Earlier in the week I was fortunate enough to take a few of the skiers I coach for a training session at the perform centre in Rossendale. I was very impressed at the quality of the place that Dave Bell has put together there. There are 6 squat racks with large lifting areas and prone row benches, massive range of dumbbells, plyometric track, cycling and rowing ergs, a large core area, cable machines, punch bags med balls and bags of space, basically you name it and it was in there, I was like a kid in a sweetshop.
It also has altitude chambers that I can foresee designing some punishing conditioning sessions for the guys with. The biggest asset of the place though is the atmosphere, the whole setup there screams elite and it was noticeable with my athletes the change in attitude from them as a result. It’s a big difference going from improvised lifting sessions in makeshift garages when away during the season to an athlete performance centre.
This leads me on to my point. There needs to be more facilities like this throughout the country that younger and sub elite athletes can have access to. Currently, athletes generally only can train in these sorts of facilities once they reach the elite level, and even then it’s not guaranteed. Athletic development in the country will be much aided when that type of gym rather than the common high street gyms becomes the norm….hopefully it’s just a matter of time!