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Xplosive Performance Academy growing fitness levels in Plymouth

 Xplosive Performance Academy growing fitness levels in Plymouth

John Vickers has helped athletes ranging from emerging high school players to elite professional stars during his successful stint as a sports-performance professional.

It’s only fitting that Xplosive Performance Academy’s new location is roughly a 40-yard dash east of Main Street in downtown Plymouth.

Owned and operated by longtime sports-performance expert John Vickers, Xplosive has helped everyone from emerging high school athletes to elite professional standouts reach their potential — whether it’s lowering 40-yard dash times or adding height to their standing broad jump.

Vickers, who has mentored big-time athletes including recently-NFL-drafted Darius Robinson and former Michigan Mr. Basketball Pierre Brooks, also offers programs for adults whose goal may be simply to become more fit as middle age closes in.

“I love seeing the growth in the athletes I work with,” said Vickers, who earned a fitness-related degree from Albion College, where his college football career was hampered by injuries. “For instance, it’s fun seeing a high school football player get significantly faster from one season to the next — and to see the adults I work with improve their fitness levels significantly in as little as 90 days.

“In addition to developing speed and strength programs for athletes, I develop custom nutrition programs for my clients. Nutrition is important, but if you want to get toned and jacked, you need to lift some weights and work a little, too.”

Training Olympic medalists

Years ago, while employed as a fitness expert for Velocity Sports Performance in south Canton, Vickers worked daily with Olympic figure skaters Charlie White, Meryl Davis and Tessa Virtue (to name three) in their successful quests to earn Olympic medals.

Xplosive utilizes a four phase approach to improving 40 yard dash times
Xplosive utilizes a four phase approach to improving 40 yard dash times

He’s just as proud of helping high school athletes slice tenths-of-a-second off their 40-yard dash times.

“I worked with a Canton High School quarterback last year whose 40 time had kind of stalled out at 4.9 (seconds),” Vickers explained. “After working on his technique for a few months, he ran a 4.6, which is a significant drop.”

Vickers utilizes a four-phase system for helping young athletes improve their 40 clockings.

“It begins with the start — the first 10 yards — and goes through the max velocity stage when the athlete is standing straight up,” he said. “Every athlete is limited by genetics; I mean, everyone can’t run a 4.3 40. But with the proper technique, everyone can shave tenths-of-a-second off their times.”

Perfect site

Vickers moved Xplosive to Plymouth in January after starting his running athlete performance businesses in Southfield and Canton.

Former Michigan Mr. Basketball Pierre Brooks provided a testimonial on the Xplosive Performance Academy Instagram
Former Michigan Mr Basketball Pierre Brooks provided a testimonial on the Xplosive Performance Academy Instagram

“I was based in Southfield when COVID hit, so that shut everything down,” he said. “I continued to train clients in my backyard (in Canton) and my garage during COVID, but I had to close the Southfield facility.

We moved to a warehouse in a Canton industrial park, but this building is a much better fit for what I’m doing.”

The size of Vickers’ new location at 320 N. Main Street in Plymouth is 3,000 square feet, all of which will be fitted with artificial turf this week.

Top-notch accessories

Xplosive also offers state-of-the-art strength equipment and tons of free weights.

Most importantly, it is owned by a fitness professional whose vast knowledge of technique and nutrition can help people from 9 to 90 find their peak performance level.

Athletes can schedule a free athletic apex assessment to see where they stand — and discover what’s holding them back — by emailing Vickers at or calling him directly at 734-545-1600.

Vickers is also offering a free seven-day jumpstart program for adults.

Ed Wright can be reached at 734-664-4657 or

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Ed Wright

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