UW Health Sports Medicine 

Forward Center helps build better Badgers


July 18, 2014

Stephen M. Bennett Student-Athlete Performance Center

MADISON, Wis. -- With as much time as student-athletes spend on the practice field, their time in the weight room may match it. That is especially true on the football side, where the large number of athletes can make training together at the same time difficult.

With the opening of the Forward Center, a 17,000-square foot strength and conditioning facility located in Camp Randall Stadium, a number of those concerns have been alleviated. The space is broken up into three different areas: a warm-up room, the main free weight training area and the auxiliary strength area.

The warm-up area is lined with green artificial turf and houses a cardiovascular area that is great for rehabbing athletes. The main free weight training area consists of 20 Hammer Strength half racks, 10 of which are double-sided, four Pit Shark squat machines, six Hammer Strength row machines and six lat pull-down machines. The auxiliary strength area includes dumbbells up to 180 pounds, kettlebells from 17-80 pounds, two four-way hip machines, a leg press machine, leg extension machine, six glute/hamstring raise benches, six Russian leg curl benches, six reverse hypers and a variety of step up/single leg squat adjustable boxes.  

A unique feature of the Forward Center is the dedicated performance nutrition space. In addition to BadgerMax dispensers for hydration, the space includes a smoothie station and three large refrigerators which allow access for fresh fruit, energy bars, protein powders and a variety of other recovery fuel.

The entire weight room pays homage to great Badgers of the past as well as the current team with a number of wall graphics and ceiling panels depicting UW legends.

This state-of-art weight room is part of the Stephen M. Bennett Student-Athlete Performance Center. The Forward Center was named by one of the major donors to the project, Robert M. Breunig, who contributed a generous $1 million gift. Breunig is president and owner of Diesel Forward, Inc., a third generation family-owned company headquartered in Windsor, Wisconsin. Diesel Forward, Inc., includes a family of diesel-focused brands that together provide total diesel solutions for the diesel aftermarket - distributors, service dealers, fleets, independent service shops, small business owners and diesel vehicle owners - through local, national and international channels.

The Breunig family have been longtime supporters of UW Athletics. Prior to this gift, the Breunigs established a fully-endowed football scholarship and are loyal supporters of the annual scholarship fund. Additionally, they have a long tenure as club seat holders at both Camp Randall Stadium and Kohl Center.

“Athletic programs too often are judged by wins and losses,” Breunig said. “True success should not only be measured by performance on the field, but also by the emphasis they place on the student-athletes’ well-being and preparation for life after athletics. Wisconsin excels at doing both. The Stephen M. Bennett Student-Athlete Performance Center is another great step forward in maintaining that tradition. Because of this, our family and entire Diesel Forward organization are proud to support UW Athletics. Go Badgers!”

“The Breunig family has been very generous in their support of Wisconsin Athletics and this is latest example,” Wisconsin Director of Athletics Barry Alvarez said. “The Forward Center is a tremendous facility for our student-athletes and enhances our strength and conditioning program immensely. I’d like to thank the Breunigs for their support of this project.”

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