Top of the Line Training: Unique training facility advances athletes to higher levels of competition


Jansen Hess, Sports Editor

Advancing many athletes to the collegiate and professional levels, TopSpeed Strength and Conditioning is a training facility in Kansas City that offers training programs in the areas of speed, strength, power, agility and quickness. It also offers advice in sports nutrition, supplements and sports medicine.
TopSpeed is directed by former Kansas City Royals Strength and Conditioning coach Joseph Potts.
“The guy who does it used to be with the Royals,” junior Caeden Harris said. “He knows all the top stuff, so he’s teaching us everything correctly, and we know we’re going down the right path with the stuff that he’s telling us.”
Harris said TopSpeed differs from other gyms such as Lifetime Fitness or Planet Fitness.
“It’s not really a gym,” he said. “I just started going there for speed training for baseball. It’s really more of just speed stuff — agility, kind of, too — but it’s not very big. It’s solely for speed stuff. You can go in and work out, but it’s not like a public gym.”
Harris has two and a half hour sessions per week.
“I really want to play baseball as long as I can, and I think speed is going to be a big deal,” he said. “I need to keep my speed up as much as I can.”
Senior Tyler Randall attends TopSpeed three times a week in order to get in shape for track season.
“I go on Monday, Wednesday and Friday,” he said. “We work out for an hour and a half — sometimes two if we do a little bit more work or if we stay longer to stretch.”
Both Harris and Randall said they like how not a lot of people go to TopSpeed.
“It’s a lot of one-on-one time, so you really see advances,” Randall said. “You see improvements a lot faster than you do at the other gyms.”
Harris also has a Lifetime Fitness membership and said there are pros and cons to both facilities.
“I don’t take lessons [at Lifetime],” he said. “I just work out on my own because I go to [TopSpeed] 2 days a week. [Potts] gave me a workout plan for the other five days, and so I just do that at Lifetime. I don’t have a trainer at Lifetime, but it’s obviously bigger, and you can do a lot more, and there’s more machines and more weights to do.”
Randall said he prefers TopSpeed over Lifetime Fitness.
“It has a facility where you can do sled pulls and running aspects, but it still has the normal benches and curl bars and things to do all your normal lifts,” he said. “There’s really nothing I dislike — the only thing I don’t like is that it’s kind of a far drive because it’s down by the mall so it’s like a 15 minute drive. Other than that, I think it’s a great facility.”
Harris said he works different aspects of his body on the two different days that he’s there — speed and lower body strength.
“For my speed day, I do this thing called the prowler, and it’s just like a pushing sled,” he said. “Then I do resisted band runs where he wraps a band around you, and you do like 10 yard bursts, and then I’ll do box jumps. On my legs day, I’ll do Bulgarian squats, which is just a weird form of regular squats and then a lot of lunges and resistance stuff.”
Randall joined TopSpeed a month ago and said he has already seen improvements.
“Me, [senior] Clay [Rhodes] and [senior] Ryan [McNerlin] have already added a lot to our weight that we use for lifting and on speed things like running,” he said. “We’ve already dropped our times, so we’ve gotten faster.”
Randall said he credits these advances to the different workouts they do at TopSpeed.
“We go there and we do some stretching at the beginning,” he said. “Then we’ll go into things like sled pulls or things to work on your explosion at the beginning. Then, for power, we’ll do things like squatting, hang clinging or box jumps. Then we’ll do some supplemental lifts, and we’ll always end with core, like abs.”
Randall said the ab workouts Potts gives are sometimes too intense to finish.
“The abs [at TopSpeed] are insane,” he said. “There’s a different thing for each day that either works your upper, lower or sides. Me and [McNerlin] and [Rhodes] are all pretty good athletes. Me and [McNerlin] especially have a fairly good core, and most of the time we can’t even finish [Pott’s] ab workouts because they’re so intense.”