Parisi Speed School has a New Director

— Written by Club Fit Member and Guest Blogger Joy Cain

 

Prescott Perry comes to Club Fit as the New Director for Parisi Speed School.

Parisi Speed School’s mission is to help young athletes become better, faster, stronger.

Who, then, is better equipped to help them than a young man who is on the fast track?

Enter Prescott Perry, the new director of the Parisi Speed School at Club Fit.

Prescott played lacrosse and studied kinesiology at the University of Rhode Island. He snowboarded competitively and worked as a personal trainer on Coronado Island (off the coast of San Diego). He also sailed competitively, participating in races in Newport and Larchmont. And he earned his MBA from Lynn University in Boca Raton, Fla.

One can only imagine what he’ll do when he finally turns 26.

“I’ve always thought that I wanted to be successful more than I wanted air to breathe, “ Prescott says, “so I try to do as much as I can with what I’ve got. ”

Indeed. And the success he’s chasing after now involves getting more athletes and teams to jump on the Parisi bandwagon. While noting that Westchester and Putnam counties have no shortage of gyms, health clubs, and exercise facilities, Prescott says that the type of training that Parisi offers is a cut above.

“Parisi has a measurable standard. When you’re able to show how much a certain drill or exercise is improving an athlete’s performance, there’s a certain amount of buy-in. ”

Prescott will be reaching out to local coaches to encourage them to bring their teams in to train with Parisi. Eventually he hopes to get a tie-in along with the buy-in; since a company he once worked for helps athletes get recruited for college, Prescott wants to introduce a similar protocol at Club Fit and post the stats of our Parisi-trained athletes on a nationally-recognized recruiting database. In this way, college coaches nationwide could view the athletes’ progressions and measure their athletic potential. It’s a win-win situation for everyone.

But while the focus on jocks and jockettes is important, it shouldn’t be the entire Parisi picture. Citing an upward trend of childhood obesity, Prescott says that Parisi needs to make room for couch potatoes, too.

“We want to focus more on the kids who get picked last in gym,” he says. “We want to let them see that what we’re doing is not hard, that it doesn’t take much to be considered athletic. You can be athletic and not know it. You just have to tap that inner athlete inside yourself. And that’s one thing I think Parisi is able to do. ”

Typically, Parisi’s small group sessions are broken up by age. The Jump Start program (ages 7–11) sets the foundation for success in any sport by focusing on speed, agility, and overall coordination. The Total Performance program (ages 12–16) focuses on techniques used in speed, agility and strength to maximize improvements in athletic performance. And the Peak program (ages 17–21) is an individualized coaching program for the elite athlete. It focuses on individual needs, goals and improvements needed to compete at a competitive level.

Although upwards of 100 young people are involved in the program right now, a demographic shift may be in the wind. Prescott hopes to see more adults train with Parisi—tennis players, swimmers and Weekend Warriors who could benefit from agility and strength drills that are tailor-made for their sport. “I don’t think it’s ever too late for adults to try and do something like that, to make themselves into better athletes,” he says.

His competitive snowboarding days are behind him, but Prescott, a bachelor, still plays in an adult lacrosse league. And although he hasn’t done much of it lately, he still sails competitively. “Yeah…. with a name like Prescott, I kinda had to do sailing,” he jokes. “I’m a stereotypical guy; my name is Prescott, I’m from Connecticut, I sail and do everything that goes with it…. ”

But all jokes aside, Prescott is committed to taking Club Fit’s Parisi program to the next level. Besides watching the bottom line and drumming up new business for the program, Prescott, along with Vince Wright and Jen Ritz, will also be one of the Parisi instructors. “I want to get this facility to be the new standard of training for this area,” he declares.

Better. Faster. Stronger. Now.

If anyone can get Parisi on the fast track, Prescott can.

Take Care of Your Heart Health

— written by guest blogger and Club Fit member John Fisher

 

Master Trainer Beth Kear and Club Fit Member John Fisher

Master Trainer Beth Kear and Club Fit Member John Fisher

I had just completed another cardio fitness session with Beth Kear, a Master Trainer at Club Fit/Briarcliff and went up to the cafeteria to get a snack and relax. Once there, I paused to reflect on just what brought me together with Beth (a remarkable person, 100% experienced trainer and a compassionate and spiritual mentor who is teaching me to connect my mind to my stretches to feel my body’s response and stop mechanically counting seconds).

Anyway, my story begins about three years ago…and what I have to share just might save your life, or that of a loved one.

Then 75, physically trim and active, an avid tennis player, the first awareness of diminishing capacity came when when I began to find my reaction time and movement on the tennis court diminishing. It was driven home to me when the captain of our men’s indoor winter tennis doubles game approached me awkwardly to ask me to drop out of the group because I was beginning to drag down the quality of play. I attributed my reduced mobility to a lack of fitness, and signed on for a series of sessions with another Club Fit Master Trainer, Mike Cohen.

After our first package of sessions, I decided I could carry on by myself, using Club Fit’s FitLinxx equipment and supplementing that with a regular exercise program at home. But that required a level of self-discipline I just didn’t maintain. Sound familiar?

Now we come to 2013, and I find myself experiencing shortness of breath at the slightest exertion. I cannot keep up with my wife and friends on hikes, walking the streets of NYC or getting about on our son’s farm, having to stop periodically to catch my breath before continuing. Just wheeling our garbage can 150’ up our inclined driveway twice a week became a challenge.

“Do something about it!” I scolded myself. Time to resume a disciplined fitness routine. So in late 2013 I re-contacted Mike Cohen. But he could not fit me into his crowded schedule, so he introduced me to Beth. Well, at the end of my 2nd 1-hour session, I went to stand up after stretching on a table…and blacked out momentarily. Fortunately, Beth caught me before I hit the floor. After regaining my equilibrium, I lectured myself, not to sit up and then stand so abruptly so blood does not drain from my head suddenly, causing light-headedness. Enter self-deception/rationalization once again.

One week later, at the end of my next session, I again felt light-headed as I stood up, but immediately caught myself, sat down and avoided another blackout. That did it!

A call to my family physician at the Mt. Kisco Medical Group, a CT scan of the chest, a referral to their chief cardiologist, and the diagnosis: “You’re headed for open-heart surgery. You have calcification of the aortic valve, which needs to be replaced. And while they’re in there they’ll also need to perform a triple bypass to restore adequate blood flow, currently acutely compromised by blockages in three main arteries.”

I asked my cardiologist where he’d take his heart if he were facing the same circumstances. He gave me the names of two heart surgeons, one at Columbia Presbyterian and the other at Vassar Brothers Medical Center in Poughkeepsie. I chose the latter…with a highly-regarded team of cardio-thoracic surgeons, the best in the mid-Hudson Valley.

I had the surgery nine months ago, on April 4, 2014. Five days in the hospital; left for home pain-free, with a new tissue (cow) valve. Six weeks of monitoring at home by a nurse from the Westchester Visiting Nurse Service, followed by 40 closely-monitored sessions at the cardio rehab center run by Northern Westchester Hospital at Chappaqua Crossing, after which I resumed training with Beth. Beth and Mike Cohen (who also happens to be a cardio-rehab specialist) got together to review my progress report from the NWH cardio rehab center and designed a cardio fitness program to transition me to Club Fit.

I can report goodbye to shortness of breath; lung and heart functioning normal; and I feel like a completely new man at 78. All that remains is to test — and win — the quest for self-discipline. Stay tuned!

John also uses MYZONE heart rate and effort monitoring system as part of his health & fitness regimen.

How I Learned to Run (Again)

Here's me, running on a treadmill. Words I thought I'd never say!

So… remember that time I said I hated running?  I never, ever thought this photo (left) would happen.  It’s still true that I do not enjoy extended running as general cardio exercise, but my trainer introduced me to interval workouts called Tabata training.  They let me run for only four minutes, with frequent rests, and still gets my heart rate up to where it needs to be.

Jenn explained to me that the varying intervals of activity and rest make your heart work harder, and boost your heart rate faster.  I run for twenty seconds, then rest for ten seconds, and repeat these cycles until I’ve finished four minutes – and by then, I am wiped out!  This is perfect for me, because twenty seconds seems to be my exact tolerance for running on a treadmill.  I can even use these Tabata intervals during strength training workouts to keep my heart rate up, and accomplish cardio and strength work at the same time.  Intervals also create “afterburn”, which boosts your metabolic rate for a period of time after you finish working out.  Talk about efficiency!

The best part about these workouts is that I really can feel a measurable increase in my cardiovascular endurance.  I can tell that they’re working, because each week, it gets a little easier (or should I say, I get better?)  It’s a great reminder that my body is totally capable of performing whatever I train it to do – I just need to put the work in.

When the going gets tough…literally.

I'm a big fan of the rowing machine, thanks to my trainer, Susie.

This week has been unusually frustrating for me.  A multitude of personal commitments outside of work, both morning and night, have kept me from visiting the gym for the last 3 days.  I won’t say that’s any kind of devastating fitness drought, but it is a big deviation from my recent 5-6 visits per week.  When I exercise, I feel better and sleep better, and when I don’t, I feel stiff and lethargic.  So, feeling “blah” instead of great on top of a busy week was really starting to grate on my nerves.  Once this thought crossed my mind, a shocking realization came to me: I have become one of those people!  A person who craves exercise!

I can’t even tell you when it happened.  It’s been about 6 months since I started working out regularly, and it feels like only yesterday that I was so concerned about my ability to commit and stay motivated enough to get to the gym every day.  But when scheduling is your obstacle, and not motivation, it can be especially irritating.  The feeling of not having enough time for yourself is not a good one.

We’re now in mid-March where the weather warms up, social calendars start filling up again, and New Year’s resolutions sometimes fall by the wayside.  I can see that this is a turning point where a person could be tempted to say “this isn’t working with my lifestyle anymore, I’ll take a break and get back to it when I have more time.”  I’ve even done it myself in years past, which only led to me shamefully cancelling my gym membership a few months later.  Not this time!  The gifts that exercise has given me are too wonderful to let go of now.

This week has taught me an important lesson: no matter what you’re doing (exercise or not), it’s important to always make time for yourself, or you may find yourself tempted to give up on the thing that keeps you going.  Thankfully, one thing that IS on my busy calendar today is an appointment with Susie, and she won’t put up with any of this giving up nonsense.

Finding (and scrapping) a workout routine.

At this point, I’m about three months into my fitness journey, and I’m really happy with how far I’ve come.  I thought that because of my weight, it would take much longer for me to see results in my fitness level, but I’m so pleasantly surprised to find that I’m able to work harder, faster, and longer, in a shorter period of time than I expected, which is really encouraging.  Also, last night after spin class, another member stopped me to tell me I’m doing a fantastic job, and to keep it up. That kind of compliment from a complete stranger is a HUGE motivator!!! It totally made my day.

After trying a lot of what Club Fit has to offer, I’ve settled myself into a routine.  I love spinning and water aerobics for cardio, and body pump and TRX for strength training, and I know which instructors motivate me the most and when they teach.  There is something very comfortable about my routine; I know what to expect, and I’m less likely to skip a workout when I’m feeling tired or irritable, because it’s such an ingrained part of my schedule.

Sometimes though, I can be a capricious twit!  I crave routine and stability in order to keep up the habit, and then suddenly I want to scrap the whole thing and be a dancing fool.  Thankfully, there’s so much to do here, that I can always find something new to try when I get antsy. I’d love to hear your feedback about how you keep your workout routine both stable and fresh. Please share your tips in the comments below!

Club Fit’s HP 30 The Fast, Focused, & Effective WorkOut!

This week at Club Fit Jefferson Valley we launched HP 30, a new high intensity workout that lasts 30 minutes. From the moment you start to the very end of the 30 minutes you’re engaged physically and mentally through instruction and focused physical challenges that accelerate the overall conditioning process.

The tempo is very similar to what you would experience at any elite level of sports during team and individual practices. Top level coaches carefully plan out their practices to eliminate any extended periods of downtime, by moving from one drill to the next through a designed flow that compliments an overall training objective. For example, HP 30 classes are designed to focus on agility, coordination, & strength with a byproduct benefit of improved balance and stamina. Therefore a typical class will focus on many different types of multi-directional movements, paired with added hand/eye challenges and dynamic strength training. This prepares you for not only any type of athletic endeavor you may choose, it’s also an excellent way to get into top condition.

You may read or hear that high intensity training is the new rage. When in fact it has always existed and been used by athletes to get optimum performance results. Interval training has existed for years in the sports of running, swimming, biking, and overall athletic conditioning. But unlike most workouts on the market today each workout is more effective if it’s designed with a purpose. HP 30’s goal is to improve your movement skills, coordination, and to get fast and effective results while saving you time.

To learn more about High Intensity Training and it’s benefits take a look at this NY Times video. Or come join us and try one class for free, call my office at 914 245-6993.

http://video.nytimes.com/video/2012/05/10/health/100000001515630/the-20-minute-workout.html?emc=eta1

When Do You Workout Each Day? Does It Matter?

Personally I’ve always found that working out first thing in the morning works best. Though tough some days to do when I’m feeling sluggish or tired, exercise can provide me with a boost of energy to get the work day started on a positive track. Workouts that I put off to later in the day often never happen. It becomes less of a priority as the volume of work and personal responsibilities mount up throughout the day. But that’s my personal preference. Many find working out after work a stress reliever. So it’s all matter of personal preference, unless you have specific goals in mind.

Outside Magazine explains that you can get different results depending upon the time you choose to workout (see link below). If you’re goal is to lose weight then first thing in the morning is more apt to burn additional calories. But if your goal is to perform well on the tennis court, you’re better off playing towards the end of your day, 4-8 pm. This is the time the human body performs at its best.

http://www.outsideonline.com/fitness/fitness-coach/Whens-The-Best-Time-To-Exercise.html

It all comes down to when we have time, the quality of the workout, and the particular goals you may have set for yourself. Next week Club Fit launches a new series of classes, HP 30, a 30 minute high intensity workout offered early on Monday, Wednesday, & Fridays at 6:30 & 7 am, later in the day on Tuesday & Thursday evenings at 6:30 & 7 pm, and Saturday morning classes at 8 & 8:30 am. All classes are conducted in the Parisi Speed School. Class packages are available in sets of 12 or 24, or pay as you go, first class is free. Call 914 245-6993 for more information, or reserve a spot in your class time of choice, class size limited to a total of 6 participants.