Renewing Your Strength Program During COVID-19

[0:01] Hey, Jeff Reinardy here with Winona State University and we’re still in the middle of COVID. It is the middle of June—the beauty of this is that things are starting to finally loosen up a little bit. We’re starting to get some athletes around, and private locations are able to start training some folks at some of the high schools we are associated with and some high schools here in town as well. We are also able to get them going. At our university, we’re still working a little bit on that and haven’t gotten all the details ironed out. It hasn’t gone through all the proper channels from above. So that’s the first thing I think about this whole deal is you have to make sure that everybody is on board.

[0:37] From Winona State University point of view, we have a hierarchy from MNSCU, which is a Minnesota state system. We have to go from the governor through MNSCU through Winona State, and everybody can add different layers of what this might look like. But again, there’s some great signs on the horizon. And there are some that are already here.

Some of the things that we have changed:

[0:58] First and foremost, and I’m sure you’ve been talked to a lot about this, that’s protocols. Make sure you have a protocol in place. Make sure it’s been run through the different chains of command, make sure everybody’s on the same page, make sure everything is in place for wherever you’re at. If it’s a private facility, if it’s a high school, which we deal a lot with, or if it’s a university, whatever the case might be, everybody’s will be a little bit different. Make sure you have those in place, everybody’s agreed upon those, and those are followed to the letter. If you’re a strength guy like me, you need to make sure that those above you have got the pieces in place, and that we’re following those orders. We might like all of them, we might not like all of them, but we have to make sure that if they’re on a piece of paper that we must follow them. So that’s kind of the first thing.

[1:40] The second thing is obviously we’re doing some numbers reductions. And we’ve got some ways that we’ve worked around that. The first thing that we’ve done down here, again, we’re affiliated with a couple of high schools. We’re on our first week, which started on June 15. We’re on our first week and we’re doing it exclusively outdoors. The advantage to that is we’re able to get greater numbers out there, we have 25 persons that we can have in an outdoor venue, both times we’re working out on football fields. So that makes it nice and easy. The weather is going to be an issue for some. But so far we’ve been lucky with that, but start outdoors that’s worked out very well. We have different points of entrance, we have different protocols we’re using, we’re using temperature as an indicator, we’re using it a questionnaire as another indicator. So those are what we have in place. But again, that was a great place to start.

[2:25] Next week, we’re going to start with one of the high schools we’re dealing with going to indoors. And that’s going to change things a little bit. So, we try to look at what would be the best approach for us. At that high school, we have the availability to a couple of different rooms or facilities. We have the weight room itself, which has a capacity number, we’re able to have approximately 18 in there, and that’s the 25% rule that we have at this moment. So, what we’ve done is we can use the weight room itself, we can also use the big gym space, and there’s also another big corridor area that we can use. So, we’re able to put 18 in each of those, so what we’ve done is we’ve broken it up a little bit to try to expediate all the usage that we’re going to need.

[3:07] We started with a group that will start at 7am. They’ll do a warm-up in the gym, they’ll slide after 15 or 20 minutes to the weight room for a block of time, and then they’ll go to the corridor area, and they’re going to go get their ab or their core work done at that point. What we can do then is we actually start a second group at about [7:45]. So that second group starts in the running area, then we’ll flip to the weight room, and so on, and we keep maneuvering everybody on a 45-minute basis. But again, there’s three different block areas that we can use. That’s giving us time to clean the area. That’s giving us time to disinfect, kind of make sure that everybody keeps their distancing, doing all those types of things. But again, it’s working out what’s best for us to move everybody in a very efficient, effective way.

[3:53] How are we grouping them? Kind of went through some of that already. Again, you have to take whatever your percentage is. It depends on your room size, depends on those types of things. At Winona State, now we’re looking at something slightly different. We have a much larger weight room, and since it’s shared not only with just athletes but with the general student population, we have to look at what that might be. We’re going to do a reservation system at this moment. We’ve got a procedure in mind where we will list out exactly how many racks we have. You can reserve rack number one, treadmill number one, whatever the case might be, but they will be reserved. We’re going to go an hour block or a 50-minute block on the top of every hour. So, you go from 8 am you come in, you’ll go directly to the location which might be a rack or something like that. You stay at that rack the entire time. You have 50 minutes to do your workout. At the 50-minute mark, we’re going to ask everyone to leave, we’ll have 10 minutes to get the high touch areas cleaned up and get all that kind of stuff taken care of.

[4:53] Then our next group, and they’ll know ahead of time, which group is going to come at nine o’clock because they have done the reservations. They’ve done Those types of things. That reserving aspect will for us reduce the amount of lines that we would have, if we just said, hey, look, we’re going to have 100 openings at 9am, we’re going to have 100 people lined up outside. That’s kind of going against what we’re trying to do. And that’s keep people apart. So, we hope with this reservation system that we’re going to try to put into place that that will help reduce all those types of issues.

[5:22] What are some of the permanent impacts that this might have? You know, I faithfully believe that there’s going to be a point where we’re going to be able to go back to what we call normal or typical. I think there’s going to be a cure, I don’t think those types of things are too far. But if there is not, you know, I love the ingenuity that we’ve had to come up with in a very short period of time, you’re seeing a lot of people do a lot of different things. And what we’re going to be able to do very quickly is glean from each one of those. The sharing of ideas has been really valuable. If you’re not that kind of person who likes to reach out and ask others, please become that kind of person. That’s going to be giving you the best information out there. I know I have a group of strength coaches that we’ve coordinated some things with. We have a fitness group, a group that works within our university system, that’s also given some very valuable feedback. I’ve talked to some of those who are already open some areas in the Dakotas in different parts of the country who have already opened.

[6:15] What are the goods? What are the bads? What did you find work, what didn’t work? Reach out to those people. Find that information. Figure out what’s going work best for your area, because again, everybody’s going to be different. Again, establish those priorities, those protocols, get those in place, make sure you’re following them. Come up with something that’s going to be efficient for you, effective for you, and going work out best for you. And stay safe out there. Thank you so much. Have a great day. And again, stay safe, stay healthy, and soon things will hopefully be back to typical.

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