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Rebel Performance Radio Episode 15: Mike Reinold

Jan 27, 2020

Mike Reinold, physical therapist aficionado, joins the show today to talk about systems, principle-based training, how to execute a Performance Physical Therapy model, his approach of Restore-Optimize-Enhance, and breaking down how to progress a specific movement with regard to mobility, control, and load.

Mike appropriately sums up his unique 20-year career into 3 stages: restoring injured athletes, optimizing healthy athletes, and working with gen pop clients. Mike is President and Co-Founder of Champion PT and Performance out of Waltham, MA. With experience spread across physical therapy, athletic training, strength training, professional baseball, and gen pop clients, Mike has an extremely unique perspective in the field and has the ability to integrate aspects of various disciplines to help both injured and healthy individuals.

Mike and I kick things off talking about bridging the gap between physical therapy and sports performance. Mike discusses the fact that many collegiate organizations and even professional organizations do not facilitate collaboration between the rehabilitation and sports performance training departments. Specifically, Mike indicates that the majority of PTs focus on getting the athlete to where they were prior to an injury, which is probably a crappy place to be. PTs/Strength Coaches need to focus on getting them healthy and then continuing to optimize their movement and performance.

Mike then discusses how they accomplish this at Champion PT and Performance. His model begins by identifying what is “broken” and what is suboptimal. Most often there is no major injury to the client’s chief complaint, and it is commonly an arbitrary issue like shoulder pain. This leads to identifying suboptimal areas, and when the client is ready to go under load, Mike moves them to the gym and communicates with the strength coaches about what needs work. The strength coaches will then build off Mike’s recommendations and take the client through their own assessment, which may lead back to physical therapy if necessary.

We then dive into the systems that Champion has built for their thought processes. This includes patient assessment, programming, treatment plans, and techniques. Mike specifies that these are mostly philosophies and can be compared to recipes. Each coach and therapist at Champion uses these recipes but changes the ingredients based on the person in front of them. These systems are now available through the Champion Performance Specialist Certification.

From there Mike walks us through his system for shoulder health and discusses the relationship between mobility, control, and load. Mobility has many misconceptions in the industry, but this may involve manual therapy or various other techniques for Mike. Next is control, which is turning on and controlling muscles. This may include isolated strengthening and dynamic stability. From there they move on to loading, which is programmed strength training.

Lastly, we dive more into testing mobility, establishing a red and green zone for a joint, and how to increase the green zone and utilize more exercises in the weight room. Mike refers to the Corrective Exercise Bell Curve. 20% of the time you’ll nail it, 20% of the time you’ll make it worse, and the middle 60% of the time you’ll get transient results.

Enjoy and hit that subscribe button if you learned a thing or two.

Episode Highlights:

3:15 – Mike’s Background

7:30 – Blending performance and physical therapy

12:15 – The Champion PT model

19:00 – Champion’s systemized thought processes

22:00 – Champion Performance Specialist

26:30 – The importance of mentorship

30:00 – Mike’s shoulder recipe

40:30 - Mobility and the Corrective Exercise Bell Curve

48:30 - Mike’s Recommended Resources

Links and stuff:

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