Outperforme Athletics – Over 17 years and counting in Brandon

Picture of portion of the gym with Halli Krzyzaniak (Milana Paddock Photography)

A good friend of mine has a saying “lots of people can get into business…not many can stay in business”.

Bobbi Schram started from small and humble beginnings and now her and their staff train the top athletes in Brandon and the Westman area.

Some of the well known clients include:

Matt Calvert – Colorado Avalanche
Joe Edmundson – Carolina Hurricanes
Tanner Kaspick –  Drafted St. Louis Blies
Zach Whitecloud – NHL Vegas Golden Knights
Ryan White – Manitoba Moose
Jill Officer – Curling / Team Canada
BU Bobcats

Plus Soccer – Figure Skating – Football and specific training geared towards almost any sport.

BDNMB.CA had a chance to ask Bobbi and Jonathan Filewich a few questions to see why and how they have had their level of success.

The first question is when parents and people are looking at where to train why is Outperforme better than say the “cookie cutter gyms” that exist.

There are a lot of great fitness facilities and personal trainers out there!  Outperforme has several unique things that set us apart.  One key is our program individualization and the level of education that our trainers have and use when we assess our clients and design their programs.  It has always been our belief that everyone is different, and to get the best reward for your efforts, training with a program that is designed to meet your own personal needs and adjusted as soon as the client is ready for progression is ideal.   Even in our small group environments, our clients are individually evaluated/monitored, and we cap our group numbers to ensure quality.  This attention to detail not only produces results but it also prevents injury that can occur in a less supervised environment.  The fact that Outperforme was established by a physiotherapist who remains very active in the Outperforme programming and is always available for our trainers to consult with is a big plus for the clients of Outperforme.

Speed, Agility, Quickness (Track) session – pictured Ferland, Whitecloud. Coach Matt Warren. Ryan White, and Matt Calvert. (Milana Paddock Photography)

Outperforme programming is also very functional in nature.  It is our belief that you should train the way that you use your body.  We love biomechanics and helping people learn to move well so that they can stay active and pursue various healthy pursuits for as long as they would like to!  It doesn’t matter if you’re an athlete trying to make a team, prolong your career, or an individual who wants to move well at work and play to maintain an active lifestyle long term, our coaches will go the extra mile to make sure that you succeed, and within a budget that you can afford.   We also take functional training to the next level by truly evaluating the physiological and biomechanical needs of the sport you play or the active pursuit you are involved with and build injury prevention and performance right into your program.  One of my favorite examples is one of our coaches who spent time optimizing proper neuro-developmental strategies in his young athletes.  It wasn’t long before we heard about a young athlete being “taken out” by an opponent during a soccer match and being excited about how easy it was to fall, roll and get back up almost still sprinting.  They attributed it to what they had learned at Outperforme and is a great example of how our coaches pay attention to even the finest details that may be overlooked in programs designed purely for fitness.   A similar example includes addressing biomechanical break downs, whether from flexibility issues or improper muscle sequencing, in some of our most elite hockey players.  We have had players who have been unable to execute a skill taught by their sport coach, or who have executed it, but with pain and in both cases with extreme frustration.  After a thorough evaluation, it was determined that there were some physical barriers preventing them from being able to execute the skill.  We implemented functional training exercises to address this and have had a lot of players coming back to us thanking us for helping them deal with an on ice issue through off ice programming.

The culture of our gym is also a big draw for people.  We have created a facility where people may be working toward individual goals, but they support each other along the way.   We understand that our successes are interdependent upon one another, and even when training toward a personal goal, training along side someone else who is also driven to succeed is a powerful motivator.  We are open 24-7, and our facility is designed in such a way that our clients can work on their sport skills, throw against a wall designed to withstand medicine ball abuse while still accessing the standard strength and conditioning equipment (including showers!) needed.

After 17 years what has been your biggest challenges in developing your business and as well staying in a highly competitive industry.

`Staying true to our fundamental beliefs and convictions is what we attribute our success to, along with having absolutely spectacular strength and conditioning coaches.  It’s always easy to go with the newest fad in the industry – and believe me, there’s a lot of fads in the fitness industry that tend to put profit ahead of clients, or sacrifice quality for quantity.  Although following fads would be the easy road and perhaps more lucrative, that never has been, and never will be Outperforme.   The truth is that we treat our clients the way that we would want to be treated. The road that Outperforme has chosen is not one that would be used as an example of maximizing profit in a school of business, but it would be one that could be used proudly in a school of ethics – our programming is client centred, and we build our programs to maximally benefit our clients.  Period.  We have long said that the success of our clients ultimately is also our success.  We read research articles, we evaluate programs, we take courses and we stick to scientific evidence and adjust our programming as needed.  All of this takes time and requires extra effort.  It has been a challenge to stay one step ahead of the fads in this industry while still adapting our programs to keep up to science, but we wouldn’t change our strategy for anything.  Our clients mean that much to us.

Any expansion plans on the horizon?

It feels like we have been expanding for the past 5 years!  We loved our time when we shared space with Dynamic Physiotherapy, but when both businesses grew and Outperforme found our new location at 345 10th street, that triggered the start of our expansion.  It seems that every year we have renovated or added something to our building or purchased new equipment to consistently make our facility better for our clients.  We will continue to do that, and we will also continue to expand our strength and conditioning services to new groups of clients!  Keep an eye on our social media to stay up to date with Outperforme updates!    Probably our most exciting, recent expansion is having Paul join Outperforme as a business partner and being able to share more of OPA with him.  We believe in the power of a team, and that we are all stronger together.

Specific athletes been a huge success story that you can share?

We really can’t pick only one!  What you might not realize about us is that we really are a family.   An Outperforme scrap book does exist – it’s actually more of a folder with news paper clippings and cards, notes and letters that we have received from clients.  In fact, I think we might have one here that we can share from a very young Matt Calvert.

*** It’s a picture of the inside of a card that Matt Calvert gave Bobbi at the end of a summer of training when he was approximately 16 years old.***

Some of our clients have achieved the absolute pinnacle of their sport (Joel Edmundson – bringing the Stanley Cup to Outperforme, Paige Lawrence / Rudi Sweigers (pairs figure skating), Jill Officer (curling) and Alex Plante (hockey) competing in the Olympic Games, Undrafted Matt Calvert’s against all odds success story rising to a long and productive NHL career, Zach Whitecloud’s journey through the MJHL through to the NCAA, AHL and now even the NHL, Tanner Jago’s MJHL to NCAA Div I story – graduating with a prestigious business degree and continuing to pursue professional hockey, Bobbi Uhl on a Div 1 Golf Scholarship at Longwood, Quinn Skrupa’s current successes on the Canadian Gymnastics Team, and the list continues, making us feel a little guilty that we haven’t named every single one of our athletes who have competed at these levels).   Other clients have had less fame, but we can’t say any less meaningful success stories.  At Outperforme, we believe in being the best that you can be wherever you are.  Making a team with the odds stacked against you, earning a starting position on a team or even learning hard work through training and being a gritty player that never gives up deserves to be celebrated!  Athletes like Kim Gradwell are inspiring –  Kim has only been training with us for a couple of years, but has made outstanding gains in her movement patterns and functional strength allowing her to deal with some barriers preventing her from competing in ultra 100km runs as a master’s athlete (nope, that’s not a typo, we did say 100km) without nagging injuries.

Choosing one success story would be like asking a mom to choose her favourite kid.  We just can’t do it!

Now what about for the Average Joe can he or she fit in your gym or should they consider other options.

Yes, absolutely!  And the best thing is that we will hold ourselves to the same standard in designing your program and helping you achieve your goals as we would with our professional athletes.  Every person that walks through our doors is important to us, and if they put in their share of the work, they will see results.  We have individuals who train at our facility purely to be healthy and active, we have small fitness groups, we have groups of friends who work out together, we have clients of all ages and with goals as different as night and day all training at our facility.  No matter what your goals are, we are ready to help you achieve them.  After all, are we not all “Average Joe’s”?  Some people find it intimidating working in an environment where professional athletes also train.  However, I think that one of our classiest clients, Ryan White, summed it all up when he said one of his favourite parts about training at Outperforme is that he likes being treated like  regular person.  The environment at Outperforme  is inclusive – and how great is it to know that your Outpeforme family has your back and is cheering you on to achieve your goals.  Who knows, your biggest supporter just might be the athlete you’re watching on TV!

Jonathan, being a former Pro Hockey player what off ice help can you bring to players that are perhaps struggling to get in the lineup etc.

 Having background experience as a former professional hockey player gives me a unique perspective and some insider knowledge as to just how impactful strength and conditioning can be. All athletes are continually looking for ways to grasp that competitive edge and for many their strength and conditioning program is what sets them apart from the rest.

Strength and conditioning became a part of my regimen around the time I was hoping to make it in Junior Hockey. I had always been a big kid, but I wasn’t necessarily powerful, and I didn’t have great endurance. Knowing that if I wanted to make it into the line-up, I would need to be noticed for more than just my size, I began training. It’s always super beneficial if the athlete has some specific areas they would like to see improvement on. Strength and conditioning programs can be tailored and highly specific to address areas of weakness, help with the recovery of and prevention of future injuries, and further enhance areas of strength.

When I began training with Bobbi Schram in Brandon, my entire view on “working out” changed. As a trained physiotherapist, Bobbi has in-depth knowledge of the body and how it works to function at peak performance. Her knowledge, experience, and enthusiasm to help me improve was contagious and was a key component to me getting into strength and conditioning myself. There was a major shift in my mindset from just “keeping in shape” over the summer to challenging myself to improve using targeted, data-driven exercises. Being able to track my progress and see the real results of being able to start quicker, jump higher, run longer, etc. all translated to success on the ice. Outperforme Athletes offers a variety of training options from individual gym sessions, to outdoor track, to on-ice sessions and using these options to compliment each other really helped me see improvements in my game. We work hard to help athletes set specific goals for improvement in their particular sport, then we customize programming to address those areas.

Outperforme coaches and Joel Edmundson with Lord Stanley

At Outperforme, I think that the 3 partners and our coaches all work well together and compliment one another.  Bobbi has the medical background and knowledge of the body, Paul has the ability to connect to our athletes through his passion for everything related to sport, our coaches are all passionate about what they do and bring unique knowledge and perspectives, and I have the professional athlete experience. We can really help young athletes develop programs that truly will help them get to where they want to be. We set very high standards and expectations because we want to see our athletes achieve their goals and we want to ensure their overall health is a priority. A large part of my role in Outperforme Athletics is just sharing my past experiences and helping young athletes learn the importance of proper strength and conditioning and nutrition. Connecting with players and athletes over common experiences and building personal relationships with them only helps highlight our level of commitment to their success.