Written by Eion Lacey
Personal training in essence is, individualising fitness, nutrition and training methodologies to suit your client or athletes ability to maximise a pre-determined goal or outcome. The key here is to maximise their ability. Often the mentality of “eating less and exercising more” is not enough to maximise their results or even obtain a result in some people.
Functional medicine teaches you the skills to identify which area in your clien'ts life has to be addressed, enabling you to truly maximise their results. I have countless case studies where issues such as gluten sensitivity, GI dysfunction, sleep disorders, vitamin and mineral insufficiencies, food intolerances and acidosis have been overlooked by personal trainers only to have these issues completely stop the client from obtaining any results.
The realm of functional medicine is becoming a powerful and essential tool for the educated personal trainer to use. Although we are not, and should not be dealing with disease, understanding the pillars of health will enable trainers to get results where others can't.
Personal trainers do however have a massive advantage over medical doctors. Clients and athletes come to trainers in the hope to enhance their health. Either with a weight loss, body fat, fitness goal or even boosting their energy. The average number of times a client will visit a PT is twice per week. Compare this to a patient visiting an MD due to an already manifested health issue or condition. A PT is in a position to impact his or her client in a powerful way, through the combination or exercise, nutrition and understanding the pillars of functional medicine.
A common example is sleep disorders which are becoming a common modern day issue. Most trainers accept that sleep is essential to maximising your client's results. What is less known is that detoxification of the liver happens in deep stage sleep. Therefore if you are not getting the valuable hours of deep stage sleep your body cannot detoxify all the harmful chemicals it takes in on a daily basis. Over months and years this level of toxicity builds and will show itself one day with someone struggling to lose weight or being more prone to sickness and disease. Detoxification of the liver happens between 12pm and 2am and so if your client is waking up during these times, you need to know as a personal trainer what to do. If you can get the liver detoxifying, they will once again sleep and lose weight where they have struggled in the past.
But if you don't know the questions to ask or the signs to look for you can't maximise your client's results.
Functional medicine brings to the table an open-mindedness and a structure patient-centered approach to maximise your client's health and well being. Functional medicine will give you the ability to look at and to know what to do about gluten sensitivity, GI dysfunction, sleep disorders, vitamin and mineral insufficiencies, food intolerances and acidosis. Treating these conditions increases the ease of health and reduces disease.
Sidney Baker MD the father of functional medicine coined the two key questions:
1. What can I take away from this person to improve their health ?
2. What can I introduce to this person to improve their health ?
During the intensive 2-day seminar I will cover how to look beyond training systems and diets, providing you with the investigative skills to functionally assess your client to maximize their health, well being and of course achievement of their fitness goal. A client's genotype and or health status and the periodisation protocol that the trainer chooses to use will fundamentally dictate the results that are obtained from their experience with that trainer. Following the 2-days of functional medicine I will detail the ISI Phenotype Profiling System, which will teach you the skills to modulate training programs and periodization methods to maximize client success of varying body shapes and levels of fitness. I hope to see you there.
Written by Jacqui Clark
I was treating a district nurse for right SIJ pain. Her functional fault was that she was using her passenger seat in her car as her desk to write up her medical notes between domiciliary visits. Her writing position was in a twisted left position. Although she felt some discomfort sometimes in this position, her main complaint was acute pain when getting out of the car and weight bearing on that right leg. Why?
In a sitting position if you twist your torso to the left, the right ilium bone rotates forward (anterior rotation) and the left rotates backwards (posterior rotation.) Anterior rotation of the ilium bone brings the sacroiliac joint into a loose pack position (see this article) so that there is more laxity around the joint. Weight bearing through a joint that is in its loose pack position can lead to micro trauma and pain.
Understanding the biomechanics of the SIJ enables us to spot functional habits that stress the sacroiliac complex. A correct understanding of motor control ensures that we train the appropriate stabiliser muscle combinations in order to maintain a close pack and stable position for transferring load through the pelvis avoiding the development of pain. The Motor Control Training for the Sacroiliac Joint Workshop covers the mechanics and motor control training for the sacroiliac joint.
Writing her medical notes in front of her and retraining motor control in weight bearing so that the approprate muscles worked to create a close packed position saw this district nurse back to 100% pain free function within 3-4 weeks!
Written by Jacqui Clark
Side bridging particularly strengthens the quadratus lumborum (QL) and tensor fascia latae (TFL) as the major mobiliser muscle groups. When you take weight through your leg you need a pelvis that can transfer the load from your leg to your trunk efficiently. In the stance phase of gait, therefore, your SIJ on the weight bearing side must be in a stable, "close pack" position (see the diagram below). And when you swing your leg in the swing phase there needs to be some give in the pelvis to allow movement to occur, called the loose pack position in the SIJ. The close pack position for the SIJ is a posteriorly rotated ilium bone against a "nodded forward" or nutated sacrum.
The muscles that produce and control posterior rotation in the ilium are the oblique abdominals and gluteals, and multifidus nutates the sacrum. If these muscles are dominated by preferentially activated QL and TFL (+/- Iliocostalis and longissimus), the ilium is pulled into anterior rotation. An anteriorly rotated ilium in the weight bearing phase of walking creates a loose pack joint which is much less efficient at transferring forces from the legs to the trunk, risking the development of pain and pathology. Low threshold activation of the gluteals, obliques and multifidus will facilitate the close pack stable position of the SIJ for walking, in addition to the local muscles for added functional joint stiffness. Tightness and over-activity in QL pulls the ilium anteriorly, and tightness/overactivity in the TFL can pull the ilium anteriorly in the hip extension phase of gait.
Therefore exercises other than the side bridge are recommended for patients with SIJ pain! Learn how to assess for a SIJ that fails to lock into a close pack position in weight bearing and what to do about it to prevent pain in the pelvis in walking in the Motor Control Retraining for the SacroIliac Joint workshop in Auckland and Wellington September 22-23, 2012.
- Jan 18 - Jan 19 Functional Medicine for the Professional Trainer
- Jan 20 - Jan 21 ISI Personal Training Programme Design
- Jul 06 - Jul 07 Muscle Testing and Application for the Fitness Professional/Physiotherapist - Trunk and Pelvis