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Performance Training Center


Gymnasium – Natatorium

2000 Observatory Drive
Madison, WI 53706

(608) 262-3742

What are you capable of?

We converted three racquetball courts into a full-on training center for all fitness levels. Discover what your body can do in our Performance Training Center, designed to accommodate functional, Olympic, personal, and small group training. The PTC is always staffed by a personal trainer who can show you the ropes (pun intended) and help you feel comfortable in one of our favorite new workout spaces on campus.


All Rec Sports members have access to Bays One and Two, and the rig (squat racks and monkey bars) in Bay Three during Experience PTC.

You must successfully complete the Test-Out Process (see below) to use the PTC during Olympic Weightlifting. This process ensures our staff that you can safely perform the Olympic lifts.

Walk-in testing is available whenever the PTC is open for Olympic lifting.

Open Rec

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Experience PTC

Work out in the Performance Training Center during our open Experience PTC times. While the facility is still monitored by Rec Sports staff for your safety, you have the freedom to design and perform your own workout during this time. Participants are allowed to use all equipment except the platforms.


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Designed for:

  • Participants interested in a non-traditional workout experience


  • None


  • Supervision of all bays by Rec Sports staff
  • Access to the following equipment:
    • Rig (squat racks and monkey bars)
    • Climbing
    • Turf
    • TRX
    • and more!

Test-Out Process

Become eligible to use the Olympic weightlifting platforms. Participants wishing to perform Olympic lifts on the platforms must demonstrate safe form in our test-out process (see below). Walk-in testing is available during Olympic Weightlifting hours.

Olympic Lifting Test-Out

The PTC has three Olympic weightlifting platforms equipped with bars, bumper plates, and compressed chalk. For your safety and the safety of others, all lifters must demonstrate a successful and safe complete clean and jerk and snatch prior to participating. Those who pass the test-out process will receive an Olympic Platform Pass.


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Designed for:

  • Students and affiliates with a background in Olympic Weightlifting
  • Successfully and safely complete a Clean & Jerk and a Snatch
    • Men: 65 – 75lbs
    • Women: 55 – 65lbs

Full Clean & Jerk


  • Hands are close to shoulder width apart
  • Eyes are up throughout movement
  • Bar stays close to body
  • Elbows remain high after catch
  • Maintains control through the catch
  • Maintains neutral spine through entire life
  • Stable knees through catch and ascent


  • Spring is neutral throughout movement
  • Dip and Drive motion is present
  • Head comes through the arms upon completion of movement
  • Stable elbows and wrists upon completion of movement
  • Bar remains fixed overhead upon completion of movement

Full Snatch

  • Hands are wider than shoulder width apart
  • Eyes up throughout movement
  • Bar stays close to body
  • Stable knees through catch and ascent
  • Head comes through the arms after the catch
  • Bar remains fixed, overhead
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If you’re new to the sport of Olympic weightlifting – or if you want a more thorough review of the lifts required for our test-out process – check out our Introduction to Olympic Weightlifting course on the Education & Certification page.

Team Performance Training for Sport Clubs

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Give your team the competitive edge

This class provides sport club members an opportunity to cross-train and improve their strength, endurance, agility, and more. Instruction is provided by our USA Weightlifting coaches and personal trainers.

All Athletes: $5

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Designed for:

  • Teams looking to take their performance to the next level
  • Athletes with an elevated competitive focus that want to see their hard work translate to the field of play
  • Must be an active member of a Sport Club currently registered with Rec Sports

Class components:

  • All training takes place in our state-of-the-art Performance Training Center
  • Performance training specific to the team’s goals and on-the-field movements
  • Use of speciality equipment including battle ropes, climbing ropes, kettle bells, tire, resistance bands, and more

“The Team Performance Training program opened up new doors for me as an athlete. Our trainers took the time to not only give us a killer workout, but also to explain how each workout helped strengthen us, increase our agility, or quicken our reaction time in a purposeful way. After a mere six weeks in the program, I felt faster and stronger.  I would recommend this program for any team looking to better themselves as athletes, both physically and mentally.” –Sport Club Athlete


Participants wishing to use the Olympic weightlifting platforms are required to complete a Test-Out process (please refer to the details above or speak with a Rec Sports employee for more details).

General Conduct:

  • Water in a sealable container is allowed. Food, gum, and tobacco products are prohibited.
  • Closed-toe shoes must be worn at all times while lifting in the PTC. Sandals, open-toe shoes, and street shoes are prohibited. Appropriate athletic attire is required.
  • Bags and personal items are not allowed in the PTC. Appropriate storage space is available. Rec Sports is not responsible for lost or stolen property.
  • No spitting on floor, machines, or equipment.
  • Music recommendations and selection is at the USAW coach’s discretion. Explicit or offensive music is prohibited.
  • Loose chalk is prohibited. Block, compressed, or liquid chalk is allowed on lifting platforms only.

Weightlifting Policies:

  • Participants wishing to use the Olympic weightlifting platforms are required to complete a Test-Out process. Please refer to the Rec Sports website or speak with a Rec Sports employee for more details.
  • Removal of any equipment is prohibited. Do not leave equipment unattended.
  • Return and re-rack weights and equipment after use.
  • Improvised use of equipment is prohibited.
  • Control weights at all times.
  • Weight collars must be worn on barbells at all times.
  • Weight-bearing Olympic lifts are allowed on the platforms only.
  • Assistance from weightlifting coaches and spotters is strongly recommended at all times.
  • USAW coaches have authority over all conduct and use of equipment. Inappropriate behavior will not be tolerated and may result in expulsion from the facility.

Weightlifting Policies:

  • Olympic platforms may only be used under supervision of a Rec Sports Olympic Weightlifting Coach.
  • Use of Olympic weightlifting platforms is restricted to participants who have passed the Olympic Weightlifting Test-Out process. Lifters who are inactive on platforms for over two semesters will be required to retest.
  • All lifts must be performed in a controlled manner throughout the entire movement.
  • Release weights, including drops, in a controlled manner. Do not slam weights.
  • Use of headphones is prohibited during Olympic weightlifting.


  • Bumper plates and barbells must remain on the platform area at all times during use.
  • Only ONE barbell is permitted on the platform at any given time. All other barbells MUST be racked.
  • Return and re-rack bumper plates and barbells after use.
  • Loose chalk is prohibited. Block, compressed, or liquid chalk is allowed on weightlifting platforms.
  • Vertically stacking weight plates to create a heightened pulling base is prohibited.

Jerk Blocks:

  • Jerk blocks may only be used on the platforms by participants signed in to use the platform.
  • Snatches, cleans, jerks, and pulls may be performed from the jerk blocks. Participants should not use jerk blocks for movements outside the intended use.
  • The top block must be used at all times.
  • Participants must maintain grip of the bar when lowering weights onto the blocks.

Partner Workouts:

  • Partner workouts are permitted. Each platform is limited to two people.
  • Only ONE person may perform lifts or squats on a platform at a time.
  • Athletic shoes and non-metal cleats are allowed on the turf.
  • The first half hour of every hour is designated “Turf Time”. Open use of the turf is permitted.
  • The second half hour of every hour is open for rope climbing, with limited turf time.
  • Each rope is limited to no more than TWO people at a time (one person spotting and one person climbing).
  • Crash pads are provided for your safety and are strongly recommended for use.
  • All climbing must be in a controlled manner. Swinging or irresponsible use will not be tolerated.
  • Monkey bars may only be used under supervision of Rec Sports staff.
  • Monkey bars may not be used when weight racks below are in use.
  • A second person may enter the monkey bars in Area 1 only when the first person has moved beyond Area 2.
  • Crash pads are provided for your safety and are strongly recommended for use.
  • Inexperienced users are encouraged to climb in Areas 1 and 2 only.


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What is the Performance Training Center?

The Performance Training Center (PTC) is a space for individuals to safely execute Olympic lifts and performance training exercises under the supervision of ACE® certified trainers and/or a USA Weightlifting coach. Along with providing space for Olympic lifts, the PTC provides additional space for small groups and personal training. We converted three racquetball courts into one facility to provide space for activities that are not currently supported elsewhere on campus.

Where is the PTC?

The PTC is located at the Natatorium, in the racquetball court hallway.

What equipment does the PTC have?

  • 3 Olympic weightlifting platforms
  • Functional training rig (monkey bars and benches; 24’x15’x4′)
  • Turf strip (10’x60′)
  • Climbing ropes (15′)
  • Half squat rack
  • Prowler sleds
  • Plyometric boxes
  • Functional trainer
  • Plus: plates, bars, slam balls, med balls, battle ropes, foam rollers, Swiss balls, jump ropes, ladders, chains, and more!

Can anyone use the PTC?

The PTC is open for all Rec Sports members during designated Experience PTC times. Members wishing to use the Olympic weightlifting platforms must successfully complete a two-phase test-out process. One completed, you will have full access to the PTC according to the policies and schedule (see above). The PTC is also open for Small Group Training classes and semi-private personal training.

What if I've never done any Olympic weightlifting?

We offer two options for members interested in learning more about Olympic weightlifting. Our introductory Olympic Weightlifting Class provides instruction for performing the basic positions, movement patterns, and lifts.

If you have some background in Olympic weightlifting and just need a refresher before completing the test-out, you may be interested in our single-session Olympic Weightlifting Clinic. We’ll review the basics and provide a test-out option at the end of the clinic.

I'm a Sport Club member. How can I use the PTC?

In addition to the classes and programs noted above, Sport Clubs may reserve exclusive use of the PTC throughout the week (including midday and night options). Your club has the option of doing a self-guided workout or requesting a workout from one of our coaches. A certified trainer or coach must be present at all times during your workout. See the Sport Clubs section of this page for more information.