Training Spaces: Parisi Speed School

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In its 15 years of existence and with an innovative training philosophy, Parisi Speed School has produced more than 60 NFL athletes and 40,000 high school and collegiate greats.

"Our goal is to change the face of American athletics and the training that goes on," says Martin Rooney, managing director of Parisi Speed School, one of the oldest, most accomplished training facilities nationwide. Together, Rooney, school founder Bill Parisi and more than 60 other super-qualified staff are accomplishing this goal.

Facilities: Parisi has four locations in New Jersey, including its headquarters in Fair Lawn with its 18,000-square-foot training area, a 65-yard, six-lane Mondo surface track and a 30- x 20-yard turf surface. Through a plan that calls for opening 10 new locations in the next year, Parisi will bring its innovative training techniques to athletes nationwide.

Training Philosophy: Instead of training athletes sports-specifically, Parisi focuses on each individual's entire athletic base. "Our main goal is building the athletic foundation of the athlete," says Rooney. "So we're talking about speed, strength, flexibility, balance, coordination and nutrition."

With this philosophy in mind, Rooney and the staff use a signature Parisi speed training method together with the reverse hyper, power runner, weight sleds and tredsleds to help athletes unleash their potential.

Raising The Bar: According to Rooney, Parisi Speed School pioneered the idea of comprehensive evaluations. He says, "Every athlete who joins our program goes through a comprehensive evaluation where we figure out his or her current level of ability." Based on the evaluation, the staff develops a training protocol customized to the athlete, then constantly monitors and changes it as necessary. Tailored programs help each athlete achieve peak performance.

Results: Three times since 2001, a Parisi-trained athlete ran the fastest overall 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine. Other credits include athletes with the fastest 40-yard time in 10 different positions; the third-fastest man at the 2002 and 2004 Combines; and six athletes who shattered six all-time Combine records in the 20- and 60-yard shuttles and 3-cone drill. Parisi has helped 66 football players get drafted into the NFL in the past five years. Other successful clients include Olympic and world championship athletes.

Getting in Contact: To learn more about Parisi Speed School, check out the new six-part video training series offered at www.parisischool.com

The Key Machines

The Parisi staff uses the following four machines in conjunction with the school's signature training method to work their athletes.

Power Runner
Endorsed and patented by Kent Johnson, strength and conditioning coach for the Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks, the Power Runner is designed for independent leg movement. This machine facilitates single-and reverse-leg presses while in the running position.

Reverse Hyper
Parisi uses the Reverse Hyper for dynamic strength development, which is achieved when the athlete raises his/her legs against provided resistance and/or added weight. Also used for rehabilitation, this machine gently stretches and reduces pressure in the spine when legs are lowered to the starting position.

Sled Work
Sled workouts are another Parisi cornerstone (above). Athletes perform drills with weighted sleds for strength and unweighted sleds for speed. Football teams also use the sleds the day after games for recovery workouts. "Blood is brought to the muscles for healing and recovery," Rooney says.

Tredsled
The Tredsled bridges the gap between muscle-specific weight training and position-specific skill training for blocking, tackling and sprinting. The machine does this by working strength, power and acceleration simultaneously. As the athlete drives the tread, a braking system resists movement.

Parisi Speed School

At a Glance

  • 33,000 sq.-ft. facility
  • 18,000 sq.-ft. training area
  • 65-yard, 6-lane Mondo surface track
  • 30- x 20-yard turf surface
  • Full weight room

Special Features

  • Grand atrium
  • Juice bar
  • Health spa with massages and chiropractic care geared toward sports injury
  • Parents' lounge

Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock