Introducing New Level Athletic Development

TAGS: gym equipment, Pat Lion, NLAD, New Level Athletic Development, VIP Gym, elitefts.com, Elitefts Info Pages

The elitefts.com™ V.I.P. Gym series will provide some valuable insight from owners of the top training facilities in the country. These entrepreneurs have made tremendous sacrifices by starting their own businesses, where creating the culture is as important as providing the space and equipment.

Who are the individuals most responsible for helping you open, maintain, and operate your own facility?

New Level wouldn't be what it is today without the support of my wife Cara, my dad Pat Sr., and my brother Nick for helping with building maintenance and moving equipment. Shauna Soom sat down with me in the beginning and helped me understand the financial end of running a small business. W and D Properties turned a storage room into a usable space. Matt Goodwin at elitefts™ helped me decide what equipment would fit in the space that I had available. I also need to thank all the clients who are still with me and have been training here since day one.

What is the size and basic layout of your facility, and what equipment do you utilize?

New Level is a 500-square-foot rectangle divided into two rooms. In the front room, I have an elitefts™ 0-90 bench, home glute ham raise, lat pull down with multiple attachments, pull-up bar, blast straps, an elitefts™ 45-degree back raise, adjustable plyometric box, medicine balls, kettlebells, and a Texas power bar. In the back room, I have an elitefts™ 2 X 2 rack, an elitefts™ flat bench, a reverse hyper, dumbbells, and a rowing machine. I also have an elitefts™ Prowler and some sleds that can be used outside.

When did you open your facility, and what motivated you to do so?

I opened New Level in April 2011. I've always been involved in football and wanted to coach when I got out of college. As time evolved, the strength and conditioning aspect of football became more interesting to me than the Xs and Os. It got to a point where I had coaches from other sports asking me about programming. I ended up training basketball, track, and volleyball at different high schools. From this experience, I knew that I could open a facility for athletes to train in, and I started to develop a business plan.

Where is your facility located, and what is your basic demographic?

New Level Athletic Development is located at 110 Daniel Drive, Uniontown, Pennsylvania, 15401. We are sixty minutes south of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and 25 minutes north of Morgantown, West Virginia. My main demographic is high school aged males and females. I also have some adults who want to use free weights and sleds rather than machines and treadmills.

What is your basic training methodology, and what drives your programming for your athletes and clients?

Everyone benches, squats, deadlifts, and overhead presses or performs a variation of it. Most of the people I train have zero prior training experience, so a lot of time is spent teaching movements and reinforcing technique. Jim Wendler’s 5/3/1 has had the biggest influence on my programming. We do the big three lifts and assistance lifts to strengthen weaknesses and progress slowly.

Any final thoughts?

I'm grateful for the opportunities that this business venture has given me. Elitefts™ is a great company that truly cares about the people they come in contact with. Whether it be a training question or an equipment question, they go above and beyond to provide information to whoever seeks it.

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