Photo by Lyric Allen
By Graham Friske
Concordia’s campus is full of potential, with the majority of on-campus students being athletes contending for rings and not being strangers to championship glory. Concordia achieves these results out of raw high school talent in many ways.
Concordia’s athletic program, like every other large program, is a puzzle that requires many pieces to do different jobs. Strength training, head coaching management, athlete progression and athletic training are all necessary to produce a quality product.
Strength training with Director of Strength Conditioning and Training Todd Berner is the first stop for any Concordia athlete. With over a decade of experience in directing strength conditioning and training with this year being his fifth year as a Bulldog, Berner is well respected by more than 600 athletes and coaches on Concordia’s campus. His job is not an easy one as it requires him to create strength conditioning programs for each of Concordia’s 21 varsity teams.
Berner makes sure he prepares all teams a workout cycle four to eight weeks in advance. His standard workout program that he creates for each team typically comes in four week intervals: three weeks of hard intensity and one lighter week for recovery. For any given week, an average of three workout sessions are suggested, but only two workout sessions are given for in season teams.
Berner says his job for athletes is to “define them by how they move.”
For any freshman or sophomore athlete, Berner’s goal is to put on muscle. As those athletes mature and become juniors and seniors, his goal for his athletes changes. For all his upperclassmen, he designs programs fitted specifically for the athlete’s concentrated field.
It is the responsibility of the head coach to designate specific workouts for their athletes on the field as Berner prepares athletes for competition in the weight room. Head Cross-Country and Track and Field Coach Matt Beisel typically has training for all his athletes five to six times a week. He, like Berner, alternates types of training. He has his athletes train different types of energy systems so they can reap the fullest benefits out of back-to-back days of hard training.