Inside the Modern High School Weight Room

Paul Steinbach Headshot
Icons, innovation and plenty of iron pack the weight rooms in (clockwise from top left) Rockford, Mich., and LaPorte), Bowie and Athens high schools in Texas.
Icons, innovation and plenty of iron pack the weight rooms in (clockwise from top left) Rockford, Mich., and LaPorte), Bowie and Athens high schools in Texas.

Underneath the seating of a new $22 million basketball arena at LaPorte High School in football-crazed Texas is a 4,600-square-foot weight room, two walls of which are lined by multiple sets of dumbbells weighing up to 100 pounds in 5-pound increments. In the middle of the room are seven double-sided, multipurpose racks that can accommodate both squats and cable exercises simultaneously. The space, which opened last August in time for the 2017-18 academic year, accommodates nearly 100 athletes at a time with training techniques both traditional (leg-extension and curl machines) and trendy (plyo boxes), and the LaPorte Bulldog logo is literally everywhere.

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