Derrick Davis, Valdosta Daily Times
VALDOSTA — The Wildcats have yet to move into the new Valdosta High School, but the football team is already looking forward to tearing up the new weight rooms.
Finishing touches are nearly all that remain in completing the new Valdosta High weight rooms, and it will be open to the public Saturday when the school holds its open house and ribbon cutting ceremony.
When searching for the perfect company to outfit the two weight rooms, head football coach Alan Rodemaker wanted something that would last as long as the new school will. Sorinex Exercise Equipment quickly became the obvious choice.
“They were highly recommended by a lot of college guys,” Rodemaker said Tuesday. “This past week, I think they put in the Texans weight room.
“So NFL teams, college teams all over the place. They’ve just got the best name in the business.”
Among its professional clients, Sorinex has outfitted weight rooms for the New England Patriots, Houston Texans, Jacksonville Jaguars, Oakland Raiders and Atlanta Falcons. Texas, Miami, Auburn, Stanford and South Carolina have also turned to Sorinex in the college ranks.
One of the biggest selling points for Rodemaker was one piece of equipment in particular — Sorinex’s Frankenhyper.
“Really the reason I found them as a company, they have a machine called the ‘Frankenhyper,’” Rodemaker said. “So it’s a glute-ab hyper-extension and it just works your posterior chain.”
Other companies have tried to reproduce the machine, but Rodemaker believes Sorinex still has the best machine in the business for working the posterior chain, a muscle group crucial in generating power and speed from the lower body.
Two weight rooms stocked with 12 racks each will also give Valdosta football players plenty of space for the more dynamic workouts it’s shifted towards.
“A lot of things we’re doing now are more high speed, more aerobic, faster pace, because the game of football is faster pace,” Rodemaker said.
Instead of rotating through a single lift, the Wildcats utilize circuits in which they’ll perform a core lift, a movement, an auxiliary lift and an ab workout.
One example Rodemaker provided had players cycling through squats, a dot drill, a straight-leg dead lift and scissor kicks before returning to squats.
“It used to be when we’d do one lift, we’d rotate three men through and then they’d go to another lift,” Rodemaker said. “Now, we’re doing four lifts every time.”
Striving to be on the cutting edge of weightlifting programs is nothing new for Valdosta though, dating back to Valdosta Hall of Fame member Bob Bolton’s contributions.
Bolton coached at Valdosta for 31 years, spending much of that time as the team’s wide receiver coach, but his greatest contributions came in the weight room where he revolutionized the weightlifting program forever.
The Wildcats were one of the first programs to begin lifting weights daily and holding morning workouts.
“We didn’t even have weight rooms in my high school until like ’83-83,” Rodemaker said. “(Valdosta) was doing it in the ‘70s.”
It won’t be just the football team taking advantage of the upgraded facilities at the new Valdosta High. This past year, the Wildcats implemented a rule requiring varsity athletes in every sport to take a weightlifting class.
There will be 14 weight classes at the new school over seven periods each day.
Half of the equipment in Valdosta High’s current weight room will go directly to Valdosta Middle School, and the rest will be sold in an attempt to recoup some of the money spent on the project.