“Movement Mayhem” is a community-based health and fitness program held each Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning in the Middleton High School Field House.  The program began simply as a training circuit I would write and do—by myself—between the team training sessions when I worked as the strength and conditioning Coach for many of the University of Wisconsin sports teams.  My “outside-the-box” methods were a source of amusement for the athletes, coaches, faculty members and other department employees for years—until many eventually decided to join me and became hooked, themselves.  

When I left the UW in September, 2000, my small gang of training partners wanted to continue training together and the group moved from the Stadium Weight Room to the Monkey-Bar Gym in downtown Madison. We also changed the workout start-time from noon to the (shockingly!) early hour of 6 AM.  The group grew steadily until the MBG became too small to handle the crowd and the brand-new Middleton High School Field House became the new –and current venue.

The original core of five to ten Movement Mayhem devotees has expanded significantly.  The current number of regulars hovers between sixty and seventy with all manner of physical backgrounds represented. New folks show up all the time and are welcomed and quickly assimilated into the training, with veterans serving to teach and coach rookies through their first few sessions.

As the unofficial name “Movement Mayhem” suggests, this is a program constructed (fresh!) each day from the infinite possibilities of movement the human body can produce. The idea is to create and maintain bodies that are functionally strong, supple, durable and fit.  The goal is to be wholly adaptable to all manner of physical demands rather than simply adapted to a few.  The training is playful, varied, and easily tweaked to accommodate everyone, from inexperienced non-athletes to the professional hockey players and Olympic athletes who occasionally drop in. The intensity level of each movement / exercise and each session is entirely up to the individual.  

Movement Mayhem training is free—essentially. Attendees are asked to sign-in and keep track of their participation.  A $3 / session donation to the Middleton High School Booster Club is welcomed, but not required, and those choosing to donate can do so by writing a check (no cash, please!) once a week, month, quarter or year as they choose.

Everyone is welcome. Athletic shoes and comfortable clothes to move in are all you need. The locker-rooms and showers are available for those needing to clean up and race off to work. Those with a few minutes to spare often gather for conversation and a cup of post-training coffee or tea at Barriques, afterward.  

Now: Some (significant? remarkable? astonishing?) muscle soreness is a generally unavoidable result of your first few sessions—just because the movements I ask your body to make are often quite different from the movements you may be used to—even if you consider yourself fit; but this soreness moderates once you get used to things (i. e. once you become adaptable).  And anyway—as I like to point out—“Muscle soreness is your body’s only way of saying ‘Thank you!’.”

- Steve Myrland

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ABC Agility Ladder footwork drills

ABC Agility Ladder footwork drills

ABC Agility Ladder footwork drills