This past Saturday I went out to the Parisi Speed School in Fair Lawn, NJ to attend Perform Better’s Learn-By-Doing seminar featuring Martin Rooney, Mike Boyle, Todd Durkin, and Gray Cook. This all-star line-up was too enticing to resist, especially since I’ve followed their work but have never seen them in person. The event was sold out and the energy remained high throughout the 4 hours of lecture in the morning and the practical portion in the afternoon.
Martin Rooney started us off with a discussion about metabolic training and how this effective approach to cardio training has taken a downward spiral into the insanely high-intensity, make ‘em puke workouts that put well-meaning people in real danger. He reminded us that the 3 real purposes of metabolic training are to lose body fat, increase muscle mass, and improve cardiac capacity.
Next up was Mike Boyle, who gave a lecture full of simple ideas that can often get mucked up or forgotten about entirely. A perfect example was his explanation that a trainer or coach’s first responsibility is to do no harm and then to focus on improving performance. He also gave the most concise, common sense definition of periodization that I’ve ever heard:
Alternate periods of accumulation (more volume) with intensification (more weight).
Gray Cook took the mic next and I was especially keen to hear him speak because I’ve never heard the rationale behind the development of his Functional Movement Screen (FMS). He explained that in our field there is no defined standard operating procedure that delineates what movement competency is. The FMS measures degrees of potential dysfunction rather than defining what function is (a much harder thing to agree upon).
Finally, Todd Durkin presented on the Core & Cuff, a discussion about the approaches he uses to train the trunks and shoulders of his athletes and regular Joes. Todd gave us a look into his San Diego facility, Fitness Quest 10, with video clips showing him working with NFL, MLB, and NBA athletes. One big take-home message was that we have to train our athletes in the positions in which they have to perform. A couple of his priorities with his quarterbacks are to get them strong in a flexed-T position (arms out to sides and elbows bent up at 90°) and to help them learn to dissociate their shoulders and hips in order to generate more throwing power.
I missed sleeping in and my Saturday morning workout but the seminar was definitely worth the trip. It will take some time to digest and use this new material–clients beware!
Keep on Movin’