As kids grow up, they tend toward less physical activity. In fact, one Washington State survey found that while 80% of 6th graders said they regularly took part in vigorous physical activity, that number fell to 65% in 12th graders. Staying physically fit is always important at any age, but it is equally important that, as children become teenagers, they continue to remain active, building appropriate exercise habits as they go from middle school, to high school, and move into their adult lives.
When teens stay active, they reduce their chances of becoming overweight or obese, and developing other weight related problems—like diabetes or heart disease—down the line. Additionally, physical activity has been shown to elevate mood and mental focus. By staying active, teenagers decrease the risk of developing mental health conditions like depression and anxiety, and academic performance tends to improve.
Door County Medical Center (DCMC) has long been committed to promoting, supporting and maintaining the health and wellness of Door County teens and student athletes. Part of our support for that community takes shape in our desire to keep kids active during the summer months, so for the past decade, Edge Fitness Academy, powered by DCMC, has worked to provide middle school and high school students with high quality athletic and fitness training during the long summer break.
Edge Fitness Academy
Edge Fitness Academy is a 6-week, sports performance summer camp that brings DCMC’s experienced team of Athletic Trainers directly to every one of the Door County high schools. Originally called Athletic Edge, Edge Fitness Academy started in 2008, and since that time, has been dedicated to “educating, empowering, and challenging the next generation in health, fitness, and athletics.” In 2013, Edge director Jason Linzmeier joined the team and immediately began to expand the program. “I came out of college with a Bachelor of Science in Athletic Training and a Strength and Conditioning minor,” Linzmeier says, “and I saw what Athletic Edge was offering, and I thought ‘this is great, but we can take this up a notch.’ So now, we’ve moved from basic cardio and band exercises to high intensity cardio and full-body, multi-plane exercises that mimic the requirements of certain sports. Last year, for example, we finally got the kids into the weight room and started them on a regimented, progressive, weight training program.”
Edge: Essential and Elite
Edge Fitness Academy offers two programs. Edge: Essential is the core program. It focuses on strength, agility and speed. “Essential is 45 minutes in the varsity sports gym,” says Linzmeier, “focusing on strength training through body weight and locomotion—push-ups, sit-ups, jump-squats, squats, lunges, and things of that nature. If it’s a nice day, we’ll do 45 minutes on the track—the mile-long runs, the more cardio/endurance based activities. And, Essential is more time oriented—for example, ‘how many can reps can you do in 30 seconds. Okay, keep that score in mind, now try to beat your own personal score.’ That way these kids are always looking to push themselves—they’re not comparing themselves to someone else.” Essential provides a baseline of knowledge and is available to both middle school and high school students.
Edge: Elite is an additional 45 minutes following the Essential program, and is an advanced program for student athletes that want to take their game to the next level. Elite focuses primarily on high intensity weight training. “We try to keep it pretty basic,” Linzmeier adds. “Between the ages of 14 and 18, there’s a pretty big gap in levels of knowledge and maturity, so I’m not going crazy with a bunch of different styles. Essentially, I’m trying to find one style that’s good for every sport out there—I’m trying to cast the biggest net I can.” Because weightlifting first requires a certain level of knowledge that is provided by the Essential program, and because weight training can damage growth plates in young children, Elite is available only to high school students.
Edge: an opportunity and a learning experience
“I talk to the kids in high school all the time,” says Linzmeier, “and they say they don’t have a coach to help in the weight room, or a long-term class that teaches them how to lift weights. Often, when I initially enter the weight room with these kids, I see two things: that they’re not getting the most out of a lift because of poor technique, and the way they lift could lead to injuries. So, I view Edge as an opportunity—as a learning experience for the kids that sign up. They learn how to lift the right way, how to get the most out of their exercise experience, and how to manage a weight room. More than that, we’re teaching them appropriate exercise habits that they can use for the rest of their life—that will help keep them healthy and happy.”
Dates and Times
Edge Fitness Academy begins Monday, June 11th and ends Friday, July 20th. All sessions will meet in the varsity gym of the school you signed up for.
- Southern Door and Sturgeon Bay sessions are held Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Southern Door from 7:00 – 8:30AM and Sturgeon Bay from 9:30 – 11:00AM.
- Gibraltar and Sevastopol sessions are held Tuesday and Thursday. Gibraltar from 7:00 – 8:30AM and Sevastopol from 9:30 – 11:00AM.
- General Registration begins March 17th, 2018 and ends June 10th, 2018 at 11:59PM (CST).
- Early registration begins March 1st, 2018 and ends March 16th, 2018 at 11:59PM (CST). Register early to receive $10.00 off your final purchase price.
Note: All registration for Edge Fitness Academy will take place online at edgefit.org. There is no offline registration. For more information, please visit: edgefit.org, call Jason Linzmeier at 920.746.0410, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.