Posts Tagged ‘Function First’

Anthony Carey on the LifeTime Fitness Podcast

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2020

From the show notes:
Join Industry Veteran Anthony Carey and Jason Stella Discuss…
1. Why he has spent the majority of your career working on how to help people decrease their pain.
2. Discuss his PRACTICAL book called: “The Pain-Free Program: A Proven Method to Relieve Back, Neck, Shoulder and Joint Pain.
3. WHAT have you found to be the best ways to help, staying within the scope of being a trainer?
4. Explain the following concepts in his book
1. The Body’s Interrelatedness
2. Our Self-Healing Bodies
3. The need to take responsibility
4. Anthony’s unique way of putting exercises is specific groups called Form & Category
– What’s the differences between them
– Show some of the exercises within each area and how they may be able to help specific people?
5. Explain and show your invention, The CORE-TEX.
a. Why and how did you come up with this?
b. Can you show us some of the common ways you use this to help clients improve
3. Explain the course that you put together called the “Pain Free Movement specialist

How does a client achieve success with Function First?

Monday, May 20th, 2019

In this part of the interview, Anthony shares several client success stories and what the transpires during the process. Exercise is the vehicle, but there are plenty of other elements that must be in alignment as well.

An Overview of a Function First Initial Visit

Sunday, June 3rd, 2018

We are regularly asked, “what does a visit at Function First look like?”.

Function First founder Anthony Carey takes you through an overview of what that first 2 hour appointment is all about and why it is so pivotal for so many.

Be sure to take note of the differences of how we approach our process compared to what you might experience elsewhere. Even if you are an existing Function First client, this video will be great to share with friends who you know can be helped by what we do.

Please pass along to those that are ready to take a powerful step forward with a movement based program that is backed by science.

Corrective Exercise Heel Drop

Tuesday, May 8th, 2018

Another great exercise from the archives is the Heel Drop. This exercise also comes from the DVD Corrective Exercises for Powerful Change and continues to be a highly utilized exercise in our progamming. Don’t let the calf stretching appearance fool you-there are multiple events happening with the positioning and requirements of this exercise. Pay attention to the details because a small change in position can lead to dilution of optimal benefits. Access to this exercise and many more are all part of the Pain-Free Movement Specialist curriculum

November Client of the Month

Tuesday, November 8th, 2016

We love to see our clients transition from corrective exercise to full fitness activities without limitations or hesitations. We are so happy to have Eric Brittain as part of the Function First family!

Thank you for your dedication to your health, your consistency with your efforts and the amazing attitude you bring to every class. You uplift all those around you!

David Snodgrass Client of the Month

Thursday, October 13th, 2016

I started with function First in April of 2012. My wife was already attending and encouraged me to give the program a chance. My experience with ‘gyms’ had been less than productive, so my first response wasn’t exactly positive, but I decided to give it a chance. As it ends up, this was a totally different experience for me. Instead of a dry, boring routine, I was immediately part of an enthusiastic and friendly group of people. I was totally pleased with the guidance and direction of the instructors. The routines were creative and always changing. Nothing boring about it!

Being age 64, I was beginning to feel less energetic with less mobility and more discomfort. I knew I needed to add some exercise to my daily routine. But, not the typical lift some weights and run a while on the treadmill. The Function First instructors solved that problem with what seems to be an endless supply of varying exercises. I also soon discovered the ability of the staff to be able to modify the group routines to fit my personal needs.

Private Sessions were invaluable in starting me in the correct direction for better physical health. Issues my physician was trying to mask were alleviated with the appropriate exercise problems. I’ve found the instructors to be incredibly knowledgeable, concerned, and capable.

Function First has allowed me to continue with an active lifestyle of hiking, back packing water-skiing and boating.

Dave Snodgrass

Happy David

Happy David

7 Reasons Your Natural-Outdoor Workouts are Bad for Business

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

In a recent Youtube comment on one of my Core-Tex™ videos, the commenter stated, “I’m in the fitness industry myself, and it still disappoints me that we continue to develop stuff like this when we need to be out in the outdoors challenging our core for real.” On the same day I read a very similar comment regarding another product on a different web site. These comments are in addition to the multiple comments with the same point of view that appear from fitness professional daily on Facebook.

Really? Is that your earth shattering insight into making the world a fitter more functional place? All these back to nature workouts would be great if our society was not what it is today. Our movement repertoire has “devolved” in the last 20 years or more.

As the modern history of fitness shows us, the pendulum always swings way too far in one direction before sanity returns. Most outdoor-only, “natural” movement purists have not been around long enough professionally to have seen the evolution of where the industry is today. We leave behind that which has no value and we utilize all options at our disposal in the best interest of our client.

Don’t get me wrong. I am all for getting outside and using the body in the many forms of play or workouts. When we started Function First way back in 1994, we were doing what we called “Adventure Workouts”. These consisted of full body workouts at a local high school obstacle course, trail runs and strength stations we created in Torrey Pines State Park and full body beach workouts-all of which preceded the boot camp boom that came many years later. We were doing outdoor functional movements long before the word “boot camp” was part of the fitness vernacular.
Dumbell monkey
The facts are, you cannot do everything you want to do with all of your clients all the time outside with no tools to add to the mix. To imply that we just need to get outside and move lacks a thorough understanding of the client/athlete that we all work with.

Why do we need Olympic Training Centers with state of the art strength and conditioning facilities? Why don’t those with back injuries just go out and chop wood for rehab? I’ll give you my top 7 reasons why we need more than just a get-back- to- nature workout. From the practical to the technical, here’s why we need our tools:

7. Your clients won’t want it all of the time. Sure, they might enjoy one or two workouts outside a week. But if that is all you have to offer, I can guarantee they are going somewhere else for their workouts on the other days. And if they do only want to train outside, you have an extremely small customer base to draw from.

6. Weather. If you do outdoor only workouts in Minnesota, how’s business in January? How about Phoenix in August? Not likely that these places are very conducive those times of year for outdoor exercise. If we want to help instill consistency in our clients, we need to be consistent in our offerings.

5. Perception. Let’s face it, a bare bones workout in the middle of park can be perceived as a bare bones budget. People can do push-ups, planks and body weight lunges at home. Clients might perceive a lack of individuality and customization to their programming.

4. Gravity. There are limits in determining the force vector best suited for the client. Gravity is the constant as we know, but gravity alone limits what direction we want the force vector to act on the body. Sure, the more fit the participant the more possible options. But again, you limit your market size and still have a finite number of movements.

3. Variety. The mind and body love variety for learning and engagement. If you would like to compare your outdoor-only exercise library with my exercise library just let me know. How many ground based push-varieties can you come up with? Regardless of your answer, introducing one of any number of pieces of equipment trumps that because we can do all of yours plus those with equipment.

2. Not-so-natural. As someone who works with clients with musculoskeletal challenges, what is often referred to as “natural” movements isn’t so natural anymore. Years of dysfunction are layered on top of and intertwined with muscles and connective tissue. And even though the nervous system determines when and to what extent a muscle fires, the physical characteristics of the muscle and its surrounding fascia determine whether or not it can execute. Send that feedback to the nervous system regularly and it adapts accordingly. We see 35 year olds who can’t decelerate down stairs without a handrail. Not a chance they can successfully execute walking lunges across a field.

1. Specificity. To be able to provide the best possible programming requires designing around the client’s needs, goals and limitations. We do this by manipulating the environment. If we know what the body needs/wants but it can’t get there on its own, we create the environment for success using the tools in our toolbox. Whether it’s influencing a joint position, increasing the load or adding novelty to the proprioceptive system, the right tool for the right job makes all the difference in the world.

All too often a client’s body is asked to cash a check it does not have the funds for. With the right tools and mastery of the training environment, we can lead our clients down a path to movements of all kinds in all places. So many great tools are conducive to outdoor workouts and others are not. We should not limit ourselves through a single-minded philosophy. It’s not about us. It’s about the person writing that check to us.

Easy Ergonomics to Stop the Pain

Thursday, December 8th, 2011

ACL and Knee Rehab Exercises with the Core-Tex

Wednesday, July 13th, 2011

Ways to use the Core-Tex to assist in the rehabilitation process for ACL and other knee injuries. The unique motions of the Core-Tex provide excellent proprioceptive stimulation to the rehabilitating limb.

Keep Your Hands to Yourself

Wednesday, July 13th, 2011

What happens when a practitioner places their hands on a client or patient in a purely professional manner? Just like anything else, it depends on your perspective AND the expectations of your client or patient. A chiropractor is likely to respond that that is the only way they can perform an adjustment. A cardiologist may say that she has no need to touch the patient. Exercise professionals may say that it helps facilitate what they are doing with their clients.

The power of the human touch cannot be underestimated. To the client/patient it may bring a sense of connection with you, confidence in your ability and reassurance. The opposite may be experienced by the patient whose doctor provides a diagnosis only through oral communication and visual observation and never touches the patient.

I believe that some good and some bad come from the hands on approach. The chiropractors, physical therapists and massage therapists clearly have a need to contact their patients with their hands to practice their disciplines. The hands are used as both an assessment tool and to deliver an intervention. The accuracy of a skilled practitioner is used for reducing joint subluxations, mobilizing joints and relaxing and manipulating soft tissue. All of which have been scientifically proven to be beneficial to the patient.

The exercise professional may need to place their hands on the client for assessment purposes such as measuring body composition or pelvic landmarks. Some trainers will also use their hands to provide manual resistance for certain exercises and over-pressure to aid in flexibility. And at times, the hands are placed on the client to guide them through desired movement patterns.

With so much to gain how can there be a downside? What if the question was not what was provided to the patient with contact but instead, what is the patient being deprived of? And this question can completely change our perspective on the “hands on” approach to care.
hands on therapy
Whatever is provided to the patient/client by the practitioner removes the need for the patient/client to do it themself. We obviously don’t want people going around adjusting or attempting to adjust their own necks or manipulating their own gleno-humeral joints. We do want an attitude and belief system that ALL practitioners are simply adjuncts to the individual’s own abilities. We are facilitators.

Could chiropractic care and manual therapy create learned helplessness? Do clinics relying predominantly on passive modalities like ultrasound and electrical stimulation fool the patient (and themselves) that the modality is making them better? Is a client psychologically and emotionally dependent on the trainer if she refuses to work out unless the trainer takes her through a workout?

If I ask a client what he does regularly for his health and he tells me chiropractic care, I respond by telling him that is what the chiropractor is doing for his health care. I then ask again, “What are YOU doing?”

Could this kind of learned helplessness and dependency even be contributing to the obesity epidemic? It may not be that big of a leap from the dependent patient to the obese individual. If my healthcare consists solely of people doing something to me, how can I be expected to eat right and exercise on my own? The psychosocial behavior of anyone who is not responsible or response-able for their own musculoskeletal health will ultimately suffer from comorbidities.
This certainly is not a knock on any kind of manual care. I’ve personally benefitted from chiropractic care, manual physical therapy, acupuncture and Structural Integration. Of course I also have a specific corrective exercise strategy I follow along with my general fitness routine.

I believe one of the greatest gifts we give our corrective exercise clients at Function First is the ability to produce the same result at home that we produce with them in our facility. That is why we only need to see our clients once a week. They are expected to continue with their home program daily. If they don’t do their homework-they are fired. This is an expectation of all our clients before they begin with us for a corrective exercise program.

For this reason, the referral from me to a chiropractor is much easier than the referral from the chiropractor to Function First. Our clients are already engaged in a comprehensive corrective exercise program. The chiropractic or other manual care is an adjunct to the exercises and can often help us expedite the results.

A referral to Function First often requires a complete paradigm shift for the person referred to us. They now have to go to work on themselves. And quite frankly, many long-term recipients of manual care just aren’t willing to do that.

We might say people are lazy and don’t want to do the work. Or, can we say that people have been conditioned that they don’t need to do the work?