MINNEAPOLIS -- For most of his nine-year career with the Minnesota Vikings, the base of Adrian Peterson's notoriously rigorous training program has been in the Houston area. Peterson retreats to his home outside Houston shortly after the Vikings' season ends, and until whatever point he decides to join his teammates in their offseason program, the running back toils in Texas, turning to trainer James Cooper for the regimen that has become the lifeblood of his preparation.
Now, the running back's workouts have an official home -- and while the seven-time Pro Bowler is sharpening his physique, the workaday crowd is sweating off those excess pounds nearby.
In March, Peterson and Cooper opened O Athletik, a sprawling 35,000-square-foot facility in Houston that offers everything from MMA and boxing classes to batting cages and hot yoga. There's a six-power-rack station rig with an obstacle course and a climbing rope for CrossFit-style workouts; there's a running hill, sand volleyball pit and field for indoor soccer. Members can sip recovery drinks from an organic juice bar. It's both a compound for Peterson and a bet on customized training options to attract millennials.
"We wanted it to be a one-stop shop," Peterson told ESPN on Wednesday. "We're not making it a training facility; not promoting it and trying to get athletes to come train here. We're trying to get people that are into MMA, want to learn how to box. You can do your basic workouts, like you do at 24-Hour Fitness -- only we have so much more."
Last week, Peterson said he hadn't decided yet when he would head to Minnesota to join his teammates in their offseason program, and the running back has typically been an infrequent participant in the Vikings' organized team activities. That's in part because of his trust in Cooper, whom Peterson credited as the driving force behind his nine-month return from ACL surgery in 2012. The running back went on to win NFL MVP honors that season, rushing for 2,097 yards and helping the Vikings reach the playoffs as a wild card.
Now, Peterson and Cooper are trying to turn their work together into a bigger presence in Houston. Memberships run between $95 and $120 a month, and Peterson said the gym already has around 1,100 members. "Things are going pretty well so far," he said.
Was there any doubt he'd make it the site of his workouts, in addition to a business venture? "I didn't spend all that money to train somewhere else," he said.