Ann Arbor Fitness Facility Giving Local Teams And Athletes A Clear “Advantage”

The Father Gabriel Richard-Greenhills hockey team is skating along this season at a high level and a big part of their success on the rink has been the work they have been doing off the ice.

The Irish have found a way to create a big “advantage” late in the game and the results have been impressive. Coach Clint Robert says the team working out at Advantage Strength inside the Ice Cube has given the Irish plenty of gas left in the tank at the end of games.

“We have been going up to Advantage consistently this year and it’s made a big difference,” said FGR-Greenhills Coach Clint Robert. “We are wearing teams down and a big part of that is the commitment the guys have towards fitness and the work they’ve been doing at Advantage.”

The Irish have outscored 27-5 in the third period even though they don’t have a roster loaded with depth.

Brian Sipotz, who founded Advantage Strength & Conditioning, says the best part of his job is seeing the results and knowing that they are making a difference in not only an athlete’s conditioning but performance as well.

“My favorite part about Advantage is getting the chance to hear about our members’ accomplishments and breakthroughs,” said Sipotz, who was head coach of the Dexter varsity hockey team between 2011 and 2015. “Whenever a member comes in and shares something active they did over the weekend, or something they could never do before, it gives me energy and confidence that we are making a difference here. Seeing people meet their goals and living the active life they want to live definitely fuels my fire and makes me want to do this for a long time.”

And FGR-Greenhills, who work out at Advantage on Mondays and Thursdays during the season, is definitely seeing a difference.

“The main goal for them is to stay healthy during a long season,” said Erick Chamberlain, director of youth performance at Advantage. “We work a lot on their power mechanics and things to help keep them strong throughout the game and especially in the third period when they need that extra gust of wind to win those important battles late in a game.”

FGR-Greenhills isn’t the only team that works out at Advantage. Saline, another team skating along with a strong season, and Pioneer also work out on a regular basis during the varsity hockey season. Several youth teams, including the Ann Arbor Wolves, also work out at Advantage.

The Irish will finish their full-workout on the ice and then head upstairs for a 45-minute weight training session. During the off-season, sessions last an hour.

“We go heavier weights in the summer to get them stronger for the season,” Chamberlain said. “Then during the season we are just trying to maintain and keep them strong and healthy. So we will go lower reps. We don’t want the fatigue but we still want them to experience heavy weights that keep them strong.”

Sipotz, who is an assistant coach for the Saline varsity team, says since they are located at the Cube they are “hockey heavy” with athletes.

“It’s not an extra trip for athletes and parents,” he said. “We used to be on Stadium and we didn’t get a lot of teams because we were an extra drop off and pick up. Now we are right here at the rink. It’s very convenient.”

Founder Brian Sipotz

They are hockey heavy but not hockey specific.

“We work with athletes in every sport,” Chamberlain said. “Everything we do will help athletes in any sport. We stick to the basics for most sports. We focus on power and strength and things that cross all sports as far as fitness.”

Advantage Strength opened its doors in April of 2012, and has been offering quality strength training and athletic development programs ever since.

After a seven-year professional hockey career, Sipotz founded ASC with the goal of bringing intelligent, responsible, and effective training to youth, teens, adults, and teams in the area. The training systems used at Advantage were developed with Darryl Nelson from USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program.
Darryl is a leader in the sports performance industry, and his expertise has allowed Advantage to develop the most highly regarded training system in the area.

“The same thing that will help a basketball player grab a rebound is the same kind of training that will help a soccer player get to a head ball in the box,” he said.

“And it’s the same thing that will help a volleyball player get higher for a spike. It’s training for team sport athleticism. Most sports have similar athletic demands.”

A year after opening, Advantage began their tiered membership program to keep up with the demand for good training, and to offer adults the same great training their sons and daughters had experienced. After two years, they added an additional 1,300 square feet to house the weight equipment, giving them a wide open turf space for training.

The Advantage team has grown to include an incredible group of talented coaches, physical therapists, and vital role-players. It is a community of life-long learners dedicated to improving their craft, so the future of Advantage is bright.

“We look to continue our rate of growth and will continue to offer the most intelligent, responsible, and effective training for youth, teens, adults, and teams,” Sipotz said. “What we provide is good, solid and proven athletic development.”

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