Watch My Live Q&A Recording

The latest Inner Circle recording is now available – it’s a Live Q&A I recorded recently.


Watch My Live Q&A Recording

This month’s Inner Circle presentation is a recording of the Facebook Live Q&A session I recently hosted for my Inner Circle members. I always enjoy these sessions, we run through a ton of great questions!

Here are just a few of the things we discussed:

  • Distal clavicle excisions
  • Adhesive capsulitis
  • Repeated motion
  • Pain threshold
  • The future of the PTA profession
  • And so much more…

To access this webinar:

 

4 Things I Learned in 2017

Each year I try to always look back and reflect on what I have learned and changed in my life, both personally and professionally. We really put a priority on personal development at Champion. This helps me to grow and evolve as I learn each year, plus, helps me set goals for the upcoming new year.

If you don’t also reflect back on what you have learned and changed, I think you are missing out on a huge opportunity to grow.  Too many people in our fields spend all their energy defending their beliefs instead of keeping an open mind and evolving.

I’ll share some of the things I learned in 2017, but if you are interested, I’d love to read in the comments what you have learned that has changed your approach this year. By sharing, we can all grow.

Ego is the Enemy

Early in the year I read a great book called Ego is the Enemy, by Ryan Holliday. I thought it was great and had a big impact on my year.

Usually when we think of ego, we think of it in a bad way. But that’s not always the case and not what I took from the book.

Being egotistical all the time can be bad, but often times we just do things for the wrong reasons, that I believe often limit us and inhibit our growth.

I actually used this mindset a lot this year, and said “no” more than any past year in my career. I am a big fan of establishing goals. If a project wasn’t right and didn’t ultimately lead to my goals, I said “no.” In the past I have felt like I have always said “yes” to everything for the fear of missing out. That to me was saying “yes” for my ego.

From a business perspective, think of it this way, rather than building a new service for your facility to make money or gain notoriety, or essentially to boost your ego, build a new service to actually help people achieve their goals.

It’s surprising to me when I clearly see people advertise things that are clearly just for them, not for the consumer. If your motivation behind the program is sincere, things will always work out better for you, and you’ll make that money and gain that notoriety organically.

EliteBaseballPerformance.com is a great example of this concept for me. I started the website because I was sick of all the garbage and marketing around baseball development that I saw online. We needed a trustworthy place for information for players, parents, coaches, and rehab/fitness specialist.

I didn’t start it to make money, in fact I’m well in the hole financially, I did it to help the game of baseball, which I’m passionate about. Will we offer products on it in the future and make money, sure, but we won’t offer these products with the goal of making money, that will be the side benefit. We’ll offer them to help our mission and the game of baseball.

We also did this when we launched our new Elite Pitching Performance Program at Champion this winter. We could have charged triple what we did, but it wasn’t about the money, it was about giving back to the local teams in the area and building what I believe is the best and more comprehensive pitching development program in the country. It wasn’t about my ego, it was about helping these kids achieve their goals, heck their dreams, by taking their baseball career to the next level.

This year I really reflected on my decisions and said, am I doing this for the right reasons, or for my own ego?

Simple is Still Better

Man, are we getting carried away in the rehab and fitness fields with the latest trends and fads. It seems like every day there is a new post on social media that blows my mind by taking such huge leaps in rationale.

I’ve always been complimented on my presentations for one main reason – people have told me I make the complicated more simple.

As social media continues to become a contest of who can make simple things more complicated, I’ve been doing the exact opposite.

Students are graduating school right now with set mindsets and opinions that complicated systems are the definitive answer. Wow, I wish everyone realized there are no definitive answers.

But more alarming to me is that they haven’t learned how to actually treat a shoulder, yet think the first thing they must tackle is diaphragmatic breathing. Sure, that may be important but is that your primary focus? Is that how you want to spend your VERY limited time with your client?

At Champion, we always focus on the low hanging fruit first. You’ll hear us say that a lot.

I’ve talked about this in the past with things like the concept Kinetic Chain Ripple Effect and my post on The Problem with the Kinetic Chain Concept. Sure, it stinks that your left big toes doesn’t extend. But there are about 50 other things I would work on first that will be more impactful for someone with shoulder pain.

Students and new grads – Master the basics first, then expand your approach to focus on the more complicated. You’ll get much better results.

As I look back on the year, I’m focusing on the basics and keeping it simple more than ever, and I believe my outcomes just keep getting better.

Our Assessments Must Have 2 Components

When I first started physical therapy school more than 20 years ago, we were a very “joint-based” profession. We weren’t thinking globally and we were very focused on the person’s symptoms.

Over the last couple of decades, the “functional” approach has taken priority with a focus on movement quality, which is great.

At Champion this year, we took a big step back and assessed our own evaluation process. We essentially said, each of our evaluations must have two components:

  1. A structural examination
  2. A movement assessment

Our treatment sessions and our performance programs all focus on both. If you are still focused on only one of these, you are really missing the boat.

As with anything, pendulums shift and we are probably starting to lean more towards the movement side of the assessment on our profession.  But, I think this will come back to the middle at some point.

You must look both structurally and functionally.

The Right Way to Use Social Media

I’m really proud of so many young professionals getting themselves out there on social media. I believe that sharing our knowledge is a key component of our own personal growth.

But, I’m not sure most are doing it right, or least what I would consider “right.”

I’m not sure we need another post on the plank, and I’m not sure we need to be making our own “quotes” as if we are all brilliant prophets.

I want to see more people educating and making posts for their clients.

This year I tried to keep it simple and not about my ego, make it more about helping people (see the recurring themes from above?). Remember, we are in a service industry.

Want some examples of people I think doing it right?

Here are some links to Instagram profiles you should follow and model yourself after, like I have:

  • @achievefitnessboston – My friends Jason and Lauren Pak may have the best IG account going right now, with excellent quality content.  Their approach to things like making strength training less intimidating to the masses is a great example of people doing it right through education and focusing their posts on helping people, not themselves.
  • @shiftmovementscience – Dave Tilley shares his passion about improving gymnastics.  Not 1 ounce of what he does is about his ego, it’s about the athletes he helps and the sport he loves.  
  • @fitnesspainfree – Dan Pope has been sharing his knowledge and walks the walk about high level fitness athletes.
  • @syattfitness – It’s been fun to watch Jordan build his online presence, sharing a TON of simple but impactful content
  • More of our crew at Champion, and some newbies to the online world are @lenmacpt, @kieferlammi, and @mikescadutodpt, who are building their online presence the right way with great educational content from the start.

What Have You Learned?

Now’s a great time to reflect on what you have learned this year. Again, I would love to hear about it in the comments below, but even if you don’t share I encourage you to reflect on the past year on your own.

Good luck in 2018!

 

2 Things PT Students Do That Drive Me Crazy

Over the years I have worked with countless physical therapy students, who have all been outstanding.  We have a pretty strict process to accept students at Champion PT and Performance now, as we want to assure that each student is a perfect fit.

There are two main points I try to drive home with all of our students over the course of their clinical rotation that I want to discuss.  I have been getting emails and seeing a lot of PT students on social media that are doing these two things…

And they are driving me crazy!

Once these two concepts “click” for our students, you can literally see them take off with their effectiveness.

 

1. Don’t Get Caught Up in Specific Systems

As a physical therapy student, I get it, the road ahead is a bit daunting.  You’ve learned so much in school, how do you apply it all?  And I would bet most still lack confidence in their skills.

The internet has really been sensationalizing systems.  However, you really need to be careful and avoiding selling your soul to one specific system.

I love systems.

In fact, we are working on making an educational program teaching you our systems at champion. But…

I’ve yet to find a system that is perfect and works 100% of the time for 100% of the people.

It’s easy to be influenced by the sensationalism, but realistically, you don’t have the clinical experience to know if a specific system is appropriate for you patient.

I see so many students going deep into a complex theoretical system, and then blindly defending it without the knowledge or experience to justify.

Take this as an example, imagine we have an athlete that strains their hamstring. I’ve heard people discuss all of this for treatment suggestions:

  • Educate them that it’s a perceived threat when elongating tissue
  • Work on improper breathing pattern and diaphragmatic function
  • Give exercises to help with asymmetrical pelvic orientation and rib cage position
  • Use corrective drills for lack of thoracic rotation

All of these things may have some merit, but you know what?

You forgot about the hamstring!

The athlete was rounding first base and considered going for a double when the outfielder made a great play, so they had to change direction quickly and accelerate back to the base.  They overloaded their tissue.

Want to know my system?

  1. Fix what’s broke
  2. Fix what’s suboptimal

Too many times we jump to the suboptimal and think working on the hamstring is ridiculous, as it’s not the true “cause” of the injury.  Well, it’s still injured, and that player wants to get back on the field ASAP.  Your job is to help them accomplish their goal.  If you spend more time on diaphragmatic breathing than facilitating healing of the injured tissue, you have this all backwards.

Realize I mentioned the athlete, as I work in the sport medicine and orthopedic world.  A general population orthopedic patient with chronic hamstring pain may benefit from working on the suboptimal first.

But I am seeing people literally mocking others for working on facilitating healing of the hamstring.

Keep an open mind and don’t sell your soul to one system.  You still have a lot to learn by experience what does and does not work for your patients.  Every patient population is different.

2. Learn How to Connect with People

The second thing that drives me crazy with physical therapy students is when they have no ability to connect with people.  Again, I get it.  You just had your nose in textbooks and practical exams for several years.

We’re all dorks.  Me too.

But you can’t talk over the heads of people.  If your primary focus is showing how smart you are, you are going to be in trouble.

You aren’t in a practical exam anymore, you can’t talk like a robot or scientist and expect to connect with people.  If you’ve ever worked with me, you know I fool around a lot.  I’m rarely serious.  But I know when I need to be serious and I know how to educate effectively.

You need to speak in a language that the patient can understand and relate.  I talk to my baseball pitchers about “throwing pens” and “pain in layback.”  I don’t ask if they have pain when they externally rotate their glenohumeral joint to end range of motion.

Remember the classic quote:

“Nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care.”

That really applies to the field of physical therapy.  If you don’t connect with your patients, you won’t be as effective.

Read these books and think the whole time, “how can I apply this to working with a patient:”

 

Start Your Career in the Right Direction

PT students, read all the above one more time and let it sink in.

I promise, if you work on both, you will become a much more effective physical therapist.

I have an Inner Circle webinar that dives deeper into this topic, “5 Ways to Start Your Career in the Right Direction.”  These are the points I try to drive home with our students, and honestly, are things I wish I knew 20 years ago.

 

5 Ways to Start Your Career in the Right Direction

The latest Inner Circle webinar recording on 5 Ways to Start Your Career in the Right Direction is now available.

 

5 Ways to Start Your Career in the Right Direction

This month’s Inner Circle webinar is on 5 Ways to Start Your Career in the Right Direction.  In this presentation, I talk about some of the important things that any student or new physical therapist or strength coach should focus on early in their career.  I’m amazed at some of the things I hear from students and see online.  

This webinar will cover:

  • Why you shouldn’t sell your soul to one specific “system”
  • The ONE most important thing you need to work on to be effective
  • How to always be learning but also gaining skill, not just knowledge
  • Why you shouldn’t rush into starting a private practice

To access this webinar:

Is it Time to Finally Ditch Using Rehabilitation Protocols?

The use of rehabilitation protocols in physical therapy continues to be common practice.  I recently performed a quick survey of my readers and they mostly agree.  The majority still follow protocols:

do you still use rehabilitation protocols

 

However, a recent trend on social media has been to criticize these guidelines and those that follow them.  Students are even coming out of college shunning the use of protocols.  I’ve heard so many complaints over the years, like:

  • We need to use our brains, not follow a piece of paper
  • Physical therapists shouldn’t follow a cookbook
  • Physical therapy isn’t black and white
  • We need individualize our treatment approach

I completely understand and agree, to an extent at least.  As a physical therapist (or other rehabilitation specialist), we’ve spent a lot of time and energy learning how the human body functions.  We’ve spent countless hours (and dollars…) becoming a physical therapist and mastering our craft.  We’ve spent years refining our skills based on our experiences and patient outcomes.

We should be using our brains and individualizing programs based on each person.

But rehabilitation protocols can help us do this better if used properly.  To highlight this, it helps to break down exactly what rehabilitation protocols are, and are not, in physical therapy to best understand how we should be using them in our practices.

 

Rehabilitation Protocols Are Not Cookbooks

physical therapy cookbookLet’s get this point out of the way first – rehabilitation protocols are not designed to be complete cookbooks.  This is where a physical therapist can often become paralyzed by the protocols, thinking that they can’t do anything that isn’t specifically listed in the protocol.

Realistically, the purpose of a good rehabilitation protocol is to clearly define the goals, precautions, and timelines to gradually apply load to healing tissue.  These are designed based on our understanding of the basic science of the healing process.

There is a still a huge gray area between what you definitely SHOULD be doing and what you definitely SHOULD NOT be doing.

Think of this as your opportunity to customize your recipe and make your own sandwich.  You need to put bread on both sides, but what meat, cheese, and condiments you put between the slices of bread will depend on the patient, your training, and your experience.  You may have your own preferences, as will I.

I often do things that are not specifically listed in a protocol with my patients that I know are in alignment with the goals and precautions of the protocol.  A good example is working the soft tissue of the traps after rotator cuff repair or including core training in the early phases of ACL rehabilitation.  Just because they are not specifically included in the protocol, doesn’t mean you can’t perform them.

Rehabilitation protocols are the foundation of your program, which should be adjusted based on:

  • The unique goals of each person
  • The specific injury or surgery
  • Any concomitant injuries, which are common

 

Rehabilitation Protocols Are Guidelines Following Injury

A common misconception regarding protocols is that they are concrete rules, instead of guidelines.  All of the nonoperative rehabilitation protocols that we have produced over the years are intended to be a way of guiding you through the steps of returning a patient from an injury.

In fact, many don’t even have strict timelines associated with them, but rather phases with criteria to progress.  For example, here’s what some of the goals of each phases would be when rehabilitating a baseball player that has a Tommy John injury:

  • Phase 1: Facilitate healing, restore range of motion, develop baseline strength and proprioception
  • Phase 2: Maintain range of motion, maximize strength a dynamic stability
  • Phase 3: Gradually apply load to tissue, progress to sport-specific dynamic activities
  • Phase 4: Return to sport progression

Looking at the above phases, you can use these guidelines to determine what is and what is not appropriate for each phase.  This is where your personal preferences can come into play.  I like spicy mustard on my ham and cheese, you like yellow mustard.  I won’t judge.  They are both appropriate.

Postoperative is different, and we’ll discuss that more below, but for nonoperative this is how you should use a protocol.  For nonoperative injuries there are times that you may want to limit an exercise or activity for a certain amount of time, however more often than not, nonoperative rehabilitation protocols are used to divide the rehab sequence into manageable chunks.

 

Rehabilitation Protocols Are Needed Following Surgery

knee rehabilitation protocolOne area that I feel strongly about is the definitive need for rehabilitation protocols after surgery.  Rehabilitation protocols are very important components of postoperative physical therapy.  Certain standards of care following a surgery must be set and communicated to assure patients progress appropriately after surgery.

Many of these may be surgeon specific, meaning that certain doctors will want you to go faster or slower based on their experience.  As physical therapists, we must respect these guidelines from the operating surgeon.  They know their surgery and the inside of your patient better than you do.

After surgery, protocols are used to assure we protect, facilitate healing, and gradually applied load to the injured tissues.

Simply winging it and not following a protocol will give you the least likely chance that you return the person as quickly and safely as possible.  For example, you don’t want too much or too little shoulder range of motion at 6 weeks follow an anterior labral repair, both can be disadvantageous.  A well designed postoperative rehabilitation protocol will put the patient in the best position to succeed.

As a young clinician, it’s also hard to prioritize the precautions and restrictions of complicated patients.  For example, our rehabilitation protocols have 13 variations of rotator cuff repair protocols and 16 variations of ACL reconstruction protocols.  We change the guidelines based on several factors and concomitant injuries.  This is a must.

 

 

Is it Time to Finally Ditch Using Rehabilitation Protocols?

I really don’t think so, in fact, I am a huge believer in rehab protocols when used correctly.  I think it’s very shortsighted to dismiss protocols as being bad for our profession or something that we are above using.

However, a protocol simply gives you guidelines as to what you can and can NOT do.  What you “can” do is not restricted to what is within the protocol.  Think of them as guidelines to assure that you are not going too slow or too fast.  Realistically, a protocol does not list every treatment and exercise that should be included.  This is where your skill and experience comes into play.  You must determine what other interventions you can safely perform to help the patient, while assessing if that chosen intervention fits safely within the protocol restrictions.

We should not follow a rehabilitation protocol without thought, that is not “skilled” physical therapy.  However, we must appreciate the timelines often associated with the protocols and healing tissues.

The true expert clinician realizes this and combines the guidelines of a rehabilitation protocol with their vast experience and treatment preferences.

 

Want to Use My Protocols?

physical therapy rehabilitation protocolsIf you are interested in using the protocols that I have helped develop with Kevin Wilk and Dr. James Andrews, we have recently revised and expanded all of our protocols and made them completely online and downloadable.  Our protocols have been published in several journals over the years and based on our decades of research, scientific evidence, and experience.

They are the most widely used and respected rehabilitation protocols today.

Want to see what our protocols include?  You can download our 3 most popular protocols for FREE:

  • Accelerated rehabilitation following ACL reconstruction using a patellar tendon autograft
  • Rehabilitation following arthroscopic rotator cuff repair for a type II medium-large sized tear
  • Thrower’s ten exercise program

 

physical therapy rehabilitation protocols online accessThe entire collect of Wilk, Reinold, and Andrews physical therapy rehabilitation protocols includes over 175 nonoperative, preoperative, postoperative protocols for shoulder, elbow, hip, knee, foot, and ankle.  There are several variations of many protocols to account for many specific procedures and concomitant surgeries.  Plus, we have several of our exercise handouts and interval return to sport programs.

If you work in an outpatient orthopedic or sports medicine clinic, these protocols are an invaluable resource to help guide your treatment approach.

 

 

 

 

What the Top Fitness and Rehab Experts are Doing Differently This Year

At the end of each year, I love to reflect back on the year.  I look through my calendar and tasks lists to see all the things that I accomplished and then plan the upcoming year accordingly.  But in addition to this, one of the things I do each year is look back at what I have learned and what I am doing differently.

This is something I recommend everyone also perform.  If you can’t think of anything you are doing different, you aren’t growing.  Make that your priority for the upcoming year.

This year, I want to share a little bit about what I am doing differently, but more importantly, I decided to ask a bunch of my friends in the fitness and rehab industries the same question.

Notice the underlying themes below.  Plus, notice how many of the people you look up to and would consider “experts” have done so much growing this year.  If they are always pushing to learn and grow, you should be too.

Before we get into what they are doing, I have personally put a lot of emphasis on personal productivity.  We are putting together systems at Champion for almost every aspect of the company.  From the behind the scenes admin work to our actual clinical techniques.

There are two books that I read this year that I thought were outstanding and impactful:

  • Ego is the Enemy – This book blew me away and really made me re-think a lot of what I do.  “Ego” doesn’t have to be a negative thing, don’t take it that way, but prioritizing what you do in life by the outcome has been very helpful.  There are many things we do because of our egos, this book really helps.  I wish I read this book 20 years ago.  This is now something I tell all young people to read ASAP.
  • 15 Secrets Successful People Know About Time Management: The Productivity Habits of 7 Billionaires, 13 Olympic Athletes, 29 Straight-A Students, and 239 Entrepreneurs: I read a lot of productivity books and websites.  This book nailed it.  The advice given is some of the best I have ever read and in a quick and easy format.  If you want to make the most our of your year, start here.  People always ask me how I get so much done.  Besides just simply working hard, this book summarizes many of my techniques.

But more importantly, let’s hear from everyone else.  I simply emailed all these people with one easy question: “What are you doing differently this year?”  Their answers were outstanding.

Thanks to everyone that participated!

 

What the Top Fitness and Rehab Experts are Doing Differently This Year

Greg Robins

greg_robinsOn the training front, I am spending a lot more time having youth athletes build up a work capacity before writing more traditional programming for them. I have found that 3/4 kids I assess would most benefit from 30-40 min of glorified manual labor 3-4x per week.

With more specialization, more technology, more home work, etc., they never move.  Every day is the same. The kids are vastly ill prepared day 1 to see progress with basic weight lifting.

Furthermore, the last thing I want to introduce is more black and white structure. Move it, drag it, carry it, throw it, have fun.

Greg Robins

Strength Coach, Cressey Sports Performance


Dean Somerset

More semi-private training options compared to a couple of years ago. Many people don’t need me counting or correcting every single rep for them, especially if they’ve worked with me for a couple of years, plus the group dynamic tends to push people more than I ever could. Everyone is still working on their own individual program, but just in a group with me running the show.

Dean Somerset

Strength Coach, DeanSomerset.com

 


Tony Gentilcore

tony_gentilcoreNow that I’m on my own and officially a business owner, I’ve become more aware of what it really means to be client-centered and not coaching-centered. I’ve become better at not defaulting to my own biases.

It’s never about me. It’s about the client/athlete. What are their goals? And, does my programming reflect that? To be specific, something I have always been cognizant of, but am now much more aware of is the notion of respecting people’s differences; namely their anatomy.

No one has to deadlift with a straight bar from the floor. No one has to back squat or use a low-bar position or maintain a symmetrical stance. Everyone is different, with acetabulums pointing this way and that, femoral necks with different lengths and angulation, not to mention other things like femur and torso lengths.

Being more aware of not marrying myself to ONE way of doing anything because a textbook told me so has been a nice revelation on my end.

Tony Gentilcore

Strength Coach, CORE


Erson Religioso

erson_religiosoHere is what I’m doing different lately:

In the clinic

  • Using more isometrics and PNF to enhance movement patterns and in many cases restore pain free end range without the need for more complicated manual therapies. Also messing around with blood flow restriction training

Social Media

  • Posting regularly to instagram, one of the last social networks where all of your followers see all of your posts, very different than facebook’s “curated” timeline. Facebook’s reach is at an all time low and bottom line, it’s great for advertising, but not so great for organic reach. Also started a media company with some podcasts, Therapy Insiders, and short form Podcast, Untold Physio Stories. Lastly, my blog posts are A LOT shorter, mostly shorter videos, instead of 5-7 minute videos.

Learning

  • Listening to more podcasts, Health Fit Biz, #AskMikeReinold. Still using feedly to keep up with my regularly read blogs.

Business

Teaching

Erson Religioso

Physical Therapist, TheManualTherapist.com


Erwin Valencia

erwin_valenciaOnce described as “A Google Guy trapped in a Sports Medicine Body” by a fellow Major League Baseball Athletic Trainer, I’ve now added the word “Spiritual” to that phrase, as I began my third year in the NBA.

I’m grateful everyday for the opportunity to run my truly “whole-listic” platform here in New York, thanks to the unwavering support of my idol, my guru, and my team’s president, The Zen Master himself, Phil Jackson.

As an organization, we’ve been at the forefront of innovation in realm of Sports Science in the US for almost a decade, without needing public accolades or press to validate what we do. With that being a status quo for us, we’ve added other elements to our sports performance algorithm, this time enhancing more than just the 5 senses of each of our athletes, allowing them to truly be the best versions of themselves, Mind, Body, and Spirit.

Erwin Valencia

Director of Training and Conditioning, New York Knicks


Pete Dupuis

pete_dupuisI don’t know if I’d call it different, per se, but I’m getting back to my roots a little bit and scheduling routine “fitness tourism” so that I can have an ongoing feel for what’s working elsewhere. I tell almost every consulting client I work with to get out and see other facilities in action, but tend to forget that this information applies to me as well.

Just because CSP is attracting a ton of observational guests doesn’t mean that I can stop taking my own advice and seeing others do their thing.

Pete Dupuis

Co-Owner, Cressey Sports Performance


Ken Crenshaw

ken_crenshawWe have continued to evolve our understanding of PRI / DNS / FRC methods for muscle activation / inhibition based off individual assessment.  We have added in manual therapy options  (FDM-Fascial Distortion Method and FM-Fascial Manipulation per Stecco) to aide in finding balanced posture and movement.

We have been using Blood Flow Restriction units in extremity rehab which seems to have some good promise.

Tim Brown has given us some really nice options for using kinesiotaping to help function.

Our Performance staff has had the luxury of being in association with the ALTIS  training center in Phoenix, this has given us some great movement training.

One of our biggest pushes has been personal development / team development / communication. The Landmark Seminars for personal development have helped several of our staff members. Leadership development is always one of our foundations and the article link below may give some insight on our philosophy behind it.

http://pbats.com/the-culture-of-outstanding-leadership/

Ken Crenshaw

Head Athletic Trainer, Arizona Diamondbacks


Pat Rigsby

pat_rigsbyThis year what I’ve done differently…

  • I’ve spent my first full year in my ‘new’ business after selling my stake in a number of other ventures. During this time I’ve really narrowed my focus to ‘helping entrepreneurs build their ideal business’ rather than just helping people grow businesses. While it may not sound like much of a difference – it’s given me a lot of clarity on who I’m trying to serve and how I’m trying to serve them. From my perspective (and hopefully from the outside) it feels much more like being a specialist versus a generalist.
  • I’ve also enforced pretty rigid guardrails as far as my business is concerned, saying ‘no’ to more things that ever before. What I’ve come to find is that the more things that are a wrong fit that I say ‘no’ to, the more opportunities that seem ‘right’ tend to come my way. Whether it’s the length / amount of travel or the type of client I take on, selecting the right fit has actually caused me to be more creative in how I reach my professional goals – yielding really good results.
  • Along those same lines – I’ve narrow what I do to: coaching, connecting, creating, strategic planning and idea creation. Everything else gets outsourced to people who are better at those respective things. By rough estimate, I’ve spent about 85-90% of my professional time doing things I really enjoy – a much higher percentage than in any year previous.
  • From a tactical perspective, I’ve worked a lot on growing my platform. I’ve written one book and have two others that should be complete by March at the latest. I launched a podcast. I (continue to) email my audience daily. I’ve spoken at a few new events this year and done more varied  ‘list building stuff’ than in any year previous.
  • I added another layer to my coaching offerings – which grow the enrollment by about 75 clients while being a real success by any measure.
  • Finally – after kind of mailing it in from late March – mid July as far as work goes (working about 15 hours a week most weeks), I created what I called a 100 Day Sprint where I mapped out about a dozen pretty aggressive goals spanning every fact of my business from revenue growth to writing progress. I just wrapped it up on 11/4 and hit 11 of 12 goals…with many being exceeded by a significant margin. Now I’m going to turn the whole process into a course.

Pat Rigsby

Business Consultant, PatRigsby.com


Dave Tilley

dave_tilleyHere is what I have been doing a lot differently

  • On the clinical side, one thing I have been doing is playing devils advocate with myself a lot in regards to newer concepts/research. I saw in myself that that my pendulum was shining way too far between topics and just like many others I don’t want to get carried away. Finding the mid ground in contrasting areas like include “functional” approaches vs importance of isolation/basics, neurological vs biomechanical/histological approaches, set movement patterns vs motor variability, and so on. I find it really helps me map out my approach but also keeps me on my toes when reading new research. I’m spending a ton of time in hip micro instability research and treatment, so having this opposing sides view is really interesting to develop new ideas.
  • I have really been trying to build up my strength and conditioning knowledge and apply to my whole rehab approach. I have always felt decent in this area, but in working more with high level gymnasts/Olympic Weightlifters, I found that I was dropping the ball a bit for advanced rehab. I’ve been reading a ton of newer strength books and energy systems training research to get up to speed, but also approaching my rehabilitation through more formal strength and periodization models, even with the acute or post op patients.
  • More for myself, a lot more reading in personal development this year. Reading books like Ego is The Enemy, Legacy, and Extreme Leadership we eye opening to some personality flaws I didn’t even pick up in myself. Swallowing some tough pills was necessary, but ultimately I think it’s helping make my job and life better. Also has allowed me to make some really large positive changes in trying to change a sport so stubborn as gymnastics. Another personal note, I’ve also been way more disciplined about following my calendar weekly to stay on track.
  • Definitely writing a lot shorter, more concise blog posts for my company SHIFT Movement Science  I put out more content based articles less often, but make them full of relevant points and get right to the point. It’s been really helpful for me to deload but readers enjoy it much more. Moving more to educational products and items people can utilize to learn on their own vs my pumping out regular articles.

Dave Tilley

Physical Therapist, Champion PT and Performance


Dan Lorenz

dan_lorenzThings I’m Doing Differently:

  • Been inviting local physicians to our monthly journal clubs and “co-author” blogs on my website.  Has been a great addition and really surprised how many have expressed interest.  I had not done that previously.
  • Inviting more local physicians in to do inservices for my staff.  Surprised how many actually pull themselves away and want to do it.  Been great for education and interaction.  
  • I meet once a week w/ my clinicians that are 0-2 years out of PT school to review their cases.  Fridays, noon over lunch.  They go over struggles, the others put in their two cents, then I swoop in at the end and tell ’em they’re all full of s**t. Lol.  Just kidding, just help them round out their plans.  They rave about it and I know in the end, I “lose to win.”
  • Clinically – using BFR more, but I find I have more questions than answers.  Also using dry needling as an adjunct.
  • I have tried really hard to stop arguing with idiots on social media. After a while, it’s hard to tell the difference.
  • I have decided that I’m not that important.  My clinics will be fine.  So will my patients and they’ll find a way to see me.  I go in to work a little later to take my son to school and leave two days early to pick him up.  That matters way more than an extra visit or two.  
  • Agree w/ Pat Rigsby big time – taking stuff off my plate and saying “no” a little more often.  It’s a struggle because I have a tremendous passion for my profession, but have to make sure everything else doesn’t suffer.

Things I Wish I Did Differently:

  • Now that I’m not involved formally in pro and college sports like I used to, although I still see elite athletes, I don’t have all the cool toys so many of you get to use.  Sigh…maybe someday.  Love to tinker with innovative tech products. 

Things I Haven’t Changed a Bit:

  • Read a ton.  Research guides practice. I can’t get enough. I love this stuff.  
  • Engage with people that are on lists like this.  Seek people that have earned trust,  Seek people who walk the walk.  
  • Be an expert at the basics.  For all the fluff and different approaches, I make sure stuff is mobile, stable, and strong like freaking bull.  Everything else – power, reactive strength and speed – follows nicely.

Dan Lorenz

Physical Therapist, SSOR


Michael Boyle

michael_boyleMy first thought was ” I haven’t done much different”. However, after reading everyone’s responses I was moved to write.

Most of what I’m changing has already been alluded too

  • Giving more responsibility to my staff. My goal is to make myself non essential.
  • Putting more thought and energy into staff development. I have established this as my ” one thing” from a business standpoint.
  • Trying to work less and be a better dad and husband. This is a never ending battle.
  • Also learning to say no. I coach who I want to, when I want too. I refer a lot of speaking options to staff members.
  • Taking advice from Alistair McCaw and focusing on 20 minutes of thoughtfulness every day. Also a 20 min nap.

Michael Boyle

Strength Coach, Mike Boyle Strength and Conditioning


Wil Fleming

wil_flemingPrioritizing things. As a coach and business owner things can get out of whack.

For me the ranking is 1) family, 2) business, 3) coaching.

Family: Making sure I am raising my son the way I want to. He’s only 18 months old, but getting out everyday to play with him for at least an hour of completely undirected free play (per good LTAD guidelines), keeping the TV off at all times, and making sure that I spend each morning with him before hitting the gym. It also means being a better husband and spending equal time on developing that relationship as I do my business and coaching.

Business: Re-vamped our core values this year to reflect what I truly believe (they were outdated when my former business partner left). We are in the relationship business and I wanted the core values to reflect as much. Just updating these has been so impactful to my business.

Coaching: Getting better at programming, I am good at seeing complex movements and breaking them down. The question I asked myself this year was “am I applying these stresses in the most optimal way?” When the answer came up, maybe, then I decided I needed to look again at what we have been doing.

On that note, I have been trying to look at different sources for more knowledge on programming, less to the traditional guru’s and more towards people that are putting up results with similar populations. Do you have the best collegiate weightlifters? Then I’m going to look at what you’re doing. Do you produce really good high school baseball players? Then I’m going to look at what you’re doing. Surprise, surprise, these people don’t have the most instagram followers, because they are out there actually coaching people.

Wil Fleming

Strength Coach, Force Fitness


Regan Wong

regan_wongAs previously stated amongst the group, balancing being a father/husband with a successful career has been something to continue to work on. As a father of 3, it has been somewhat challenging for me to do so in the past but I have made it a priority this past year to do so. I will continue to work on it. One of this funniest activities I enjoy getting my kids into is rock climbing and tae kwon do. I have found great motor development patterns develop from the rock climbing and great kinesthetic awareness/balance/proprioception in all my kids…especially in my middle son who is deaf in one year and was just “clumsy”  as toddler.  Great to see the confidence and single limb balance develop from his martial arts.

At work, I have identified and trained 2 staff clinicians to take on more managerial roles so that I didn’t have to feel like I had to be in the place 12 hours a day and be afraid the clinic would fall apart. Working on implementing the culture and systems in place to have the business run while the head guy wasn’t on the floor was a strategy to allow professional growth amongst select staff and allow me more time to spend with family etc. It also allows us to identify leaders in our clinic to eventually open and run satellite clinics when we are ready to do so from a business prospective.

I have taken the time professionally to learn the ins/outs of running a Motion Analysis lab for our pitcher biomechanical analysis to give me more of an understanding of the whole process, interpretation of the data, and provide feedback to the pitchers and coaches. Baseball medicine is always evolving as we try to tackle and decrease the pitcher injuries of the elbow/shoulder. I am currently doing research between simple balance and core tests using the LevelBelt app and comparing to the biomechanical data of the lab on pitchers that have come through the lab.

I have used the KAATSU blood flow restriction training and have seen some pretty good results with regaining quad strength and hypertrophy in post-op conditions that were limited weight bearing for initial 6 weeks post-op. Seems to be promising.

Regan Wong

Physical Therapist, TMI


Jon Goodman

jon_goodmanMy business has achieved monumental growth this year and it came as the result of an unlikely reason: I relinquished control. This year I became more comfortable establishing systems, operations, and guidelines for operating aspects of my business and handing off those elements to skilled members of the team in full trust. Instead of working in my business every day, I spend all of my time visualizing how I want it to grow and finding the people, developing the systems, and setting the wheels in motion to make it happen. As a business, my team and I have grown faster, built better stuff, made more, impacted more, and had more fun all at the same time.

Jon Goodman

Owner, ThePTDC.com


Patrick Ward

patrick_wardI think what I have been trying to do differently — mainly over the past several years, really — is attempting to use mathematics and statistics to understand some of the processes that we go through with our athletes. This could from a training, rehabilitation, or performance standpoint.

There are lots of approaches out there that people take but understanding how they work, what is meaningful, what types of changes/improvements are actually real versus random biological variation, etc. That is really the challenging part. At the end of the day, we deal with people’s health and my thoughts over the past several years have been towards trying to understand if what we are doing is truly making an impact and what the magnitude of that impact is.

Patrick Ward

Strength Coach, Optimum Sports Performance


Lenny Macrina

lenny_macrinaI’m working on time management…calendar reminders to plan my life have helped guide my ‘to do’ list despite a 9 month old that has little routine

Learning the basics of powerlifting and olympic lifting. It’s a new world but an important one to understand for the clients that we see.

Trying to enjoy family life and dedicate time to baby/wife.

Continue to improve my stock buying/selling strategies and not always going for the ‘big one’ that will give a big pop… being slightly more conservative despite the fun of the big hit!

Easy to get complacent after 12+ years of being a PT…trying to fight that complacency and stay engaged.

Lenny Macrina

Co-Owner, Champion PT and Performance


Charlie Weingroff

charlie_weingroffThings I am doing differently:

  • Always trying to understand the psychology of “what motivates a man” and understanding why others do what they do, particularly using methods and techniques that are incomplete and inferior to best practice.
  • Reconciling buckets of techniques based on their earnest physiology and neurology.
  • Reverse engineering thought process of successful individuals.
  • Continuing to find common targets of physiology and neurology that link the methods that are typically classified as training and/or rehabilitation.
  • Developing scalability of methodology allowing clinicians to maintain their individuality using models that have already proven to be successful
  • Studying links of the 5 W’s of athletic performance across long-term time frame

Charlie Weingroff

Physical Therapist, Drive 495


Jeff Blum

jeff_blumOne thing I’ve been trying to do is take as much time with my kids as possible. They are getting older fast (or so it seems) and so am I.

Trying to make sure that I spend time with my wife in what she wants to do.

From a professional standpoint, we’ve been increasing our knowledge about the neuro aspects of the body and the best ways to effect it. Affecting fascia, Parasymp/symp, central nervous system, peripheral nervous system.

Using blood flow restriction training (KAATSU), US imaging, cryochamber, hyperbaric chamber. Looking into neuro “priming” for our rehab (Halo Neuroscience).

Trying to make a concerted effort to really start to grasp volume for our players. Sleep, nutrition, exercise, stress, hydration, and its cumulative effects.

Every once in awhile, just pulling back and making sure we are still looking at the basics and not getting to wrapped up in the “new” gadgets. Making sure we are looking at how the whole body is moving, if the joint is supposed to be more mobility or stability, fascial lines and how they are moving, etc…

Jeff Blum

Director of Rehabilitation, Kansas City Royals

What Are You Doing Differently?

Lets keep it rolling, reply below and comment on what you are doing differently.  I’d love to hear, I’m always looking for new ways to grow!

 

 

The Best Fitness and Rehab Podcasts: My Favorite New Way to Learn

It took me some time, but I can finally say I’m hooked on podcasts and I think they are a great way for fitness and rehab specialists to learn.  I’ve spent the last few months slowly developing this opinion and must admit, up until recently, I simply didn’t “get it” with podcasts.

I thought podcasts weren’t for me or my preferred style of learning.  But what I didn’t realize is that I was doing it all wrong!  I wanted to share with you some tips that I picked up to really get the most out of podcasts because I really do think they are a great way to learn.

 

Step 1: Podcast Player 

To get the most out of podcasts, step 1 is to find a great podcast player.  I think the primary reason why I originally hated podcasts was iTunes.  Wow, iTunes stinks for podcasts!  The software is bloated, slow, and glitchy.  (I don’t get why I click the “subscribe” button and nothing happens 50% of the time!).  I’m not even sure if this is a function, but I could also never get my podcasts in iTunes on my Mac to sync well with my iPhone.Pocket casts logo

I tried multiple times the last few years to get into podcasts and I really do think iTunes is the reason I always stopped.

So I started to search for better apps.  My criteria was simple, I wanted an app that was easy to find, listen, and sync podcasts on my laptop and phone.  

There are a bunch out there, and I tried a few.  By far my favorite podcast app is Pocket Casts, and it’s the one I recommend to everyone.  It’s not free.  That was probably why I kept trying to use iTunes as I just didn’t see the rationale to pay for a podcast player when there is a built in app.  

But trust me, the app is so pleasant to use, it makes learning from podcasts so much better.  I believe using Pocket Casts over iTunes was the primary reason I started enjoying podcasts!  It is easy to find podcasts, sync with my laptop, play at faster speeds, star podcasts to come back to later, and even download for when I am away from wifi.

It has a web app and mobile apps:

Fig_2_-_pocket_cast_apps

 

Step 2: Audio System to Play 

The next step that I found to get the most out of podcasts is to figure where and how I was going to listen to them.

Another big reason why I think I couldn’t get into podcasts in the past was because I was trying to listen to them off my laptop at my desk.  This is fine, but when I’m at my desk, I’m working.  My brain is thinking about something and the podcast becomes background noise.

So I started listening to podcasts in the car.  If you don’t have a cable or bluetooth to connect your phone to your car audio, find one now!  For those that commute with public transportation, this seems like a no brainer, I just don’t so I can’t comment.

But you’ll never guess where my favorite place is to listen to podcasts???  The shower!  Now when I am getting ready for the day, I listen to a podcast or two.  It’s been great as I love to think in the shower.

bluetooth podcast speakerI got this really cheap but awesome bluetooth and waterproof speaker for the shower from Amazon, It has a suction cup and a clip that you can use:

My next favorite place to listen to podcasts is during my morning conditioning.  I still need loud music to lift weights, but podcasts during my conditioning have been a great way to learn and pass the time during intervals!

 

Step 3: Subscribe to the Right Podcasts

Ok, great.  We have a podcast player and we bought our waterproof speaker…  What podcasts should you try?

This was another big reason why I stopped listening to podcasts – I kept trying the wrong types of podcasts for me.  Everyone has different tastes and interests, but formatting of a show was also important to me.

The podcasts that are 60+ minutes are just way too much for me.  I don’t have the time for this long of a podcast.  I much prefer quick 10-15 minute podcasts that give me a burst of knowledge or tips that make me think.  Listening to a 60-90 minute conversation is great if you have time, but more entertainment in my mind than educational.  I’m also not as much of a fan of interview-based podcasts.  I listen to many like this, but much prefer an educational podcast from someone I want to learn more from instead.

That’s why when we started our podcast, I wanted it to be short and filled with knowledge.  That’s why we chose the format of answering your questions instead of telling you what I want to say.  I want to hear what you want to learn!

I recommend you start off with a small group of podcasts and see which ones you like and what types of formats you prefer.  Here is just a small group of podcasts that I subscribe to and I would recommend (comment and let me know your 1-3 top picks too, I’m always looking for more).  There are so many that I could recommend but want you to start small.  Search for these in Pocket Casts (or whatever podcast player you try):

 

My Favorite Rehab Podcasts

  • The Ask Mike Reinold Show – How could I not recommend my own show!  I join my team at Champion to answer your questions.
  • Therapy Insiders – A nice podcast led by Gene Shirokobrod, Joe Palmer and Erson Religioso.  They feature a lot of great interviews and provide of ton of insight themselves.ask mike reinold show
  • Healthy, Wealthy, and Smart – A podcast from Karen Litzy featuring a variety of interviews.
  • PT Inquest – A weekly podcast from Erik Meira and J.W. Matheson that reviews recent journal articles.

 

My Favorite Strength and Fitness Podcasts

  • Strength Coach Podcast – Mike Boyle’s StrengthCoach.com podcast.  Has great interviews with Mike but also content from the Cosgrove’s and EXOS, so always top notch, though I think the episodes are often too long.
  • The Movement Fix – Ryan DeBell’s podcast discussing, well…  How to fix movement.
  • The Physical Preparation Podcast – Mike Robertson’s podcast featuring awesome interviews.
  • The Industrial Strength Show – Joe DeFranco’s podcast and one of my favorites as it combines great interviews with excellent content.
  • The Fitcast – Kevin Larrabee’s long running fitness and nutrition podcast.

 

My Favorite Personal Development Podcasts

  • Asian Efficiency – I’m a productivity enthusiast, these guys have really influenced my workflow and systems.
  • The Ask Gary Vee Show – Not many better than Gary Vaynerchuk.  He shares his business advice with us by answering questions.  The model for what we built with the Ask Mike Reinold Show.
  • The Owner’s Mind – Chris Brogan helps you build your business and personal leadership skills.

 

I know I am a bit behind to the party but I am happy that I finally made it!  Learn from my mistakes and follow these three steps to start exploring the world of podcasts.   

I wanted to keep my recommendations of podcasts short, there are many more.  I want to hear from you, though, comment below and let me know your 1-3 favorite podcasts!

And don’t forget, click here to view all our past podcasts, subscribe, and ask us a question for the Ask Mike Reinold Show! 

 

 

3 Systems You Need to Have in Place to Be an Elite Strength Coach

Systems.  That’s a word I say VERY frequently throughout the day at Champion PT and Performance.  Our center revolves around systems.

The two biggest mistakes I see with new personal trainers and strength coaches are very simple:

  • They don’t have a plan
  • They don’t have a system of developing a plan

One of my biggest pet peeves in this industry is just slapping together a bunch of exercises without a solid rationale.  This often happens when you pick the exercise first.  Maybe you just went to a new continuing education course and learned a new exercise, or you just read a new article on the web, or saw an exciting new exercise on Youtube.  You’re excited and want to try this shiny new exercise.

The second phase of our coaching evolution often revolves around understanding the fact that it’s better to build a solid program first, then fill in the exercises second.

That’s great, you’re evolving.  But…  my second biggest pet peeve is writing programs month-to-month.  I use the phrase “start with the end in mind” quite often when it comes to program design.  Most of our clients have clear goals that we should be prioritizing when designing their program.

If their season starts in 4-months, or their wedding is in 12-weeks, to achieve the best results we should assure the program is designed to peak and maximize their performance at the perfect time.  You can’t do this when writing programs month-to-month.  You need to have the program mapped out ahead of time.  Sure, you’ll probably tweak the program a few times as the client progresses, that’s the art of coaching, but it’s always better to start with the end in mind.

 

3 Systems You Need to Have in Place to Be an Elite Strength Coach

I really think that if you want to become an elite strength coach or personal trainer (or heck, physical therapist…), you need to have a few systems in place.  It really all comes down to developing systems to allow you to quickly and easily provide your expertise in a consistent and reliable fashion.

 

You Need to Have a Program Design System

Program design systemWhen we are just starting out in this field, program design is one of the most challenging aspects your job.  It’s because you don’t have a system in place and try to re-create the wheel each and every time you write someone a program.

It’s daunting,

You don’t need to sit down and start from scratch with each and every client.  You need a program design system to accomplishes the goals you’ve established and style of training you provide.

 

You Need to Have a Periodization System

Periodization SystemOnce you understand how to design a program, the next system to master is how to string together multiple programs.  This is essentially periodization.

Again, you don’t need to get fancy and mix this up for each and every client.  I’ve overview a a little bit of my periodization system for strength and rehabilitation in an Inner Circle webinar.

There are periodization schemes that fit well with specific goals and specific clients.  Developing a system of categorizing all this is the next step in becoming an elite coach.

 

You Need to Have a Coaching System

Assessing overhead shoulder mobilityLastly, it doesn’t matter how good of a program you can write, or how well you periodize the program, your results are going to suffer if you don’t know how to coach.

The third system that I think you need to reach that elite level is a coaching system.  This involves developing a consistent approach to cueing, analyzing technique, making adjustments, progressing and regressing exercises on the fly, and connecting with you clients in general.

Just like anything else, this can be a system as well.

 

How to Develop Your Own Systems

Systems take time and experience to develop.  This is natural.  But finding an excellent mentor and always seeking out continuing education is a great step.  You have to find what works for you.

I’ve learned so much from some of the experts in the field by studying their systems.  I am always assessing how other people do things and trying to determine which aspects of their system I can adopt and integrate into what I am currently doing myself.

Alwyn Cosgrove has done a great job outlining his systems in his educational work.  Mike Boyle has as well.  But the person that I can say I have probably learned the most from over the years is Mike Robertson.  As my readers know, I really connect to Mike’s style of coaching, ability to teach information, and his focus on developing his own systems.

 

Physical Preparation 101

physical preparation 101Luckily for us, Mike has just released his latest DVD which completely overviews his program design and coaching systems.  And when I say “completely overviews,” I mean it!  Mike has just release Physical Preparation 101, a whopping 12-DVD set that discussing exactly how Mike has built his systems.

I watched almost all of the 12 DVDs over the weekend and can say that if you don’t currently have a system in place, this is the resource you should invest in to begin developing your system.

The program is $100 off this week for the launch and a must have for all of our educational libraries.  Click below to save $100: