Jun 19, 2018Versatile Training Equipment
As a strength coach at Millville (N.J.) High School, Dan Richter works with a wide variety of athletes. On any particular day, he may go from a session with freshmen who are strength training for the first time to working with a NCAA Division I-bound senior to helping a middle-aged coach with a workout. So he needs equipment that can meet divergent needs. Two of his workhorses are a S-Force Performance Trainer and a pair of S-Drive Performance Trainers from Matrix Fitness.
“I use them for everything from conditioning to power and explosiveness to running form to rehab,” Richter says. “I especially like to use them as part of a circuit. So I might have an athlete do 20 seconds of sprinting, then jump off and do a strength exercise, then sprint again, and then do a power exercise.”
These machines are even able to handle elite athletes. During the winter months, Richter works with Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout, a Millville grad, and minor leaguers Aaron Cox and Buddy Kennedy as a personal trainer.
“I used to do a sprint protocol with Mike before we got the S-Drive, and he would run so hard that the treadmill would just shut down,” Richter explains. “Now I can push him as hard as I want because the S-Drive is powered by his own force. We don’t have to worry about overriding the system.”
The same feature also makes it safer for inexperienced athletes and those coming back from injury. “I’ve used it with athletes after ACL injuries,” Richter says. “Because they’re using their own power they don’t have to worry about exceeding their strength or range of motion levels.”
He also likes the S-Drive’s versatility when it comes to sprint and agility work. “Since it’s manually powered, change-of-direction work is a lot easier on the S-Drive than a regular treadmill, Richter says. “I can have athletes go from a side shuffle or a back pedal into a sprint. We have only a 30-yard patch of turf in our facility so this machine allows us to do our agility work much more efficiently. The S-Force, on the other hand, has a better range of motion and gives you that sprinter’s lean that you don’t get with other ellipticals.”
Most of all, Richter likes the freedom that the two machines provide. “One thing I love about Matrix is their stuff is so versatile,” he says. “They’re thinking outside the box and that’s what I look for in fitness equipment. I’ve hooked bands to it and done different exercises in conjunction with sprints. You can do a lot of interesting things with them if you just think creatively.”