I recently attended the RPR Level 1 Coach Certification in Edina, MN. For more info on it, check out www.reflexiveperformance.com/about/
This is what I took away from it:
Background- I had previously heard about Cal Dietz doing RPR with his athletes at the University of Minnesota and I was intrigued. I heard some vague descriptions on what he was doing from some of his athletes and some Strength and Conditioning Coaches. However, to hear athletes say they felt great and to hear several Strength and Conditioning Coaches whom I respect refer to it as a “Game Changer”- I had to find out more.
Back in the fall, I was fortunate to visit with Cal and see what it was all about. For me, I have had several injuries and surgeries over the years. I think that has made me try to become a better Strength and Conditioning Coach so my athletes can best avoid what I went through. My body has been beat up and I feel that I have learned to live in pain.
What I found out was that I was weak in several of the muscle tests that Cal performed. For example, my hip flexors tested pretty poorly while lying supine while my glutes tested weak while lying prone. Cal performed the resets on me and then I re-tested. The change in not only my strength, but the initial action of the test was unbelievable. My posture was dramatically improved and I felt different while walking. I was now using the right muscles in the proper sequence to move. More importantly to me, my pain was relieved.
Over the years, I have learned that some protocols either can be short-lived or can be B.S. Honestly, I was a little skeptical of it before hand. However, the reality is that I felt great and the effects lasted a few days versus a few minutes.
The certification was a great experience and Cal did a terrific job ensuring that the students learned the information.
Some of my thoughts and questions about it:
- I really think the breathing reset is key.
- I’ve always been a believer in activation exercises but also believe something may be missing. There is something more than stretching the hip flexors and performing glute bridges to activate the glutes. What if the psoas is stuck and we are performing glute bridges? Are we facilitating compensations even more? Do the resets fix these compensations?
- Is this the best way to turn on the lights on quicker when our muscles are called to action to produce movement?
- I believe in the process of strength and conditioning and understand that processes take time. Is this a shortcut? Could some of what I have been doing be eliminated- especially if compensations are taking place?
- Would like to FMS an athlete and then perform RPR and re-screen. If FMS corrections are performed to help get positive changes and if RPR produces a positive change, then is it ok?
- Should RPR be performed by Strength and Conditioning Professionals or Personal Trainers who aren’t P.T.’s, ATC’s, or massage therapists? This is interesing. I think the system is easy to learn and execute properly. Sure, a newly minted professional with less experience may not be ideal but who says they can’t practice? My observation at the clinic was that each person there got it. Is that a bad thing?
- I do know that athletes believe in systems that help them feel and perform better. Helping them achieve that is all that matters. Is RPR a tool that can help them do that better?
- Strength and Conditioning Coaches are implementing RPR and are doing a good job in team settings. For example, I’ve seen some videos of it being done with athletes of performing the resets on their own during warm up periods. Here is one of Merrimack College Athletics:
Honestly, I think that’s great. If it is something that has a positive effect, and doesn’t take long to perform, then why not?
For me, writing this helps me with getting my thoughts about it out of my brain. I know that I will perform the resets on myself and use it appropriately when the opportunity arises with my athletes.