While speed is often viewed as the defining characteristic of elite athletic performance, there remains plenty of misinformation and confusion about what speed truly is and how it can be developed. Speed is far more than seconds on a stopwatch—it is the result of multiple anatomical systems working together in highly coordinated unison, from the cross-body co-contractions of deep myofascial tissues to the pulsing contract-and-release cycle of the nervous system.
The Anatomy of Speed is a resource like no other. Bill Parisi, the internationally recognized expert and founder of Parisi Speed School, delves deep into the physiological mechanisms of speed through in-depth interviews with top experts and researchers in the field. The text provides scientifically proven exercises and drills for developing speed that will help performance coaches and athletes more effectively maximize development of this precious attribute. Using detailed photo sequences, enhanced with anatomical overlays, you will understand the different manifestations of speed, the biomotor systems that drive them, and scientifically proven drills and exercises for developing these abilities:
- Maximum velocity
- Change of direction
- Speed-specific strength
The Anatomy of Speed converts the science into practical application, allowing you to select the most effective drills and exercises, and tailor a training program unique to your athlete’s needs. The exercises—which are each designated as basic, moderate, or advanced—are organized by complexity and speed-related categories. Exercises aimed at improving range of motion and priming the nervous system set the stage for optimal results. Speed-specific strength exercises use equipment like free weights, medicine balls, and sleds to target important speed and change-of-direction qualities. A practical programming chapter helps you assemble it all into individualized training based on sport, position, body type, skill level, movement preference, and training history.
Speed comes in many forms. It is a physical skill that can be developed and improved with targeted training and a solid understanding of mechanics. The Anatomy of Speed offers equal parts science, art, and practical application to do just that.
CE exam available! For certified professionals, a companion continuing education exam can be completed after reading this book. The Anatomy of Speed Online CE Exam may be purchased separately or as part of The Anatomy of Speed With CE Exam package that includes both the book and the exam.
Chapter 2. Systems of Speed
Chapter 3. Pre–Warm-Up for Injury Prevention
Chapter 4. Session-Based Active Dynamic Warm-Up
Chapter 5. Speed-Specific Strength
Chapter 6. Acceleration
Chapter 7. Maximum Velocity
Chapter 8. Deceleration
Chapter 9. Multidirectional Speed
Chapter 10. Agility
Chapter 11. System-Specific Recovery
Chapter 12. Programming Menus
“What is the largest difference between great players in high school, college, and the pro level? I would argue that it is speed. When muscles contract, they create force and stiffness. Thus, speed only comes with optimal sequencing of rapid muscle pulsing into activation for force development and rapid relaxation for muscle length changes. Bill Parisi has coached speed in many sports and at all levels of athletic development. His success speaks for itself. In The Anatomy of Speed he has integrated science and his coaching skills into a consumable text with an approach that will work for anyone wanting more speed.”
—Stuart McGill, Professor Emeritus and Author of Back Mechanic and Low Back Disorders
“The Anatomy of Speed contains proven speed training concepts that I have successfully used throughout my 40-year career as a Division I college and NFL strength and conditioning coach. Bill Parisi combines the evidence-based principles behind them, with the latest science on speed training, and serves it up in an engaging, practical way that coaches and athletes of all types can easily understand and use. It is essential reading for anyone who wants to improve speed, agility, and quickness.”
—Mike Woicik, Six-Time Super Bowl Champion and Former Head Strength and Conditioning Coach for the Dallas Cowboys and New England Patriots
"Everyone knows that speed is essential to high-level athletic performance, but few coaches can actually break it down to its constituent parts and outline how to optimize each of them. Bill Parisi is one of those coaches. In this comprehensive resource, he combines his extensive experience with invaluable input from other industry leaders to present a comprehensive who, what, when, where, and how of elite speed development. It's a must-read for coaches and athletes alike."
—Eric Cressey, Director of Player Health and Performance for the New York Yankees and Owner of Cressey Sports Performance
“The information in this book has been a staple in my training program throughout my high school career and beyond. The Parisi Speed School coaches I worked with understand the physical demands of the highest caliber athletes and know how to implement the proper training programs to allow athletes to maximize their abilities.”
—Tobin Heath, USA Women’s Soccer Gold Medalist
“Seemingly anyone with a growth mindset looking to take his or her performance to the next level knows it comes down to consistency, resiliency, and SPEED. The Anatomy of Speed provides a proven framework of periodized training that leads to elite results. If you are looking for an edge, read this book.”
—Mark Glicini, Four-Year Varsity Starter for Yale Lacrosse, Three-Time Ivy League Champion, NCAA All-American, Professional Lacrosse Player for Chaos Lacrosse Club in the Premier Lacrosse League (PLL), and Member of the San Diego Seals in the National Lacrosse League (NLL)
“Speed has always been a highly prized commodity for any athlete. Yet for years speed training seemed to take a secondary role to strength training in athletic performance programs. Speed training is finally assuming its rightful role as a key part of performance programs, and no one has done more to drive this change than Bill Parisi—a name closely linked to the concept of speed. Bill's systems and methodologies have made innumerable athletes faster—not just on the track but also, crucially, on the fields and courts of multiple sports. In this book he lays out the secrets of improving speed that he has gleaned from years of practice.”
—Ian Jeffreys, PhD, FNSCA, ASCC, CSCS*D, NSCA-CPT*D, Proprietor and Performance Director of All-Pro Performance
“The Anatomy of Speed is one of the most comprehensive resources for speed development out there. Coach Parisi’s ability to break down the science of speed, as well as the tactical and technical aspects of speed development, is second to none. I have been fortunate to know Coach Parisi for many years and have always admired his ability to take complex topics and make them easy to understand. The Anatomy of Speed is a must-have resource for anyone who is serious about becoming faster or teaching athletes to become faster.”
—Todd Wright, Assistant Coach and Vice President of Player Performance for the Los Angeles Clippers
“Anyone who has ever said that you can’t develop speed has never met Coach Bill Parisi. In The Anatomy of Speed you’ll find a blueprint that reveals your path to fastness.”
—Nick Winkelman, PhD, Head of Athletic Performance and Science for the Irish Rugby Football Union and Author of The Language of Coaching
"As a pioneer of sports performance and speed, Bill Parisi is always building his knowledge to share with others as an authentic coach, charismatic speaker, and educated author. Now he goes into the why's behind speed, specifically the role of anatomy and the fascial system in enabling optimal and efficient movement. I continue to learn from Bill, as both an experienced coach and a passionate writer, and his wisdom regarding how to build the ultimate expression of human movement: speed."
—Phil Wagner, MD, CEO of Sparta Science