MAT…I don’t get it, but it works

Last night I had my first of what is looking like many MAT (Muscle Activation Technique) sessions with Joel Woods at Five Seasons.  If you watch the main page videos or subscribe to the journal, you may have seen a series called “Fixing Kahlipa”  That’s MAT.

Here’s the official description from http://www.muscleactivation.com/: MAT looks at muscle tightness as a form of protection in the body. Weak or inhibited muscles can create the need for other muscles to tighten up in order to help stabilize the joints. MAT gets to the root of pain or injury by addressing muscle weakness rather than muscle tightness. This helps to restore normal body alignment, thereby, decreasing pain and reducing the risk of injury.

So….how did I come to find Joel, Dr. Daryl White aka Bingo.  I came to know Daryl 3 years ago when I started CrossFitting in the metroparks with CFCleveland.  Since then we’ve become good friends, and he gave a sister the hook up. (THANKS BINGO!)  Joel knew that Darryl was an avid CrossFitter so he asked who he should be talking with in the Cleveland area CrossFit Community.  CFCleveland and I both came up.  Joel reached out to me, asked me my thoughts and I agreed to meet and do a beta test.
The timing couldn’t have been more perfect.  I had just qualified for sectionals giving me 8 weeks to get ‘in shape’ for Regionals, so I agreed to meet and see what MAT can do for me.  I filled out a 12 page assessment that covered my medical history, every injury I’ve ever had and my fitness goals.  After an hourish conversation with Joel covering each others backgrounds it was assessment time. 
What did I learn?  By doing squats, dips, measurements and resistance tests I realized I’m all sorts of f*cked up.  My left shoulder I knew about, but my left hip is no good and my right ankle….well that’s not even go there. 

So he wanted to hit one particular area of weakness, my left hip.  It was significantly tighter and weaker than my right.  Joel implemented ‘palpitations’ fancy term for pushing on nerve receptors for maybe 2 minutes.  He then asked me to do a task that was previously difficult and holy crap….I did it and it was much easier.  LITTERALLY IN 2 MINUTES HE INCREASED MY MOBILITY!!!!  At that point I was sold.

Joel has an unbelievable knack for seeing the subtle misalignments and weaknesses, and an approach that is unique and cutting edge to fix it.  I can’t wait to see what Joel can do to assist me with my mobility and alignment making all my basic movements smooth and strong therefore making everything else stronger.  Plus I figure if it’s good enough for Kahlipa, it’s good enough for me.  I’ll be sure to keep you posted on my results.

Today’s WOD:
Heavy Back Squats
3-155
3-165
3-175
3-185
3-195
3..ok …really 0.75 at 200lbs  I was sooooo close, but just pooped out.  Next time!

Then ran 2250m with a 20lb vest in 10:08.  I would have had it sub 10, but I didn’t want to get hit by the cars crossing the road. Ha!

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