Treating Injuries: Some Common Sense Advice

Treating injuries. Are you hurting right now?

treating injuries

As a corrective exercise guy, I try to help my clients fix aches and pains before they turn into major injuries.

Staying injury free is a major component in staying motivated and the biggest to getting in shape. As Woody Allen said, “80% of success is showing up.”

My experience has been that most people drop out of any given activity due to injury and never go back because they are scared of getting hurt again.

So let’s get this out of the way.

5 Things You Need to Know about pain and injuries.

1. Everybody gets injured at one point or another. It is a part of life.

Having said that, some activities are riskier than others but that doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t do them. Just be smart.

2. Active people will have less aches and pains than sedentary people.

True, we may get muscle soreness from workouts but these are temporary after-effects of the training. Inactive people tend to have chronic daily pain. Our stuff is easy to control and manage while chronic pain is difficult to treat.

3. Active people will tend to have temporary issues while sedentary people develop lifelong issues such as diabetes and heart issues.

Working out fine tunes the body and makes it perform optimally.

4. For an athlete, getting injured is a way of learning and progressing.

Getting injured either means you did something wrong in the moment or you have been doing something wrong for a while and your body can’t take it anymore.

This is a critical point. Learn from injuries.

5. If you ever get injured, figure out why it happened and make corrections.

Smart people learn to realize the difference between aches and pains and injury. You can learn to treat niggles and tweaks so they don’t become full blown injuries.

Here is where this post gets controversial.

The biggest mistake people in dealing with injuries is going to the wrong professional.

How do you know? You spend a ton of money and you don’t get healed.

In my opinion, it is always better to learn how to take care of the little things before they get out of control.

Know yourself and treat yourself.

Here is a link to my YouTube channel where I have a few videos on rehab.

Yes, this takes time and yes, this is a learned skill but it is priceless. Learning how to fix injuries on the fly is invaluable.

But what if things really blow up?

Take running for example. We participate in a sport with a high injury rate. depending on who you talk to 25% to 50% of all runners get injured every year. Taken at face value, that is a staggering statistic. I had calf problems last year that bugged me all summer and fall. If you look at the physics you can see why the risk of injury is so big.

At 245 pound, I land with a force 4-6 times my weight each step. 1,000 plus pounds landing on a each foot, 1,500 steps each mile for 25 miles week. you can see how small mistakes escalate into major ones.

For some, that is proof I shouldn’t be running.

For me, that is proof I need to run with better technique.

We were meant to run. You either believe that or you don’t.

If you believe it, you are looking at history.

If you don’t believe it, you are an orthotic salesman.

Evolution does not favor the weak or bad mechanical designs,. Just the opposite. The foot is a marvel of nature. You just probably have weak feet and poor running mechanics. Again, that is for another post.

Back to dealing with injuries, who should you see when dealing with an injury?

Family Doctors and Traditional medicine.

Pros:

  • They practice medicine and can refer you to specialists, testing or Physical therapists.
  • They have to abide by a code of conduct and have established methods of treatment.
  • They can write prescriptions.

Cons:

  • The constant thought of malpractice makes most Doctors very conservative in what they will do and what they won’t.
  • Oftentimes they are behind the times with new treatments.
  • You may have to wait to get in, then wait for a specialist. Very time consuming.
  • Modern medicine treats the effect rather than the cause.

Tips

  • There are amazing Doctors out the who are athletes themselves and can be invaluable to you.
  • Find a specialist that treats athletes.

Massage Therapy

This is my favorite. If you can’t foam roll, smash or stretch your injured area, go to a good masseuse. No, I am not talking a place where they put cucumbers on your eyes and play spa music while they give you a glorified back rub. I am talking about a deep tissue specialist who can go in and fix problems.

Pros:

  • Most joint aches and pains are muscle related and can be fixed by a massage.
  • A good masseuse can feel the muscle knots and direct treatment.
  • They treat the cause of the pain instead of covering it up.
  • Most injuries can be fixed in a couple of visits, then an occasional maintenance session.

Cons:

  • It can be painful.
  • You need to find the right person.
  • The issue may come back if you don’t work on strength, flexibility and mobility.

Tips

  • There are many types of massages. Find the masseuse who is knowledgeable and gives you results, not back rubs.

Chiropractors

I know there are good ones out there….I just don’t know of any. So this may be a little biased but here goes. I am looking for some good ones to network with and share ideas. So if you are out there, contact me.

Pros:

  • Instant relief.
  • Usually you can be seen quickly.
  • Some Chiros have different techniques to use that don’t involve joint manipulation that are very effective.

Cons:

  • Sometimes it can only be a temporary fix.
  • Some Chiros have dubious qualifications and get into some really wacky techniques.
  • I just don’t agree with the idea of forcing joints into place.

Tips

  • Some Chiros truly want to help you, others want to put you on a monthly payment plan. Beware of the difference.

Naturopathic and Holistic Medicine

Some people swear by it. I have never had any luck with it but that doesn’t mean it isn’t effective. Logically it makes a lot of sense but just like with Chiropractors you run the gamut between the serious professional and the wack-a-doo.

Pros:

  • More holistic and in tune with nature.
  • Natural remedies and methods. Fewer side effects.
  • It may work for some people.

Cons:

  • The science behind it goes from proven to unproven to weird.
  • Practitioners have various degrees of training and education.
  • Very dependent on the quality of the practitioner.
  • Any regulation?

Tips

You may have to go by gut feel. Anytime you are tying in the physical with the spiritual the waters tend to get a little murky.

Personal Trainers

You know I had to throw this in.

Pros

  • Look for someone who is a Corrective Exercise specialist or has a degree in kinesiology or physical therapy.
  • They can integrate a rehab program into your workout.
  • Honest trainers will refer you out if the injury is too severe.

Cons

  • Some trainers think they can treat anything.
  • Not licensed to diagnose injuries.
  • No regulation.

Treating injuries is an art and a science. Let’s face it, everyone has had different experiences with injuries and this represents my opinion. Your experiences could be very different and that is why medicine is an art.

What is Corrective Exercise and Do You Need it?

“No No No, you are doing it all wrong. Do it this way!”

That is not corrective exercise.

Corrective exercise consists of 3 things.

  • Joint mobilizations
  • Stretches
  • Specific targeted exercises

Does Corrective Exercise Fix Joint Pain?

That will be the topic of this post. Since I am a Corrective Exercise Specialist, hopefully I can explain this in a way that gives you enough information to decide if thus is something you should incorporate in your workouts or pre-workouts.

So let’s start with an example.

Let’s say you have been sedentary for a number of years and feel old. You want to lose 10-15 pounds and look and feel better.

What do you do?

Old Model

  1. Join gym, bootcamp or buy a DVD.
  2. Start exercising and eating better.
  3. If you get hurt, either stop or see a Doctor that tells you to stop working out for a while.
  4. Repeat cycle.

Okay, I am being a little sarcastic here but isn’t that how it generally goes? Most people think a workout is either cardio, weights or a combination.

To make matters worse, most people want to “do” and not spend time “learning”. Fair enough.

Here is the problem. The fitness world is not telling you the whole truth.

Everyone likes to think their situations are different. And sometimes they are but most of the time people suffer from the same handful of conditions.

The reason is that we all work in the same environment, a sedentary one. We drive everywhere, sit for eight hours at work and sit on the couch at home.

That is a lot of time for negative body changes to take place. Changes you won’t even notice until they manifest themselves as pain.

Muscles become stiff and shorten. Muscles that are always under tension become irritated. They begin to pull on the joints in an uneven fashion. So you get muscle and joint pain.

This causes similar effects in most people.

  • Tight Hip flexors
  • Tight Hamstrings
  • Knee pain
  • Lower back pain
  • Shoulder and neck pain.

The idea here is not to get into how those physiological changes affect you but to talk about why traditional exercise isn’t going to fix them.

2 Rules to remember

Rule 1: Joint pain generally is not a joint issue.

Rule 2: Tight muscles are not a result of those muscles being tight.

Totally confused?

Let’s look at a knee.

corrective exercise kneeIn corrective exercise, I see joint pain as an effect not as a cause. If it isn’t the cause, then something must be going on to misalign the knee so crunches, hurts, pops, etc…

If the ligaments all need to aligned for the knee to track properly, what could pull them out of whack?

Tight muscles.

So to track where the culprit is, you have to go up from the knee and down from the knee and look at those muscles.

For example: Say the front of your knee hurts.

Old School Thinking:

If my knee hurts my muscles are weak. I will do a bunch of leg extensions and leg presses to strengthen them.

The problem:

Your pain is probably being caused by quad muscles already. They are tight from sitting and may have developed knots and all kinds of nasty stuff. If that is the case, strengthening the front of the leg will increase the imbalance not fix it.

Corrective Exercise Thinking:

Get a foam roller or a lacrosse ball and actively go up and down the leg muscles looking for painful spots. These are knots or adhesion and most likely will be the culprit of the knee pain. As you work them out you will get more length in the muscle and the knee pain will “magically” go away. Once you get rid of the adhesions or knots you can stretch and strengthen the muscle joint. But not before.

Sometimes that is all there is to it. I teach my clients how to troubleshoot and fix their aches and pains. It is all based on logic, therefore it is very intuitive and easy to learn but it is a different way of thinking.

 

Do I have to buy expensive equipment?

If you want to but all you really need is:

  • Foam roller $20 to $30
  • Tennis balls
  • Lacrosse ball $2-$3
  • Golf Ball

Everything else is optional.

How long does it take to do?

That depends on how many issues you have. The nice part about corrective exercise is that if it doesn’t hurt, we leave it alone. Usually 5-15 minutes is all it takes. Once an area is fixed, you don’t have to do the exercises.

Should I do corrective exercise before or after the workout?

If you do it after, you have just spent your time blasting muscles that are already tight and damaged. Not the best idea. Do the corrective exercise stuff before the workout and again after if that is an option.

Does it always work?

Nope. Sometimes you need to take it to another level and get a deep tissue massage. A good masseuse can diagnose and massage out knots faster than I can with my techniques, so always keep that open as an option. Also, corrective exercise probably won’t work if there are tears and ruptures. If you have any doubts, get to a Doctor an get MRI’s and X-rays. Corrective exercise is good but it can’t fix everything.

 

The Bottom Line:

As we get older, we are more susceptible to muscle and joint pain. If you think you are inflexible, have joint or muscle pain, it would make a lot of sense for you to learn these techniques or hire a coach to teach you.

I always start with a full body assessment before coming up with a workout program for my clients.

The biggest part of getting back in shape is showing up for the workout. So take a few minutes to make sure your body is ready to perform.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What Are The Dangers of Crossfit?

What are Some of the Dangers of Crossfit?

Crossfit

Choose your weapon. 45, 55 or 70 pounds of pure fun!

I recently received this question and the person deserves a fair and honest answer on how dangerous Crossfit is.

Before I do that, let me make this statement.

  1. I like any discipline that uses barbells, kettlebells and other weights. That includes Crossfit.
  2. Crossfit has done a huge amount of good bringing a greater awareness about strength. Especially to women.
  3.  Crossfit isn’t any more dangerous than some personal trainer goofball showing you how to work a pec-deck at 24 hour fitness. In fact if you take the time to do it correctly, it is a great way to get strong and very fit.

But I do consider it flawed. Here is why.

 One of the selling points of Crossfit is that they want to get good at everything.

So a typical workout…well there aren’t typical workouts. Every day is different so you don’t get in a rut.

But doing the same movement over and over is the only way to get good at it. It takes thousands of reps to hone your form.

You have couch potatoes (no offense meant) stepping into a world that may throw gymnastic moves, kettlebell movements, Olympic lifts and power lifting at you in the same session.

How are they supposed to get proficient in all these exercises?

Consider this.

  1. The biggest danger with Crossfit is that they ask you to do complex, intricate movements as fast as you can. Olympic style movements like snatches and clean and jerks take years to learn properly. And they only do 1 rep.
  2. Crossfit asks you to do high volume reps with exercises that are aren’t suited for high reps. Let’s talk about deadlifts, cleans etc… Again, these are traditionally low rep movements. They take a lot of coordination, experience and strength to execute.

I have no problem with the crossfit exercises, even the kipping pull-up.

My issue is what they do with them. Very few people can do high rep movements with a challenging weight and maintain proper form.

Especially when you are doing a series of movements for time without breaks. To do that you have to already be highly conditioned.

More than that, you need to have the experience in your mental game to know how to budget your energy and strength.

The Crossfit athletes you see on tv are gifted athletes that have come from a disciplines like gymnastics or olympic lifting that translate well to the sport.

They have the flexibility and the understanding of body movement. They also know how to manage their heart rate and when to back off.

That is very different from the average person who is sedentary, lacks power and flexibility.

So how do you get that flexibility and experience?

In a perfect world that person steps into a crossfit box and the trainer puts them in a class to learn all these separate movements. When they are ready, they can participate. That may take months or years.

I am talking about just doing the lifts properly without tying them into a workout.

The problem is that the client doesn’t want that.

This is an instant gratification society.

They want to see how fast they can go.

They want a workout even though they can’t do they can’t do the exercises right.

They want to sweat and be beaten down.

Why don’t you just “fake it until you make it?”

I have been training people for over a decade, you can’t just “wing it”. Some clients pick up movements quickly. Others don’t.

If you want to get good at crossfit. And by good, I mean not being a menace to yourself, it will take time.

In addition to the workouts…

  •  Watching video time.
  • Stretching, rolloing and smashing time to gain flexibility and repair old injuries.
  • Personal one-on-one training time for the complicated movements.

No problem, they can teach me. The owner is in really good shape.

For $40 a month????

Crossfit is no different than stepping into a gym.

There are good owners who care and create a culture of learning and helping.

Then there are the owners that are just looking after the bottom line. The teaching at some of these boxes is atrocious. Just as the personal training is at a lot of gyms.

Don’t believe me? Go on a site like Flickr and look at some of the crossfit gyms posting daily pictures. You tell me how many of the clients are doing the exercises correctly.

The risk of injury doing sets is a lot lower than the risk of doing a high intensity circuit…if you don’t know what you are doing.

Even if the owners know what they are doing, do they have the time to personally coach each individual? No. Your $40/month can’t possibly cover that.

Summary

You have people doing exercises they don’t know how to do as fast as they can racing against a clock.

Where could the danger in that be?

If you would like help learning some of the exercises they do at Crossfit, find a trainer that can train you in olympic lifting, gymnastics etc…one on one.

If you would like something a bit safer but I think is just as effective, check out my online training by clicking here.

5 Things You Need to Know About Foam Rolling

 Rehab 101: Rolling, Smashing and Stretching- An Introduction

Why is everyone laying on a foam roller?

Whatever happened to stretching?

What about corrective exercise?

Don’t even know what I am talking about?

Let’s get all this cleared up for you because honestly, I think a lot of people who practice rolling and smashing don’t know why they do it.

And if you aren’t doing it, maybe you should.

But for both of our sakes, do it right.

 

Fact 1: You are like an onion. You have layers.

You are like an onion. You have layers.

You are like an onion. You have layers.

 

I always thought anatomy was kind of gross. Beautiful in the way the body is designed but not particularly appealing to look at. So bear with me.

Looking at the diagram you should notice 2 things.

  1. You have layers of tissue. Skin, fascia, muscle, fat etc…that move independently of each other.
  2. You have layers of muscles laying over each other.

The fascia is like the casing on a sausage. It provides protection and keeps everything tightly wrapped.

In a perfect world all these surfaces slide without causing pain. This translates to flexibility, balance and pain-free movement.

Fact 2: You will do something in your life to screw this up.

I hate to be the one to break the bad news but the perfect flexibility a baby has or you may even have had as a kid is doomed.

And that is because our modern way of life is geared towards comfort and lack of movement.

  • We lie in bed
  • Sit driving to work
  • Sit at work
  • Sit driving home from work
  • Sit eating dinner.
  • Sit or recline watching TV
  • Lie in bed

That is a lot of non-moving for a body that is at it’s best when in motion.

So what happens when you live this lifestyle?

  • Muscles atrophy from lack of use.
  • The front part of your body is continually contracted making the muscles tight and short. This puts strain on all the posterior muscle groups creating an imbalance.
  • You lose strength and flexibility in your posterior chain (back, butt, hamstrings,calves).

This creates a situation where most clients who come to me have some sort of back, shoulder and knee pain.

The crazy part of this is that the pain has nothing to do with the back, shoulder, neck or knee.

Fact 3: You weren’t born with short muscles or one leg shorter than the other.

You have problem areas that are artificially shortening your muscles and most likely pulling on the pelvis to create the illusion of one leg being shorter than the other.

Chiropractors and orthotic salesmen make a lot of money off of this. And in truth, maybe, once in a great while, someone is born with a limb obviously longer/shorter than the other.

But think about this, you were just fine all your life. Now all of a sudden one leg is longer? Really? To me, this is one of the biggest con jobs people fall for.

I have found is that the issue can be traced to tight muscles pulling on the pelvis. Either the forces tilt your pelvis forward (anterior tilt) or one side pulls more than the other. In either case this imbalance leads to back and knee pain.

There are simple exercises I can do to show you how to fix this.

I have fixed the “One leg is longer than the other” syndrome in a matter of minutes. And no, it didn’t involve a chain saw. You guys have sick minds:)

 

Fact 4: Unglue the muscle/fascia and your pain will go away.

So let’s dig a little deeper here. When I talk about a tight muscle, often it is tight because an area becomes glued to the other surfaces. In my world we call this an adhesion. In your world it is a muscle knot.

So what is a knot? it is an area that either due to atrophy, trauma or imbalance has glued itself to the other layers so the layers can no longer slide.  Think of it as a traffic jam. This knot shortens the muscle length meaning it can never fully relax. Your body will also try and compensate so your other side may affected too. Nasty, nasty, nasty.

Here is the important part.

You are more likely to feel the effects of this knot where the muscles attach (joints) than the actual spot itself.

So pain in the front of the knee can be a knot in the quadriceps, not the knee itself.

Pain in the lower back may be a Psoas or hip flexor issue, not the lower back itself.

So to bring this discussion back to where we started….

  1. You want to learn how to roll and smash to discover adhesions.

  2. You want to roll and smash to unglue those surfaces so everything can slide.

 

Fact 5: You can’t stretch a pre-shortened muscle

This is a crucial piece of information you need to know. I intentionally put this at the bottom of the post to reward anyone who has made it down this far.

Let me put this as plainly as possible. If your muscles are all knotted up all the stretching in the world isn’t going to help you.

Why?

Because the problem is not that the muscle isn’t long enough. It is.

The problem is that when you have a spot where layers of muscle, fascia and skin glued together (what you would call a knot), the muscle is over-tired and over-stretched already.

Try this simple test.

Take a rubber band and stretch it as far as you can without breaking it.

Now hold it on one end and hold the other end in the middle. Can you stretch it as far as you could before? Of course not but that it what you are doing when you spend a lot of time trying to stretch a tight muscle.

It is pointless and even potentially harmful.

How my Online training can help you

I am not a doctor and I would never think to diagnose any medical conditions for you.

What I can tell you from experience is that most cases of neck,shoulder,knee, ankle and lower back pain can be helped and even eliminated with the right exercise program.

I have over 250 different exercises and stretches in my exercise library. Sign up and send me and email with an explanation of what is going on.

After I get a good idea of your situation, I can program some workouts into your phone customized to address those concerns.

As your coach, you can email me 24 hours an day with questions.

If you aren’t getting better, you should have a medical professional perform testing, MRI’s and X-Rays.

My philosophy is to avoid shots, surgeries and pain pills as much as possible.

I hate to say it but Doctors don’t always get it right and sometimes they don’t want to get it right.

Am I saying there are Doctors that perform unnecessary operations? Yes.

I have a client who had shoulder pain. The Doctor said, “Well, you are getting old, it is probably arthritis. want some pain pills?”

By rolling the tricep with a foam roller and doing a few simple stretches the pain was eliminated and a full range of motion restored.

So I am not saying I can do this for everyone but I am still surprised how effective foam rolling and smashing can be if you know how to do it.

Interested in my online training? Click here.

 

 

Questions To Ask A Personal Trainer

Looking for a Personal Trainer but Don’t Know What to Ask?

Let me give you some ideas

(along with my answers so you can learn a little bit more about me.)

Beware of Personal Trainers with fuzzy helmets!

Beware of Personal Trainers with fuzzy helmets!

Personal trainers intimidate people.

I think it is because of the nature of our business. When you meet a personal trainer, you are usually not at your best.

Most of my future clients are down on themselves and feeling a little embarrassed they need to hire a personal training to get them in shape.

They don’t like the way they look or feel and they know they need to do something about it.

Stepping into a gym or meeting with a personal trainer is a weird, alien concept for a lot of people.

I get it. What other profession has this many stereotypes?

  • Big mean steroid guy trainer.
  • Arrogant personal trainer in tank top looking in the mirror more than he looks at you.
  • Mean woman personal trainer stereotype.
  • Beach bunny personal trainer stereotype.
  • Fat guy eating a hot dog with a mustard stain over his “Personal Trainer” logo.

I have seen them all. Yes, they do exist and they all seem to be in no short supply.

Luckily there are a number of us who take this profession seriously.

 

So don’t get intimidated. Most of us are not judgmental and we honestly want to help you.

So with that in mind, here are a few questions you should think about asking.

I pulled these from an interview I did recently.

What advice would you give a client looking to hire a personal trainer?

Don’t base your decision on price. You are making an investment.

If you want a high return on that investment, then talk to a few trainers and go with the one you feel knows how to solve your problem.

The difference between rates with trainers isn’t that much to begin with.

There are very good reasons some trainers try and get clients based on price.

What is Your Fitness Philosophy

Work hard and have fun with your life.

Don’t be the person sipping warm water and eating carrot sticks in the corner while everyone else is drinking wine and eating real food!

Michael Medvig-personal trainer

Things I will do for a cold beer!

Hopefully you can relate to this. Many of my clients tell me,”I wish I had called you a long time ago”. I joke with them and tell them that nobody every calls me first!

I think it is human nature. Most people need to get in shape and start with the least expensive option. So maybe it is a diet from Facebook, joining a bootcamp or buying a DVD.

And for some people that works…for a while. Most of my clients…in fact all of them have tried those methods and found themselves frustrated with lack of progress and/or injured.

That is where I come in. Combine my in home training with my online training and you have a comprehensive system for re-shaping your body. Fat loss is a by-product of getting healthy.
1. We need to fix joint pain and movement issues with corrective exercise.
2. We need to find an eating pattern that you can live with.
3. We need to work on flexibility and mobility so you don’t get injured.
4. We need to to get you lean and strong.

You won’t be successful with #4 unless you work on #1-#3.

That is why I have been selected as Trainer of the year in Parker for the last 3 years.

best personal trainer 2016

By the way, I come to you. If you have equipment that is great. If not, not problem. I always carry a bunch of exercise stuff with me.

If this sounds good, give me a call and we can schedule a free 30 minute consult to see if this is right for you.

What do you enjoy about your job?

The most enjoyable thing about what I do is show people that they are a lot better than they think they are.

People come to me and they are at a crossroads. Some lack confidence, have body issues, a lack of self-confidence and are generally at a low point.

Getting in shape is more about changing the way you think than the actual exercises.

Exercises are exercises. You can find them anywhere on line.

Although I see some truly awful ideas, most of the workout programs will produce some good results.

The key is not finding the right workout.

The key is working with a coach that can unlock or breakthrough those things holding you back from achieving success. That is what I enjoy about my job.

How did you get started in this line of work?

Fitness coaching is one of the few professions where you can help change a life.

I started out as the most unlikely candidate to have a career in fitness. I was a tall, gangly, goofy teenager with asthma.

Life sucked and I thought getting bigger and stronger would be a solution to my terrible life. And it was but it wasn’t easy.

Along the way I have made every mistake in the book and fallen for almost every scam. But I learned from it.

I was never a natural athlete. Everything I have I had to work for.

I am not this stud who was born with a six-pack from the womb. I have studied the science of getting in shape and really what it means to be in shape.

In fact, I am still learning after 35 years of working out. I think that makes me relatable to my clients in a way a lot of trainers aren’t.

So in a way I feel obligated to help others.

What type of clients do I work with?

small group personal trainingClients are 30 to 75. I actually prefer working with older clients because they are less concerned with looking good than feeling good. The one thing I have learned is that fat loss is a by-product of getting in shape. If you can’t move well, you will never be able to do the work you need to make a meaningful change in the way you look.

What support do you offer?

The biggest reason people don’t reach their goals is a lack of consistency. That is why I developed my online training system to help clients when I am not there. For only $10/month (yes that is only .32 a day) you get full access to my exercise library, workouts, workout calendar and more. It is just another tool to help you stay on track. Click here to find out more about my online training.

What is the typical process of working with a new client?

1. I offer a free 30 minute consultation. This is not a sales pitch. This is an opportunity for us to talk and see if this is a good fit. I can only train so many people. I need to make sure that the potential client will be a good fit for me and is comfortable with my training style.
2. We set goals. Realistic goals.
3. I look at body mechanics and work up a plan to make sure you can move without pain.
4. We look at eating and come up with a plan that you can follow.
5. We start working out and track the progress.

What is your pricing?

$55 an hour for one-on one.
$70 an hour for groups of 2-5 (everybody splits the cost. Not $70 apiece)
$10/month for online training

What things should a prospective client think about before hiring a trainer?

The number one problem is that people think there is a shortcut to getting in shape and losing weight.

There are more effective ways than others but even the most effective method demands effort, consistency and time.

The second problem is that the general public thinks all trainers are the same.

The truth is we are all wildly different in our approaches.

Just because your prospective trainer looks good in a tank top doesn’t mean they know what they are doing.

The third problem is that most people I meet are filled with misconceptions about fitness.

Either they are still living in the eighties or they repeat stuff from infomercials.

The science behind fitness has changed drastically so all I ask is that you have an open mind to some ideas that may not make sense to you.

Describe a recent project you worked on.

My greatest project is myself. If anyone thinks they have this fitness thing figured out they are lying to you. I am a strength guy but I can also run half-marathons and complete Spartan races. I do this to challenge myself and see if I can do it. I would urge everybody to fire up their imaginations and sign up for something that will challenge them. A little fear is a great motivator to make a change.

If you would like to find out more about my in home or online personal training, click here.

 

Why Meal Plans Suck and What You Can Do About It.

I can’t help but cringe every time I see a diet or meal plan being advertised.

Here I go on another rant but I can’t help it. We are heading into a season where marketers will do their best to plump you up only to turn around and sell you a solution to de-plump you.

Isn’t that something!

Call it what you want, a metabolic center, a diet center, weight loss .. it doesn’t really matter. The common denominator is they confirm that you need to lose weight, sell you an expensive meal plan and an even more expensive cart full of vitamins, supplements, detox B.S. that you “need” to take to make the diet more effective.

“Well, you can get results with the meal plan alone but if you are really serious you need to take these over-priced supplements, herbs and whatever other crap we think we can sell you. You are serious about making a change aren’t you?”

We have been conditioned to “make a new start” by throwing out food and coming home with bags of ultra healthy food and an armful of vitamins.

But does this really work?

Not really. A lot of my clients ask me for meal plans and I could easily get some software and print out a grocery list. In fact I used to do that for free. I would print out a 20 page menu with grocery shopping lists, nutritional values and recipes. While everyone was impressed, not one person used it. And it was not because they were lazy. It just got too complicated.

 The fitness industry knows that slick marketing that promotes the easy solution will always sell.

I always joke that fitness coaches are never the first choice for someone wanting to get back in shape. My clients usually try all kinds of silly crap before they realize they need a professional. Listen, I hear you. I will do everything I can to fix a plumbing issue before calling a plumber.

So since you are reading the rantings of a professional trainer, let me share this with you.

In my opinion there are only three parts of any meal planning system that bring results.

  1. Portion Control

  2. The elimination of processed foods.

  3. More protein.

That is it. All the rest is pure profit dressed up as cutting edge science. All the vitamins and supplements in the world may get you a 5%-10% increase in results. But 80% of your budget will be spent chasing that 5% to 10%.

The exception to the rule would be the high end athlete that has the money and time to control all the variables that go into the process of preparing for an event.

Example: A Bodybuilding who needs to drop to 4% body fat for the day of the show.

Example: An elite marathoner trying to fuel up for the big race.

These are trained athletes who are in tune with their body to a high degree and an investment in

The rest of us can relax because we are nowhere near that level. Myself included.

Here is an easy chart to help you.

I won’t charge you for it but if you feel the need to pay, please make a donation to your favorite charity on my behalf.

For Women

For Women

For Men

For Men

As a coach with Precision Nutrition, I am happy to share this with you.

So let me lay another fitness nugget on you.

Fat loss should be a by-product of your training not the main goal.

Check out this story. A while back I decided to do some networking with some diet centers. It seemed like a good pairing. Clients are getting their nutrition taken care of so let me help them with exercise and fixing any muscle/joint pains. Seems like a good idea, right?

All the places I went to informed me that you don’t have to work out to get results with their system. Huh?

That is why most people are doomed to failure.

Spend a bunch of money, stay with their system as long as you can until you quit.

Gain all the weight back and blame yourself for failing.

The real truth is that they set you up for failure. Either your liver will give out from taking all those pills or your bank account will.

So enough of those clowns, let’s talk about how to get the odds in your favor.

Let me say this again, Fat loss is a result of you getting in better shape.

This is very different than what most people believe.

You don’t lose fat and get in better shape.

Do you see the difference? These are the same people who say, ” let me lose 10 pounds and I will start running again.”

No no no no no no!

This is like looking at your empty fireplace and saying “give me some heat and then I will throw some logs on you”.

If you optimize your body, body fat will fall off without you thinking about it.

Wouldn’t that be a nice change?

If you are ready to work and put in the time you can change your life.

This is what M Factor Training is all about.

My clients get strong, lean and learn how to fit nutrition into their lifestyle. Let’s face it, that is the only way you are going to be happy with yourself. Here is another strange (to me) concept. Someone who has to starve themselves to lose 10 pounds. He/she will never feel happy because they know the moment they lose their discipline the weight will come back. Counting calories, passing up on dessert and making other terrible sacrifices like not going to happy hour is no way to live. Again, just my opinion.

Whether you are an in home client or someone who has joined my online training program, (ridiculously cheap at $10/month), I will teach you theM Factor way of getting in shape.

Most people don’t mind working hard if they see the results.

If you agree with this, you are a good fit for my coaching.

Here are the steps to getting back in shape. You can’t skip any of them.

  1. Fix existing injuries, imbalances. If you don’t, you will never be able to train consistently without getting injured and you will never see your full potential.
  2. Change the way you think of yourself. You aren’t a dieter. You are an athlete in training.
  3. You have food issues/body image issues because of something much deeper that you have to work on and sort out.
  4. Getting strong is good. You can never get too strong.
  5. Learn how to optimize leverage and move with good mechanics. This is the key to minimizing injuries.
  6. Volume is your friend. Always try and do more.
  7. Adequate sleep is the best way to make progress.
  8. You can diet for a short time but you can eat sensibly all your life.

Work hard so you can enjoy your life and get out of this crazy diet/gain weight/diet/gain weight cycle.

If you are interested in learning more, please go to my homepage.

 

 

Episode 101: Breathing and How To Intelligently Organize a Workout

My god, could there be a more boring title!

I mean really, who is going to listen to this?

Hopefully you will because there is good stuff in here.

Proper Breathing Technique

Please tell me you at least breathe out during exertion and not the other way around.

Excellent if you do. Now let’s take this one step further. Your chest cavity is hollow.

(not exactly but don’t play lawyer ball with me on this, okay?)

When you breathe in, you create tension or tightness in the chest cavity. This is like filling a balloon with air. This tightness has a number of functions. It protects the internal organs and creates a rigidity to the body preventing energy leaks. This is good, very good.

When you are lifting something heavy, the more rigid you are the stronger you will be. You will also protect your joints from injury.

So it is not enough just to breath out during the hard part of the lift. You need to breathe out slowly.

If you breathe out fast, you will tend to relax the body at the absolute worst time.

Holding your breath is an advanced technique. Don’t do it if you are just starting out. Just think about keeping as much air in the lungs as possible.

Crap, I just told you the first part of the podcast!

How to organize a routine

Whenever I go to a gym, I see the craziest things. I can’t help but notice these poor lost souls wandering around like a hungry kid in a candy store.

They do a little of this, a little of that. Inevitably they end up on a treadmill for some reason, only to go to the bicep machine. From the bicep machine they go to the pec deck.

Honestly, I have no idea why.

This is not rocket science. Listen to the podcast, I will guide you in the right direction.

Enjoy the show. Hey, If you like it, please subscribe to my YouTube Channel.

 

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Episode 105: Figuring Out Back Pain

Figuring Out Back Pain

 

Welcome to episode 105. This is an episode about figuring out back pain.

So here’s the story. One of my clients has been in a stressful situation where she was forced to sit in an uncomfortable position for an extended time, days on end.

In addition, there was a great deal of emotional stress at the same time. This will tend to screw up the back (technical term).

 
So we worked through rolling, smashing and stretching to see if she could get some relief. And that is what this episode is about, I am going to take you through my thinking and give you some ideas you probably never thought about.

Additional Resources

How to Fix Foot Pain

Why is this here? Using this technique could fix your knee pain.

Don’t Do These Knee Exercises

How To Fix Pain in the Back of the Knee

 If You like this, take two-seconds and join my other sites so you don’t want to miss a thing:

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Is Corrective Exercise The Missing Key To Your Fitness Goals?

What is This Corrective Exercise Stuff?

Let’s be honest here. Most of the clients I work with are out of shape and want to lose 20-100 pounds.

The extra weight is making their life miserable. It is literally sucking the energy out of them.

Worse than that is living with constant back pain, neck, shoulder or knee pain.

The combination of the two is a terrible way to go through life. All you want is relief.

90% of the trainers and dietitians out there don’t know how to deal with this.

This is a big problem. So they go on the myth that the pain is due to the extra fat.

Take off the fat and you will feel better. And sometimes that is the case. But how are you going to perform the most effective exercises if it hurts to bend over to tie your shoes?

So most people end up in a vicious circle. You do less because that is all you can do and it doesn’t get you anywhere. Or you join a gym and try to work through the pain and end up getting injured.

But there is another way and you won’t find it on a DVD. Most trainers don’t know about it.

Corrective exercise.  The extra fat you are carrying isn’t creating your problems, it is revealing them.

This is what most people miss. True health is being able to move pain free.

If your underlying muscles are weak and out of balance, you are going to have problems no matter what you weigh. Knee pain generally doesn’t mean you have bad knees. Lower back pain doesn’t mean your lower back is weak. Shoulder pain is not due to a weak shoulder. Most of the time it is another area of the body that is out of balance, weak or injured that is causing the problem.

Never heard that before?

This is my specialty. I will work to strengthen and fix any weakness and imbalances you have. If we fix the pain issue:

  • You will sleep better which aids in recovery.
  • You will maximize your training time.
  • You will get your life back.

If you are interested in this, check out this video on making your own rehab equipment.

 

Here is a link to my Rehab 101 Playlist on YouTube

 

If You like this, take two-seconds and join my other sites so you don’t want to miss a thing:

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A Way To Fix Chronic Hip Flexor Pain

Dealing With Chronic Hip Flexors

 

I received an email from a dad asking me about his daughter’s hip flexor injury. She is a runner and she has been dealing with it for a couple months.
Legal Stuff: I am not a doctor, licensed physical therapist or in anyway qualified to treat such things. Especially if I have never seen her.

So the following is just an idea. Something to think about and if it makes sense, try it.

My best guess is that she is very quad dominant, meaning her front muscles used for running are stronger than her hamstrings and glutes. This is very common in runners and causes a lot of their issues.

Very few runners really work the posterior chain. The posterior chain being the hamstrings and glutes. But these are very important muscles to stabilize the leg while running.

If they don’t do their job, the pelvic girdle can move causing tight hamstrings and/or hip flexors.

So this is what I would do as an idea.

Rehab

1. Foam roll the quads and see if there are any knots.
2. Foam roll the hamstrings and see if there are any knots.
3. Do a piriformis stretch (shown in video) with a lacrosse ball or tennis ball under the cheek. This is where the hip flexors attach to the back. This is extremely painful if there is an issue there. But if she does it for a minute or so, she should feel looser.

Here is a link to my Rehab 101 Page

Stretches

Half-pigeon, not shown in video
Hip flexor stretch shown in video
Piriformis stretch shown in video

Here is a link to My Stretching Page

Exercises

Do exercises that work the posterior chain.
1. Bridges 3 sets 15-25 reps
2. Stiff Legged Deadlifts 3 sets 8-10 reps
3. Deadlifts with dumbbells 3 sets 8-10 reps

Make sure she is doing a hip hinge with the stiff-legged deadlifts and deadlifts.

This means the butt goes back first to engage the hamstrings as opposed to bending over and using her lower back.

She can also put her feet up against the wall. Make sure her rear end is as close to the wall as possible. Push the lower back into the floor and squeeze the pelvic muscles. These are the muscles you use when you have to pee but can’t find a restroom. stay there 10 minutes 1-2 times a day and see if that helps.

Also think about an MRI to see if there is a tear.

More resources

 

Also see http://mfactorfitnessandnutrition.com/category/health/hip-flexor-pain-2/

Want to learn more about Corrective Exercise?

 

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