics that benefits our students and athletes in a big way.”
In addition to being the PE department chair, Brian Beck is Plainfield South’s athletic trainer. He says that the weight room is helping to build more resilient and healthy athletes,
“Getting students into the weight room promotes injury prevention and keeping our athletes healthy. So many injuries are a result of a lack of strength. The weight training classes are helping the betterment of our athletes in so many ways.”
Continuing To Grow At Plainfield South
While Plainfield South has dramatically grown the weight training classes, PE teacher Jim O’Connell says that this is just the beginning,
“It has sparked a fire in us that is only just beginning. For example, as the students continue to see gains, you can sense the healthy competition during weight training classes. It makes for a really fun and empowering class filled with words of encouragement and students supporting each other as they grow and progress.”
Ready To Raise The Bar?
Our platform is the #1 choice for coaches and teachers looking to take their program to the next level. Learn how you can save time, improve results, and increase student engagement.
On top of the students in classes growing, Brian explains the long-term plan to continue getting more students to the weight room,
“The more we can make weight training part of PE, the more we can support all of our students at Plainfield South. Not only will it make an immediate impact, but it will also equip students with lifelong fitness skills to continue being active after they graduate.”
As Plainfield South continues to look to add more classes and sections of weight training, Jim says they also plan to enhance the weight room experience for everyone involved,
“We are working to add TV monitors to display PLT4M videos and leaderboards for the entire class. In addition, we are going to add tablets to every station eventually. Altogether, it will just take our program to another level.”
Key Takeaways on Plainfield South’s School-Wide Weight Training
Plainfield South showcases the power of a school-wide weight training program. By unifying PE and Athletics, the teachers and coaches can work towards a common goal of empowering students and athletes at the school.
While it took time, energy, and effort for Plainfield South to build out the program, Brian says that the initiative has been worth the investment,
“As a school, the stars have aligned with admin support, great teachers and coaches, and student buy-in. With everything in action, we can continue building on a growing program.”