In 1990, Frappier was confident enough in his innovative approach to an athlete's development that he and several local orthopedic doctors formed Acceleration Products. He began fielding inquiries from other athletic performance centers interested in incorporating similar training methodology. Frappier and Swanson realized the existing treadmills on the market would not meet their standards. So with the help of others, they started designing a high performance treadmill that had design specifications of supporting an NFL Lineman running at 20 MPH at a 20% grade without skipping or slowing down, while also possessing the mechanical ability to change speed and grade quickly.
Soon, Frappier began to focus on the benefit of low impact, quick movements that would improve stability and foot speed. An early pioneer in plyometeric training, Frappier's initial formations have been refined for use on the present day Plyofloor. Swanson describes the early 90's as "a very interesting time, because we were trying to study as much as we could from existing literature, especially what the Europeans were doing in neuromuscular research, and apply it to this new training methodology."
Bismarck's Myron Cullen led the first center to actually buy the training program. He had worked with John previously and helped to train the Bengals players. The collaboration between Frappier, Swanson and Cullen led to the first generation of protocols for the treadmill, plyometrics and strength training.
FAN - Frappier Acceleration Network
During the early 90's, the Super Treadmill design was refined and the four-square plyoplatform was created, along with the PlyoPress, Multi-Hip and ProImplosion machines. The SprintCords, KickingCords, ThrowingCords and PowerCords were also designed and patented.
At the request of local coaches and players, Frappier, Swanson and Jim Lepine from Standard Industries constructed the first Hockey Treadmill in 1991 that allowed players to wear their own skates. The group received a patent for their efforts a few years later in 1995.
Protocol development continued as more athlete outcomes contributed to the evolution of the training programs. Research studies were initiated to validate all aspects of the training methods, including several studies that would be part of Swanson's Masters work at the University of Massachusetts.
Frappier's Acceleration equipment and training protocol were attracting attention and by 1995, there were 15 training centers across the Midwest using his program to train athletes. One of the athletes was Vikings wide receiver, Cris Carter, who credits the program with the longevity of his career and elevating his game. Carter was impressed enough that he purchased Frappier's Acceleration program and set-up a center in South Florida in 1997. Over the next several years, Carter's FAST Center attracted some of the NFL's best and soon to be best athletes to train during the off-season. Randy Moss, Jake Reed and Larry Fitzgerald were some of many getting better, getting stronger and getting faster through Acceleration Training.
By 2000, nearly 80 training centers had purchased the Acceleration Program, the Acceleration protocol had completed its fifth revision, the Skating Protocol its second update, the first sport-specific training protocols for Football were distributed, the Education and Certification system was introduced for trainers across the FAN - Frappier Acceleration Network, and Swanson had built a 3D motion-capture laboratory at TOSH in Salt Lake City, with Facility Director and PhD Jim Walker to support the SLC - Winter Olympic effort and continue research on improving the fundamental movement skills that define athletics.
AIMS - Athletic Information Management System
Throughout the 90's, training centers would collect their pre- and post-test athlete data and send it on floppy discs to Fargo for organization. The volume and synchronization of information lead to the creation of the first internet-based performance testing database and in 2001, the company released AIMS. Swanson spearheaded the project and programming and recognized the potential for AIMS to manage more than athlete data and distribute protocols, as it could also help manage the training center's operations. The interpretation of the athlete assessment information data led to the creation of new training protocols and the ACL Bridge program.
In 2005, Swanson led a full cross-sectional analysis of all the training centers and spent the next year working with developers to construct an online system that would centralize and organize athlete and training center information in a form the centers could use with AIMS 2.0. His research also lead to the introduction of the Balance Protocol, a new adaptation to improve athlete performance outcomes and training center's athlete throughput.
AIMS also provided a forum to distribute the trainer education information and certification system online, as well as a database platform to construct an online athlete Locker Room. The Locker Room was created to support the synchronization of DartFish software, video and digitally collected test results the company was collecting on 500 players at the National High School Football Combine as part of the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. The same system is used to collect, organize and compare 3PQ scores and other data collected by centers during the athlete assessment process. This information is used to individualize the athlete's training experience.
WE KNOW ATHLETES
This statement was the positioning statement used to introduce the rebranding of the business at the 2007 Facility Conference. Charlie Graves and a partner had stepped in to recapitalize the company. One of the first tasks for the new CEO was establishing a brand that would support the company’s new franchise-model it had adopted in 2006. The franchise system combined specialized equipment, sport-specific protocols, trainer education and business operation under the Athletic Republic® brand.
The introduction of business-building programs that would assist new centers through the start-up cycle and help existing centers master each aspect of their operations followed. Technology advancements bring an online scheduling system with integrated reporting and point of sale to the centers, along with digital and social marketing resources. Marketing campaigns and creative resources are developed and implemented at the local level and new training programs are developed to access new audiences and to expand training services into a more hours each day.
The Athletic Republic System is a complete athlete assessment, performance training and conditioning program that is the culmination of over 25 years of research and a relentless drive for improvement.
The training system features the following training programs:
Acceleration Training™ - Now in its 6th rendition, the program is designed for the student-athlete who is dedicated to improving their speed, power and agility. Applications of the training program are age appropriate and sport focused ... Baseball, Basketball, Cross-Country, Football, Lacrosse, Skiing, Soccer, Softball, Swimming, Tennis, Track, Volleyball, Water Polo, and more.
Hockey Training – The training program is specific to the demands of the skating athlete who must be quick, agile, powerful and durable to compete throughout a complete a hockey season.
Endurance Sports Training - The program is designed to help the adult athlete, runner, cyclist, swimmer, or triathlete move better, stay healthier, become stronger and get faster.
Frappier's ground-breaking work has now benefited nearly one million athletes who train in more than 120 centers, located across on three continents. From pee-wee to pro, athletes of all ages have followed these well-established training programs to gain more than a step on their competition.