& Adult Fitness



STA Sports Performance - located inside Sahlen's Sports Park in Elma, NY is the leading authority in athlete performance and adult fitness. Over the past five years, STA Sports Performance has been developing some of the top athletes and teams in their sport ranging from the modified and youth level up through the high school, college and pro's. We cater to athletes and individuals, male and female, of all sports to give you the edge and maximize your potential! With clients in the NFL, CFL, MLB, NBA, PGA, IAAF, NWSL and Olympic Gold Medalists, we can assure you that no matter your athletic or fitness goals, with STA Sports Performance, you can achieve them!

Through our background and knowledge in health, wellness and nutrition you'll receive personal attention with individualized programming to help you reach your goals. Whether you are looking to get stronger and faster, prevent or recover from injury, have a desire to lose body fat and improve your body composition, or create a new healthy lifestyle, at STA we guarantee you will look, feel, and perform better than ever before!

Check out some of our athletes of all ages training hard and working towards their goals! You can be next..



"STA is fantastic and their sessions are excellent for younger players trying to get stronger, quicker, fitter, more explosive and more knowledgeable on injury prevention!"  - Paul Riley, Head Coach NC Courage, NWSL 2017 Coach of the Year


"This program is one of the best I've ever been a part of. Prior to joining the STA Family I had a pre-conceived idea of what working out was and of what potential I had. They smashed that. My speed and agility as a whole improved beyond my wildest dreams. Making me a stronger player, more reliable teammate, and a healthier person. I went on to play at the college level and prove my worth. Thank you to the STA Family for everything!"  - Jake Modrzynski

Ankle Issues? Check out these simple ways to improve your ankle health!

3 Tips for keeping your body Healthy and Strong during Pre-Season Camp

1) Get more quality sleep. Most athletes today don’t prioritize sleep, which can be the best method for the body to repair and recover. It is recommended that athletes get 8-10 hours a night. On top of adequate sleep every night, naps can help periodically throughout the day especially during pre-season camps. Naps should never be longer than an hour, aiming for 20-30 minutes is optimal

2) Improve your nutrition and hydration. Keeping your body supplied with plenty of nutrients will not only keep energy levels high but also help you recover and maintain hard earned lean muscle. Build each meal around 20-30 grams of lean protein and aim to get about .8-1.0 grams per pound of body weight. To aid in hydration and help eliminate cramping, adding a little extra sodium, preferably pink Himalayan sea salt, to a meal or two a day will help drastically. During pre-season make sure you drink plenty water, attempt to drink at least half your body weight in ounces throughout each day.

3) Continue strength training throughout the season. Keeping the body strong throughout the season will not only keep you at the top of your game, it will also help eliminate many injuries. Everything you did in the off-season to make you stronger, faster, and more explosive you should continue during the most important time of the year, your season.  Don’t just go into the weight room without a plan though, especially if you took the whole off-season off. When training in-season, have a proper plan and program in place to help optimize performance while aiding in recovery.


Congrats to our athletes being named a finalist for the 2017 Connolly Cup - WNY's Player of the Year! 7 out of 10 of this year's finalists have all been STA trained!


4 Awesome Single Leg Exercises using a Band!

How To Perform a Box Squat w/Progressions!

STA's Exercise of the Week: 4-Way Upper Body Stretch!

STA's Exercise of the Week: Bulgarian Split Squats!

STA's Exercise of the Week: 4 Band Pallof Press Variations for Stronger Abs!

3 Ways to Develop Lightning Fast Speed!

When most athletes think of improving speed they primarily think about just spending more time on the field or track when yes that has importance but as many athletes have experienced you may soon hit a ‘speed barrier’ or plateau in your running speed. You’ll also hear ‘speed coaches’ talk about how running fast is all about stride length and stride frequency and can only be improved from more running. The truth is, stride length and frequency are simply byproducts of running fast, a result of improving speed, not the direct reason why you are getting faster. When it comes to actually building speed for team sports, these are three important areas you should focus on in training:

STA's Exercise of the Week: New Foam Roller Exercises!

Legend Visits Elma's STA Sports Performance

Legend visits Elma’s STA Sports Performance
Friday October 24, 2014 | By:Aaron Garland | Sports

The reputation of STA Sports Performance has grown strong to the point that the owner of “The World’s Strongest Gym” paid a visit.

Louie Simmons, the renowned strength and sports training coach who runs Westside Barbell in Columbus, Ohio, appeared at the Elma elite training facility Oct. 11 to host a seminar on the techniques and tactics he has initiated and introduced to the world.

The appearance of Simmons, who rarely travels for occasions such as these, was special to STA. Owner Ben Woods, who runs the facility located on the campus of Sahlen’s Sports Park on Seneca Street with his wife, Chelsea, and his staff of four other coaches, applies the systems Simmons was instrumental in popularizing to his clientele.

And his customer list is quite extensive. STA trains dozens of professional athletes — NFL, CFL, MLB and U.S. women’s national soccer players included — all the way down through collegiate, varsity, JV, modified and youth athletes.

“Everything we do is based around the individual, results-driven,” Ben Woods said. “The way we train our athletes is similar to the way our coaches and ourselves train because we feel it is the best method to develop optimal performance. Hence the reason why we had Louie Simmons come out and coach. He is the pioneer of a lot of these methods and produces some of the top athletes in the world.”

In all, thousands have walked through the doors of STA just in the last 28 months. STA opened in June 2012, growing out of a 700-square foot building space on Olean Road in East Aurora by October of that year, when it graduated to the training center inside Sahlen’s. Woods’ working area has stretched considerably, as the facility is now 4,500 square feet.

And with the expansion, STA has established a high amount of deference in the training industry. So much, in fact, that Simmons, who has written hundreds of articles, hosts webinars and houses the strongest male and female lifters in the world at Westside Barbell, made a rare trip outside Columbus to share his acumen at STA.

The six-hour seminar, which had around 50 attendees, saw Simmons speak in lecture format for the first half. He talked about the processes he endorses to get bigger, faster and more explosive, answered questions and broke common myths associated with strength training.

After a lunch break Simmons got even more interactive, educating the audience on proper squatting, deadlifting and benching techniques. He also taught the appropriate ways to use conditioning equipment, like sleds.

“It was an awesome turnout,” said Woods, who said DI, II and III coaches took in the session, in addition to a Buffalo Bills’ strength and conditioning coach, high school coaches, gym owners, lifters and collegiate and high school athletes. “We covered a lot of different topics in training and strength and conditioning.”

Woods received a positive, vibrant reaction from Simmons’ appointment at STA. Many savored the scarcest of opportunities within the training realm, going home with tangible and inner keepsakes in the form of shaking Simmons’ hand and posing for photos with him.

“Every single person that I talked to about the seminar absolutely loved it,” Woods said. “Just being in the same room as Louie was such a cool thing for so many people. They soaked in the information. It’s one of those things where he talks and you have to rewind it five different times just to hear every little point he made because there was so much valuable insight.”

Among the individuals in awe, topping the list may have been Woods. His center has become prominent to the point that, in just a short time period, a world-famous strength coach thought a jaunt there would be worthwhile. It certainly was for Woods.

The prestige of STA was put on the map as pro stars began piling in to receive the “triangle of domination” routine — receiving physical training, comprehensive nutrition tips and the mental fortitude needed for a great attitude — that Woods advocates.

Abby Wambach, the all-time leading goal scorer in U.S. women’s soccer history, former UB football players James Starks and Naaman Roosevelt of the NFL and Drew Willy of the CFL and conference champion sprinter at Kent State, Wayne Gordon, a Sweet Home grad, have all, or still do, work out at STA.

It’s been part of Woods’ lifelong dream. He has involved himself with training since a young age.

Woods would use the exercise machines and weights in the home gym his father set up in the basement of his childhood home on a daily basis. His grandmother bought him a training book when he was 12 years old.

Growing up in an athletic family — two of his sisters received DI track scholarships — Woods himself made an impression in sports.

From 2004-08 he attended UB, where he earned a degree in human performance and exercise science while starting 46 straight games as a punter and kickoff specialist on the football team. He spent time in training camp with the Cleveland Browns, too.

Woods prioritizes individualization with each of his clients, who collect one-on-one attention from coaches. That produces the results he strives for, and brought a legend to his neck of the woods. It was a fitting setting for Simmons to be in.

“You read all about him,” Woods said. “You read all his training articles, you read all of his info and insight and interviews in magazines that when you actually meet him in person you are star struck as an individual. This guy lives what he does, lives what he preaches. Everything is results-based with him.”

STA offers its service to anyone, and can be reached at (716) 544-4824 or by email at stasportsperformance@gmail.com.

The Essential Expansion of STA Sports Performance

Posted on EliteFTS
By Jordan Houser

There are two prominent clichés in the coaching industry. The first (and most painfully overused) claims that to become a top-level coach you must, “pay your dues.” This cliché almost certainly developed from the idea that you can’t walk out of a classroom and into a head coaching position.Someone is always doing the dirty work. And for the first position in your career, that someone is you —with or without pay. The second adage goes like this: “if you want to become the best, you have to learn from the best.” This should need no explanation.

The legitimacy behind these sentiments is incontrovertible; the very fact that they were able to develop into clichés is evidence of their applicability. These clichés, when paired with one another, combine the dual approach for success in any life pursuit: the merger of both practical experience and educational proficiency.

A telltale sign of the credibility of any “expert” can often be revealed through one simple question: what is the source of this person’s knowledge?

For Ben Woods, owner of STA Sports Performance in Elma, New York, the answer is clear. And it is very promising. Woods’ personal athletic career began to flourish early in high school. His performance as a well-rounded athlete in multiple-season play garnered attention from collegiate scouts that soon led him to a Division I school. “I played four sports,” Woods said. “I was a fairly good enough football player that I ended up earning a full Division I scholarship to play football at [SUNY] Buffalo.” While attending SUNY Buffalo, Woods studied exercise physiology and human performance. He started 46 games as part of the football team and, upon graduation, chose to pursue his dream of professional competition. “One of my many goals was to play in the NFL,” Woods said. “[I had wanted to] since I was in high school.”

With his collegiate education complete, Woods set out as an undrafted free agent in search of the perfect fit for his talents. “I was at different camps with different teams bouncing back and forth,” Woods said. “[I was] kind of living out of a suitcase for a while, trying to make my NFL dream happen.” During this time, Woods sought education from whomever he could, including several big names of the strength industry.“I first met Buddy [Morris] when I was in high school,” Woods said. “I got to train under him, [even though] he was only there for a short period of time.” Woods’ first encounters with Morris left a lasting impression on both his personal athletic career and his competence as a trainer. “[High school] was where I got my first exposure to some of his training methods,” Woods said. “It was nice, because I was only in high school at the time, playing football.” Several years later, Woods had yet another experience with Morris.

“When I was in college, I was playing football under Turner Gill,” Woods said. “He was our head coach [when] our strength and conditioning coach left. They ended up bringing Buddy Morris in.” Although the duration of time Woods was able to train under Morris during college was short-lived, he describes it as instrumental to his development as an athlete and trainer. “He wasn’t even there [at UB] for a full year before Pitt brought him back down to their program,” Woods said. “But during those seven or ten months, or however long he was there, it was awesome. I got to learn so much from him as an athlete. I trained under him every day and picked his brain as often as I could. I knew he was at the top of his profession.”

Woods also traveled to Columbus, Ohio to train under another titan of the strength training industry: Louie of Westside. “You always hear the stories of how brutal the sessions [at Westside] are,” Woods said. “They are just as they say they are.” The intensity, however, according to Woods, has never diminished the extreme focus of the Westside experience. “Even though you get so much stronger and get so much out of it, the educational aspect of it is [still there],” Woods said. “Each exercise, each rep, [and] the way everything is coached, they’re always stressing technique [and] focusing on the task at hand.”

The most influential aspect of Woods time with Louie came about through Louie’s ability to explain his techniques to lifters of every intellectual level. “Louie is one of those guys that is so brilliant in his thinking and his thought process,” Woods said. “[But] he can dumb things down and make it so understandable. If you talk at a high level of expertise to a guy that doesn’t have a clue what you’re talking about, he’s going to get lost.”

During this time that Woods spent training, learning, and attempting to break way into the NFL, he was presented with a dilemma in his life. “I couldn’t quite walk on to a final roster with a[n NFL] team,” Woods said.

“I ended up hitting a crossroads. I got married [and] I realized that I need to start bringing an income in.”
Woods new status as a husband meant his life needed to change. “I couldn’t live out of a suitcase and have part time jobs,” Woods said. “I ended up hanging up my cleats and pursuing my career in performance training.”

Woods immediately cultivated STA Sports Performance and has continually expanded the facility since. The gym that began as a small 600-square foot building quickly doubled to a 1200-square foot location — but even this new facility proved insufficient for the constantly growing clientele of STA Sports Performance. By 2012, Woods and his staff were forced to expand again. “We’re part of a huge sportsplex in Buffalo,” Woods said. “It’s one of the largest performance centers in the whole western New York area.”

This updated location has allowed Woods to outfit his facility with the state-of-the-art equipment needed to optimally train his clientele, including five indoor turf fields and 4500-square foot weightroom. “We’ve got great equipment that makes things a lot more efficient,” Woods said. “We’re trying to maximize and optimize everything we’re doing with our space.”
Woods and his staff train athletes of nearly all professional backgrounds, including NFL, CFL, MLB. NBA, IAAF, NWSL, and even Olympic gold medalist athletes. The majority of STA Sports Performance clients are youth athletes in the junior high and high school age range.

Through the combination of his personal experience as an athlete and his willingness to sacrifice to learn from others in the industry, Woods has created a sports performance facility so wildly successful that the number of clients has grown more quickly than the building can accommodate. This has led to the continual expansion, which is anticipated to continue into the future. He is excited about the prospect of this, and claims that he always sees himself in the weightroom.

Ben Woods culminated something great — but first, he paid his dues. He learned from the best to become the best. And maybe the clichés are right after all.