Specialist…Critical…Clinical…Exercise Advice…For Those In Need Of Help

Woman training at crossfit center

After my last post…thought it was time to take the emotion down a tad!

Back to logical…clinical…critical thinking…for now.

As a soft tissue specialist…movement analyst…and elite performance coach…who runs his own clinic fixing “Broken people”…working in numerous different capacities…with a vast demographic of the general public…all the way up to the highest level of elite sports…movement…and performance….well…most of my life…is spent…being questioned on a whole host of different subjects…regarding human movement…anatomy…and physiology.

There are so many different topics…so many different scenarios…that I couldn’t even begin to start listing them on here.

They range from the normal everyday issue…to the complex.

It could be as simple as…what is the neuromuscular connection?…How do I come back from this broken/sprained/strained leg?…Why can’t I move this?…why am I in so much pain here all the time?

I want to move away from the more in depth areas though…and focus on the topic the majority of people reading this…will relate to…and benefit from.

The Soft Tissue Specialist and Movement Analyst titles…deal with the fixing broken people side of things…hands on.

They involve the precise assessment…treatment…and management of soft tissue injury…pain…or dysfunction…primarily of the neuromusculoskeletal system.(Muscles, connective tissue/fascia, tendons, ligaments, joints & functional movement)

Today I want to concentrate more on the performance coaching side…although they do both merge at every instance.

This area relates to specific performance goals through physical rehabilitation(The proprioceptive…physical…exertive movement side of rehabilitation)…or…it relates to field specific performance (Becoming stronger…faster…fitter…leaner…healthier…more functional etc etc)

I notice often…in both women…and men…with the public…and professional athletes…that…when it comes to performance…a lot of people fail…due to other influences and opinions around and in their lives.(Not everybody by any means…but it…just happens a hell of a lot)

When I give them the correct advice…the usual defence I encounter is…”But my blah blah…or so and so…him…her…she…he…them…they….always told me to do it this way…and he/she has been doing it all their lives/is better than me/stronger than me/faster than me/knows better than me/ etc etc etc.”

I often encounter a lack of belief and a submissiveness to others words…which in turn leaves many in limbo when it comes to getting “Fit”…”Healthy”…or “In shape” for a goal…or…an ideology.

For example…many a time my path has crossed with a fighter who could have been world class…but their…or their coaches inability to accept the the proven logical science…caused them to fall by the wayside or miss their opportunity.

I’ve been there myself years ago…it’s natural.

I want to give you a way of thinking…that I’m pretty sure…99% of people in your gym…will most definitely not have.

Something that offers people who are unsure about how they should be performing…a solid…safe mantra.

If you are somebody who is feeling shy or reserved about getting into some form of movement or exertion reading this…especially…then…if you take this in tonight…I promise you’ll walk in to perform tomorrow…a completely different person.

This is applicable to any mental or physical performance setting…and it’s aim is to steer you towards the path of holding your head high…realising…just how much you are capable of.

The information I give you here…is the same information I’d give a professional athlete…the same info I’d give an 80 year old with a broken ankle…the same information I’d give an Instagram girl with her kit off.

It’s a super extreme example…but…it…put things in perspective..

Let’s say…I drove over your foot in a car…well…the steps needed to get back to full functionality…strength…and mobility…are the proven…backed up…clinical science.

Those steps needed in the basics…are the steps needed from there onwards…doesn’t matter the style…the representation…the promotion or genre…it’s all still movement…it’s all still the same game.

Hope this helps.

Muscular shirtless man preparing to deadlift a barbell over hi

Do…YOU

Don’t get blinded…choked…strangled…or constricted by numbers and times on a piece of paper or screen….they don’t matter…in the slightest…they’re irrelevant.

They don’t take into account real life.

It’s as simple as this.

  • Ask yourself…is my body realistically showing and telling me I should slow down…that I should rest and I’m done…or am I just putting up barriers?
  • Is my training…beneficial…and complementary to my current personal…unique…individual structure?
  • Only you can truly look in the mirror and know the real answers to those questions…but…the progression being sought out…lies within that initial inquiry.
  • Exertion…exercise and movement…for true positive performance and progression…should be mentally and physiologically taxing…it should be draining…testing…hard…but…it shouldn’t be painful.

    Perform to your logical…current ability…and listen to your body.

    If it feels like you genuinely can’t go anymore…and you have truly hit a wall….don’t.

    Rest…recover…regenerate…then…get back at it…might be 30seconds…might be 30 minutes…might be 30 hours.

    It doesn’t matter if you are starting and stopping…because…as long as you perform it with maximum logical effort…under intelligent exertive stimulus…while you feel taxed…yet safe…and in control…then you get the benefit.

    You progress…with the bonus prize of sustainable longevity.

    If you have 30 seconds of an exercise to master for example and you are struggling…don’t.

    Once you go past a certain point…past the point where the body and mind are telling you they are genuinely done…then…you are just entering into a cycle of dysfunction…compensation…pain…imbalance and injury…unless…it is genuinely a barrier you are placing upon yourself.

    Just do 15 seconds of the exercise…or 10 seconds of it…properly…under full contraction…in control…breathing.

    Split it up if you need to…10 seconds…rest…10 seconds…rest…10 seconds…rest…with the aim of next time…or the time after that…doing 15 and 15…with the aim of building up to that full 30 seconds.

    Maybe even forget that exercise all together…go back to the drawing board and speak to a professional who can prescribe a personal…unique…specific…individual movement…that will help you transition safely into the one you are struggling with…while still offering the physiological benefits you were looking for.

    The aim is to do things properly…safely…to ensure the exercise transfers to everyday life and provides functionality in movement…mobility…mental health and performance.

    The aim is to be able to see the true…small progressive elements you are developing…which long term…create the big differences.

    It’s not about keeping on going and going…in the short term…just burning and wearing yourself out.

    The feeling…you feel…as a unique…personal…specific individual…is what matters.

    We live in this day where everybody is telling us to keep going…that we are capable of more…made of more.

    True although it may be…I feel…the rationale has become a little more than illogically distorted.

    Never forget…that when you find an exercise truly hard…and taxing…gaining an extra 5 seconds on it…might as well be an extra 5 minutes.

    People tend to be too harsh on themselves when the success is really…right there in front of them.

    Numbers…reps…sets…weight and times mean absolutely nothing unless you are a competitive athlete…or they are a required necessity for your everyday functionality…eg work.

    The whole rep thing is a flawed concept to begin with as it serves merely as a quantitative representation of the principalities of time under tension in the role of hypertrophy.

    The true problem is that people are taught to want the end result before the journey has even begun.

    I’m not saying that you can’t push it to the limit…but…the limit is different for us all.

    The modern day…get up off the couch and go run a 10k or a marathon culture is no more than a distorted pipe dream.

    There are levels and a sequence to it all.

    Ones not to be overlooked.

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    It’s risk vs reward.

    Yes you may be on the 18th mile of a marathon…feeling like you are about to shut down…but the guy telling you to suck it up…to channel the mind…and soldier through the pain…isn’t looking out for you…at all.

    Again on paper…or as a mere attempt at galvanising…it may work…but…in reality it’s so flawed it’s unreal.

    The channels for negativity from living life that way…out weigh the positive entities…every single time.

    What good is finishing that marathon…if you are never able to run again for example…or if you create problems that affect the whole chain of command and it’s hierarchy of movement.

    Was that finishers medal worth it if you’ve destroyed your body…or almost died in the process. (You would be extremely surprised about some of the conditions people finish races under)

    Now if somebody is holding your family hostage…and if you don’t finish they get killed…then on that 18th mile…block it out and run your knees and ankles into the ground…but…if that’s not the case…just do what is the current maximum…for you.

    For you and where you are…right now…right this second.

    Don’t just smash yourself in the pursuit of betterment or results…or in the hope of chasing or impressing somebody else.

    Don’t just push through the times when you are genuinely gone because it’s the supposed training “Norm.”

    True…physiological exercise is tough enough when done in alignment with the correct stimulus…it’s not something that needs to be overdone.

    Taking your body to the point of it telling you to realistically and honestly rest and regenerate is a nervous system response…don’t ever lose sight of that.

    A nervous system response that needs to be listened to…one that is sent to us…to tell us to listen.

    Taking the marathon example into consideration again…

    Getting to the 18th mile…hitting fatigue and carrying on another 100m is bad enough…let alone another 8 miles.

    It isn’t a case of quitting…it’s a case of realising that you weren’t ready to do a marathon in the first place…and you bit off much more than you could chew.

    No shame in that…it happens to us all at some point.

    Realism is key.

    Use the realism as motivation.

    When we hit true failure…or fatigue…it’s not a gym or fitness expression…it’s not a momentary stoppage to a party…it’s your body saying… “Look I need to protect these joints…these ligaments…tendons…bones…muscles and organs etc…so I’m sending you this message…if you don’t listen…I’m going to force you to stop before something negative happens.”

    Then it stops working…for safety…which is why recovery or full rest is then required.

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    What I’m saying is not the general projection from many of these super sexy fitness icons…but…I’m not a super sexy fitness icon…I run a clinic.

    What I’m telling you…is the truth…it’s…the way to truly boost your output and take your performance to places you never knew you could get to.

    Again…I’m not saying don’t “Go hard,” don’t…push it…don’t leave everything out there on the floor.

    I’m saying learn how to identify what your body is saying you need…and become accustomed to it.

    People are too scared to rest nowadays…too scared to be seen as taking it down a notch…but…they forget that unless you are on performance enhancing compounds…then less is more…in the right manner.

    See where you realistically are on your journey…and push that place…forget what all the influence…all the bright lights…glitz and glamour are saying….don’t…push it to fast…too hard…too soon…it’s an evolution if you want to still be fit…functional…and efficient in both body and mind through your later years.

    I see it very much like cooking a piece of chicken.

    Slap the breast in a pan under too much heat and the meat will cook too fast.

    The outside will create the illusion of “Done”  while the inside is still raw.

    From there…the outside starts to crisp and burn…as the inside dries out in the middle.

    Not something you would pay for in a restaurant.

    Get your temperature right.

    Do it…just don’t don’t over do it.

    For example…

    If you have 3 sets of 10 reps…written down on your piece of paper…and you are supposed to be using a certain weight…but you are completely gone at 8 reps…who cares…again…it’s about you…not a constraint.

    You want to feel and be free and in control when you train…when you move.

    Just rest pause it out slightly at the 8 reps…for 10-15 seconds and try for the last 2…maybe you get to 10…maybe you don’t…but it doesn’t matter either way…because you walk away from that set knowing that you couldn’t have safely or intelligently given it any more in alignment.

    Depending on how you personally feel…the 8 reps on that day…might even be where you say goodnight…to rest before the next set…the pause might not be needed…who knows?

    This is on you…not me!

    Lets say you just finished the first set…and now you have hit fatigue on the same exercise…the set after…but this time you are gone at 6 reps instead of 8…because the workout is really getting to you?

    Well…don’t feel down…feel alive…you are getting somewhere.

    Apply the same methodology as above…maybe you get an extra 2…maybe you get an extra 4…maybe you don’t get any?

    Instead of using the rest pause on the 2nd set…you may even drop the weight down lighter and finish off those last four that way…same result…or you may even call it a night on that particular day…who knows?

    If you end up dropping the weight down slightly and only get another true one…or two…doesn’t matter…say goodnight…you don’t need to go anymore…you’ve done what you intended to do…again…you’ve done your job.

    By the third and final set of that exercise…if at this point you logically feel you are not going to be able to perform even six reps at this point…then just drop the weight completely down all together and amalgamate the same ethos as above.

    The body doesn’t understand or care about your workout…it responds to a stimulus that requires adaptation.

    It cares about feeling.

    There’s good adaptation…and there’s bad.

    Don’t forget that you are never the same person…at the same time…on any day…the world keeps spinning…it keeps changing.

    You may have got 10 reps out last week…with a certain weight…but have you had the same amount of sleep…the same amount of water…food…nutrients this time around?

    Did you have a bust up with the other half last night…is work more stressful than last week…are you resting enough…are you over training…is one of the kids ill?

    There are far more outlets for a person to decrease in perceived performance…than gain…which is why the key is seeing that if it takes you for everything you have…safely…with no pain or complications…no matter how hard it felt…no matter if it’s a regression…then…on that occasion you won.

    Not the paper…not the screen…not the exercise…the reps…the time…the rest periods…the friends…you.

    Analyse the tangible variables.

    You may have been able to sprint 100m in a certain amount of time a month ago…but then your wife wasn’t about to give birth…or you hadn’t just been made redundant…had to fork out for house or car repair bills etc etc…all the things that life can throw at us.

    We perform how our minds subconsciously perceive the life around we live throughout our day to day journeys.

    The neuromusclar connection.

    You are…what you are…and it is…what it is.

    When you turn up to perform…as long as you aren’t backing out of a challenge…whatever your body shows you is your limit that day…is your limit…regardless of what you’ve done before…or what you are supposed to do.

    Listen to that limit or you will NEVER progress…I promise you that.

    The only way we are ever able to push through…and past…is when we are prepared to identify and admit that.

    If a weight feels like 100kg…it might as well be…because your body and mind have no care for numbers…they couldn’t care less if it was 1000kg.

    All they know is that in that moment…it’s heavy…it’s taxing…it’s some form of catalyst or stimulus that requires resiliency and adaptation.

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    That’s the secret to “Training.”

    Once you take an exercise to the point you can’t breathe from the diaphragm…or stay in alignment…no matter how fit you are…you are just creating byproducts of functional movement and compensation patterns.

    A recipe that leads to pain and dysfunction at some point…for sure.

    Once you create a certain level of effort and exertion…you don’t need to keep pushing, you just need to safely stay in or around those zones.

    This should not be easy,…and it should be a real test.

    As long as you are giving it your all and listening to your true self…you will get the results.

    Don’t stick to a script…stick to what signals your body is giving you.

    What other people do should not concern you.

    Last example – If you are on a bike…you can’t breathe…you are flexing your neck and rotating your spine to try and push through…then…stop…

    The pushing on through is going to sell you you’re own poison in the end.

    Drop the level…the resistance…rest it…recover….regenerate…breathe…calm the nervous system…whatever….then get back at it if you can.

    If you genuinely can’t…then you already know what I’m going to say…you did your job.

    Keep doing that…keep turning up…time after time…and there is no way you will not see advancement.

    I wish it was as simple as handing out an exercise plan to everybody so they can follow.

    Be smart…because I promise you…99% who will ever give you advice on this area will have you barking up the complete wrong tree.

    Your “split”…your “routine”…your “plan”…exercises…and methodology…should reflect and address who and where you are functionally and neuromuscularly at…OUTSIDE of working out and why.

    Logically…it has to be approached in that manner…no matter your desired effect from the training…otherwise injury…long term issue…or contraindication is guaranteed to occur.

    If the effort does not have your well being at the forefront of it…then the effort is in vain my friends.

    Your body,…is yours…and there is no one size fits all…duplicate plan…that universally works in the name of specific…individual progression or longevity.

    Whatever you pursue…pursue it from a personal retrospect…take into consideration…all of the considerations…and remember that it’s not about the generic norm the masses are sold on following…it’s about discovering yourself…your own body and mind.

    The best exercise…the best…stretch or circuit in the world…that everybody rants…raves and goes on about…could literally be the worst in the world for you or I…who knows without assessment?

    This is about you…your body and mind…nobody else.

    It’s about the way you move…the way you function…the way you think…react…perform…repair…recover and how you need to progress while still maintaining longevity and health.

    Experience the fine art and balance of safely…personally…individually and specifically pushing beyond your current capabilities…to create a stronger…more mobile…efficient you.

    Ensure yourself the necessities that allow you to process things to become natural…dependable…reliable motor skills…while still ensuring transferability and functionality to your everyday life…avoiding pain…dysfunction and injury cycles.

    Fit young woman with toned abdominal muscles

     What I Specialise In?

    • Postural & Biomechanical Assessment
    • Postural & Biomechanical Correction
    • Functional Movement Screening
    • Functional Movement Screening For Performance & Elite Level Sports
    • Clinical Reasoning
    • Palpation, Contraindication Assessment & Referral Within A Multi Disciplinary Team
    • Acute, Sub Acute & Chronic Soft Tissue Injury (Muscles, connective tissue/fascia, tendons, ligaments and joints)
    • Musculoskeletal Pain, Compensation & Dysfunction Management
    • Performance Soft Tissue & Corrective Rehabilitation For Elite Level Sports
    • Advanced Remedial & Sports Massage
    • Muscle Energy Technique
    • Soft Tissue Release (Transverse & Longitudinally)
    • Neuromuscular Therapy
    • Pain Management
    • Active Isolated Stretching
    • Positional Release/Strain Counter Strain
    • Increasing Parasympathetic Function, Recovery, Cognitive Efficiency & Well Being
    • Corrective Exercise, Movement & Stretching For Rehabilitation & Functionality
    • Elite Performance Coaching For Health, Fitness, Weight Loss, Strength, Conditioning, Functionality & Field Specific Performance.
    • Postural, Rehabilitation & Exercise Classes
    • Postural, Rehabilitation & Exercise Seminars

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    What Type Of Things I Deal With On A Daily Basis?

    It would be impossible to list all of the things I actually do…as you’ll probably end up falling asleep on me.

    Here are a few examples of what many people may seek me out for help or assistance with in my clinic.

    • Muscle & Tendon Injury
    • Ligament Injury
    • Proprioception & Movement Problems
    • Musculoskeletal Pain, Imbalance & Discomfort
    • Fascial Blockages
    • Scar Tissue
    • Tendinitis
    • Shin Splints
    • Frozen Shoulder
    • Plantar Fasciitis
    • Gait Dysfunction
    • Tennis Elbow
    • Advanced Remedial & Sports Massage
    • Fracture Compensation Management
    • Fracture Rehabilitation (Post 8 week unification)
    • Post Operative Compensation Management & Rehabilitation
    • Rheumatoid Arthritis (In between flare ups)
    • Osteoarthritis
    • Osteoporosis
    • Patellofemoral Syndrome
    • Disk Problems
    • Sciatica
    • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
    • Cubical Tunnel Syndrome
    • Whiplash
    • Repetitive Strain
    • Relaxation, Rest, Recovery & Increase In Parasympathetic Function
    • Increasing Cardiovascular Function
    • Increasing Lymphatic Function
    • Increasing Digestive Function
    • Prescribed Home Care
    • Postural Correction
    • Movement & Performance Screening
    • Corrective Exercise
    • Injury Prevention
    • Mental Rehabilitation After An Injury

    Three athletic women doing stomach workouts lying on a grass.

    Guest posts are always welcome on the clinic website…I just want to share other people’s stories…as we offer many different services…and information on varied topics.

    Please Click Here To Check Out Our Soft Tissue Clinic

    What a day to be alive

    Yesterday is irrelevant…tomorrow not guaranteed.

    MR CLEAVER

    THE PIONEER OF MOVEMENT

    Soft Tissue Specialist – Movement Analyst – Elite Performance Coach

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    4 thoughts on “Specialist…Critical…Clinical…Exercise Advice…For Those In Need Of Help

      1. Thank you very much.

        I’m glad I could be of some.help.

        Just checked your post. Hope you are having fun!!

        You are on an amazing journey.
        .inspiring others.

        Thanks for showing love I appreciate it.

        Liked by 1 person

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