“Rinse, repeat, and live to fight another day.” These are the prophetic workouts that represent the cutting edge of athletic training and functional fitness. I catch up with former Los Angeles Lakers Strength and Conditioning Coach Tim DiFrancesco to discuss matters of great importance to weekend warriors everywhere: how to get the most out of your body and steer clear of nagging injuries and body breakdown that leaves many people on the sidelines or under the surgery knife before their time.
Tim has retired from the grind of the NBA with many great insights and a tremendous database of assessments and exercises that help fitness enthusiasts of all levels correct functional weaknesses to improve performance and heal or prevent injuries. Tim’s best insight from his NBA experience is that champions don’t have any special magic formula, but rather an ability to lock into a winning routine, “nothing earth shattering,” that allows them to maintain an awesome functional fitness baseline. The best athletes establish a comfortable, do-able pattern of the right exercises without overextending themselves and breaking down.
Learn more about Tim’s interesting customized approach to client programming at TDAthletesEdge.com. It starts with an assessment of how well you perform basic movements (the same thing he did to NBA draft prospects for the Lakers to see who’s been trained well and who has high injury risks before a multimillion dollar contract decision is made!), and then a consequent prescription of exercises to address areas of injury, pain and discomfort ― making them stronger without over-stressing them. Short of getting some custom programming from an expert, Tim offers listeners a cool Top 5 list of areas of most concern/injury risk, followed by a go-to exercise to improve function. Here is the list:
- Ankle/plantar fascia/Achilles: Do calf raises (off the edge of a step or any elevated surface)
- Patellar/quadriceps area near knee: The mighty wall sit is the isometric movement here!
- Quadriceps/hip flexors: The “Sprinter” exercise where you lay on ground, bring knee to chest, and apply counter pressure with your hand
- Adductor (groin): The “side laying bottom leg lift” aka the “TD Jane Fonda” move!
- Hamstrings: Partner-assisted Nordic hamstring curl is the best, or a bridge pose with legs extended out instead of the usual near-to glutes position.
This informative show will give you a complete understanding of the cutting edge concepts in functional fitness, injury prevention and peak performance.
Tim DiFrancesco formerly worked with the LA Lakers, now has a cutting-edge fitness program. [04:58]
If you’re enjoyable to be around, if you add positive energy to the room, how can you lose? [08:39]
Feeling strong in what you do physically is a good way to feel empowered emotionally and in everything else. [08:55]
How does one optimize minimizing injury risk? [11:52]
One important aspect is the degree of difficulty of the regimen. [15:47]
The goal is not to crush you. The goal is to see if we can build you up and make you last forever. [19:46]
Twelve weeks is a physiological window for you to be able to feel like you’ve put in the right effort. [23:54]
It’s not just muscles that get strong and more robust and healthier. The common denominator is strengthening. [25:09]
An example is the meniscus of the knee. If it has been overtaxed, Tim would NOT have you working through pain. [33:43]
Hip replacement surgery is only the last resort. Even surgery for torn meniscus. [38:27]
When Tim films a client, what is he looking for as you squat or do a pushup. [45:06]
Each client is different but there are some guidelines that are offered here. [51:22]
There’s a golf standard hamstring exercise called Nordic hamstring curl. [59:40]
- TD Athletes Edge
- Instagram: TD Athlete’s Edge
- Firas Zahabi
- Zahabi on Joe Rogan podcast
- Dr. Craig Marker
- Dr.Phil Maffetone
- Primal Endurance Mastery Course
- “Rinse, repeat, and live to fight another day.”
- “A lot of the time, people want to overcomplicate the process…I think everyone wants to believe that it can’t be that easy.”
- “The goal here is not to see if we can crush you…the goal here is to see if we can build you up and make you last forever.”
LISTEN:Download Episode MP3
Get Over Yourself Podcast
Hey listeners. It’s my great pleasure to introduce to you. My buddy, Tim DiFrancesco, the former Los Angeles Lakers head strength and conditioning coach. Bag the ring there with those guys and Kobe and the rest. After his six year career, he is now set up shop back home in the New England area, outside of Boston with this incredible facility called TD Athlete’s Edge. And he’s now of course, big into the remote coaching because of our, uh, life change here in 2020. And you are going to love this guy. There is no one on the planet, more positive and enthusiastic at all times. Of course, he was such a popular trainer in the NBA. How could you not enjoy working out with this guy after a long, hard grind life on the road in the NBA. And then you come in first thing in the morning and you see this guy’s positive energy and enthusiasm that you’re going to hear so quickly. As soon as we the show and catch up to us on YouTube too, if you want to watch, cause you gotta see this guy’s enthusiasm, his facial expressions, Tim de Francesco. And how about this line? Rinse, repeat and live to fight another day. These are his prophetic words about the proper approach to training, how to get the most out of your body and steer clear of nagging injuries and body breakdown that leaves people on the sidelines or under the surgical knife before their time.
So that’s Tim’s area of expertise, helping to build this functional fitness, address, the weaknesses and imbalances that cause injury and cause breakdown. And I think the quote comes from Tim’s insights about what has worked with the great champions that he’s seen in the NBA and other athletes that you’ve worked with. And he says, you know what? It’s nothing earth shattering. They don’t have some magical, special formula. They just keep at it every day. They rinse, repeat and live to fight another day, go check out TD Athlete’s Edge, Tim de Francesco Athlete’s Edge like touchdown Athlete’s Edge.com. And he has a really cool, uh, operation there. We’re going to discuss it over the podcast, but it involves doing a basic assessment over video and then getting prescriptive exercises to help you correct these things that come up on the assessment. This is cutting edge fitness programming. You’re going to love learning about it and hopefully go check it out for yourself. Especially if you have nagging injuries or things that are holding you back. Let’s listen to Tim D
Tim de Francesco. We are back on the show. We talked a few years ago, uh, back when you were deep immersed into your MBA career. And I’m so excited to hear about these cutting edge fitness operation your business that you started on the East coast and all the things that your clients are coming to you. And we’ll talk about some visions for how, uh, training, uh, can and must evolve to work the best for everybody from the recreational enthusiasts, even in up to the elite performers. So how you doing, man?
I’m doing great. I’m doing great.
You’re always doing great with the big smile. This is the positive energy guy. That’s why you lasted so long in the NBA man, everyone. How could they, how could anybody do anything but love working out with this guy?
There you go. You know, I think that’s, that’s one of my things is, uh, be enjoyable to be around, right? If you can, if you can cover that base. And um, if you’re doing that, you’re, you’re gonna be, you’re gonna be okay.
Uh, that is good life advice for you, young listeners. Yeah. Go get your degree. Study hard, work hard, but you know what, if you’re enjoyable to be around, if you add positive energy to the room, how can you lose?
That’s it, that’s it.
So now you get to sit back and reflect for the first time on this NBA career, which was such an incredible grind. And I remember talking about the travel. I mean, the fans don’t even realize this crazy travel schedule where you’re jumping on a plane in the middle of the night, flying across the country, getting right back at it, especially you, because, unlike a player you had to get ready for, you know, every single thing, those guys had a little more rest. But now let’s get some reflections from you from, you know, being away from the scene and, you know, back in a more stable life and serving real people with your TD Athletes Edge business.
Right? So I think it, you know, the six seasons I spent as the head strength coach for the Lakers was a whirlwind. Um, there was so many amazing things that came from that. And, um, just being around highest level athletes, being around really high level clinicians and people that I could learn from, uh, you know, but it was certainly taxing on the, on my self and on anybody involved. So with the travel, with the intensity of everything, and like you said, I don’t think a lot of people even realize what goes into getting that game on to the, uh, the 8:00 PM ESPN game of the week. You know, that that’s just, um, that’s just when the lights go on, all the other stuff really actually happened to, to get there, um, you know, before that. So there’s a lot to it. And, um, I think now I do have this chance to look back on it and, and kind of have this life that I’ve created for myself now through TD Athlete’s Edge and be able to be a little bit more rooted in, in, um, my vision of, of that, which was always to have a platform and have a place where myself and a team around me of likeminded professionals could help people to be empowered.
And that can mean physically out of the gate. That is our primary expertise, but being feeling stronger and, and, and being stronger in what you do physically is the, you know, is such a good way to just feel empowered emotionally and everything else. So I think, you know, that for us is I see a lot of people running this frustrating hamster wheel of, I gotta, I gotta get in shape. I got this nagging injury to keep going down this vicious cycle of physical therapy, to personal trainer, to injury, to physical therapy, to personal trainer, to injury. And it’s just, I want to get back to these goals and all that stuff. And it bothers me that people are not getting the right guidance on how to get out of that vicious cycle. So that’s, that’s really the root of TDF and said, just help you figure that out.
And I’m sure you’re bringing, uh, so much experience from that NBA scene into the, into the mix. Uh, but just to stay on that for a bit, I’m wondering what you think of, uh, the overall approach with the very highest level of professional athletes these days, uh, in terms of optimizing their potential minimizing injury risk, you still see these tremendous incidences of injuries and people having a shorter career than expected and behind the scenes. It seems to me, I know from my experience in elite endurance sports, we made all kinds of mistakes and there were people that didn’t have their act together, but were still good enough to get seventh on the world circuit or what have you, but had the potential maybe to be, be a champ, but even at the very highest level of sports, I saw a lot of inefficiency and things that potentially could be improved. And I wonder what you think about the NBA specifically.
Yeah, it happens all the time, just like you described in the elite, you know, triathlon, um, event and performance levels. I think it’s no different in the NBA. You know, there’s so many factors that go into longevity and, uh, into longevity, longevity in a sport. And, um, so that sort of is determined by your health, but then the, your, your performance during that time. And, and so there’s so many different things that go into that, but at the same time, there’s some really fundamental, basic things that I think a lot of times people want to overcomplicate the process. And if you just had, if you’re talking about in the NBA, if the, the, the players that I saw that were able to reach there, legit potential levels and the, and do that and stay healthy and doing so we’re the ones that they just created a routine that worked for them that they could repeat and do over rinse, do it repeat, you know, and it was not earth shattering, uh, stuff that they were doing.
There were, you know, they tended to be the guys that took fairly seriously the nutrition aspect, fairly seriously, the sleep and the recovery aspect. And then, you know, really just stayed to the basics of a, of a training routine. And I think everybody wants to believe that it can’t just be that easy. And so then you run this thing of trying to get over complicated. You add so many steps to your system that it’s not able to be repeatable and you get overwhelmed and you get, you, you end up with no system, you end up with no routine and you’re ending up like, let me jump from this. Well, this didn’t work. Let me try this, this didn’t work. Let me try this. You never actually gave any of those things a chance and, or evaluated if any of those even belonged in your system, you’re just trying stuff.
Um, because it couldn’t possibly be just as easy as doing some deadlifts, some squats, some pushups get a good night’s sleep and eat a square meal. I mean, there’s no way it could be that easy, but, um, you know, and now you have all the new fangled, everybody wants to sell you their whatever. And, and everybody wants to, you know, say this is the new tool, or this is the new track, or this is the new thing, that kind of thing. And so it’s like, well, maybe I should try that. I don’t know so-and-so’s doing pretty good there. They’re taking that supplement or, you know, so, and so’s doing pretty good. They’re doing that crazy kickboxing workout. Maybe, maybe I should be doing that. You know? And, and, um, so I think it’s just, I think it just comes down to a lot of that and trying to simplify things, um, is, is where I found guys that could put together, um, but more of a results driven process.
Wow. That’s great. One important aspect of that is the degree of difficulty of the regimen. And I’ve been obsessed with this topic lately, listening to guys like, Firas, you know, the MMA trainer fear as a hobby and Dr. Craig Marker, Dr. Phil Maffetone. People that I’m closely associated with. And they’ve been promoting these points for a while, and we haven’t really listened very well. Uh, but one of them is like Firas Zahabi said on a Joe Rogan podcast. I don’t want my athletes ever getting sore. Dr. Maffetone says the same thing. And to me, I’m like, wait a second, man. I’m usually sore after my sprint workouts every time for 10 years. And if you wind that back a little to what you just said, a repeatable routine, that’s not necessarily earth shattering, but they have that consistency. And they have that, that baseline that they’re maintaining way up high rather than the classic example of the off season athlete, gaining 10 pounds and goofing around and crashing on their, uh, their, their ski trip and hurting their knee. Uh, so yeah, I’m wondering what, uh, what you think about that as far as the degree of difficulty of setting somebody up to succeed,
Live to fight another day is the thing,
Oh, there’s that motto painted on the back of your gym wall. That’s right. Lift see you tomorrow.
And, and it’s just, that’s, that’s one of the hardest things. The, the really veteran and high level athletes of any sport and, or just, you know, there’s, there’s people that aren’t necessarily even competing in a sport, but are just have been very good at understanding that the goal of a workout goal, the training regimen of a routine is not to see how exhausted I can get at certain points, although a lot, unfortunately, a lot of people see that and they say, they see it as well. What am I really accomplishing? If I’m not about to puke here, the end of this workout, or what am I really accomplishing if the next day I can barely get out of bed? You know, I, I, um, um, you know, many of, of many people, uh, in and out of high performance sport are using that as their barometer of success of the regimen of the workout routine.
In reality, if you are able to execute, rinse, repeat, and continuously do that, and feel like when your next one is up, whatever, whatever routine and frequency you set up as, look, this is what I think is going to be useful for me. If you can execute that without feeling like, well, every third week I kind of hit this crash and burn point and I have to take about a week off because my hand, he starts acting up or because I’m just physically exhausted. I literally can’t get myself out of bed, but man, that’s what it takes. I had to get up to that point and just, just depleat myself. Um, and then I think this is what it takes. There’s no way that that’s sustainable. There’s no way that that’s results, success driven, because you’re always just, you know, bearing yourself down to whittling yourself down to have to start back up again.
Right. I wonder why this mindset pervades, I guess it’s the competitive intensity of someone who’s drawn to fitness or athletic sports. Uh, they, they can’t turn it off at the right times and just kind of moderate that too, you know, the special workouts where you really do push yourself once in a while or a competition, but yeah, I’m, I’m raising my hand guilty myself because I get out there, you have so much fun. You’re, you’re, um, you’re in the zone, uh, and then Tim’s playing pickup basketball and tears his Achilles. So both of us get to raise our hands here, but do you think it’s a, a mindset issue that can be coached and moderated with, you know, good education?
Yeah, I totally do. I think it’s, you know, there’s part, there’s two parts of it. I think you have to have the right it’s sort of coaching and guidance and the trust in that person to say, you know what I mean? We have this conversation with many of our members that start working with us is, you know, this is not going to be like the bootcamp you dove into, you know, three months ago. This is not going to be the goal here is not to see if we can crush you. The goal here is to see if we can build you up and make you last forever. And, and so you cannot take the same approach in those two agendas. Um, and so, you know, like you said, completely guilty in, in many areas of my life, not just in now, I approach working out.
I mean, I’ve, I it’s been ingrained in our heads from youth sport coaches from, you know, more as better people saying, you know, harder, you know, you got, you know, that’s, that’s, this is what it takes, that kind of thing. And so it’s like, well, I mean, how could all of those people, all my life have all been wrong and say, to say that it’s not necessarily just train harder, it’s train harder and smarter. And then breaking that is really hard because you have sorta like this, this built in barometer that okay for this workout to be good, I need to feel this much pain either during or after. If I’m not, then how, how can this possibly be effective? I, um, I’m, I’m comparing like I want my time and my effort to be useful and valuable. So I got to ramp it up a notch.
You know, Tim, you know, Tim program for me only three I’m six. I got to fixing it. I, I felt fine. I didn’t feel exhausted. I better do six, four, you know? And then all of a sudden, and this is where, you know, we always have this little dance we do with a lot of people that were working on just helping them to shift this mindset is let’s go ahead. And this is the second thing of what I mentioned. Go ahead and learn it the hard way. Right. But do it, do 12 of them on that exercise instead of six. And then do that on a couple other exercises. I programmed for you. And now all of a sudden let’s see how you’re feeling, not so good. All of a sudden, and, and it, you know, it’s, it’s, it’s all. Oh yeah. Okay. Just let me try this six rep thing and, and see what happens and walk away from this. And like, I had a little left in the tape and that’s uncomfortable for me, but let me just trust in the process. Oh my gosh. Well, the end of that third week, I’m usually in my bed for the next week trying to recover for another round and yet I’m ready to go. What do I do coach like to put me, put me in,
Put me in, Oh, mercy. So, uh, dear clients embrace this pretty well. When you, you have that chance to guide them there, they’re under your care in the gym and your, your team is constantly convincing people to, to tone it down, execute the motions with correct form rather than adding more weight and those kinds of things.
Yeah, I think, I think there’s, um, there’s always a little bit of looking do with our new members that, you know, or you do things being a certain way. And then a month in is usually where we have sort of the scales tip for people because it’s like, Whoa, usually a month into a new, whatever new work routine. I tried, uh, workout on the, um, um, I’m like, I’m toast, I’m exhausted. I’ve got a nag, my shoulders cranked up on, you know what, this is what it takes. And I, you know, this is weird a month in. I feel like I could, I feel great. Like, I feel like I could do more. Uh, and, and this is what I say to people on the very first assessment is, I want you saying the first month you, could you finish your workouts with us saying, I definitely could have done a little more of that workout, but I feel pretty good.
Uh, even if you say, and a third thing to that statement is, and I, I, I don’t know if this is okay, cause this isn’t what I usually feel. That’s okay. Like you trust, trusting this process a little bit long enough. And I, I give people a heads up look, 12 weeks is a physiological window for you to be able to feel like you’ve put in the, the routine for a continuous effort, 12 weeks in a row, if something isn’t really quite positive, but by that point or within the eight to 12 week period, uh, of that time, then, then look the program wasn’t wasn’t right. I mean, if you followed it properly and you’re not feeling bigger, stronger, better by the eight to 12 week, you’re, you’re feeling the opposite of those things and, or nothing, absolutely nothing is happening then you’re just not doing the right program.
Well, it’s hard to imagine a, a sensible program coming up with no results after 12 weeks. And I would, I would probably venture to guess that people aren’t executing it properly. And then I would say that for the most part, people are overdoing it, or there’s some missing link there, like the sleep and the nutrition. You mentioned
No doubt. Yeah.
So I guess the nagging recurring injuries is a huge deal in your game. And it seems like a lot of your time and energy and attention is put there with the videos that you put out and the content is addressing, uh, functional weaknesses and things like that. So maybe we can just get into that topic, discuss some of the most common ones and, uh, how to, uh, how to alleviate, you know, I guess it would be knee, shoulder, back if I’m guessing, but let’s, let’s hear it, man. What’s going on out there.
Yeah. Well, I mean, when I was with the Lakers, I started to realize, I mean, before that I worked as a doctor of physical therapy and outpatient PT clinic, I was seeing young kids come in with nagging injuries. That there’s no way kids that it should be having. I was seeing, I mean, it’s it doesn’t I was seeing it with the Lakers. I was seeing 19, 20 year old high level athletes have injury issues that there’s no way they should be having, but then it became pieces that kind of put it all together for me is, but why am I also having people in their forties, fifties have, you know, reaching out like, Hey, what do I do about this? I, I gave up running. I know I’m never gonna run again. But, um, you know, what’s the surgery for me to do for my knee.
I’ve got three options. According to the doctor, I’m like, hang on a second. Like you’re only 40 or 50. Let’s not, let’s not even get into the whole precision of why are there nine year olds or 19 year olds coming in with these weird things that shouldn’t be happening? Same with 40 or 50? What I mean, why, why are we saying like, well, I’m 40 or 50. I just, you know, it was a good run. I, you know, next step is surgery. Um, I hope everybody has fun from here. I’m done. I exhausted everything that I, that I’m capable of. Like no way, like there’s no way that that’s the, that could possibly be what we signed up for. And, and so there’s just, you know, the frustrating piece on the, on the first part of it as we kind of debunked, that is why are clinicians, physical therapists, personal trainers and medical doctors, chiropractors feeding information.
That is, yeah, well, you know your knee is, is garbage. Your, your back is generative. Your, your shoulder is, is, you know, there’s arthritis in there. It’s, it’s, you know, you’re broke, look, you’re broken. I don’t know what to tell ya. Uh, maybe we can fix you up. It’s probably going to take a shot, a surgery, whatever it is. Um, and I just, you know, I’ve been guilty of falling into that sort of mindset from both the end user and the clinician standpoint at times. And until I finally just got fed up and said, there’s no way, this is, this is the way that this has to happen. And, and so, um, once I did realize that there’s this really beautiful, sleek, powerful hammer that we can use to, to, to get the carpentry right on this issue is loading is, is, is strengthening.
And, and we, you, you start to realize like, wow, it’s not just muscles that get strong and more robust and healthier when you load them when you strengthen, when you add resistance to them. So do bones, tendons, ligaments, what are the tissues that all these people have, these nagging injuries? What are they, what are the issues, the tissues that have the issues, what are the issues, the tissues that are being that are creating the nagging issue. And it’s the tendons, the bones, the ligaments, yes. Sometimes it’s muscular, but a lot of times it’s those itises, you know, that, that we are diagnosed with by a doctor said, well, let’s try a shot. I want you to rest, and I want you to ice it. And basically what they’re saying is, I don’t know what else to do at this point. Just, just stop doing that. Absolutely love to do you know, that thing that, that gives you peace of mind and, and, and bigger, and, and just really fills your cup. Stop doing that. Maybe stop doing that forever. Why don’t I give you a shot? Why don’t you put your feet up on the table and just watch some soap operas for a little while? I think your pain will go away and then you can thank me later. Well, I mean, we’ve all tried that, what, what, what the heck happens? I mean, we,
Of course we better, we feel a little bit better after a week or two of not doing something that was maybe aggravating, an area that the area gets less aggravated and like, Oh my gosh, this is working great. Well, what are you going to do though? You’re going to go back to try doing something or something similar to those activities. And guess what happens? You comes right back.
Oh, how about a plantar fasciitis? When you take time off, it gets worse. I mean, I assure you, it is the most mind blowing thing. I remember having a nagging case for many years when I was racing triathlon. And I finally said, you know what, this winter, I’m just going to bike and swim. I’m going to heal this thing once. And for all, and it took six weeks off, not running a step. And when I started running again, man, that thing was flaming like a blow torch, like never before, because I lost the blood circulation and the strengthening and the training effects. So yeah. Now we, now we enter the realm of functional, functional fitness and rehab and the things that you, uh, you do,
And this is the vicious cycle. You pointed that out so well is okay, let me go away from that sport activity for a while, then I’ll dive right back into it. Cause I’m a young, healthy, you know, just enthusiastic person in this and I can jump right back into it. Um, but during that time, I literally didn’t do any of the sport thing that was bothering that area. And I didn’t do anything to change the tissue. So the only thing that’s really going to change that tissue, the actual only thing that’s going to change that tissue is going is it has to get loaded. You have to strengthen that plantar fascia. Yes. I mean, of course you should think about doing some stretches and things like that, but stretching alone is not going to remodel that tissue. It is not going to make any changes at the cellular level of those tissues.
So it will help it to feel better. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, but if you’re not going to add in that strengthening piece, and this is the piece for me that I wasn’t adding that last piece of the puzzle quite often in the early stages of my professional career and understanding, yeah, let’s, let’s try this rest. I mean, ultimately I can think of multiple injuries that I helped athletes try to rehab from. Whether it be a hamstring, whether it be whatever it’s like, all right, good. They’re feeling better. We’ve got them stretched out. We’ve, we’ve rested them off of the stuff, but, you know, we didn’t want to do too much strengthening because, you know, why would we strengthen? Why would we almost potentially you know, why would we worry about and try to set them up for aggravating an area that’s already aggravated, let’s not do the strengthening piece, but you have to be able to be willing to go into that zone of like, let me aggravate just enough to create a strengthening effect, if you want to get out the other side and not just start running again and have that, that plantar fascia flare right back up.
Well, that’s nice. It’s sort of the, um, the hands on approach to injury healing rather than the rest and drugs and surgery and shots. And so what is the, uh, what’s the strategy there? What are the parameters where
Yeah. You know, you know, what’s cool is that it’s not, you, you also can. The missing piece that most people have is not even a piece of that. It’s a piece that most of us can all do virtually on our own. It’s great to have a coach to guide on the dosage on the right exercises and that kind of thing. But once you get that guidance and education and you have somebody helping you make a plan for it, and you can use them as an accountability partner and, and, and just sort of a, um, you know, an expert of how to do things, but you can do these things at home. I mean, it’s so it’s, it’s what you want to think about is,
Well, you have to now, man, I don’t have to do them at home. Yeah, exactly. Love it. Love it, Tim D working out at home, he recommends, thank you, sir. I will try that.
Yeah, exactly. So you have to sort of identify what are the tissues that, that are irritated? What types of tissues? So is it, is it bone, tendon, um, or ligament, or, you know, is it, is it a, uh, so let’s take two tissue examples. Let’s look at the meniscus of the knee. That’s commonly irritated knee issue versus the patellar tendon of the knee. We get this jumper’s knee pain and the front of our knee area. Um, it’s, it’s a tendinopathy is the proper term that the tendon that connects your knee cap to your shinbone is, is it’s, it’s become overtaxed. And so, um, those two tissues are two different types of tissues. So I would not have you working through a level of pain if your meniscus issue, which is just a shock absorbing tissue in between your knee joints. Um, if you were saying to me, look, I, as I do this exercise, I’m getting, um, I’m getting deep pain inside my deep in my knee, and it’s getting worse as I do the exercise.
Okay. Well, that’s a lot different than you saying I’m doing the squat exercise and it kinda irritates that, that I can touch it right here on the front of my knee, that, that tendon right on the front of my knee. Okay. Well, in that case, let’s work through that up to a level of five out of 10 pain. Let’s work right up into that level because what’s happening there is we’re going to remodel that tendon. We’re going to get that tendon to sort of tip it scales from getting pissed at us for doing this exercise, to being like, Hey, I’m, I’m pretty strong. Now. I actually like it when you do this exercise. Um, and, and so, you know, we wouldn’t do that in a, in the case of a meniscus. And that’s where, you know, having a skilled clinician or having a coach that can help you root out these differences of the nagging issues really, really key and critical and doing an assessment.
I mean, that’s, that’s the big thing to me. It’s, you know, if you’re having these repeated vicious cycle, you know, right. Shoulder left knee, right. Hamstring stuff that just never gets solved. Right. Plan our fascia, somebody at some point needs to stop the train and, and let me see you move. Just let me see you move. Can I see how things look okay. That gives me a picture that combined with what you’re doing combined with what your goals are combined with. You know, what it is that you’re, you know, what I’ve found from this assessment, as you move, now, we can target these areas the right way, and I can coach you and say, look, Brad, I don’t from that, that, that if I am sure to now determining, okay, it seems to me, you’ve got a irritated meniscus on this side. I don’t want you to work through the pain on this one, but working through some pain, would that plantar fasciitis and having to do those heel raises right up through to a level of five out of 10 pain. That’s what you’re going to need to do to tip the scale back to a, uh, you know, uh, a strong plantar fascia, that isn’t just stretched out and, and, and rest it because it’s stretched out and rested. Plantar fascia is just going right back to its same level 10 out of 10 times.
So is the meniscus either healthy or torn? Is there an in between,
Right. So no, it’s, it’s, it can be, it can be crunched. It can be pinched. It can be just short of bruised. There there’s different levels of that. Now the beautiful thing about even a meniscus tissue is finding the right things. Oh, well, Hey, Brad, that, that thing that I I’ve diagnosed and, and, you know, my role as a licensed physical therapist, I can diagnose that stuff, but you know that, Hey, that, that meniscus issue does that bother you? If you go down into a split squat position and you just hold right there and you don’t, you don’t do dynamic jumping or dynamic heavy loaded weights for right now. Oh, no. You know what, Tim, that doesn’t bother me at all. Okay. Let’s go in and let’s load that meniscus in a, in a zero out of 10 pain, uh, range of motion. And then let’s do that for a couple of weeks.
Let’s see what happens. Let’s build that tolerance up. Now, let’s go back to that thing, that in the assessment, it really set it off. Let me try, have you tried try that split-squat with dynamic movement, does that still bother it? Oh, wow. I can. I can do that movement. Maybe not a hundred percent of the way, but I could do most of that movement really comfortably. Now this is kind of nice. So you can get any tissue to respond just by figuring out kind of what ways you can load it in that, in those sweet spots.
Well, you hear now so much about the hip replacements and I have one, two, three, four, five, five friends of mine in the last several years who have gone in there and drilled in a new hip. Two brothers. And, um, you know, they report the, the journey usually go, they’re very responsible, healthy, athletic people. Uh, and it sounded like the story was, they tried everything and then it was a time to go get a hip replacement. And is this, do you challenge that or is that sometimes the, the end game where just nothing helps or can there be some unexposed? Uh, I feel like if you, um, if you have a functional weakness, that’s maybe even unrelated to the pain area. If you can’t go down and do a deep squat, but you’re complaining about a low back pain, um, let’s forget about the low back and try to try to, you know, hit some more checkpoints on the report card.
Yeah. I definitely challenged that. I always anybody. I mean, I regularly have people that I’m talking off of the ledge of total hip replacement surgery. Um, now look, sometimes you have a level of wear and tear that has happened for multiple reasons. Over time, you did a bunch of things that maybe you did too much of an improper form ways over the years. And you just, you know, you didn’t do a lot of stuff to strengthen or whatever. Sometimes you get to a point where, okay, we’ve, we, we have exhausted now most of the time when people say I’ve tried everything, they haven’t tried everything, they’ve tried a bunch of things. And then they’ve tried just throwing a bunch of things at the wall. Uh, but you didn’t try everything. You didn’t try everything. And I really systematic way, most of the time I find, I mean, look, I’ve had cases where somebody’s got a doctor saying to them, I think you’re at the point where it’s time for total hip surgery.
And I work with them and we get them on a routine. And suddenly they’re like, no, I can get another couple of years out of this. At least if I, if I’m going to feel like the way I’m feeling now, uh, by strengthening the right areas, by loading that joint properly just enough to build its tolerance and that kind of thing. And if, you know, I’m being honest, sometimes there are cases where, okay, let’s try this conservative effort, this last, you know, a period of time and see if it will respond, doesn’t respond. It depends on sort of where it’s at when, when, you know, when they get to us so to speak. But so, you know, you can’t, sometimes they’re, they’re at that level where it’s just look, this is the time for that. And, um, the cool thing is the surgical, the level of surgery now is so high that it’s not this sort of death sentence either. Uh, so it’s really, if you are at that point and you have a really systematic approach to loading the hip joint, mobilizing the hip joint, trying to see if you can get it, to respond to things without having to go the surgery route. Um, and you have to go to surgery, right? It’s not the end of the world, but I, I often find people have not done everything.
I’m referencing my torn meniscus at age 39. And I went in and got a quick checkup. And, uh, you know, the recommendation is surgery, but my physical therapy friend said, why don’t you try these exercises? And it took me, uh, six months before I could run a step without pain. But I finally got to a point where the thing completely healed without surgery, which some people claim is impossible when it comes to the meniscus. There’s no blood flow there. It can never get better. You need to cut it out, but I just wanted to try it. And in contrast, the athletes are getting these meniscus surgeries now, and they’re on the court three weeks later. And so, you know, arguably I could have sacrificed some tissues and dealt with this thing. You’re your neighbor joined benign Joan Benoit Samuelson the great Olympic runner, uh, in 1984 Olympic trials. She had meniscus surgery and ran the trial 17 days later, the greatest fastest recovery ever. Uh, but you know, I felt like I was in no rush. I wasn’t, uh, you know, getting paid to play in the Western conference. So the NBA took my time and, Oh my gosh, I’m so thankful 15 years later now that I didn’t cut out any, uh, shock absorbing tissue there because that’s, you know, it’s a short term solution for pain relief and whatnot, but you’re, you’re making a big sacrifice, theoretically,
A hundred percent. I mean, that’s a, that’s a great, great example. Um, because it’s mostly, it comes down to the willingness to kind of put in the reps of what it took you in those six months, period of time to kind of, you know, while doctors tell me six weeks later, if I have the surgery six months for six weeks, I don’t know if I want to put in that time, but down the road, you’re, you’re pretty thankful that you, you didn’t have some doc go in there and shave out half your meniscus.
Oh mercy. So these assessments are so fascinating to me. And I remember I went down to Laker’s training center and filmed you. Um, Oh no, we couldn’t do it filming at the Lake or sorry. We went down the street to another gym that my buddy owns, and we got this all on the Primal Endurance Mastery Course videos that the assessments that you put a potential draft prospects through to see if they’ve been trained properly and what their injury risk is now. And this is exactly what you did to me when I signed up for your program at TD Athlete’s Edge. And it’s so cool. And I just want to know, like, where did you develop these, these benchmarks and these ideas? And you’re asking just to listeners understand, you’re asking the listener to go a sequence of, uh, of moves on FaceTime and you didn’t, uh, you didn’t, uh, you didn’t cheat, man. You didn’t tip me off of what you were looking for. You just told me to go into a lunge and come back out. But secretly you’re looking to see whether my core engages or whatnot. So it described that, um, that modality and how, how you like to deal with clients, especially now remotely. Cause you’re, you were forced to, but this means that anyone can engage with the TD Athletes, had programming and get filmed and then get the corrective exercises.
Right? And so my goal with the assessment is to identify the quality of movement that you have in the basic movements that we look at. It is not to come up with a test that you can do. Okay. So, so my, my goal is to have you do and be able to do these movements so that I can see the quality of those movements. I need to identify the areas where there may be either a strength, deficient deficiency, a balanced efficiency, um, or a mobility deficiency range of motion deficiency. And so as I’m going through and having, um, well, I’m watching you in real time, do these movements. All that does is it tells me the exact starting point for you in the workout routine, in the, in the strengthening exercises that you need to be doing. So if you take a pushup, for example, you could do anything from a band resisted feet, elevated pushup, very aggressive variation of a pushup, two, a push up where your hands are on a bench and your feet are on the ground and you’re on an incline and it’s going to be a much more doable or reasonable variation.
I just need to know when I asked you to do a push up from the floor, what your, what you execute in front of me tells me where on that spectrum, if I’m going to program for you, a pushup variation within our system, we are going to work on horizontal, pressing strengthening, as we would call it from your upper body. And a pushup is a very viable exercise within our system. We just need to know what variation you be. You be, get you need to begin at, or is proper for you to begin at. So I’m, I’m looking at all those things, same thing with the squat, same thing with a lunch, same thing with a, um, you know, with, with all of these movements that you went through, when you did our assessment with, and, you know, being able to then show me, combine that with what you’ve said, your goals are, what is your, what are the sports that you’re doing? What are the repetitive actions that you need to be ready for? And then that feeds us into using our template and systems of what we’ve designed to be able to lay out total body strengthening, but with focuses in the areas that you personally need.
So every client that’s remote or coming into the gym has sort of this prescription custom approach where you’re taking them through the specific, uh, workouts that they need to rehab, prevent injuries, cover their weaknesses, things like that.
Yeah, exactly. And I mean, let’s take you for example. I mean, you came in saying, look, my left hammy, little sciatica type stuff, little crankiness going on there, I’ve got, I do a lot of, of this action where I’m, you know, where you’re prepping for the high jump work that you have to do. And whether it’s sort of the extension of that action through your low back and or the leaping off of, uh, one leg getting up into that action over and over and over and over again. Um, there’s something in those areas that is not built up a capacity for the repetitions you’re asking it to do. And so, um, you know, what I’m looking at is, okay, how are we going to, in your case, what you and I talked about was what is your performance need? And then what is the need that those tissues have just tolerance wise to be able to do that.
Speaker 6 (00:49:18):
So your performance need is to be able to produce force into the ground and get up as high as you can. That’s the concentric aspect of jumping and getting up on another example. And you and I talked about this is for a basketball player. Yes, they need to get up and, and think about how can I get up and dunk the basketball, but then they’re going to have to land. So your landing and your unique case is not necessarily the performance need, because you’re going to have pad. You just need to be able to push as much force into that ground as you can, and propel yourself as high vertically up and over that bar as you can get. And so how do we prepare those structures to be able to do that? And that’s, that’s the reason for doing their assessment that’s for a reason for doing an intake form. That’s the reason for, you know, getting to know every person before they enter into our training methodology and being able to have each person get a customized approach into what they’re doing, not only what your performance need was, but what is your nagging injury puzzle that you’re trying to solve? Because I don’t, I rarely come across people that come to us that say nothing. I got nothing. I don’t have a single nick, bruise, zero, no, come on. I mean that nobody’s driving around a brand new car off the lot. Okay. So it’s that. And so it’s very, very, it’s, it’s abnormal and I’m looking at, um, I’m questioning, if I believe you, if you tell me I have zero Issues and.
how are you working out that hard if you do.
And so exactly. And so, you know, those two things being identified in that assessment process is exactly what we’re going to zero in on, you know, your performance need and then your nagging injury puzzle, we’re going to help you to fuel both of those.
So, uh, since it’s a podcast episode, uh, I want to give some general audience helpful hints. And I imagine that there’s some broad spectrum guidelines that you could offer up as a good baseline, you know, short of going into a customized assessment and prescription. And I think my starting point, I gotta say, man, the, um, the mini bands and the clam shell and the, uh, the strengthening exercises that light up those glutes right away, those have been solid gold for me. And I don’t know when we talked like only a couple of weeks ago, but my longtime nagging glute hamstring sciatica is gone. And I’ve, I’ve pushed it hard to test and see if I could say hello again on some sprints. Uh, so, you know, that’s a really quick, uh, transition from nagging injury person to not feeling it at all. Now I have my hip flexor.
So we’ll talk after the show about that. No, but there’s, there’s always something going to come along, but yeah, if we could, um, you know, maybe throw out a top five or, or a good time and that’s, that’s why I’m nominating the mini bands like Tiger Woods was the first one that got ridiculed for dropping out of the golf tournament in San Diego in 2013. And they said why? And he says, my glutes were an activating. And then, you know, the sports writers eating the hot dogs and the donuts had a field day with that and said, Oh, poor guy’s glutes. Weren’t active. But you know, if his glutes aren’t activating, when he’s hitting the ball 327 yards, that means the pain is going into his lower back, which was surgically repaired. And he walked off the course and he was smarter than all the fools that ridiculed him. So now I got my glutes activated. I’m feeling like a real athlete. So what will a BK we’ll start the list here. But if you’re talking to the general listener, who’s a weekend warrior type person, um, wanting to protect against those hot spots, like the shoulder or back, what are some ideas that they could do at home?
Okay. So let’s do, let’s look at it this way. Cause a lot of the, the there’s there’s these five big areas of the lower body that tend to be the ones that rear their ugly heads in, in these common injuries that, that we all can, you know, easily find ourselves in this nagging injury, vicious cycle. If we look at and we call area number one ankle, and when I say the ankle, not even necessarily just in, certainly not only, but more specifically the plantar fascia, the Achilles tendon and the calf. Now there can also be sprained ankles and other stuff at that area. But if we look at plantar fascia, Achilles calf, those areas can, can, you know, everybody’s gone out for a run and a mile and you, you kind of feel like you’ve strained your calf, or you’ve got this Achilles tendonitis type issue, plantar fasciitis, you brought it up.
We’ve all had those areas. So that’s area number one. And I’m going to go through briefly a couple of things for each area area. Number two, we’re going to think about the patellar and quadricep tendon. Those are those ropey tendon areas just below the knee cap and just above the kneecap, the anterior knee pain and sort of, you know, uncomfortable burning action that can happen for runners as well as jumpers and that kind of thing. The next area at the quadricep and hip flexor, you just brought up the hip flex. Okay. That’s number three, number four, your abdoctor. Lot of times people get these nagging, groin issues, these kind of strained grind. They maybe weren’t doing a lot of work outside of just doing straight ahead running. And all of a sudden they tried to go play soccer with their buddy and they pull their groin, that kind of thing.
Lastly, the hamstring. So there’s nothing worse than a nagging hamstring. It can be, feel like it can last forever. And sometimes it does if it’s not the right thing. So, okay. There’s your, there’s your big five. There’s your big five lower body, common injury areas. So many people I’d be, I’d be shocked if everybody listening hasn’t had something in one of those areas. So if we look at that ankle area and we talk about plantar fascia, plantar fasciitis, we talk about Achilles tendon. Obviously we talk about calf strain. He’ll raise us standing at the base of a step set of stairs. Use the railing for some support and just go up on your tiptoes and down exactly 15 times, nice and slow on the way down. Really exaggerate the ecentric lowering portion. So you can load up those tissues and start to strengthen them, strengthen them.
What you want to do is be able to get up to every other day, say three times a week, you do 45 repetitions in total. Now it might start with you doing 15 reps at a time and building up to 20, 25, building up to 30, 35 and all of a sudden 45. But that’s a great thing for those, those particular areas, the next area, number two, patellar and quadricep tendon apathy. It can be really debilitating. I mean, it can, it can really slow you down and stop you from running or jumping and doing the sports you love. Now do a wall sit, do a good old fashioned wall set. Now you don’t have to go down like your coach yelled at you as, as he was, his face was turning beet red and he was blowing his whistle in your face and telling you to get down, get down lower to 90 degrees of hip and knee band.
And, um, you, you can do those. That’s great if you can tolerate that, but you could start at a higher angle. So you can start with your, your, your butt up a little bit higher than what your coach would have yelled at you to get down to and, and just work on 15 to 30 to 45, up to 60, 75 seconds worth of wall sets. You’re going to load up those tendons in a way that they’re going to really thank you for that,. Hip flexor quadricep area. So in your workout, Brad, there’s a great a exercise that is referred to as the sprinter. And we use a miniband for that. And you can even just use your, your hand, but you picture yourself laying down on the ground like Frankenstein, and you bring your knee up one knee up to your chest towards your chest, uh, not fully up to your chest, but towards your chest.
Now you’re gonna meet your knee with your hand and just, just try to push against each other. So you’re trying to not let your hand push your knee back down to its start position. You’re you’re doing this hip flexor strengthening exercise. That could be great for that. Um, now we talk about groin and abductor that, that, that inner thigh area, and there there’s an exercise for this. That can be great, which is lay on your side, cross your top leg up and over your bottom leg, and now lift your bottom leg to the sky. So you’re just lifting your, your bottom leg upward. It almost looks like we’re in the one box of Jane Fonda’s workout video, and a, you should have an ankle weight strap to the bottom of your ankle and, and, uh, uh, a headband on and, and we’re back to the eighties spandex, you know, so some of those things were tried and true, and we had some good, you know, we had some good methods there. So just doing what we call a sideline bottom leg lift is a great exercise for building up that, add dr. Groin strength. Most people get a groin pull and they say, okay, I’m going to leave it alone. I’m not going to do anything for this for a month. And then it goes away. But you also, it got weaker during that time because you stayed away from it and you didn’t do anything to improve the quality of tissue. So you want to strengthen things as quickly as possible.
Uh, uh, so the problem with that one is the name’s too long. So I think we should call it the Jane Fonda or something instead of the side line, bottom leg lift. Oh my gosh, we got the, the TD Jane Fonda or something.
No, that’s good. Let’s go. Uh, I’m with it. I’m with it. So then the last thing is those hammies. And so what you want to think about what those hamstrings, I often find that. So there’s a gold standard hamstring exercise called the Nordic hamstring curl. It’s it’s an aggressive exercise and we usually don’t start people with this, but in the, in the, in the case of the hamstring, um, is the Nordic hamstring girl variations are absolutely. We are always trying to work our, our members up to being able to do some version of those, because if you can do those and if you regularly load your hamstrings, what you can picture is a partner is, is you’re kneeling. And a partner is behind you, just, uh, holding their hands on your, your ankles. So you’re, you’re, they’re gluing your shins to the ground. Now you’re going to tip forward and fall to the ground as slowly as possible.
Okay. So you may have seen that exercise and it is a great one. Now, what do I do if I don’t have a partner? What if I, what do I do if that variation or that aggressive level of a full Nordic hamstring curl is just not in my repertoire right now today, you’re going to do a long bridge. So we’ve all done a bridge, a regular bridge, a standard bridges is actually in my opinion, a short bridge where your heels are really close to your butt, and you’re just bridging your you’re just lifting your butt up off the ground. A long bridge is you’re going to walk those heels out way away from your butt, and you’re going to dig your heels into the ground. And you’re going to, again, in a much shorter range of motion, lift your butt up off the ground, two, three, four inches, but you’re doing that through your hamstrings. And in that long bridge position and the short bridge position you’re using your butt cheeks, you’re using your glutes, your big, your big posterior glutes, but we want to target those hamstrings. So a long bridge and you go up and you hold it for 15 seconds. That’s a great exercise for your hamstrings
Listeners. Did you notice that, uh, almost all of these are isometric. Ah, got it. What’s stuff what’s up with that secret sauce, man.
Yeah, yeah. Those holes, man. God, you gotta respect the ISOs. Gotta respect the ISOs, The metric hold action. Especially early on. Yeah.
Uh, so is there a rationale like this is I guess, a, a safer move to if you have that injury and like you talked to me on my assessment that, um, moving will aggravate it, but doing some ISO holds will strengthen it without that aggravation.
Right? There’s two beautiful parts to the isometric, hold this a great, such a great way to start the loading tolerance of an area because you’re, you’re going to a spot and you’re holding, you’re not dynamically grinding through the range of motion and potentially aggravating already aggravated or sub susceptible injury, uh, issue, um, uh, tissue areas. So the isometric hold also allows us to take advantage of one of the properties of resistance training in general that often gets lost, which is King Tut. Uh, King Tut is “time under tension” T U T. Okay. So when we do a set of pushups and you bang out 10 and 10 seconds, one second per rep, how much, uh, you’re, you’re not really spending much time with King Tut there. There’s not really that much time under tension. You, you should be doing a set, uh, for upwards of 30 to 45 seconds of time under tension to really get a, uh, physiologic effect of, of that, uh, therapeutic effect of that resistance. Um, anybody can knock out a set of split squats, lunges, or squats in 10 seconds and do 10 reps and really haven’t accomplished much. But if you’re going to slow yourself down and do a tempo or an isometric hold at the bottom of your squat, every set, every rep, you do a three-second holds at the bottom, like you’re hovering over a toilet seat. I mean, you’re going to get up different bang for your buck than if you’re just cranking through 10 reps.
Nice. I love the, uh, the top five list and the, and the King Tut acronym. We’re going to remember that forever. Tim D you’re doing great work. I’m so glad that you got set up with your operation there. And, uh, it’s near Boston is the TD Athlete’s Edge headquarters.
Yeah, that’s right. So, you know, homebase is outside of Boston, but, um, in, you know, we are fully, uh, we, we can, we can train the world from anywhere. I mean, we, we, our virtual capabilities, um, are, you know, exactly what you’re experiencing through the program. We got you set up on, um, your, your you’re all the way over there. And, and, uh, where are you now? You’re, you’re in
Lake Tahoe, man. We are serving the whole continent.
From Boston, you’re in Tahoe, right on coaching you up every step of the way. So, um, yeah, our, our online capabilities allow us to train anybody from anywhere
So we can learn more going to the website, TD athletes edge.com. The, the videos are fantastic. They’re so motivating. Cause you crank them out a lot and we learn new drills and fun stuff. Uh, so we’ll, we’ll, we’ll find everything there. That’s where we’re going to get ya.
Yeah. TD Athlete’s Edge.com is, um, is a great place to kind of see the gamut of we’re doing. And then, um, my, uh, Instagram is a place where I’m very active at T D Athlete’s Edge is my handle there. Um, and, uh, I, I recommend that you check in with me, there should be a DM. And tell me, tell me what your goals are. And I love to hear about that kind of stuff. And, um, and that’s, that’s a great way to kind of get started. And what I post on there a lot, as you said, is a lot of these, um, things that people can do from anywhere to help them to start to solve some of these nagging injury issues,
Tim DiFrancesco people killing it. Thank you so much for the conversation. Great show.
Appreciate it. BK,
Thank you for listening to the show. We would love your feedback at email@example.com. And we would also love if you could leave a rating and a review on iTunes or wherever you listen to podcasts, I know it’s a hassle. You have to go to desktop iTunes, click on the tab that says ratings and reviews, and then click to rate the show anywhere from five to five stars. And it really helps spread the word so more people can find the show and get over themselves cause they need to thanks for doing it.