No Pain No Gain? How About No Pain With Gains! By Mike Westerdal of CriticalBench.com
You wouldn’t believe the amount of emails I get from people asking me how to manage pain. Honestly it’s not my area of expertise. I kind of just deal with it like most of us probably do. Than I mask the symptoms with ice, ibuprofrin, elbow sleeves and muscle rub. My buddy Dave and I from the gym joke around a lot like we are squirting oil into every part of our body that bends before we start training. I get a kick out of it, but maybe you had to be there.
Anyway, I decided to buy a copy of Keith Scott’s corrective exercise program called Unbreakable. Basically I wanted to know if this would be a good place to refer people to.
It doesn’t matter how old you are, if you are a bodybuilder or strength athlete injuries are inevitable at some point. When they do happen, not only can they be physically painful, but they can even be emotionally painful too. It’s frustrating to be making gains and then suddenly you’re sidelined by an injury. A common reaction is to take something for the pain and try and “work through it,” which is usually not very effective and often leads to even more problems. Other options like physical therapy-though effective-can be costly and time consuming.
There are alternatives though-in fact, Keith Scott has developed a system called Unbreakable, that he says can help most anyone learn to live pain-free and to do all the things they love to do. He’s spent more than 18 years working in the sports medicine and sports performance fields and developed Unbreakable not only to help people address and prevent physical injuries but to improve overall athletic performance.
After a discussion about how most people deal with injuries by ignoring them entirely or just medicating the symptoms, Keith talks about what he calls the “kinetic chain.” Basically, the kinetic chain is all about how all of our systems are interconnected and how they rely on one another in countless different ways. When one component of the system is not functioning properly it causes a chain reaction that impacts the entire system. This section of the book is incredibly interesting, presenting plenty of information that will be new to most people-including me.
The Unbreakable system is made up of detailed assessments, special fitness program “plug-ins” to correct physical issues, full, specific corrective exercise plans and targeted soft tissue work. There are five basic steps to the program with each component discussed at length in its own guide.
Steps one and two together comprise the assessment portion of Unbreakable. This guide is broken down into body-part sections. In each, you are guided through a series of simple tests and questions. The tests aren’t overly complicated and the process is fairly straightforward and easy to follow. Keith includes photos and step-by-step instructions for performing the tests. Following each test/question segment is an “assessment explanation” section that clarifies the meaning of the results. Step three is where based on the assessment, you determine the appropriate course of action for you.
With steps four and five we learn about the “plug-ins,” corrective exercises. Like the previous guide, this one is divided into body-part sections that correspond with the assessments. The exercises are designed to work together holistically to address strength, muscular endurance, joint stability, balance, power, flexibility, mobility, range of motion and to eliminate pain. The program calls for performing the exercises at least three days a week.
The exercises are presented in daily (day 1, day 2, etc.) charts that give you all the information you need-number of reps, number of sets and the overall benefits of each exercise. The next guide gives you all the information you need to know to perform all of the exercises. Again, like the previous guides this one is broken down by body parts, making it easy to reference. In-depth how-to descriptions and photos are included for each exercise.
All of the exercises presented in Unbreakable are simple enough to do for just about anybody, regardless of skill level or athletic ability. Whether you’re a seasoned bodybuilder, a beginner, elderly or an overweight guy who hasn’t exercised in 20 years, you shouldn’t have any problems performing any of the movements.
The next guide presents a summary of Keith’s 4-phase 16-Week Unbreakable Strength and Fitness Program. The exercises are presented in charts broken down by day and phases with all the information you need-number of reps/sets and the rest period. The guide that follows provides comprehensive exercise descriptions with photos.
Four additional guides complete the package: Soft Tissue Work for Optimal Physical Health, Recovery and Regeneration FAQ Guide, Nutrition Guidelines and Fat Burning with High-Intensity Interval Training. Each of these is well-written, providing plenty of useful information in an easy-to-follow and understandable format.
In my opinion Unbreakable is a good value, well worth the investment. Keith doesn’t knock the need for doctors and doesn’t profess to know more than they do. He sticks to his area of expertise, which is helping people to prevent and manage common minor issues that manifest themselves through aches and pains. He presents useful, practical information that can not only help you to avoid injuries, but to also to improve your overall fitness level.
If you’re sick of the lower back pain, the aichy knees, the clicking shoulders and the rest of the “issues” that come along with the hobby we all love than spending $77 on Keith’s program could be a good investment for you to help get rid of some nagging injuries.
P.S. If you do get this program, keep in mind it comes with a membership recurring billing site. You get the first month free which is cool so you can talk to Keith the author directly. You can’t do that when you buy a book at the book store can you?