School-Wide Strength – The Power Of Unified S&C

Group of coaches and athletes from Archbishop Riordan

Archbishop Riordan High School in California has undergone a lot of changes over the last few years. The historically all-boys school went co-ed and has since doubled in enrollment. During this change, the school also underwent a massive facility renovation to accommodate the growing school.


And as part of the changes at Archbishop Riordan, the weight room also got a significant update. But the equipment wasn’t the only thing that changed inside the weight room. The school has also pushed for a school-wide strength initiative that has dramatically improved the physical education and athletic programs at Archbishop Riordan. As a result, the school sees a streamlined strength and conditioning program supporting students throughout the entire day.

Laying The Foundation In Physical Education 


In the past, Archbishop Riordan’s strength and conditioning program mainly consisted of before and after-school training for varsity athletes. And while that led to good results, head strength and conditioning coach Ryan Jones saw an opportunity for physical education to be a part of the equation. 


After the school went co-ed, Ryan also became the head of physical education and pushed for 9th and 10th graders to build a foundation in the weight room


“In our 9th and 10th-grade physical education classes, we do all the groundwork teaching students the ins and outs of the weight room.” 


In physical education classes, students learn how to move properly with good form and technique. To help with this foundational training, Archbishop Riordan uses PLT4M as training software and curriculum. Ryan says that this is another element of teaching students how the weight room will look as they get into more advanced training, 


“Our goal is to unify and streamline how we train for all students, athletes, teachers, and coaches. PLT4M has helped us to build a common terminology around the weight room so that everyone is on the same page and growing towards a common goal of improved strength and performance.” 

Advanced Strength and Conditioning For Varsity Athletes 

After students have laid a foundation of movement mechanics in physical education, they are well-prepared for more advanced training as they reach 11th and 12th grade. Ryan says that early work in physical education has drastically improved the results for athletes as they become upperclassmen and onto varsity-level teams, 


“It has paid dividends for both physical education and athletic programs to be working together. Students are much more confident in the weight room and don’t need to be helicoptered because they have participated in a proper introduction during PE.” 

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While Ryan has experimented with using tablets and other devices to deliver workouts, he has found that students do best with phones. Ryan explains what a typical workout looks like at Archbishop Riordan, 


“We display the workout on a TV monitor for everyone to see. But from there, students enter and log workouts right on their individual devices. It has helped us streamline and maximize our time in the weight room.” 

Impact of School-Wide Strength 


While Archbishop Riordan is still in the early stages of a co-ed school and unified PE and athletic program, Ryan says that the initial efforts have had a major impact, 


“The strength and conditioning program is the backbone of our program. It is the heart and soul of what we do for athletics and PE and has helped us in so many ways.” 


Ryan credits much of this success to a shared vision among teachers and coaches at Archbishop Riordan, 


“We have teachers and coaches all on the same page, which makes it a seamless experience for students and athletes.” 


Now, the school continues to help students and athletes see the benefit of the weight room, 


“Our motto is simple. DSR. Do stuff right. When students and athletes come in throughout the school day, we want them to know there is something that they can do to get better. It might not be a PR every day, but whether it is lifting, mobility, or flexibility, we have a shared goal of using the strength and conditioning program for improvement on and off the field.” 

Key Takeaways on Archbishop Riordan’s School-Wide Strength 


As Archbishop Riordan continues to evolve as a school and strength and conditioning program, they are taking early success and looking forward to the future. Ryan is excited by what is to come, 


“We have seen massive improvement across the board. Our students are getting stronger, moving better, and embracing the program throughout PE and athletics. And we are confident that this is only the beginning for more great things to come.”


Archbishop Riordan empowers male and female students and athletes through a streamlined approach to strength and conditioning. When a school sees the power of unified PE and athletics, the opportunities are endless. 

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