Speed Strength Training (SST) in physical education


On March 7, 2012, Skyview High School hosted the first bi-annual Speed Strength Training (SST) Collaborative Competition between students from Skyview, Kenai Central High School and Nikiski High School. The competition is a showcase of the hard work by students and teachers—just as in art, drama, or industrial arts. It is a motivating factor for students to work hard. And we all know healthy competition breeds hard work!

Competition highlights include:

  • Both male and female categories
  • Upper and lower grade level categories
  • A 3' by 2' traveling trophy presented to the winning school
  • Tee shirts for the champion of each event
  • A full documentary video created by students in a digital photography class

The SST mission is to optimize athletic performance for all athletes using free weight, multiple joint exercise performed in a standing position.


What is SST?

SST is a year round weight training education curriculum based on teaching standards for physical education. The purpose of the program is to optimize athletic ability for all students in the time frame of a class date, week, quarter, semester, and year. The program is divided into three sections throughout the year: fall, spring, and summer. Semesters start with testing, and a focus upon technique and body conditioning. The semester ends with higher load strength and speed training. A week of SST is divided into speed training on Tuesdays and Thursdays, with lifting on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. 

The first SST bi-annual school competition

The physical education departments at Skyview and Kenai Central High Schools collaborated together to create the competition. Instructors Eric Pomerleau from Skyview, and Jeff Baker from KCHS used face-to-face meetings, e-mail, phone, text, and distance delivery PolyCom broadcasts to maximize the quality of education for students in their classes. Their final step is to gather each semester and showcase the students' hard work, teachers' collaboration, and school district support for physical education. Pomerleau and Baker both said, "None of this would be possible without the technologies, equipment, and curriculum that originated with our recent curriculum review."

As excitement for the first competition spread throughout the school district, Nikiski Middle/High School joined the competition. They too followed the guidelines established by Skyview and KCHS: every student in the competition will be enrolled in an SST weight training class and meet district eligibility standards.


SST Collaborative Competition Rules

Students compete in four different events: Squats, Clean, Snatch, and Fight Gone Bad. Fight Gone Bad is a five station exercise circuit comprised of Box Jumps, Push Press, Kettlebell Swings, Ball Slams, and Wall Balls. Students spend one minute at each station and go through the circuit three times, with a one minute break between circuits. The competitor's total repetitions are added to determine a winner. 

Each event has four divisions: Boys 11-12 grade, Girls 11-12 grade, Boys 9-10 grade, and Girls 9 -10 grade. Each school is allowed two participants, per event.

Team scoring is rated with the following point structure: First Place - 10, Second Place - 8, Third Place – 6, Fourth Place - 4, Fifth Place – 2, and Sixth Place - 1 point. 

The results…

On March 7, 2012, the final scores were: Skyview 199, Kenai 175, and Nikiski 127. The traveling trophy went to Skyview! Individual champions received tee-shirts.


March 7, 2012 Champions

  • 11-12 Boys Squats: DJ Diaz, Skyiew, 380
  • 11-12 Girls Squats: Ashley Perry, Kenai, 215
  • 9-10 Boys Squats: Levi Hanson, Kenai, 360
  • 9-10 Girls Squats: Ali Fitt, Kenai, and Cat Schoessler, Skyview, 155
  • 11-12 Boys Cleans: Stephen Hartley, Nikiski, 255
  • 11-12 Girls Cleans: Bailey Buchholtz, Nikiski, 130
  • 9-10 Boys Cleans: Jesse Eide Nikiski, and Riley Edwards, Skyview, 230
  • 9-10 Girls Cleans: Sam Reynolds, Skyview, 115
  • 11-12 Boys Snatch: Joseph Hawkins, Skyview, 180
  • 11-12 Girls Snatch: Mary Hauptman, Skyview, 95
  • 9-10 Boys Snatch: Levi Hanson, Kenai, 155
  • 9-10 Girls Snatch: Tori Sipes, Skyview, 80
  • 11-12 Boys Fight Gone Bad: Travis Semmens, Kenai, 613
  • 11-12 Girls Fight Gone Bad: Mary Hauptman, Skyview, 429
  • 9-10 Boys Fight Gone Bad: Riley Edwards, Skyview, 590
  • 9-10 Girls Fight Gone Bad: Justice English, Kenai, 341


Responses to the first SST competition

"It is a positive thing for our kids to showcase what they are doing in the classroom." – Jim Beeson, Assistant Principal, Kenai Central High School

"It gives the kids excitement and something to look forward to, not just lifting for lifting or a sport." – Dan Carstens, Principal, Nikiski High School

Competitors said,

"When can we do it again?"

"The energy in the gym during Fight Gone Bad was amazing!"

"Awesome, fun, cool"

"It was a good opportunity to come together, compete, and see what other schools can do and what we can do." – Cody Clendenen, senior, Skyview High School

"It was cool to hear what the other schools do in weight training!" – Mary Hauptman, senior, Skyview High School

In the future, watch for an SST competition once a semester, the last Wednesday of the first and third quarters. If you have any questions, please contact Eric Pomerleau at EPomerleau@kpbsd.k12.ak.us, or Jeff Baker at jbaker99@kpbsd.k12.ak.us.