Bob Rowbotham’s Tradition of Excellence
40 Years Strong In 1979 Bob Rowbotham joined the Bigger Faster Stronger team as a clinician, and eventually took over the company as president and later CEO. Although there have been many advances in the fields of athletic and physical fitness since BFS headquarters opened its doors, the principles BFS was founded on have not changed. Coach Rowbotham has made certain of that.
“The BFS program originated from working with world-class track and field athletes, athletes who often displayed exceptional levels of strength, power, and explosiveness,” says Rowbotham. “When the company started, the only athletes who were using the weight room were football players and the throwers in track and field. Consequently, BFS was perceived to be a football program, it’s taken a long time change that perception.”
Committed to Athletics and PE Rowbotham and his staff spread the word about BFS by attending conventions for state and national physical education organizations, such as SHAPE America. The appeal of BFS grew as sports coaches, strength coaches, and physical education instructors saw the benefit of working together in a unified program. Rowbotham says that the BFS principles have been verified by scientific research, such as the superiority of the hex bar deadlift over the straight bar deadlift.
WRSC Certification “Our certifications started in 2005 because of the concern about safety and liability in the school environment, and because weight training was becoming more popular with athletes in other sports and students involved in physical education classes. These topics would be better addressed in a specific seminar for those administrating the program, rather than a general clinic for both coaches and athletes.”
School System “One of the biggest challenges is in the structure of the circumulum. We don’t have the physical requirements for physical education that we had 20 years ago. Based upon our experience, when the weight room is set up correctly, weight training becomes one of the most popular classes in the PE curriculum. Schools that have developed an elective program in conjunction with the athletic team environment is where BFS has grown the most.”
Multi Sport Athletes Because the competitive sports environment is so much higher today, Rowbotham believes it’s especially important for athletes to be involved in the weight room. “Coaches, athletes, and parents understand that now. They also understand that strength is just one component of developing the total athlete. Strength training, in conjunction with other aspects of conditioning, presented in a format that produces progressive gains over time that can be measured objectively, is key to the success of BFS.”
Six Absolutes. “The Six Absolutes improves the quality of coaching by ensuring that everyone is on the same page in their use of terminology teaching optimal technique, not just in the weight room but also during sports performance. It also creates a repetitive educational environment, making for a more efficient teaching environment. This is especially important when working with large groups of athletes.”
“BFS started in the competitive athletic environment, but it has evolved into much more than that. We are concerned about the well-being of all young people, even those who do not participate in sports. One of our mottos is that BFS is about “Coaches Helping Coaches,” and that’s true. But the bottom line is that what we do is about helping kids.”