A hot new trend in weightroom organization could be an answer that you are looking for.

By Greg Shepard
Published: Summer 2000
The hottest new trend in weightroom equipment and organization is to have one station do it all as far as core lifts and some major auxiliaries. The Ohio University strength and conditioning facility, under the direction of Ethan Reeve, really exemplifies this new trend. Coach Reeve has just moved into the new Bobcat 10,000 square foot Carin Center. It is one of the most impressive weight rooms among Division I universities. Coach Reeve has 33 individual do-it-all stations. You can do benches, inclines, squats, presses, jerks, cleans and various other lifts at each station. In addition, each station has a chin-up bar and a pair of ab slings. Only bumper plates are used. So a whopping 17,800 pounds of bumper plates are at these 33 stations. By using three athletes per station, Coach Reeve can now train 99 athletes at the same time on the same core lift!
Coach Reeve also has 24 Hex bars and 10 Glute-ham machines. He likes to work large groups of athletes on the same lift at the same time in everything he does. Coach Reeve runs his program like a highly organized practice. Everyone does their first set on a particular lift together. Then, on a whistle, everyone begins their second set together at the same time and so on.

What are the advantages, if any? Each core lift has its own unique time constraints. For example, the Parallel Squat takes longer than the Bench Press to complete the same number of sets. Therefore, if you have four squat stations and four bench stations with a system of rotating from one to another you can run into challenges. Your athletes doing the bench get done with their sets before the athletes who are squatting. What do you do? Well, they could stretch, do a burnout set or do an auxiliary lift. So it does not need to be unproductive or a waste. However, with the one station-do it all concept, there is more efficiency. Your coaching becomes easier because everyone is doing the same lift. Your time management becomes more precise and controlled. The athletes could get more intense if a competitive atmosphere were created with everyone doing the same lift. Finally, in most cases, the one station approach can save space.

What are the disadvantages, if any? I can think of only two. First, the cost. The transition from one approach to this approach costs money. Some one station-do-it-all pieces can cost $2500.00 or more per station. Our BFS Ultimate Rack is only $1666 for a heavy duty 7 gauge model that includes a flat to incline bench. A deluxe version, with custom paint, vinyl, etc. is only $150.00 more. Some coaches are converting in stages by getting one or two stations per year. The second disadvantage can lie in the equipment. If you have a heavy duty bench that is meant for benching only, it is better than most one station pieces. The same could be said for squat stations and power clean platforms. If you decide to go the one station do-it-all approach, you should get a very heavy duty version.

What should one look for in equipment? First in importance is the gauge of steel and its size. The BFS Ultimate Rack features thick 7 gauge steel that is 2 X 3 inches. That is a world of difference when compared to thinner 11 gauge 2 X 2 construction. The Ultimate Rack also has plenty of room for big athletes to get the job done easily and safely. You have nearly four feet of maneuverability space. Another feature that is nice to have is attached plate holders. This eliminates the need for separate plate holders and saves space and makes things easier. The BFS Ultimate Rack has an industry high of 10 attached plate holders so you can hold every plate that you would need to complete any lift. Perhaps the most important feature is the ability to easily change the height of your locking pins and safety catches (spotting tiers). Some models are difficult and time consuming. The BFS Ultimate Rack uses state-of-the-art technology to make easy, safe and quick height changes. The heavy duty nature of our Ultimate Rack combined with the safety catches may make it preferable to even the best single station bench press for an athletic weight room.
For more information? Call us at BFS. We will answer any questions you might have as you consider the single station approach and also consider the BFS Ultimate Rack which is complete in every way including an unconditional lifetime guarantee on the frame.

Greg Shepard (center) with Ohio head football coach Jim Grobe (left) and strength Coach Ethan Reeve (right) in the new 10,000 square foot Carin Center which features 33 do-it-all stations. Coach Reeve can train 99 athletes on the same lift at the same time.

Coach Ethan Reeve in his Ohio University weightroom

The BFS Ultimate Rack uses state-of-the-art laser cutting technology to make the uprights for easy, safe and quick height changes.