Post Rehab Essentials 2.0: An Inside Look
For most of you who read this blog on a regular basis, I don’t really need to introduce Dean Somerset. The man is quickly climbing the “kind of a big deal” ladder in the fitness community, and has really gained a reputation for being one of the brightest minds in the industry.
For those who aren’t familiar, here’s a brief introduction:
1. He’s a strength coach as well as the Medical & Rehabilitation coordinator at World Health, located in Edmonton, Alberta.
2. He’s a regular contributing author on T-Nation.com, as well as writes a pretty kick-ass blog HERE.
3. He’s the co-contributor to several DVD compilations such the Muscles Imbalances Revealed series (both the lower and upper body versions), as well as the Spinal Health and Core Training Seminar of which I was part of as well.
4. He can deadlift in the mid-400s (and 500 is just around the corner).
5. His wife, Lindsay, is an accomplished tri-athlete and has recently qualified for world competition over in Europe!
6. He owns two dogs, and loves rainbows.
Okay, I made the rainbow part up. But come on: I had to bust his chops in some way.
Dean just released his brand spankin new product, Post Rehab Essentials 2.o today, and I wanted to give people more of an inside scoop as to what to expect from it.
Unlike most sequels, which suck (yeah, I’m talking to you The Hangover Part II), PRE 2.0 really takes the information offered in the first edition and takes it to another level.
Speaking candidly, I’ve only just started to watch the videos myself, but from what I’ve seen thus far – I’m pumped that this information is going to be making its rounds. It’s undoubtedly going to make people (and the industry as a whole) better!
I can’t even begin to tell you how much I was nodding my head in agreement as I was watching the first section. It got to the point where I was high-fiving my computer screen.
Nevertheless, below is a candid interview that Dean and I did the other day which, outside of discussing the product itself, is chock full of knowledge bombs in of itself.
TG: Dean! Okay, lets cut to the chase: I know you’re an Oilers fan, but they unfortunately didn’t make it to the playoffs. Are there any teams left on the docket that you’re rooting for?
Side Note for a little TG Trivia: I for one, have never been to an NHL hockey game, and while the Bruins are still in the chase, sadly, the only time I’ve ever stepped foot in TD Garden (where both the Bruins and Celtics play) was for a live Star Wars in Concert event.
Literally there was a live orchestra playing music from Star Wars with a giant screen playing scenes from all the movies in the background. Upping he geek-factor ante, Anthony Daniels (who plays C3PO in all the films) was there in person narrating the event.
Too, Lisa dressed her hair up in Princess Leia “buns,” and we had our picture taken with a live StormTrooper.
It was pretty much the greatest day in my life. True story.
DS: Funny enough, I’m probably one of the very few Canadians who not only doesn’t play hockey but never even learned how to skate. I only started watching hockey a few years ago and didn’t even know what offside was until 2010.
That being said, I do watch the Oilers when they play because it gives some good water cooler talk while I’m training clients. Plus, I may or may not be eventually working with them directly in the coming seasons, and recently had a chance to do all the exit testing on the entire team for this current season, which was pretty cool.
I just want a Canadian team to win so that Montreal has something less to cheer about as they were the last Canadian team to win the cup back in 1994 (I think).
TG: So, I was a huge fan of the first edition of Post Rehab Essentials, and I really felt it was a product that helped me better understand the assessment process as well as hone my programming writing skills. Like a ninja.
First off: what was the impetus behind releasing a second, more awesomer version?
What does this version contain that the other didn’t?
And Secondly: what do “we” actually mean when we use the term “post rehab?”
DS: Awesome questions. Much like you, I train people all day long and do things like writing and blogs on the side. I try to stay up on research as much as possible given the number of hours in a day, and try to view my own clientele as a cross section of average people, in which I can test to see if certain things provide better benefits or worse.
If something doesn’t seem to hold up across the board, I toss it out. If it’s something that’s universally effective for the vast majority of my clients, I continue to use it. When I put out the first version, my thinking of how the body worked was in one place. This current version represents the refinement of those thought process and includes a broader implementation of the concepts instead of spending as much time talking about the theory and anatomy.
That’s still there, but I wanted to make this more of a hands-on version.
For your second part, post rehab essentially means once you’ve received medical contact and have been cleared to begin a workout program in a guided setting.
Think of if you go into a chiropractor with a really sore back. They crack you, and send you out. You go into the gym not knowing whether you can do your favourite exercise program of high volume leg presses, stiff leg deadlifts and elbow to knee crunches.
What do you do? You find someone who has gone through Post Rehab Essentials V.2.0 to make sure they have tools to work with that won’t cause them to become a walking bag of fail.
TG: Since this is a product that’s targeted towards personal trainers and coaches (and for those who are just fitness nerds in general), where do you feel most tend to miss the boat with regards to writing effective programming?
DS: Another great question. I feel that trainers have forgotten how to coach. We’re more concerned with giving the exercise than teaching the client how to do it properly. Stu McGill has said there’s no bad exercise for the spine, just contraindicated ones for the specific individual, and even then every exercise is bad if done incorrectly.
This video series brings back the coaching aspect to training and helps you understand how to get someone out of a poor spinal position with their exercises, how to hip hinge, what it means when their shoulders shrug into their ears, and how to fix that. These simple fixes can represent about 90% of every training program.
Correct exercise is corrective in nature.
TG: OMG!! Yes!!! I couldn’t have said that better myself. Whenever we start with a new intern class almost always they want to dive into assessment on day #1. Much like you I’m under the mindset that they need to LEARN HOW TO COACH, and do it well, before we start discussing the finer points like assessing hip IR/ER or discussing the differences between flexion vs. extension based back pain.
One of the main points you covered in PRE 2.0 that really hit home for me is the whole concept of protective tension. Put another way: people aren’t nearly as “tight” and stiff as they think more as they’re actually just really, and I mean REALLY unstable.
Can you kinda give everyone a Cliff Notes/Laymen’s terms synopsis of this whole phenomena?
DS: Muscles are pretty dumb creatures. They’re the slave of the nervous system, and if the brain says to contract, they will. If it doesn’t say to contract, they won’t. It’s really that simple. If you have a muscle that is constantly “tight” and won’t release no matter how much work you do to it with respect to stretching or SMR work, you may need to ask why it’s tight in the first place. Typically it’s trying to provide some form of stability for another area that isn’t being held tight enough.
Think of the hip flexors as a classic example. I’ve found that when people who have chronically tight hip flexors, they also tend to have very unstable spines coupled with weak abs. The same thing goes for tight posterior hips and lateral core stability.
Note from TG: For those looking for a cool demonstration of what we’re talking about, I’d HIGHLY encourage you to watch the video below. It’s eleven or so minutes that will blow your mind.
TG: Breathing and breathing patterns are all the rage in the industry nowadays. I’ll admit that we use a fair share of them at Cressey Performance and that we find there’s a TON of efficacy for their implementation.
I’ve seen firsthand the kind of voo-doo magic that breathing drills and diaphragmatic correction can have on many common injuries and dysfunctions.
What do you feel are the major benefits/take-aways that most people can gain from paying more attention to them?
DS: Core stability comes from the interplay of the pelvic floor, diaphragm, obliques, rectus abdominis, and multifidus (plus quadratus lumborum, but who’s counting). When you want to have a stable spine to lift stupidly heavy things, having the ability to squeeze your core tight between these structures is incredibly important. Likewise, recovering from hard workouts comes down to breathing through your entire lung deeply, rather than just shallow breathing through your upper ribs and shoulders.
The shoulders hang off the ribs. If there’s any issue with the ribs, the shoulders will be directly involved, meaning potential shoulder issues could have their roots in faulty breathing mechanics. People with low back pain breathe in a very guarded manner, which affects their core stability in a negative way. People with hip issues tend to be back breathers, forgetting how to get their diaphragm going. You picking up what I’m putting down yet??
Endurance athletes benefit the most from breathing work as that’s their gas tank. If I can get a runner to do a breathing exercise and it means their threshold speed goes up by a half mile an hour (true story) with no other intervention, it’s pretty important. I’ve had people breathe for 5 minutes and double their squat depth.
Breathing effects everything you try to affect.
TG: You also cover core training and what that actually means. So, what does the word “core” mean to you?
DS: You mean teh abz?? In reality, core training is pretty simple. Make the core reactive so that it can contract really hard and make the spine stiff and strong, and then train it to pulse on and off.
Think of a baseball pitch.
The windup really doesn’t involve a lot of max core contraction. But at a certain point, the core has to brace incredibly tight, incredibly quick, and then turn down the tension at another point of the follow through so as to generate a whip effect. If the core was simply tense the entire time, you wouldn’t get any whip, and you would most likely throw molases off the mound instead of heat.
Likewise, with people who have a history of back pain, they has a defect in the ability to generate tension through their core and brace their spine, and then create a hip movement or a shoulder movement to propel stuff into or through other stuff. They tend to either hold on to tension too long or not generate tension quick enough to get stabile to control the spine during movement. It’s sort of like watching Lindsay Lohan walk down the street.
Core training typically involves learning how to brace the core in a neutral spine position, then getting them to control that neutral spine while either creating movement in other joints or resisting forces being applied to their body that try to push them out of neutral spine. Once they can do that, we can start looking to hit up things like heavy deadlifts, backflips, and cutting off that truck full of gun lovers on the free way.
And there you have it folks. Post Rehab Essentials v. 2.0 is on sale for this week only! The entire set is shot in HD, and you’ll get immediate access once you purchase. If you’re a fitness professional or just someone who loves learning about the human body and performance, I can’t recommend this one enough. It’s a game changer for sure.
===> Post Rehab Essentials 2.0 <===