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High school athletes make the most of their home workouts

Creativity helps when gyms are not available

By , Columbian Assistant Sports Editor
13 Photos
Faith Bergstrom of Camas gets instructions from her coach via smartphone as she works out in her family's garage during the COVID-19 pandemic Friday morning, May 8, 2020.
Faith Bergstrom of Camas gets instructions from her coach via smartphone as she works out in her family's garage during the COVID-19 pandemic Friday morning, May 8, 2020. (Amanda Cowan/The Columbian) Photo Gallery

Riley McCarthy has converted his family garage into his own personal workout space.

There’s a net and a tee where he work on his baseball swing, a set of weights for lifting, and another space to do other exercises.

“It can get a little crowded at times,” the Mountain View High junior said. “I guess maybe I should move those out.”

McCarthy points to a duffle bag, on top of which sits his Mountain View baseball uniforms and jacket.

“It kind of makes me sad to look at that anyway,” he adds.

McCarthy is among of hundreds of high school athletes who should be out competing this spring, but can’t because of the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak.

But he’s also one of several athletes who are also clients at New Athlete, a training facility in Vancouver operated by Ryan Paul.

And with Paul’s gym also off limits, for the time being, young athletes have to get creative if they want to continue to stay in shape, get better or get stronger.

Skyview volleyball player Tyra Schaub borrows her mom’s exercise step platforms to help her with her New Athlete workouts.

“My mom went through an aerobics phase,” she said. “It’s good thing, because these have come in really handy.”

Camas basketball player Faith Bergstrom uses a step stool for her at-home workouts.

“You can’t do everything that you would normally do in the gym,” Bergstrom said. “You just have to make do with the things you have around your house.”

The current stay-at-home order has also been challenging for Paul, who started New Athlete “out of the back my truck” in 2001 and now trains youth, high school, college and professional athletes out of his facility on Grand Boulevard in Vancouver.

“You realize with the face-to-face or, as I like to call it, the exchange of energy with the client, that you miss those interactions on day-to-day basis,” Paul said. “But it is what it is. Each day, between myself and Tyler Doran, our director of performance, there are 60 to 100 workouts that are being assigned and sent out every day.”

Bergstrom said Paul’s at-home workouts are structured so that she can do them with whatever is available at home.

“The workouts he sends don’t have the same variety of what I would do at the gym, because of the selection of equipment they have there,” Bergstrom said. “But the stuff Ryan sends me, he’s shaped it so you don’t need a lot of equipment to do the workout. Maybe a box or a hand weight or something.”

Schaub turned to New Athlete two years ago, while playing on a volleyball team with Paul’s daughter, Emily.

“I fell in love with it,” she said. “Like, I needed to go there. It’s such a good atmosphere. You get the 1-on-1 attention, but there are still other people in the gym.”

That sense of community is the biggest thing missing with her at-home workouts, Schaub said.

“But, at the same time, it’s really helped me to be more disciplined,” she said. “I try to set a time to get my workouts in, and then get them done.”

Keeping motivated at home has been one of Bergstrom’s biggest challenges.

“Especially when I have to something that’s difficult in the workout, something that’s harder or something I don’t necessarily want to do,” Bergstrom said. “I just try to keep pushing myself and get through it.”

New Athlete

For more information on New Athlete and the services it provides, call 360-567-0553, email or go to