Opportunities to train regularly with certified professionals are rare for high school athletes. It’s something most typically seen at the collegiate and professional level. Student athletes at Charlotte High School, however, now have the opportunity to train with the professional staff from AL!VE, four-days-a-week, free of charge.
Thanks to a partnership between Charlotte Public Schools and AL!VE, a new strength and conditioning program is being offered to all CHS students from 3 to 4 p.m., Monday through Thursday in the high school weight room.
“I can’t imagine there are too many other schools that are providing the level of expertise in their strength and conditioning programs that we are,” said Jake Campbell, director of health and wellness services at AL!VE. “The athletes that stick with it should see tremendous improvements and I’m excited to see how they progress over the next few years.”
Interested students need only to fill out a waiver with the athletic office to participate. From there they will receive an initial fitness assessment and be paired with a trainer who will develop a specific training program for their desired sport.
“You don’t have to be an athlete to participate,” Campbell said. “We’ll work with students that just want to be healthy. But, we can create sport-specific training programs, and in some cases even position specific programs.”
Campbell said the AL!VE team includes exercise physiologists, personal trainers, and strength coaches that are not only there to assist the student athletes reach their athletic goals, they are available as a resource for Charlotte coaches as well.
The team includes Darius Long, MS, a wellness instructor and exercise physiologist at AL!VE, who hold a master’s degree in exercise physiology and is ACSM certified personal trainer; Miranda Smith, AS, a group exercise instructor at AL!VE who has more than 15 years experience as a track and field coach at the high school and collegiate levels. She was also a collegiate champion pole-vaulter; Matt Berger, MOVE coordinator at AL!VE who is also an ACE Certified Personal Trainer. Berger also administers speed and agility clinics and weightlifting seminars, and has coaching experience in wrestling, track and field, football and collegiate strength and conditioning; Eric McGill, owner of CrossFit Fade, who is an ISSA certified personal trainer, and CKT certified kettlebell instructor. McGill has more than 17 years experience in Olympic Weightlifting, and was a National Strongman Champion in 2007 and State of Michigan Weightlifting Champion in 2008, 2009 and 2019. He was also a National IKFF Champion in 2010, 2011 and 2012 and World Champion in 2013. He has helped train Olympic weightlifters, National Strongman Champions and Powerlifting World Champions; and Campbell, who has more than 12 years experience working with athletes, including personal, training, strength and conditioning, speed and agility and skill development.