Perform Better-Providence Review

…….began writing week of 6.7………

So we’re going to start this all off on Thursday morning.  I came in and saw 4 people before Joe P came to pick me up at the facility.  Of course I squeezed in my good friend, Tim B., as this week him and his 1986 Penn State National Championship ring will be on campus for their fantasy camp.  Apparently, anyone like alumni such as Brad Lambert can sign up to practice in flags all week leading up to a Blue-White Game and the honor of shaking hands with the old man that ran it up on Rutgers in 2005.  Evil laugh ensues……………….

Also that morning, my big brother, Lt. Bob B., asks me the route we’re taking up to Providence.  It’s a straight run up 95 from NJ, and he says he has this book of 1000 places you should go to in America before you die.  One place is like 10 minutes max off of 95 one or 2 exits before Mystic Seaport.  The place is called Abbott’s.

Oh my God, this place was so awesome.  I like seafood, but a 1.5# lobster is just a snack for me.  Regardless of that, probably because we were there around 230-300pm, the place was empty.  Weather was beautiful.  Picnic benches, bibs, plastic utensils, staring @ the inlet and ocean, sailboats.  I am scared to take Kristen there because I’m not sure it can be any better of a time.  Pictures are on Facebook, and Joe P will have better ones since he is a camera guy.  He knows about lighting and aperture and stuff.  I bet you didn’t plan to hear the word ‘aperture’ today. It was a fantastic harbinger to the weekend.  It had to turn out well.

We’re in the hotel after some misdirection and hijinx from Garmin, and after we’re settled, me and Joe P go downstairs to meet up with Tim Vagen, who was slated to come home with us on Sunday.  Tim and I have been what I would consider close friends for a few years now thanks to the advent of the Internet’s social communities and Mike Boyle’s  We had never met in person.  It is truly amazing how the Internet has fostered relationships, and I am very thankful to Coach Boyle for that.
I am also thankful for the Chicago-style pizza we had @ Cicilia’s in Federal Hill in Providence.  That was more gluten than I’ve had in 1 sitting since probably September, but it was good pizza cake.  Chicago pizza is cake.  NY pizza is pizza.  And when I lived in Georgia, they thought “real” pizza was CiCi’s.  Anyway, we were joined through dinner by Tim’s newest trainer, Justin, who was a pleasant young fellow marvelling at the nuances of the East Coast compared to his native lands of the Pacific Northwest.
Early morning, bloated tummy and headache, that was it for the night.

Daily road breakfast of Muscle Milk Collegiate and a Greens First.  Redline XS packed so I can be a jumping jellybean, and we go downstairs.  Brad’s already on line as he flew in that morning.  Keep in mind that I rarely take notes in presentations, especially when it’s the first time seeing someone.  Much of what I put in here is by memory, and by default, I think it’s the most authentic and memorable pieces.

First talk we stuck with the plan and we saw Steve Cotter – Classic Kettlebells for Advanced Fitness.  Turned out to be a good choice because my 2nd option was a Biomechanics talk where the gentleman apparently thought crunches were a good idea as long as you had his product under your back when you did it.  Ugh.

I wanted to see Cotter in the first place as my exposure to him, Mahler, Blackburn, Jason Brown, etc. was back in November as Peter Rouse invited me to spend a few hours at his gym while I was in LA.  I got exposed to a ton of stuff and spent time with some excellent people.  Here are the bullets……

–This was all about Kettlebell Sport or Girya Sport.  It was interesting that Steve never came right out and said that.  Rather he was pushing using kettlebells in the OL style movements for long periods of time.  Using loads for metabolic training doesn’t offend me as long as it is about quality, not quantity.  If you choose 3 min, but your form breaks down @ 230, you don’t muscle through the last 30s just for the sake of the 3 min goal.  How about you just do another interval and stay clean?
–Learned some very different thoughts on grips and technique compared to what I know from Tom and the RKC camp.  Cotter talks about a very loose neutral grip through the legs in a swing which allows for a more efficient transfer into the clean or snatch catches.  Made perfect sense especially with a competition KB.
–Speaking of RKC, it was amusing the jabs he took at the RKC like I’m the only KB “expert” that actually competes.  Hardstyle is not sustainable for a lifetime.  Big aggressive snatch technique doesn’t make you whatever, it makes you less mature.  It was funny to those you could read between the lines.  And he was VERY professional in suggesting his techniques may not be what you’ve learned elsewhere, but his goals are different, and he will always explain WHY he is doing what he is doing.  I will probably take either Cert that is convenient when the time comes.
–Lastly, the new PB competition KB with the steel handle feels way lighter.  It’s like the first time you grab a DD KB after using something trashy from a department store.

Second was Mike Boyle – Preparing to Workout
–Hanging on to all of his writing and, much of this was not new, but I will always go to see the folks that I know will resonate expecting to grab a pearl that brings things to a new level.
–The Boyle recipe: Roll-Stretch-Mobility-Activation-Power-Strength-Conditioning
–Joint by Joint and Sahrmann’s Stiffness principles always prevail
–The “core” changes its execution when you are on 1 leg.
–Can’t have core stability without hip mobility……..(if you want to move through deep excursions-CW).
–Please don’t do Birdogs with the spine moving.  That is for cat-camel if you need it.
–Stretching is long-term injury prevention.  Dynamic Warmup is short-term injury prevention.
–Passive stretching only decreased power by 5%.  Would you take a 28.5″ vert and a healthy player over a 30″ vert and banged up?
–I think you will get all of this info on FSC3.

The most important/special thing was Coach calling me out when he was discussing 4″ in front of the toes to do DF.  He explained because of me (mind you, I learned this information from Dr. Greg Rose), he went out and bought 2×4’s for MBSC to make sure athletes were getting ankle mobility ideally.  That was special for me to be recognized like that.  But sure enough, the pearl I was looking for was right there.  Coach has spoken before that it is important to be an “idea guy.”  He means you can’t come out and talk about this principle and this approach without bringing in an idea to put it to use.  I’m sure I am not enough of an idea guy as I should be if he is crediting me with something he followed through on.  It should be me that followed through on that.  I need to be more of an “idea guy.”  The motivation was the hidden pearl.

Lunch in the foodcourt with me, Joe P, Brad, Tim Vagen, Ant, Frank Dolan, and Adrienne Norris from MBSC.  The main topic for me was why I will never go to ECA, IHRSA, or Club Industry again.  Not my crowd.  The Gucci gang from Woodway can work those show without me.  And I won’t be eating foodcourt crap again this weekend.

Next was Lee Burton – Fundamentals and Techniques for Core Testing and Assessment
–Similar thought process as going to see Coach Boyle, hoping to find a pearl in a message I have heard often.  This was a lot easier to decide than earlier as the other 3 topics had minimal interest to me.
–Lots of talk about what makes the core what it is and how it is impacted by pain and/or dysfunction anywhere in the body.  If you have pain or something wrong with Joint by Joint, you have a core problem.  Recognize inner and outer core are equally important.
–The core is developmental sequence, kinetic linking, mobility/stability, reflexive/reacting.
–The core’s purpose to guide efficient movement through 1) stability/postural control, 2) energy transfer, 3) breathing.
–Lee mentioned in a slide where a young man was in a lunge.  He said that because he had an angled tibia, he was loading his gastroc, and that meant he would use his glutes.  I actually would think it would be the opposite, but maybe I misunderstood.
–Core Mobility: Multi-segmental flexion, rotation, extension; side bending
–Core Stability: Single Leg Stance, Y-Balance Test
–Core Strength: Chop and Lift
–Core Power: Med Ball chops and lifts (compared tall and 1/2 kneeling)
–Core Performance: Standing Broad Jump (I would be partial to Vertical Jump second to less inhibition to decelerate; I should have asked him if it matters)
–Core Endurance: Side Bridge, Quadruped Diagonals
–Always look for symmetry.  Look hard.

Went off the plan and saw Al Vermeil – Speed: The Ultimate Weapon instead of Coach Boyle’s Hands-On.  Sat with Art Horne from Northeastern during this.
–Forgot to mention that we chatted with Coach Vermeil before leaving for dinner Thursday night.  Never fails that he never remembers my name until I say I’m not in Philly anymore.
–Straight up, this talk was WAY over my head.  The amount of experience required to suggest that volumes, intensities, and designs change based on whether you are  training for 0-10, 10-20, or 30+ yards is well beyond anything I have ever done.  One day I will look at all these slides and try to fit it into a program.  I might have been better served with the hands-on of this talk instead of the lecture.
–Art and I felt the same way that in basketball,where the bulk of my performance training has been, we can’t train this way.  Basketball players have far too much dysfunction that the strength and power training must fall into the corrective continuum.   It’s always in-season in basketball; I think Coach Vermeil’s talk was for a situation where you control the program and volume all year.

Finished the day with John Berardi – Nutrition and Injury Recovery
–I fashion myself as probably being my best at the frame and tires (rehab and corrective exercise).  I think I’m pretty good at the engine (strength, power, conditioning).  I can hold a conversation and not sound retarded on fuel (nutrition).  And I know next to nothing about fuel injectors (supplements).  I just do what I’m told when it comes to nutrition and supplements.
–Names I have followed for nutrition have been John Berardi, Jay Hoffman, and Thomas Phillips.
–Sometimes you just need to listen to people that are smarter than you on some topics.  When we get Berardi’s e-book on this stuff, I’ll be quick to put it into action.  There was lots of names of random things that I have read some headlines on, like bromeline and balancing O3 and O6 fatty acids.
–Ancillary to the information, Berardi was dressed like he was going to the Club, and he had 2 6’5″ bulldozers with him in jeans that looked like the needed to be ironed in the back of the knee.  Apparently they are supposed  to look like that.  My wife once bought me one of these $250 jeans, and, yes, they were returned very quickly.
–E-book link:

Thomas Plummer – Passion Alone is Never Enough…Lessons of Success…….. finished the day.
–When you live in the Perform Better crowd, no one says anything bad about Thomas Plummer, but I have heard more than 6 folks not find his message useful.  All I have to say is that if you listen to him, and you don’t feel motivated in some way to do something, anything, then I’m not sure you were listening during the talk.  Very moving.  Very motivating.  It has got to be an honor when someone uses you as an example for success.

We went back to the room for a few minutes before getting back down to the Social.  I forgot to ask Brad to fill up his lame little air mattress now so it didn’t make noise at night, but I forgot.  This will come back to haunt us later in the evening.

At the social, it was a lot like Aspen where the beer flowed like wine and where beautiful women instinctively flock like the salmon of Capistrano.
–Nice chat with Bruce Kelly from Swarthmore, PA
–Took some good pictures with Donna and Shannon
–Remarked all around that our good friend, Carl Valle, wacked me twice on his blog.  I suppose these may indicate some level of celebrity when Carl Valle reconstructs your words out of context and remodels them to make a pointless blog.
–Found of that Geralyn chose not to work out in the hotel gym because I was in the gym that morning.  I found this odd because, in fact, I was not in the hotel gym that morning.  Joe P. apparently thought it would be “funny” if he signed in as me.  So it was Joe P. that prevented Geralyn Cooper-Smith from getting  a workout, not me.
–I apoligzed twice to Greg Rose for 1) Bill Britton not scoring better at the Senior PGA National (even though I am proud and priveleged to get to train such a Titleist pro, and making the cut as a Club Pro is still bigtime) and 2) not being able to attend the Speaker’s Course earlier in the week.
–Last but not least, in what I will undoubtedly remember 50 years from now as  a highlight of my career, Gray told me he put my name in his book as a member of the “auxiliary team.”  Obviously I wasn’t there when the FMS gang got in 2 hours early every day to hash through the methodology, but it is a honor to be recognized as someone worthy to carry his message.

I shut it down after the Social, and we all headed over to Trinity Brew House for the after-party.  It was probably a good idea that I shut it down because there is a picture on Facebook that I totally do not recall posing for, and apparently when we got to Trinity, I am told I identified Shannon as my wife and Donna as Joe P’s wife.  Ummmm, no???
–Had a great chat with Joe Sansalone about some Facebook stuff from a few weeks ago.  He found it confusing or maybe even offensive to his knowledge base, but he did something I respect immensely.  He checked it out.  And he checked it out with someone that held a lot more credibility with him than I.  And he got the same answer.

We all have opinions.  Christian Thibodeaux recently suggested so pleasantly that opinions like mine are like [whatever], everyone has one.  But I think opinions, especially regarding reactions to others must come with some basis and foundation, either anecdotally or scholarly.  I will always tell you why I do what I do or why I think the way I think.  It doesn’t make me right, but it makes me founded and honest.  That is more than what I can say about the folks Joe and I were talking about.

I mentioned before that I shut it down after the Social.  All I did was eat @ Trinity.  Brad got back to the hotel about an hour after me and Joe P. did.  Apparently Brad did not shut it down as I had.  Good lord, it was like college.  That blowdryer part of the air mattress was in all of our faces.  There were body splashes on the beds.  This was like college.

And not to mention, his little blowup mattress was sized for a 4 year old.  Plus, it had some stupid saying on that had nothing to do with a blowup mattress.  I don’t remember what it was, as you can see for obvious reasons of impairments, but it was something like “The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow,” or “Walk on the Green, Not in Between.”  It was something common that had absolutely nothing to do with an air mattress.  That much I remember.

Got up just fine.  Left sided ram’s horn headache, but nothing Redline couldn’t fix.

Started Day 2 with Todd Wright – Locomotion: If You Can’t Go From A to B, Then You Can’t Keep Up With Me!.  For some time, I have been very confused and distasteful towards the Gary Gray methodology.  Make no mistake about it that Todd and his T4TG guys are Gary Gray-influenced.  But back in the Fall when I was in Austin for something for SmartStep (, I wound up spending 3 straight days @ Texas with Todd and his crew.  From a training standpoint, aside from the value of cervical position, it is the most powerful addition to my program that I have had in some time.  From my vantage point, Todd does the Gary Gray stuff correctly.  And maybe there are things that I was not exposed to that I may not agree with or practice that way, but I was very, very moved by what I learned, and the matrix I learned then is something I installed right away for myself and the right folks we train.
Notes from the talk
–The talk was about using locomotion as the principle to train.  This is training movement that requires stable integrity first in the lower half.  That may be something this methodology may not agree with, but I believe you should be very good at staying still before you start moving.
–Locomotion is a factor of physical limitations, environment, and task
–Fundamentals: Lunge, Pivot, Squat, Hop, Jump
–Primary Patterns: Walk, Run, Shuffle, Skip
–Secondary Patterns: Skuffle, Carioca
–Primary Directions: Sagittal (A-P), Front (R-L), Transverse (Rotating)
–Secondary Directions: Sag/Trans, Trans, Frontal/Trans, Figure 8, Square, Triangle, T-
–They have a whole bunch of other terms that just amount to making the moves more challenging and/or functional or specific in terms of speed, using the arms in the 3 planes, etc.
–Can’t be a Gary Gray guy without talking about the foot.  No question that the Core Pendulum is no better evidenced by the wild mobility required for elite stability at the mid-foot and subtalar joint.
–Bottom line is this level of movement training, provided you have the requisite mobility and stability, teaches athleticism.  It may be slow for some.  You may be static in some moves until/if mobility is achieved, but this style of training is clearly something I don’t have right now, and I want it.

Next talk in the AM was Gray Cook – Dynamic Stability Training.  Well, what else is there to say that hasn’t already been said?  The culture that I have learned from Gray and Kyle Kiesel is the foundation of everything I do and even though I did not hear any new messages from Gray in this talk, I will go to listen to him every chance I get.
–General conditioning and fitness does not  prevent injuries.  It does seem to create false confidence and can at times increase risk.  Brilliant simple statements.
–Stability training is for injury prevention.  Control of motion is my view of this blanket statement.  It is not linked to a blanket approach of how to achieve stability.  This depends on the person’s presentation.
–Flexibility only is not the answer because it is does not always link to good movement.
–Not considering primitive patterns and just looking at standing patterns like the squat is a mistake.
–Biomarkers are evidence-based indicators of major risk -#1 previous injury, #2 asymmetry, #3 motor control, #4 BMI, #5 stupidity
–Is it bad rehab after injury or does something change in the system after injury?  Or both?
–Asymmetries – strength, flexibility, alignment, ROM, joint laxity, Y-Balance Test
–Motor Control – Balance, dynamic neuromuscular control, proprioception, dynamic stability
–The higher levels of research studies on the FMS and training methods are mounting
–Working on the worst pattern is clearly EBP
–Dynamic stability is through DL variations for the lower half and through Chop/Lift variations for the upper half

Next was Todd Wright’s Hands-on session – Locomotion: If You Can’t Go From A to B, then You Can’t Keep Up With Me.
–Did all the stuff barefoot.
–I haven’t figured out how to break up all the different moves for different days or goal-oriented sessions like linear or multidirectional.
–It seems as if you don’t go beyond your current skill set, these combinations of the little names they use – locomotion, drivers, tweaks, enhancements, etc., you are teaching athleticism.
–Another way to describe these drills are like the speed ladder without the speed ladder.  Or also like the Indian Clubs, you just go really slow until you get it.
–I talked to Logan Schwartz, the Women’s basketball coach @ Texas, about my thoughts on ligaments not having efferent tracts from the brain, thus negating the value in creating a neural program for bad movement.  He didn’t disagree, but he didn’t tell me why it was wrong either.  This is a classic case of you take what you find useful from a talk or a method, and you leave what you don’t care for at the door.

During lunch talked for a good while with Sean Skahan of the Ducks.  It was largely about Vibraflex, but we have a lot in common.  Sean is the one that stole all the attendees @ Art Horne’s BSMPG seminar last week as we competed against each other in the hockey and basketball tracks.

Next was Gray’s Hands-On: Training Dynamic Stability.
–If you have pain, you don’t have authentic stability
–Went over what I call Qualifying for the Chop and Lift, which is something I learned from Gray about a year and a half ago.  Before taking the Cook bar or rope for a chop and lift, which is dynamic stability, you should demonstrate that you can stay still.  Static stability before dynamic stability.  Based on the foot position you choose, if you can’t stay still with a static challenge, who knows how you are going to cheat when you deal with a dynamic load.
–The other move he focused on was the Bottoms Up KB Clean to Squat to Press.  This move particularly resonates with me because I do the 48kg fairly cleanly, but I struggle to keep the 16kg in.  I have small hands and a relatively weak grip for someone with my strength, but that type of disparity is what this biomarker is trying to identify.  It doesn’t tell you where my risk lies, but it tells me I have risk.
–Stuff I have seen before, but I’ll always be there to catch the pearl.  I must have missed in this talk.

Back upstairs for Eric Cressey: Medicine Ball Training for Performance and Health
–Always pleasant to her Eric speak as I think our methods have a lot in common.
–Pushed Postural Restoration Institute that he attended recently.  We had them scheduled in ’09 in NJ, but only 5 people signed up, so we had to cancel it, and I cancelled my trip to Texas to do their 1st module as well.  It’s on the list as I think they have some good angles that I would like know more about.  I first became aware of them years ago from Eric’s interview with Neil Rampe.  Neil is in a very large group of people that I think people should hear a lot more about.  PRI doesn’t espouse manual therapy so I don’t think it would take over my system, but I think they have some things that have piqued my interest.
–Lots of numbers and angles that likely apply to all rotary athletes
–LOVED the slides that categorized Absolute Speed (Ballistic), Speed-Strength, Strength-Speed, and Absolute Strength for sprinters and pitchers.  Sprints/Plyos, Jump Squats, OL, Squats/DLs for sprinters and Long Toss/Throwing, Weighted throwing, Med Balls, Strength for pitchers.  Very analogous.
–What I wanted most were just some new ideas to stare at me in the face for throwing med balls, and I got a couple.  It’s fun to see the best videos as the combinations of the pre-throw footwork and the release are very athletic.
–Corrective Exercise goals: hip IR/ER, Hip ABD, Hip Ext, Ankle mob, T-Spine mob, GH IR, Scap loading, Dynamic RTC stability
–Slow athletes down.  They tend to try to do things too fast and/or too soon.
–Interesting as I type this up as to how I think there are universal truths when enough people standing in front of the room are saying the same things.

Napped for a few moments back in the room sans hijinx.  Brad was too banged up from the night before, so he decided not to join Joe P and I at Chris Poirier’s house for dinner.  We pooled over with Anthony Renna where we mapped out a lot of plans for when my DVD comes out.  It is such an arduous process as many folks that have done DVDs know.  Edits, roughs, final roughs, bunch of hurrying up to wait.  But when it comes out, I think you will see some very positive joint venture with that no one else has done before.

Chris Poirier’s house was fantastic as anyone would expect from the way he does business.  Excellent food, of which I did not cheat until the blueberry ice cream crepe at the end.

Chatted the most with Lee Taft as we caught up after not chatting for a good while.  We almost went into business together in Lake George in a facility that had a great setup but not the right financial demographics for it to make sense for everybody at that time.  Timing is everything, or so I’m told.

Also spend quite a bit of time chatting with Robbie Bourke, Cedric Unholz both from Irleand, and John D’Amico.  On the ride back to the hotel, I was quite disappointed that apparently Sheamus is not well known in Ireland.

And speaking of getting back to the hotel.  It’s hard to be quiet getting back into a hotel room.  The cardkey makes a very mechanical sound, and the door bolts and knob are fairly heavy and are not quiet.  Apparently not for a country boy bonked out on an air mattress built for a 4-year-old.  So basically the best way to describes Brad’s face when we got into sight was as below.  Now usually when you scare someone, you kinda get scared a little bit back.  But his face was so classic, so we thought he was faking it, so me and Joe P didn’t even really react.  It was like time stopped, and he made the Scream face in slow motion.  Not a moment any of us will soon forget.

Quite an indelible image going off to bed.

By now 2 weeks later, Thomas Myers’ lecture and hands-on: Anatomy Trains Myofascial Meridians has been quite a topic on the Internet.  Above all else, I think most would agree that this guys was Captain Charisma.  I was very moved by his presentation, particularly his slides regarding cellular biology and histology.  I talked about this on the Forum, and Anthony and I talked about the take homes from the talk on the StrengthCoachPodcast that may be up by now.  I honestly just sat and listened, and while I had this notion prior from my own experiences and reading, there is no question that Anatomy Trains holds a solid corner of what I call the Polygon of Practice.  Everyone has one of these.  Inside this polygon which may have as few as 3 but can really have an infinite number of corners lives all of our knowledge from which we draw upon doing what we do.  Each corner of the polygon is a foundational message all of which connect to each other to make your own individual shape.

In July, I will be seeing Luigi and Antonio Stecco speak in NYC where I’m sure I will dig a little deeper into some of the things I was talking about with Ant and the bullets from below.

Like I said, I just sat and listened and enjoyed, so I needed Joe P’s manual to get some snipets to post.  I will certainly scratch notes the next time I see him as I did with Sahrmann a few years ago.
–All muscles are connected when you remove the fascia.
–Consider your definition of fitness.  Darwin said Survival of the Fittest, not strongest.
–We are working with a NeuroMyoFacial web.
–Posture relies on structure, and structure is fascia.
–We have only 1 muscle and 600 pockets of fascia.
–Symptoms are always caused by ill patterns.
–Fascial network is continuous and plastic.
–Fasica is part Extracellular Matrix (anything in the body that is not a cell) and Fiber (collagen, elastic, etc)
–Foam rollers don’t do what we think they do.  You can make soft tissue changes, but it must be done very specifically.  They do provide positive propioceptive input which may be why our training and rehab are enhanced.
–Fasica has 9-10x the neural connections to the brain as muscle.
— Principles of training (and my interpretations)—–
Use Whole Body Movements (Integrated Patterns)
Use Long Chain Movements (Use your Mobility)
Use Counter-movements to Provide Prestretch Prior to Movement  (PNF, Plyometrics)
Use Vector Variations (multi-planar natural patterns)
Take Advantage of Elastic Recoil Properties (PNF, Plyometrics, Overspeed Eccentrics)
–Favors interval training for conditioning second to the allowance for fascia to to rehydrate after a work interval.  Suggested 3:1 work: rest ratio for this to occur.
–Know if you are a Viking or Acrobat alluding to your genetic mobility.  Appeared to be considering Rocobodo’s 9-point flexibilty test, which can be found on the Web here.
–The Hands-On showed 4 brilliant partner stretches for the Superficial Back Line, Superficial Front (and maybe Deep too) Line, Spiral Lines, and Lateral Lines.  Immediate applicability for a 1-on-1 or partner group/team setting.  I showed these to Steve P, who is SI trained, and he also felt they were some of the best stretches he’s felt.  You do need somone of comparable height for them to work.  I haven’t figured out how to knock all 4 down without a partner, but Gray’s Brettzel 2.0 comes close to the Spiral Line one.
–The rest of the Hands-on turned into Q&A, and we couldn’t hear, so we just chatted before heading out.  Greg Streblow was next to me about the whole time, and he was very clear that the message of Thomas Myers was so similar if not the same to Gray’s and others.  I responded that indeed there are universal truths in our profession.  It’s like a flower of which there may be literally millions of different ones in all the land.  But they all get put in the dirt and need water and sunlight as they grow roots.  There is a blueprint, and if all the great ones in the front of the room are saying the same things with just a little different color pedal or size of the stem of the flower, there must be something right about it.

Myself, Joe P, and Tim Vagen headed off to the car, and pretty much the 10 minutes of reading was in some way, shape, or form recanted into Tim’s audio recorder as he taped the whole ride home.  I think he’s considering marketing the talks, and I’m sure after he edits and censors and edits and censors, he will find a reasonable way to get this out to everybody that is interested.

And what Tim may not tell you on the audio is that after Joe P dropped us off in Old Bridge to get picked up, I introduced Tim to something they don’t have on the West Coast., …………………Moo’s.
Maggie Moo’s.

A long read, but seemingly cathartic as I get more used to blogging.
Good news that I got the Monday after was that I have been invited to present next year, which is an amazing honor.  To “make” this tour is seemingly a sign of status and interest, and I will not let anyone down that recommended me or comes to see the rookie next year.

  • June 13, 2010

Leave a Reply 12 comments

Nate Brookreson Reply

Congrats on the invite, well deserved. I will HAVE to make it next year. Thanks Charlie.

Sean Skahan Reply

Great write up Charlie! I am heading to Long Beach to see some of the presenters that I didn’t get to see in Providence. Let me know when your DVD’s come out. Thanks.

Bill Deganti Reply


I wanted to ask a question with respect to PRI, specifically for people in the training realm and not trained in or licensed to provide any sort of therapy. On their website, they seemed to indicated that their Postural Respiration and Myokinematic Restoration courses may be approrpiate for people in the training realm. They happen to offer these as an at-home study option in which they send you DVD’s to watch (to be returned to them within a certain number of days) and a manual/binder with related material (yours to keep).

While there is no substitute for the valuable interaction that takes place at live events, do you think these “at-home” study options would still be a potentially worthwhile avenue to explore for the trainer or strength coach looking to get a bit more accustomed with PRI material? Or do you feel that within this type of realm that a person would be better off waiting and attending a live event when possible and foregoing the at-home route?

Charlie Reply

Bill – Having never seen the Home Study packet or even taking the course, it would be very hard for me to comment. It does appear though that there is tremendous applicability for their methods for a non-medical practitioner as per my impression that there is no manual therapy in PRI.
I suppose if you took the home study course with the plan to take the next one live, you could ask all the questions you would have from the home course and get up to speed.

Freddys Reply

Thank you so much for writing this. I wish I could have made it out there this year, it sounded great. Thanks again. – Freddys

Charlie Reply

Freddys – Yes, there were lots of good things this year. More than ever, this year seems like you need to go to more than 1 to get it all.

Brad Lambert Reply

Charlie – Thanks for filling in some of the details from Friday night. Now if we could get Shannon and Donna to blog about the endless, worthless babble I was spewing to them at Trinity, that would clear up a lot more of the evening.

And the air mattress reads “One Step Ahead”.

Charlie Reply

One Step Ahead. Of course, this clearly relates to an air mattress. Reply

Hi Charlie,
Great stuff. Fascial work was presented in a well thought out format by John Barnes, PT & then Bob Ward, DO. I learned it from Karel Lewit whose techniques are shown in his & my book. But, none of this compares w/ the evolution of this method in Tom Myer’s hands. Tri-planer is one big leap forward w/ his methods.

One problem I have is the statement
–Posture relies on structure, and structure is fascia.

Posture is due to the nervous system & psychology much more than structure. There is a tendency to assume connective tissues are ‘shortened” when if a trial of Lewit’s Post-Isomtric Relaxation technique is performed often the “tight” structures loosen without any massage, lengthening or stretching. As a result I never assume something is structural until a trial of inhibitory & facilitory methods have failed to improve length of “shortened” structures.

The other quibble, but I think it is really more than that is this statement:
–Symptoms are always caused by ill patterns.
Symptoms arise from the mind, not the body.
Pain threshold is “set” from descending influences
I agree patterns are important, but CAUSE is a big word

Thanks for all the great insights about this wonderful tool to add to our toolbox. Best of all is the tri-planer nature of Tom’s work which is in accord w/ Gary Gray’s revolutionary contributions & modern neurodevelopmental approaches such as the Vojta work that Pavel Kolar is teaching (DNS).


John D'Amico Reply

Great read.

Ivette Cassanova Reply

What a fantastic post! You really must write more often about kettlebells they are my new fitness passion!See you

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