Homecoming 2013 at the University of Nevada has come and gone, but it is old home week - every week - at a local gym. The owners of Functional Athletic Sports Training, also known as FAST, are former Nevada student athletes and they're attracting the Wolf Pack.
"All right, ready? Three, two, one and go!" With focus and mental grit, a group of athletes breathe heavy as they throw around kettle bells.
"All right when I tell you guys to start punching - start punching." Carlos Madrid, the co-owner of FAST, shouts out orders to this elite group and with sweat running down their faces, the athletes respond.
Carlos and his partner, JJ Milan, opened FAST three years ago. Their goal is simple: to train northern Nevadans to be better at life. "We kind of take the stance that everyone is an athlete in some way, shape or form, whether it's chasing your kid up the stairs or training for the major leagues," explains Carlos, who played baseball in the minor leagues.
JJ, meantime, has professional NFL experience. The former Nevada football star played for the Oakland Raiders, the Indianapolis Colts and Chicago Bears. JJ says they are not the alone, "100% of our training staff is all ex-athletes who've done it at the highest level." Like Aarik Wilson, who is an Olympic Triple Jumper. They all learn from each other and tap into their training experience to motivate others. "What we learned through our athletic careers and turned it into a boot camp setting and people just loved it."
They train a wide spectrum of clients, from everyday people to professional athletes, like Nevada Sweet 16 teammate, Kevinn Pinkney who played basketball in Italy, Turkey and China the last couple years. "This year I think I'm going to Dubai," Kevinn told us. While he waits for that call, he is following his former Nevada's Coach's advice. "Coach (Mark) Fox always told me players are made in the off season and I'm a testament of that." So, when the power forward's not on the road, you will find him at the gym. "Last year, probably one of the best year's I've had. I know JJ probably wants to take a lot of the credit," he says with a chuckle.
Chris Gimenez, who also played baseball for the Wolf Pack, is fresh off the World Series playoffs with the Tampa Bay Rays. The catcher told us, "I ended up really strong this season; finished really well." He, too, calls FAST home. "I feel like I'm part of it because I've been here since the beginning." Since the college days, he explains, when this gym was just a thought for Carlos and JJ. Gimenez says he is proud of the accomplishments of his fellow Nevada alums. "I just try to take advantage of these guys and use their knowledge because they have trained and they have specific knowledge of the things I need."
JJ and Carlos are proud to watch their clients and friends shine at the highest level and they say it is rewarding to play a role in their success. "It's pretty cool because I remember seeing all of them in the weight room when we were there before and now they're in mine and JJ's weight room today."
To learn more about FAST, log onto http://www.fastnv.com
Or "Like them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/FAST-Functional-Athletic-Sports-Training/116051918441655
Written by Kristen Remington