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Efficiency, Proximity Part Of The 'Wow' In UW's New Weight And Training Rooms

For all that is shiny, new, large and mirrored about the Huskies’ new weight room, their new training room – plus two adjoining nutrition bars -- under the west side of Husky Stadium, efficiency and proximity are what the team is already cherishing.

“The combination of the weight room and the training room being together is important,” UW football strength and conditioning coach Ivan Lewis said this past weekend, as the 12,000-square-foot weight room was getting finishing touches put on around him.

“And it’s unique that it is only football,” Lewis said. “Every piece of equipment in here is specified to train the football player for what he does in practices and games.”

That includes more than traditional bench presses and squat racks. It includes a base-twist machine for hip explosiveness and a triple-extension machine for leg driving, for example.

The 101 Club Husky Weight Room is 1,300 square feet larger than the team’s previous one in the basement of the Graves Annex building across the north-side plaza from the stadium. The new room is steps away from the team’s new locker room and meeting rooms. 

The weight room has 16, pure-wood lifting platforms laid flush into the floor. In the old weight room, lifting decks were four inches off the ground, and the team shared those and the rest of the weights with other Husky teams.

The new weight room’s floor is specially cushioned, as well.

One of Lewis’ favorite features is a separate tunnel leading from the south side of the weight room, opposite the locker room, onto the Husky Stadium field. That means Lewis can combine his strength and conditioning workouts in full-size areas mere steps from each other.

“All those schools that are now getting to put turf into their weight room, that’s cool. But you lose so much space,” Lewis said. “We’ve got our field that we play on to train on. We are one with our field. We didn’t waste space in here with a field or a track.”

The new, modern training room is separated from the weight room by one, glass wall. That’s home to what has already become one of most popular features of the new football building: the underwater treadmill machine in the hydrotherapy room.

The treadmill, made by HydroWorx, is the entire floor of an eight-foot-deep pool, and trainers can raise it electrically to become flush with the floor so players don’t have to step down onto it. Rehabilitating or training players run on the track while six underwater cameras film their gait and progress of motion. Water jets help create hydrostatic pressure that can remove lactic acid and pooled blood from players’ legs. Players can watch films or shows on one of the screens while working out on the HydroWorx machine.

Receiver Jaydon Mickens said he’d been on it four times in the first day the team occupied its new building, “just because” he likes the machine so much.

The Jeff and Susan Brotman Training Room also includes a hot tub, cold tub and a portable X-ray machine that can provide real-time film scans across the length of a players’ arm, leg or torso. The Huskies can take that diagnostic tool with them to road games.

The training room-weight room synergy is also included in the Alter G gravity treadmill the rooms share. Players can put on a black, over-sized waist suit and become suspended in air. It’s the aerobic workout of a treadmill run – without the pounding of all of one’s entire body weight.  

The nutrition bars, one inside the weight room and one at a stand between it and the locker room, will offer players fruit smoothies, energy bars, bagels, protein shakes and other fueling options between practices, meetings and meals. 

Lewis loves the one-stop-shopping accessibility of the Huskies’ new weight room and training room.

“It’s no longer a trek to get from the team rooms to the weight room to the training room. It really is like being in the NFL,” UW’s strength coach said. “It’s an NFL experience.”

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