The Evolution of Duster Strength and Speed

Ella Jacobson, Staff

Freshman Gabby Rooks performs a straight bar deadlift in weights class.

Duster Strength and Speed is the newest weight training program headed by Adam Jantzi. This is Jantzi’s second year at Holdrege Public Schools, and he has been thriving to make student athletes out of every single student ranging from seventh grade all the way up to their last year in high school. 

Adam Jantzi moved to Holdrege from Morrill, Nebraska, two years ago. He started training with the Holdrege athletes the summer before his first year of teaching at the high school. Jantzi started young at the age of twelve with a love for the sport of lifting. He went to his local YMCA as a middle schooler and lifted on his own. As he transitioned into high school he found some really informative coaches who worked with him and made him love football, too. Jantzi attended the University of Nebraska at Kearney where he graduated with an exercise science degree. That degree didn’t allow him to teach so he went to three extra years of schooling to get his teaching degree. Jantzi then became a personal trainer in Castle Rock, Colorado. While working in Castle Rock, Jantzi trained youth athletes and eventually worked at a small community college as the strength coach. He built his program throughout all of these jobs and applied it to all of his athletes.

Coach Jantzi shows the proper starting technique to sprint drills.

Jantzi is still working on perfecting his program and making it better for his student athletes. The program concentrates on building power and speed. You get the power from building muscle, but not too much muscle that it hinders your ability to be fast. You need to continue to progress in the speed field as well. The program itself consists of your normal lifts like squat, bench, and most deadlifts. Then athletes can go into more Olympic lifts such as hang clean. Jantzi then combines these workouts with running and plyometric exercises to build vertical max and speed. He reads research articles and tries to tweak little things each year to improve the program. Jantzi tries to work around everybody’s sports schedules and does his best to get them warmed up for competition that day.


Freshman Keeley Vaughn does an ab roll out to strengthen her core.

Alongside the exercise program comes a protein program that students can pay for. Jantzi recommends that you have something to eat or consume such as the protein drink within one hour of the actual workout. Most teenage athletes don’t actually eat like they should. Some skip meals and some barely eat at all. The right amount of food for teenage athletes consists of three meals and three snacks. “If you don’t take enough protein and calories in, it can actually hurt you,” Jantzi said. “We are tearing down muscle tissue in the weight room so that it can build up when you sleep.” 

Jantzi has allowed seventh and eighth grade students to come lift in the morning during a zero period. Creating a lifting period was the only way to get younger kids in the weight room, because they do not have a period to come lift during the school day. Jantzi is excited to start the kids at a younger level to see them progress over a six year period instead of four.This gives the kids a chance to learn the basics over a longer period of time instead of rushing through it. The Duster Strength and Speed program improves and helps the students at Holdrege High School to become who they want to be.