Looking for the right place to train this summer for your athletic needs?

Before the summer comes to an official start we wanted to share a few brief ideas and thoughts on how to go about finding the right training facility to cater to your athletics needs. It seems that each day new gyms are popping up which can potentially leave the new trainee confused as where to begin when looking. Many of these gyms are self-proclaimed athletic performance centers and claim they are experts in program design, injury screens and so forth but may potentially have no place in making these claims.

1. Education and Certifications.

Do some research on the staff of the training facility. Do the trainers/coaches have college degrees in a health/fitness/exercise science related field? Do they have legitimate certifications from trusted organizations such as NSCA, ACSM, NASM, not some weekend seminar certification or online credentialing. Having the proper education and certifications shows that the trainer/coach is upholding a sense of dedication to their profession. It shows that they have taken the time to study and learn the science and theory of their selected field. Schedule a sit down with one of the trainers and ask him or her about their background, if they are professional they will be glad to do so.

2. Training Resume.

Does this facility actually train legitimate athletes? Can and do they train all levels from youth to high school to college and even professional and olympic level? Do they have anything to back it up, photos, videos, testimonials, can you walk inside the facility and see athlete’s in there training. Anyone can say they train athlete’s for their performance goals, but have they actually done so and done so for top competitors.

3. Facility Appearance.

Is the facility all nautilus machines, elliptical trainers, and arc trainers? If the answer is yet then this is most likely not the best choice for your athletic performance goals. Does the facility pride itself on teaching athlete’s how to move efficiently and with proper mechanics and utilize tools that reinforce that such as kettlebells, suspension trainers, olympic lifting barbells and weights and so forth? If this is the case then this very well could be the choice for you. Take a tour of the facility, look for what you specifically need. Does it have turf space, sleds, and functional training tools or just machine circuits and a plethora of cardio machines?

Here at SPI we have Doctorate’s in Physical Therapy, Board Certified Athletic Trainers, NASM and ACSM certified staff, Personal Trainers, and Precision Nutrition credentialed staff. We have trained athletes from all walks of life to as high as professional boxers, baseball players, hockey players, and even olympians. We pride ourselves on being the most comprehensive sports performance and sports medicine focused facility in the greater Utica area. Interested in getting more information? Email info@spiutica.com to set up your free consultation/assessment and see what we can do to help take your athletic game to the next level.


Phil Fess #teamspi ‘s Newest CSCS

Big congrats to SPI Trainer/Strength and Conditioning Coach Phil Fess on recently passing his CSCS exam. This is even more impressive because Phil is also in his last semester in his Doctoral degree in Physical Therapy which is extremely demanding.

Phil is a very intelligent and passionate trainer and is currently running the Saturday morning boot camp at 9:00 A.M. and is also available for private training.


SPI YouTube Channel

We are excited to announce here that our YouTube channel is now up and running. Please be sure to check it out. We will be adding daily videos of all the great training both at our SPI Fitness center, along with team training with the Utica College Athletics program.


CNY High School Football Combine

SPI Fitness (Sports Performance Institute) will be hosting the 1st annual CNY/Utica High School Football Combine on August 1, 2015 at our facility inside the Field of Dreams Sports Complex.

More information coming soon.


Stair Training for Conditioning?

This blog post was written by SPI Fitness strength and conditioning coach/personal training, Adam Swartout. Adam graduated with his bachelor’s degree in Applied Exercise Science from Springfield College and is currently pursuing his CSCS, FMS, and PRI certifications.

What Can Stairs Do for You?

They can do a lot more than you think.

For instance, they can be used in intense cardio training in order to ensure the heart becomes a better pump for the body.  Without an efficient “pump” the body’s muscles and organs will not be able to operate at the necessary level that you need for competition.  The more efficient the heart is, the quicker it can deliver oxygen to the muscles.  Consequently with more oxygen being delivered the muscles can fire at a faster, more powerful rate and produce the given action you need them to.  When the heart becomes more efficient it can still pump the same amount of blood but it takes less pumps to do it.  For each beat, the heart is able to pump more blood as it becomes more efficient.  By doing this you can prolong the life of your heart which means prolonging your own life.

Running stairs as a part of a training program can also promote a more efficient running motion.  If you look at the top sprinters in the world they do not have much hamstring flexion during their leg cycle.  They bring their knees up and snap the leg back down in order to create a backward motion of the leg which helps to create more force to push them forward, and to promote a very efficient running pattern.  This is partly because running without bringing your knees up and flexing the hamstring promotes hamstring injuries (tears, pulls, etc.).  The reason for a higher injury rate is the stretch-shortening cycle of the hamstring while running.  The more times you shorten and tighten the hamstring the more prone it is to injury so by just by bringing your knees up while running and focusing less on the “butt kick “ portion you can reduce your risk for hamstring injuries.  So, in short, a safer and more efficient running motion is just another benefit that running stairs can yield.

They are a great fat-burner.  Stairs are a whole body workout which means that the heart has to pump blood everywhere fast and the more it has to do this the faster it eats through the readily available nutrient stores.  Where does the body turn to when this happens? You guessed it, body fat.  So if you are faced with the option of stairs, elevator, or escalator choose stairs and think of the benefits they can yield.

So to recap, stairs can improve the function of your heart, thus prolonging your lifespan.  They can help improve your running motion making you a faster, more efficient runner, and they can help you shed unwanted body fat.  I would say the stairs are a great choice.