VooDoo Floss Compression Bands : Say bye-bye to aches & pains AND say hello to super-fast workout recovery

Every year, we spend approximately a bazillion dollars on all manner of treatments for pain in our necks, backs, feet, shoulders, etc.

Sadly, most of that pain is due to inactivity, poor posture, sitting too long in front of tvs & computer screens, poor training form, etc.

If only there was a way to quickly and inexpensively eliminate those aches and pains?

VooDoo Floss Bands

Way back in 2011, I saw the following Youtube video (with Dr. Kelly Starrett and uber-strong man Donny Thompson) highlighting the use of DISTRACTION and COMPRESSION to help repair shoulder dysfunction…which I happened to be suffering from at the time.

The very next day, I…

  1. Ordered a pair of compression bands, and
  2. Started rehabbing my bad shoulder with the distraction technique.

After 6 days…

  1. My shoulder felt a LOT more stable and was noticeably less painful. I had also resumed resistance training with my focus on rehab.
  2. The compression bands arrived in the mail.

After 2 days of compression & distraction rehab…I was able to press an 80 lb dumbbell overhead with ZERO pain in my formerly-bad shoulder.

In another week, my shoulder felt better than it had in a long, long, long time.

In the 5 years since then…Crossfit exploded in popularity…helping Dr. Starrett become THE mobility  & athletic performance guru…and compression bands became very popular amongst weightlifters, crossfitters, powerlifters AND physiotherapists.

Fast forward to today…and it’s just about time for compression bands (and associated rehabilitation techniques like Donnie Thompson’s distraction technique) to enter the mainstream.

Instead of spending big bucks on massage, chiropractic, physiotherapy, acupuncture, etc, it’s time for “normal” people to take advantage of this amazing rehab technique and…

For $65, you will be getting the knowledge and the gear required to keep your joints healthy, strong and pain-free.

And if you don’t want to drop the extra $$$ on Kelly’s book, I have sourced the best “how-to-use-compression bands-to-fix-my-busted-up-body” videos from the Youtubes. They are organized by joint/bodypart.

Note: If you follow the above links (and make a purchase), Rogue fitness will give me 5% of the purchase price as a finder’s fee. It won’t cost you any extra and the dough will go straight into my daughter’s education fund.

If you have any questions about the rehab techniques, feel free to hit me up on Twitter or Facebook

Wrist / Forearms

Elbow

 

Shoulder

 

 

Hip / Thigh

Knee

 

Calves

Ankle

Feet

 

 

Train Smarter : Movements v.s. Muscles

Over the course of history, humans have evolved from single-cell organisms into the multi-cellular complex beings we are today.

In our current form, we are a collection of cells, neurons, hormones, enzymes, bones, muscles that all work together like a super-efficient mega corporation. 

And just how does this relate to working out?

It relates if you are still training like a bodybuilder from 1977

screen-shot-2015-06-23-at-11-59-36-am

Because if your workouts are focused on muscles instead of movements, you are making a big, big, big mistake.

Just like all those cells that came together to become a liver that filters waste products that would quickly build up and kill the entire organism, your muscles weren’t designed to work in isolation.

Even in that most muscle-centric of exercises – the bicep curl – your biceps need your triceps and core muscles and leg muscles and deltoids to pitch in and stabilize

The same holds true for all weightlifting exercises…no muscles ever work in isolation.

Trying to force them to work that way goes against how they are supposed to work.

Think about it…when you walk or run or sprint, you never focus on individual muscles or muscle groups. Instead, your brain sends out the signal to all involved muscles that it’s time to work together and get running.

To that end, one of the best things you can do to improve the efficiency of your resistance training workouts is to stop thinking about muscles and start thinking about movements

Here is a list of the “basic” movements that will serve as a framework for your new movement-based workout program.

  • Push Vertical
  • Push Horizontal
  • Pull Vertical
  • Pull Horizontal
  • Squat
  • Hip Hinge
  • Walk
  • Run
  • Sprint

That’s it for today.

Over the next few days & weeks, I will explain these movements fully and provide exercise examples and teach you how to put them together in a complete training program.


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3 Pieces of Fantastic Fitness Equipment

I am a giant fitness geek. This means that when I see a new piece of fitness equipment…I want to buy it.

  • Unfortunately, a lot of fitness equipment sucks…case in point – the Ab Circle Pro.

Fortunately, there are a few pieces of fantastic fitness equipment that are worth the money. Here are three of them:

1.  The Hammer Head Anchor Gym

In my humble opinion, the Hammer Head anchor gym is a truly fantastic piece of fitness equipment that should be in every home gym.

  • I use it for strength training
  • I use it for flexibility training
  • I use it for mobility training
  • I use it for energy system training
  • It takes up almost zero space
  • It’s cost effective
  • And it’s safe

For years and years and years, I have used a set of high quality resistance bands with all of my clients. They are portable, never break, are versatile and allow me to do just about everything that I can do in a full commercial gym without turning my client’s rec room into a health club. The only requirement that I need from my clients is something solid to attach the bands to…usually a piece of cardio equipment – treadmill, bike, elliptical, etc… It isn’t the perfect set-up for resistance-band strength training, but
it was okay until…

…I got my hands on the Hammer Head anchor gym. The multiple attachment points have allowed me to get way more creative with my selection of exercises. For example, earlier today…

  • I had a client perform a circuit involving a standing two-arm chest press…with the added resistance of a resistance band looped around her waist.
  • In addition to the work being performed by her chest, triceps & front delts, she was also stressing her core muscles as well as stabilizers in her ankles & hips as she resisted being pulled backwards by the band around her waist.
  • As soon as she finished the chest press set, I had her jump immediately into a set of shuffle lunges with the added resistance of the band looped around her waist.

hammerhead h2 home gym strength bands fitness health

For less than $200, they now have a home gym with a lifetime guarantee that takes up zero floor space.

Love it, love it. love it.

Next PageThe Glasstic Water Bottle….

3 Pieces of Fitness Gear that You Need to Buy Right Now!!!!

Back in the olden days, human beings performed manual labor every day. They walked, ran, lifted, carried, dragged, pulled and pushed. Today, most of us spend our days sitting, typing, reading, talking and googling.

As a result, modern humans are fatter, weaker and sicklier than our ancestors. And while some of us are okay with this side-effect of our modern society, a growing percentage of the population isn’t. After leaving their physically inactive jobs for the day, they head over to the gym and spend a big chunk of their free time trying to get stronger, leaner and healthier.

Unfortunately, most of those people start their fitness journey with no idea how they should go about getting stronger, leaner and healthier…and thus fall prey to the marketing promises of the fitness / weight loss industry….a multi-billion dollar business sector that relies on hype and promises…pumping hundreds of new books, dvds, pills, potions and pieces of fitness gear onto the market every year…promising amazing physical transformations…

fat-to-fitt

…and unfortunately, most of this fitness gear is crap.

Luckily for us, amongst all that health & fitness detrius, there are always a few products that…

  • Do what they promise
  • Are worth much more than their purchase price
  • Deserve all the social media love that we can shower upon them.

Here are three of those products

1.  GLOBE GRIPZ

globe grips grip strength

For my personal training clients, Globe Gripz do two important things.

  1. They makes their hands stronger..which allows them to make the rest of their body stronger.
  2. They magically eliminate shoulder joint impingements…eliminating pain, preventing injury and allowing us to reverse decades-old structural issues.

How?

  1. The increased diameter of the Globe Gripz forces your hands to work harder to hold onto the implement – dumbbell, barbell, kettlebells, band, chin-up bar, etc. The increased workload leads to increased muscular strength in forearm, hand, finger strength.
  2. The baseball shape of the Globe Gripz allows my clients to use a neutral grip (see middle image) which reduces the strain, impingement and chance of injury on their elbow and shoulder joints.

It’s a really simple piece of fitness equipment and for less than the price of a single physical therapy session, I have seen my single pair of Globe Gripz help a whole bunch of clients get rid of sore shoulders while make significant gains in grip and overall upper-body strength. They’re a must-buy.

2. BECOMING A SUPPLE LEOPARD

For the past 27 years, I have lifted heavy things, sprinted up hills, jumped over obstacles and bashed into trees, fences and other human beings. And as a result of my somewhat insane behaviour, I have developed more than a few aches and pains. And up until about two years ago, I spent a fair amount of cash on physical therapists, osteopaths, chiropractors, massage therapists, etc, to help minimize those aches and pains.

But since I discovered Kelly Starrett and his MobilityWOD videos, I spend a lot more time fixing my own aches and pains and a lot less money having someone else to do it for me.

Imagine my surprise when I heard rumours that Kelly was working on a book that would take all that video goodness and re-assemble it into book form…complete with an index chapters dedicated to specific injuries/treatments along with step-by-step pictures showing how to perform all of his painful yet awesome rehabilitation exercises.

I was totally geeked. Unfortunately, those rumours started about a year ago and the book was only released on April 23.

Since April 23, I have read the book at least 10 times. Seriously.

If you have aches and pains..or if you exercise on a regular basis..or if you are aging like the rest of us..or you want to be fitter/healthier..or you know someone who fits this description…

BUY THIS BOOK  and save a TON of money on physio, chiropractic, acupuncture, etc….

3. YOGA TUNE UP

yoga-tune-up

Jill Miller and her Yoga Tune Up program was introduced to me when Kelly Starrett  featured her in a few of his MobilityWOD videos. In particular, it was this video on diaphragm mechanics that really captured my attention.

Such a simple movement…with a truly powerful impact on the type of aches and pains that sitting in a chair inflicts upon all of us.

After seeing this video, I contacted Jill via Twitter and asked if she would be willing to send me a bunch of Yoga Tune Up stuff with the promise that if I loved it, I would write up a review article. She said yes…and sent me a bunch of videos and therapy balls. And for the past month or so, I have been beta-testing the videos.

The verdict?

Everyone who has tried these videos more than three times has raved about them…me included. And this is coming from a guy who hates, hates, hates yoga classes.

        

Jill’s program is a weird and wonderful combination of yoga, calisthenics, corrective exercise, movement techniques and body therapy….designed to repair damaged muscle tissue, increase overall strength, create balance, increase flexibility, improve coordination, reduce stress and bolster the immune system.

And while I can’t comment on the immune system boosting, I sure as heck can confirm that doing Jill’s dvds 3 x per week will loosen up your knots, reduce that pain in your neck/back and have you moving, standing and sitting in weirdly graceful manner. I will continue to use her dvds and therapy balls and have recommended them to all of my clients.

Like Kelly Starrett and the folks at Globe Gripz, Jill has put together a unique program that produces massive results with a minimal time and financial commitment…..unlike all of those D-Bags who sell crappy fitness gear on late-night infomercials.

Natural Headache Remedy

There are many different types of headaches and many different methods of treating each type.

Here’s the natural headache remedy that works well for me:

  • Slap an ice pack across your forehead and/or sinuses. I use the Head Coolie.
  • Apply a hot compress to the back of your neck. I alternate between using one of those bean-bag style of hot-compresses and an old hot-water bottle I got from my Grandma.

hot-compress-neck

  • Lay down, close your eyes and work these acupressure point for headaches

I hope this helps 🙂

Training Around A Chronic Injury

When I was a young(er) man, I played sports just about every day…hit the weight room just about every day…went running just about every day…and felt great all the time. Even after having reconstructive surgery on both knees (thank you football), I was right back at it…eventually getting strong enough to squat 760 lbs and fit enough to go running with the gazelles.

Fast forward to today…and I am constantly modifying workouts to help me and my clients…

  1. Get as fit as possible…
  2. While training around a variety of chronic injuries.

For example, this morning, I was chatting with someone on Twitter who tore their hip labrum back in 2009 and is now dealing with grade 4 arthritis in the joint…OUCH.

hip-labrum

 

They were wondering how they would be able to keep up their squat workouts…and not be in excruciating pain from their chronic injury.

Here’s my advice:

  • Find the best orthopedist / physio that you can and make sure that the joint is healthy. Dealing with the arthritis is bad enough without worrying about re-tearing the labrum.
  • Noteher labrum is fine…but if it wasn’t, we would need to focus exclusively on maximizing hip range of motion while improving hip strength and stability. I would work with her physio to specify which exercise movements work best with her specific injury.
  • Since the labrum is in good shape, we don’t need to focus on specific rehab exercises, however I still want her to focus her leg training on minimizing the impact of her chronic injury by improving…
  1. Range of motion – with daily muscle flexibility (stretching) & joint mobility (myo-fascial work)
  2. Hip strength –  by using a variety of hip extension exercises based on Bret Contrera’s hip thrust model.

NOTE: The 2-legged barbell version is not the only way to perform this movement – if we use 1 leg instead of 2, we introduce all sorts of instability to the working hip and challenge it from all sorts of new angles…very effective. We can also perform this exercise standing using a cable stack or heaving rubber-strength band as resistance. This version of the movement brings increased focus on the core and helps improve hip function for squats, lunges, etc…

As her hip became stronger, I would re-introduce squatting while teaching her how to modify her squatting form to shift the load from hips to knees and vice versa. We would do a variety of different squat versions to generate a more thorough development of the muscles around her hips. Odds are her good hip is significantly stronger & more muscular than her damaged hip. We want to minimize that difference asap.

What does this have to do with you???

We all get older. And as we get older, almost unnoticeable acute injuries from our youth often reappear as chronic injuries. And while this fact of life sucks big-time, it’s something we’re going to have to deal with…whether we want to or not.

And like our friend with the torn labrum, you’re going to need to put on your thinking cap and start looking for ways to keep minor aches and pains from becoming major aches and pains.

Train smarter…not harder.

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Say Bye Bye to Sore Muscles

As a personal trainer, keeping my clients pain-free is very, very, very important.

In addition to muscular pain brought on by sitting in front of a computer, talking on the phone, watching tv, etc… weight-training clients are prone to muscular tension as part of the natural workout recovery pathways.

Because of this, I am constantly trying out new methods of preventing stiff and sore muscles

  • Therapy Rollers
  • Electronic Muscle Stimulators
  • Manual & Electrical Massagers
  • Creams
  • Mineral Bath Soaks
  • And all sorts of different physical therapists
And my all-time favorite (as of Sept 2012) are these beauties…
1. The Adjustable MyoRoller
The Myo Roller

2. and the TPRPal….

Trigger Point Release Pal

… from MyoTools.

Incredibly simple… and incredibly smart.

For example, when I am trying to loosen up sore muscles in my back, I position the two closed cell foam balls of the Myo Roller so that they are on either side of my spine…focusing all the force onto the paraspinal muscles themselves. Foam rollers can’t do this. Lacrosse balls can’t do this. Back knobbers can’t do this.

And when I want to roll out my tight IT bands, I push the two balls together to provide a wider rolling surface. Instant foam roller.

It’s also brilliant for loosening up the sub-occiptital neck muscles that are responsible for a majority of tension headaches.

LOVE IT, LOVE IT, LOVE IT!!!

Regarding the TPR Pal, I use it to…

  • work into all the little nooks and crannies in my upper back as well as…
  • using it to break up myofascial knots in my upper pecs
  • I also use it on the soles of my feet to prevent plantar fasciitis

But my favorite use for the TPR Pal is when my wife uses it to give me a massage. Holding the foam side in her hand, she can use the wooden knob to press deep into the muscle tissue without putting any force on her fingers/thumbs. A quick 5 minute massage turns into an awesome 30 minute knot-busting massage session

And when you consider that the Roller costs $20 and 4 TPR Pals (diff size knobs) cost $15, it really is a no-brainer.

Note – As a small-business person, I love the fact that all of these tools are made by hand by the owner of the company…just as soon as you place your order.

He also has a bunch of other cool therapy tools and I am going to place an order for Myo-Vise Body Clamp soon.

3 completely badass fitness products that you’re GONNA buy…or else.

Alright….maybe badass isn’t the appropriate description for these products.

None of them are going to smack you around for being a pair of idiot skinheads starting trouble on a public bus.

But they will help you :

  • make your feet work better
  • reduce associated pain
  • pack on muscle faster than cheap internet steroids

Correct Toes

Dr. Ray McClanahan (podiatric physician) believes that the best way to treat most foot problems is by allowing the foot to function exactly as nature intended. Unfortunately, the shoes you are wearing right probably don’t do that. This realization is why so many people are giving barefoot / minimalist shoes a try. Unfortunately, if you have been wearing “normal” shoes for most of your life, switching to a barefoot shoe isn’t going to fix your feet.

This is where the Correct Toes spacer can help. They are designed to spread your toes into their natural and correct position…improving “proprioception, which then allows the brain to better promote balance and optimal muscle function”.

Paired with a quality pair of barefoot / minimalist shoes, Correct Toes returns your foot to its natural state, treating most foot problems, and by extension, many musculoskeletal problems.

Sidewalk Surfers from Sanuk

There is no point in buying the Correct Toes spacer and fixing your gnarly old feet if you’re going to keep shoving them into a pair of “normal” shoes and scrunching them together like some masochistic Chinese foot binding experiment. What you need to do is buy a pair (or two) of barefoot / minimalist shoes that allow your feet to move as they were originally intended.

And that’s one of the reasons why I have been wearing a pair of Sanuk Chibas all summer long.

Some of the other reasons are…

  1. they are comfortable as heck,
  2. can be worn on the beach AND with casual clothes,
  3. they look pretty darn good
  4. and they come with an antimicrobial additive…meaning they won’t stink after hours and hours of barefoot wear.

SizeOn

skinny exercise weightlifterA few months back, I started working with two different 40+ year old clients who wanted to add some muscle to their “slender” physiques. In addition to a complete restructuring of their diets and an introduction to a truly nasty training program, I put them both on Gaspari Nutrition’s SizeOn product.

Instead of taking a bunch of different products, I wanted one supplement that would service their workout endurance demands as well as help them pack some meat on their hardgainer bodies. And SizeOn turned out to work perfectly.

Both clients had already started gaining muscle with SizeOn, but when we added it into the mix, things really took off.

  • Both gained significant muscle mass
  • Subject #1 gained 14 lbs of muscles while losing 7 lbs of fat
  • Subject #2 gained 11 lbs of muscle while losing 22 lbs of fat.

Pretty significant transformations…especially when you consider that both of these guys were both ectomorphs and lifelong hard-gainers.

I can’t say enough about this product – Great Stuff!!! – Here are the ingredients if you want to check it out.

Iyashi Rock Bathing = Ultimate Relaxation

  • Your life is busy
  • Your life is hectic
  • Your life is stressful

Your life needs the kind of ultra-relaxation that only a Japanese Ganbanyoku (rock bathing) spa can provide.

And lucky for me, Toronto is blessed with an authentic  rock bathing spa – the Iyashi  Bedrock Spa. And on days when I am feeling that life has kicked me around a little bit, I book a rock bathing session and let all of my stress melt away.

What is Rock Bathing?

[box type=”info”]Originating from Thailand, Rock Bathing – uses a special stone, called Black Silica, to heat your body from the inside out. These black silica stones are unique in that they naturally release Far Infrared Rays (FIR) and Negative Ions to help the body perspire and “detoxify” and are found in only one mountain in Hokkaido Japan. Unlike regular saunas, the silica rock beds that you lie on are kept between 42° to 44° C with the humidity at about 60%, providing for a comfortable temperature that is incredibly soothing and relaxing. Other clients have referred to it as being in a “Rain Forest”.[/box]

And while I can’t verify the validity of the health claims associated with Ganbanyoku, I can tell you that you WILL:

  • Sweat a LOT
  • Feel more relaxed than you have ever felt
  • Feel amazing for hours after the session – my skin tingles for a few hours…weird but pleasureable

I have also spoken with other clients who claim that weekly rock bathing sessions have dramatically improved their symptoms of arthritis, allergies and fibromyalgia.

[box type=”info”]Rock Bathing is nothing like a regular sauna or steam bath. One of the first things you will notice is your sweat – you will sweat a LOT – but there is no odour, saltiness or stickiness to it. And if you take the opportunity to stretch or do some yoga poses during your session, you will find that your muscles are unbelievably supple and receptive to stretching.[/box]

Note – As with all my reviews, I only tell you guys about products and services that I completely believe in and would recommend to clients, friends and family. I am a paying client of Iyashi and a huge fan. If you’re in the Toronto area, check out Iyashi. If not, do a google search for Ganbanyoku [your city].

Reference

Get Rid of Shoulder Pain with Band Traction

The shoulder is a highly mobile joint. Because of that mobility, it is also highly susceptible to injury…. and pain.

Believe me, I know.

  • The younger me used to lift ridiculously heavy weights without ever feeling pain…or giving a darn about the health of my joints.
  • The older me wishes the younger me hadn’t been so stupid.

At one point, my shoulders were in constant pain. I couldn’t sleep without a shoulder aching and an arm falling asleep. It wasn’t good.

And then I found Dick Hartzell, Jump-Stretch Bands and the wonder of his joint traction exercises.

It will take a bit of time, but this stuff is magic for fixing jammed up shoulders.

NOTE: If you’re already doing physical therapy for shoulder pain/injury, please discuss this article with your physio.

 

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Low Back Pain? Your Hips May Be The Problem

Every year, we spend close to a bazillion dollars on low back pain treatments – massage, pills, acupuncture, chiropractic, etc

  • What if the problem isn’t your back?

Most of us sit on our butts way too much – at work, at home, at restaurants, at movie theaters, etc.

And this can mess up a bunch of the muscles surrounding your hips & pelvis. And when those muscles get all tight, bunched up and inflamed, they can mis-align your hips & pelvis which can lead to mis-alignment of your lumbar spine which leads to lower back pain.

Luckily for you, there are some pretty simple (and 100% free) ways to help repair those messed up hip/pelvis muscles.

I’m not saying that these techniques will fix all your lower back pain…..but they just might.

Give ’em a try.

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Stand Up Straight…your posture is making you look short and fat

Is Your Poor Posture Making You Look Short and Fat?

Two of the most common postural flaws I see are:

Postural Flaw #1  –  Anterior Pelvic Tilt

Which leads to Lordosis

Unfortunately, Anterior Pelvic tilt & Lordosis manifest themselves as a protruding Gut and Butt. And no one likes that.

Postural Flaw #2  –  Kyphosis

Kyphosis and a ‘forward head’ position makes you look hunched over and appear shorter. And once again, no one wants that.

your posture is making you look short and fat

But wait…it gets worse

When you are unwise enough to put kyphosis together with lordosis, you end up with…

  • the whole looking fat and short thing PLUS,
  • headaches,
  • neck pain,
  • bicep tendinitis,
  • dry mouth,
  • pain under the shoulder blades,
  • mid back pain, lower back pain,
  • lateral knee pain,
  • torn knee ligaments,
  • hamstring tears,
  • plantar fasciitis and
  • sciatica.

Booooooooo!!!!!

This is what you should look like.

Here is a postural analysis video that should provide additional detail.

So What Do I Do About It?

The short answer is that you need to stretch some muscles:

  • Psoas
  • Iliacus
  • Rectus Femoris
  • Tensor Fascia Latae
  • Spinal Erectors (special care here)
  • Pectoralis Major
  • Latissimus Dorsi
  • Teres Major
  • Anterior Deltoid
  • Subscapularis
  • Upper Trapezius
  • Levator Scapulae
  • Suboccipitals
  • Sternocleidomastoid

and strengthen other muscles:

  • Rectus Abdominis
  • External Obliques
  • Glutes
  • Hamstrings
  • Mid/Lower Trapezius
  • Rhomboids
  • Pectoralis Minor

The long answer will require you visiting a physiotherapist or an osteopath or some other postural guru.

 

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Fibromyalgia Pain Relief

Exercise for Fibromyalgia Pain Relief

A few years ago, I had the pleasure to work with a very nice lady who was trying desperately to reduce the painful effects of fibromyalgia. She had been suffering for years as a result of this painful and debilitating condition.

Like most chronic pain conditions, the worst thing may not even be the pain itself. It is the effect that the pain has on the rest of your life. In my client’s case, she had spent the first year of her daughter’s life in bed. Every day, for a year, unable to care for her baby girl.

When I met her, she was in much better shape. Her daughter was no longer a baby. She participated in her daughter’s life. She had a challenging career. She was happy. But she was still in constant pain.

She came to me after having quite a few bad experiences with different forms of physical and exercise therapy. At the time, I was working at a fitness club just north of Toronto. She was initially assigned to work with a young, female trainer. It didn’t go well. The young trainer had a solid knowledge of how to help people get lean, fit & healthy. Unfortunately, she knew little about fibromyalgia. During their first workout, she treated her client like a normal, PAIN FREE person. Bad move.

A week later, our fibromyalgia lady returned and demanded her money back. She had spent days in bed, popping pills and regretting ever coming into our gym. I don’t know how, but the owner of the club managed to calm her down and have her agree to sit down and talk with me.

At our first meeting, I had only a general knowledge of fibromyalgia and had never worked with a Fibro client.  I did, however, know how to talk, or rather listen to justifiably angry women. Yes, I am married. We discussed her condition. I gave her my opinion and told her that I would spend the next few days researching the subject in more depth and come back to her with a plan.

A few days later, we met and talked again. At that second meeting, we discussed my findings, clarified a few more issues and outlined what my plan for her fitness training would include. After about half an hour of chit-chat, we began our workout. It was very slow at the beginning. Very slow. In fact, it took us almost 3 months before I started to notice a ‘real’ change in her body.

After a further 3 months, she had training harder than some of my non-Fibro clients. More importantly, her day to day life improved drastically. Less pain. Stronger. Fitter. Healthier.

NOTE – For those of you out there who know someone like my former client, please show them the following research paper, along with my story and do what you have to do to get them moving. They will thank you for it. Not right away…right away they’re gonna hate you, but eventually, as they get better, they will thank you.

Group Exercise, Education, and Combination Self-management in Women With Fibromyalgia A Randomized Trial Daniel S. Rooks, ScD; Shiva Gautam, PhD; Matthew Romeling, BS; Martha L. Cross, BS; Diana Stratigakis, BA; Brittany Evans, BS; Don L. Goldenberg, MD; Maura D. Iversen, DPT, SD, MPH; Jeffrey N. Katz, MD, MS Arch Intern Med. 2007;167(20):2192-2200.

 Background Self-management has increasingly been recommended as part of standard care for fibromyalgia, a common, poorly understood condition with limited treatment options. Data that assess popular self-management recommendations are scarce. We evaluated and compared the effectiveness of 4 common self-management treatments on function, symptoms, and self-efficacy in women with fibromyalgia.

Methods A total of 207 women with confirmed fibromyalgia were recruited from September 16, 2002, through November 30,2004, and randomly assigned to 16 weeks of (1) aerobic and flexibility exercise (AE); (2) strength training, aerobic, and flexibility exercise (ST); (3) the Fibromyalgia Self-Help Course (FSHC);or (4) a combination of ST and FSHC (ST-FSHC). The primary outcomewas change in physical function from baseline to completion of the intervention. Secondary outcomes included social and emotional function, symptoms, and self-efficacy.

Results Improvements in the mean Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire score in the 4 groups were –12.7 for the ST-FSHC group,–8.2 for the AE group, –6.6 for the ST group, and–0.3 for the FSHC group. The ST-FSHC group demonstrated greater improvement than the FSHC group (mean difference, –12.4;95% confidence interval [CI], –23.1 to –1.7). TheST-FSHC (mean difference, 13.6; 95% CI, 2.3 to 24.9) and AE(mean difference, 13.1; 95% CI, 1.6 to 25.6) groups had similar improvements in physical function scores on the 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey. Bodily pain scores on the 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey improved in the ST-FSHC (14.8), AE (13.2), andST (5.7) groups. Social function, mental health, fatigue, depression,and self-efficacy also improved. The beneficial effect on physical function of exercise alone and in combination with education persisted at 6 months.

Conclusions Progressive walking, simple strength training movements, and stretching activities improve functional status,key symptoms, and self-efficacy in women with fibromyalgia actively being treated with medication. The benefits of exercise are enhanced when combined with targeted self-management education.Our findings suggest that appropriate exercise and patient education be included in the treatment of fibromyalgia.

Conclusions

  • Exercise is effective for fibromyalgia pain relief
  • Starting an exercise program WILL be painful for a Fibro client
  • Fibro clients should NOT be trained like every other client
  • Fibro clients need to be willing to push themselves
  • Fibro clients need to help their trainers understand how their body is responding to the workouts
  • Trainers need to be very, very sensitive to how their clients are responding
  • Fibro clients should expect this that fitness training might be very difficult at the beginning of their journey

 

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