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Weight room 2.0

No longer pits of misery, high school weight rooms and those who run them are changing to accommodate smarter and more efficient methods of making athletes bigger, faster and stronger. So long, pulley-and-cable machines. Make way for equipment such as kettlebells and stability balls.

Pay to train: School district bond requests financed weight room makeovers at Waconia and Stillwater. Voters recently approved funds for St. Louis Park. At Dassel-Cokato, fundraising, in-kind donations of time and materials, and dollars from the school district capital budget made weight room improvements possible.

Smarter minds: Strength and conditioning coaches are beefing up their knowledge, earning certification through the National Strength and Conditioning Association and sharing knowledge with their peers through the National High School Strength Coaches Association.