From 2009-2014, I was physically and mentally broken from the art I love so dear…… and what I finally did to over come it without surgery. [Saturday, 28 November 2009]
He had it in pretty deep — it was a borderline kneebar. But it wasn’t close enough for me to feel in danger, it was just annoying. He kept squeezing the shit out of it — it hurt like a SOB. I remember telling myself, “when I get out of this thing, I’m gonna destroy this guy” — LOL!(I eventually did get out and the destruction commenced LOL, he and I laugh about it to this day) He was like, “brother, I did’t want to let go because I didn’t want to die”.
LOL, fair enough. The round eventually ended and I had this “weird feeling” in my knee. I couldn’t put weight on it and the pain grew by the second. After 10 minutes, I could barely stand on it. Time goes by…4 weeks to be exact. I’m still in constant, throbbing pain, and now my knee locks at random. Eventually I go see an orthopedist. And guess what? Yep … confirmed MRI scan, torn left medial meniscus.
“That’s great, I told myself, just f***ing great! The only option was to have invasive surgery If I wanted to train Jiu-Jitsu at a high level again. But, it gets worse!I’m just getting back to “normal”, it’s still hard to lock my knee, if fact, it feels like I have a baseball stuck behind me knee and I can’t even sit on my heels. It happens again…[25 August 2012]I was rolling with a purple belt and BOOM, torn right MCL on a freak half guard sweep defense.SERIOUSLY?! Again, surgery was required to repair If I wanted to get back to training.
For 5 years, physical activities I greatly enjoyed like training Jiu-Jitsu, strength training with kettlebells, and running were no longer enjoyable.
Secrets I was… crushed… defeated… lost not knowing what to do nextI felt like loser.It felt like every time I was building momentum, something would derail my progress, like a fucking MCL tear. But I couldn’t control that, I knew the only thing I could control was… my effort… and my attitude. And everything would fall in place.So what was I gonna do about my situation? Well, I put my head down and got to work — eventually I got back on the mat but was limited and had to completely change how I trained Jiu-Jitsu.
Which actually made me a better, smarter, and more efficient BJJ player. I kept training with my kettlebells 3 days a week and maintained my daily Yoga practice.
Eventually I stumbled across a concept call:
- Neuro-Developmental Sequencing
- Neurodevelopmental Sequencing is the normal developmental progression infants go through as they grow.
- The ability to roll from their belly to their back and their back to their belly.
- Rocking back and forth on their hands and knees (posterior rocking).
- Crawling and eventually pushing down to achieve their first squat.
- And last but most important, standing, walking, and running.
- This same sequence I witnessed my son and daughter progress through in 2011, also happens to be the same postures and movement strategies rehab professionals follow for their patients.
So, I went…Back To The Basics
No matter what corrective exercises I tried:
Single leg balance exercises Bosu balls Etc… (I couldn’t even do kneeling exercises because of the pain) My knees were not improving, something was not connecting. That’s when I realized I had to go to the lowest point I could to challenge myself… The Floor!I literally had to learn to roll and crawl all over again as an infant. It sounds silly, but you know what? Things started to change.
My recovery between training sessions was improving, I was getting stronger and most of all… The pain in my knees was subsiding. Then, one day I was at a workshop learning all this cool stuff and the lecturer said something I’ll NEVER forget”… Movement Is A Behavior”.
Let me give you an example: When your child acts up and displays bad behavior do you correct it? Or do you let it continue?You correct it of course, other wise you’re re-enforcing bad behavior, right? Right. The same goes for how we move, if we move poorly and do not correct it, the bad behavior will only increase.This will limit your ability to get stronger and more mobile, so you can train more Jiu-Jitsu.Which only leads to more frustration with yourself and eventually bleeds over into your family life.
Worse case scenario… you inevitably get injured, AGAIN and now you can’t train at all (Like me the second time in 2012). Lets dive a little deeper…If we start to load poor movements, we are only further re-enforcing this bad behavior. This is what Gray Cook calls, putting fitness on top of disfunction.
On the flip side, once we correct a movement behavior, the best way to make sure the correction sticks is to load it, through the proper progression of static and dynamic motor control followed by strength training. Remember, movement is a behavior and you always want to reward/re-enforce good behavior by loading it with an external load and… Kettlebells are the best tool to accomplish this.
Why? Because the kettlebell is a live weight. Meaning, compared to a dumbbell or barbell, as the kettlebell goes through particular ranges of motion, the center of gravity is always changing. This requires your brain to send signals to your muscles to fire reflexively (i.e., without conscious thought) to stabilize the correct joints at the correct times to allow your joints to go through a full range of motion.
THIS is what makes the kettlebell superior to other tools for rehab and recovery which is why…It’s so much more than just a strength and conditioning tool. So, you’re probably wondering, Hector, how do you put all of this information together and into action? I’m glad you asked.Introducing Mobility Secrets!
This is the program I developed and have refined over the course of the last 10 years. It’s helped me rebuild my body and rehab my knees after two [frustrating] Jiu-Jitsu injuries: Torn left medial meniscus, 2009 Torn medial collateral ligament (MCL), 2012. Inside I reveal the 10 Secrets to not only improving mobility and flexibility, but also to enhance your strength, performance, and recovery… so you can train MORE Jiu-Jitsu and go on to impact more people — especially your families.
Here’s what it will do for you:
- Restore lost mobility and flexibility through a step-by-step progression on how-to perform each movement in the right sequence (this is the key).
- Trick your mind into taking the breaks off of your muscles to allow your body to go through its natural, full ranges of motion.
- Lock in new-found mobility so you don’t wake up the next morning back on square one.
- Save you time by removing your 20 minute foam roll session before training, and your 20 minute foam roll session after training.
- Improve your sense of well-being and confidence to do the things you once did in college WITHOUT the fear of being broken the next day.
- Plug-n-play; the ability to mix and match bodyweight and kettlebell exercises, making mobility and flexibility training fun again (after all, you’ll only stick with something if it’s enjoyable).
- Improve your total body strength by restoring lost function in the shoulders, hips, and ankles, ultimately becoming bulletproof allowing you to move effortlessly on the mat and keep up with the young bucks.
- Control cortisol (the stress hormone) and free radical damage by decreasing stress levels through a daily endorphin-releasing morning recharge — so you start the day right and be excited to take on your day.
- Improve strength endurance, work capacity, and burn maximum calories through the integration of both bodyweight and kettlebell movement flows.
- Recover FASTER so you can train Jiu-Jitsu again the very next day without feeling like you’ve been hit my a Mack truck.
- And much much more…
The first time I saw a kettlebell I thought , “there is absolutely no way this little thing will give me the workout I need.” Well, other than BJJ, this was the toughest training I’ve ever done. Training with Hector helped my BJJ game in more ways than I could imagine . Being a fellow BJJ practitioner himself, he knew exactly what I needed to improve my performance for the mat. Hector’s kettlebell program as taken my strength and conditioning to another level!
More courses from the same author: Strong As Hec
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