A good life is enhanced by having a good body.
On this episode, Ryan sits down with Dr. Andreo Spina, creator and head instructor of Functional Anatomic Palpation Systems (F.A.P.™), Functional Range Release (F.R.®) Techniques, and Functional Range Conditioning (FRC)™. Together they look closely at what it means to live a good life, and more specifically how your body can actually enhance that good life.
Our body’s signals can inform us as to what is needed to be fit and healthy. Yet so many people fail to heed those signs and live in direct contrast to that natural information.
We want to blame age, time, and circumstances for our loss of abilities. The truth is, however, that your health falters when your body doesn’t get the chance to move in all the ways that it can.
What You’ll Hear:
- 03:07 – How to live a better life – because that’s really what training is all about.
- 06:15 – We have a tendency to pin something as “bad” if we see someone hurt themselves (or we hurt ourselves) using that. But it’s not that black and white.
- 10:15 – A lot families take better care of their dog’s physical health than their own kid’s.
- 13:11 – It’s easy to know what really keeps us healthy.
- 19:01 – What are the prerequisites for proper healthy movement?
- 22:50 – You have to make sure your joints are functional before you can expect them to bear a tremendous load.
- 24:40 – Why it’s not always a good idea to add weight to a movement.
- 35:56 – Here’s why most trainers might be doing more harm than good.
- 37:52 – Dr. Spina’s recommended morning routine.
- 47:02 – This simple truth to why most people’s bodies don’t move well as they age.
Dr. Spina holds a Bachelor of Kinesiology degree from McMaster University. He later graduated with summa cum laude and clinic honors from the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College as a Doctor of Chiropractic. He then completed a two-year post-graduate fellowship in Sports Sciences.
Exercise is a human invention used to compensate for the fact that we’re not doing what we’re supposed to be doing.
He is the creator of the Functional Range Release (FR)® soft tissue management system, the Functional Range Conditioning (FRC)® mobility development system, and the Kinstretch™ method of movement stretching that are currently used by practitioners world wide as well as a number of professional sports organizations, athletes, and performers.
Be sure to catch the next episode by subscribing to the GMB Show:
Ryan: All right. What’s up, doc? How are you doing today?
Andreo: I am well. How are you sir?
Ryan: I’m great, man. Looking forward to chatting with you. Let’s just jump right into it and just for those other people, the unfortunate people who don’t quite know about you yet …
Andreo: Those poor bastards.
Ryan: I tell you what. Could you give us a little overview? Starting in third grade and just work up from there a little bit about yourself.
Andreo: I’ve always known I was dumb and wouldn’t amount to much. No, I don’t know what you want to hear. I guess you’re supposed to start with your education at this point. This is kind of the thing that you start with.
Ryan: Yeah, and we will be here forever because you’ve got like every known certification.
Andreo: Yeah, this is the worst question always. So it’s like tell me your resume. So I – let’s just say this quickly. I studied kinesiology as an undergrad and then I went on to become a chiropractor and followed up with a sport specialty.
So my designation is a sports chiropractor. On top of that, I’ve done acupuncture and blah, blah, blah. I’m also a trainer obviously and my background, physical background, is I’ve been studying martial arts since I was – I don’t even remember. I mean maybe five years old, six years old.
So now I pretty much fly around and I teach some assessment and treatment systems as well as a training system. They’re functional range release and functional range conditioning. That’s as comfortable as I am with speaking about myself.
Ryan: Man, I tell you what, it’s – yeah, it’s – I will go ahead and later if anybody is interested in really getting the full info about the doc here, we will go ahead and post it up. They’re pretty stuff and I mean we were just talking before we started recording. We feel like we’ve known each other for so long. But here’s something we haven’t really talked about, so this is going to be a lot of fun.
Andreo: I only know you by your little icon. You know what I mean? We already know each other, but I wouldn’t – I only recognize your little picture.
Ryan: Exactly. It’s how it always is, right? It’s like wait a minute, if I kind of squint a little bit, I know who that guy is. So …
Andreo: I met this guy at one of my seminars a few weeks ago in San – I forget where it was. I go, “Are you the back flip guy?” He goes, “What do you mean?” Because in his little Facebook icon, he’s doing a back flip and so I have no idea what this guy looks like. I’ve spoken to him many times. So he’s the back flip guy.
Ryan: I’ve got – it’s funny you mention that. One of my – he’s my good friend now but forever all I know about him was – it was this black guy with this football helmet on, eating a huge cheeseburger.
Andreo: Yeah. Unless you walked around like that …
Ryan: Yeah, and I was going to say to him – I met him. Like, well, wait a minute. Where’s your helmet? And you’re not black. So anyway …[Music]
Ryan: If it’s OK, I would like to kind of talk about really how to live a better life and there are a lot of people – and there’s like the training systems and a lot of things out there and people want to get into a particular form of exercise. But really what it just all comes down to is how can we live a better life, right?
You look at – at least over here in Japan and anywhere else on the internet, you kind of have the new fad of the week it almost seems nowadays. But let’s just cut to the nuts and bolts of it and I would like to hear a little bit of your thoughts on like really what does it mean to live. I don’t even want to say healthy but like a better life.
The reason I kind of bring this up is because I was listening – I was watching a couple of videos that you put out and you were talking with some other people, another doctor, and you were talking about – it was actually CrossFit and I don’t want to rip on CrossFit or anything like that but it’s basically – it got into the point where you’re speaking about you have these people who might go from the couch and they’re an accountant or something.
They sit in a chair all day long and they work in front of a computer and all of a sudden they want to just jump right into CrossFit. Unfortunately, they get injured and they’re like, whoa, I don’t know why. But obviously to us it makes sense why they’re injured. But rather than thinking that we should just jump right in and do some form of exercise, what can we do from the beginning in order to help us to live a better life and gradually work up to being able to get into one of these exercise systems per se? So long lead-up. Run with it.
Andreo: I thought you started with an easy question.
Ryan: Yeah, no kidding.
Andreo: The meaning of life. I think for me personally it’s – so you start studying the human body and what the human body does from a performance standpoint and then I got to study it from like a getting injured standpoint. What do you do to prevent injuries? I always tell people if you’re really studying the human body and you want to know what are the keys to health, what are the keys to injury prevention, what are the keys to all of that, unless you go back and study evolutionary biology, you can never really find the answers.
So when somebody asks me, “How do you stay healthy?” I always look at – I call it the evolutionary perspective of health. So you ask yourself a few questions. Number one, what were we as Home sapiens naturally selected to be doing? Then number two is, “What are you doing?” Number three is, “How do you compensate for the fact that you’re not doing what you’re supposed to be doing?”
When you look at those three questions, it puts everything in perspective. You talked about going to CrossFit. You go into CrossFit and then somebody hurts themselves and then everyone says, “Oh, CrossFit is bad.” Let’s say you start gymnastics and you …
Ryan: You do a handstand. Let’s say you jump into a handstand or something. Sorry, go ahead, but yeah.
Andreo: Yeah, and then you hurt yourself and you say, “Oh, handstands are bad,” or you put on Vibrams, those ugly shoes with the toe things.
Ryan: Yeah, man.
Andreo: And then people start hurting themselves and then they go, “These shoes are bad.” I always take the perspective. It’s not that stuff that’s bad. It’s us and it’s us because we have a weird concept as to what health is. Like, you talked about performance for example. People look at an athlete. They look at someone like a hockey player and they look at a hockey player, a baseball player, an athlete and they say, “Oh, that’s how you’re healthy.” You’re healthy if you play sports.
I always tell people. I mean I’ve assessed a lot of professional players and I would say athletes are some of the least physically healthy people on the planet because they’re doing things that are not natural for humans to do.
Andreo: You know what I mean? Like they’re not all the time – you’re dealing with the hockey team and they’re saying, “We have a lot of adductor injuries, groin pulls, groin strains. Why?” The answer is because you’re playing hockey.
Andreo: I mean we naturally evolved in a situation where if you put sagittal plane motion into the ground, it’s supposed to propel you forward. Now you put a hockey skate on, which really wasn’t part of the evolutionary process, and you tell the body, “Forget all that. Let’s start pushing out to the side, to propel us forward.” Then you get groin injuries and you wonder why or the baseball pitcher, with baseball teams, and they’re like, “How do we prevent medial elbow injuries?”
Ryan: Quit baseball.
Andreo: Don’t be a pitcher. I mean those things are not – I mean that’s not what we are naturally selected to be doing. What are we naturally selected to be doing? We’re really naturally selected to get up, hunt and gather, have sex, sleep and then repeat the process, which means we’re technically evolved to be moving constantly.
Now the fact that we’re not doing that, the fact that you get up, you sit in a chair, we have a podcast in front of a computer, I mean if people get injured like neck pain and back pain, I don’t know why people are so surprised. You know what I mean?
Ryan: I totally get what you’re saying and almost as if we’ve all become complacent in thinking that – well, it reminds me kind of like the thing where – the McDonald’s thing where a person burns their lips on hot coffee and then sues someone because the coffee was hot. Well, no shit. OK?
Andreo: Yeah, yeah.
Ryan: Right? It’s just what you’re saying. So to me, it totally makes sense but it’s just so interesting that we see so many people nowadays just – they just can’t believe what’s going on in their body and oh – you know, I should be able to do something. Well, not if you don’t take care of your body, not if you don’t move, like you said. Not if you sit in a chair all day, not if you eat Krispy Kremes every single day, you know, what not. So makes total sense to me.
Andreo: Yeah. I mean it’s – yeah, you’re saying eat Krispy Kremes. It’s like, yeah, you introduce your body which has through millions of years of evolution been getting ready to deal with certain food stuffs and now you start introducing food stuffs that are not really food stuffs. They’re fake food and then you wonder why you have this prevalence of obesity. You have this prevalence of all these problems.
It’s just because you’re doing – it’s like we live as if we’re a different species or we’re not another animal. We think that the rules don’t apply to us for example. I will give you another good example just to point out how people think.
It’s like you can have a family – and it happens to me all the time. You have a family and their child might be obese, which is obviously a big problem. You ask them. Do you have a dog? And they say yes. I say, “Well, how often do you take your dog out?” So you have to walk your dog every day. You say, “Why do you have to walk your dog every day?” Well they say to keep it healthy and to keep it from going stir-crazy.
Now I say, “OK. So you have this little guy, let’s say it’s a little boy, and you know that for the species called dog, they need daily exercise. Not only for physicality but for mental health. Then you have your son and you don’t draw the same conclusion that this species of human needs to be taken out on a daily basis,” and then we diagnose people with attention deficit disorders and things like that. I’m not saying that that didn’t happen but …
Ryan: But doc, it’s OK though, because we’ve got Ritalin for that. So it’s OK.
Andreo: Yeah, yeah, exactly. When you put it out that way, people are like, “Oh, yeah. I never thought of it that way.” I don’t blame them. It’s just the way that we look at humans. Like exercise for example, I always say exercise is a human invention used to compensate for the fact that we’re not doing what we’re supposed to be doing.
Ryan: Thank you, yes.
Andreo: Like a hunter-gatherer never went for a jog and said, “I need my cardio today.” He said, “Get the hell away from this tiger before he mauls me,” and that’s it, right? I think the more advanced we get, we’re forgetting that our body hasn’t really physically evolved all that much in thousands and thousands of years and if we’re not doing what we’re kind of set out to do, then your health falters.[Music]
Ryan: So then – so what do we do then? So for example, let’s say we have Tom and Tom works as an accountant and he does the 9:00 to 5:00. He’s married. He has two kids. Now he’s a busy dude and when he was in – up until college, he was exercising and what not but over that past 10 years or so, he has been so busy trying to build his business or whatever he’s doing. He hasn’t really done it. How do we get back? How do we get back? I don’t even want to say reclaim. Just how do we get back to really being a normal human, if you will? What are we needing to do?
Andreo: I don’t know that we – like I hate to be doom and gloom but I think the first realization is that this is not normal. There’s no good way for me to tell a patient how to sit at a desk. I mean there’s just no good way to do that.
So I think the realization has to be you’re already causing damage by just existing in civilization. So once people understand that, they understand the – it almost puts into perspective the importance of constantly trying as best as humanly possible. Like, I don’t want to resort back to hunter-gatherer days.
Ryan: Sure, sure, sure, sure.
Andreo: But as much as you can, you have to try to mimic the environment and people take this way – like the wrong way all the time. They – whenever somebody brings up the word “evolution,” they always think like you want someone to only eat raw meat and never wear shoes or whatever. I’m not saying that. What I’m saying is – I mean if you look at the human body, it’s very apparent what keeps us healthy.
Take the human joint for example. There’s only one way for a human joint to maintain health. There’s no other way other than movement.
Ryan: Movement, right?
Andreo: If you don’t move that joint repeatedly, that joint breaks down. Now some of us say, “Where’s the proof?” The proof is in first grade physiology and it’s that – your cartilage for example doesn’t have good blood supply. So I ask someone. How does your cartilage receive nutrients? The only answer is by movement and physically diffusing fluids in. So if you don’t move, it’s not going to stay healthy.
Now let me give you an example of how we twist the way humans are supposed to function. Let’s say – take something like neutral spine. Everyone has heard of neutral spine, right?
For a while there, it was like we wanted our patients and clients to maintain neutral spine all the time, which means have a nice lumbar curve. Never get out of neutral spine. You sit down. You go to take a shit. It doesn’t matter what you do. Neutral spine.
Now if you take a joint and you always maintain it in one position and you ask any therapist this, is that good or bad for the joint? They would say bad for the joint. So then I say to them, “What do you think is happening at L5 S1 if you lock yourself in neutral spine all the time?”
Then people start saying, “Yeah, I guess it’s not going to be healthy.” It’s like, “OK. Where is the most common area for degeneration or arthritis?” It’s that L5 S1. It’s right there. It’s written in our genome, in our code. Think about movement in general. Our brain actually provides us with happy drugs when we move. It gives us a benefit. It gives us a feeling of euphoria. You actually make endocannabinoids.
So the same particles that are – you consume when you smoke a joint are actually produced for you in your body when you move. They call it the “exercise high” which is mistakenly thought of as an endorphin release and it’s actually not that. It’s actually a stimulation of your endocannabinoids system. What does that mean? It means your body is telling you what to do to be healthy.
Andreo: You just ignore it completely. I mean you see it all over. Look at how we raise kids. You have kids, right?
Ryan: Yes. Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah.
Andreo: OK. So you take a kid. I always laugh at this. Any other species on the planet, what do the babies do when they play? They play fight.
Andreo: They wrestle all the time. What do we do tell our kids immediately as soon as they start wrestling or climbing?
Ryan: Well, except for my kids, but yeah, go ahead. Yes.
Andreo: They’re all over. They’re on the chandeliers and blah, blah, blah. But immediately we say, “Hey, stop fighting.” A normal human and sit in a desk all day. It’s so backwards. I don’t remember the original question to be honest with you. But it’s just we’re so far gone now that reeling people back – you were asking about what to do.
Ryan: Exactly, right.[Music]
Ryan: The thing is – the unfortunate thing that I see happening – maybe you will agree with this, maybe not. But OK, if we do look at the joints and obviously we need to move our joints. It just makes sense to us. But then you have people who say, “OK. You have to individually move every single joint and do it in a specific way and spend an hour every single day to do it,” and I think that’s good. Let’s say – in your case of course you have patients that come in. You need to physically work on them and then of course give them homework, have them make sure to go home and do that, which let’s be honest, most people don’t do that because my students are the same way.
But anyway, it’s – I think people miss the point of – sometimes what people are saying is looking at the joints and having to move things and think that it has to be individual instead of broad. So what I guess my original question was, in looking at people, I think people can get so sucked in with the information overload that they almost get scared. I don’t even want to say scared but maybe confused as to what to do. You pretty much nailed it my way. Just be like a kid. Just freaking go outside and run and play and try and jump and things like that, parkour, what not. But – I’m sorry. Yeah, go ahead. What were you going to say?
Andreo: No, no, no. After you go …
Ryan: Yeah. But then we have people who get stupid with it and so they end up overdoing it and jumping into it too soon without being prepared. So you’re right and so they don’t have the prerequisite – I don’t even want to say movement by mobility before they actually do that, right? So that’s where we maybe see people get injured. Correct me if I’m wrong but I mean that’s at least what I see and so unfortunately, you have these people who are like – parkour is a good example. I’m actually getting into parkour at my young age of 42.
I’m like – I understand that there are certain things that if I want to do that, I got to make sure that I have the proper mobility first and the stability in that joint. So that when I do it, I don’t kill myself. So am I right in saying that? I don’t know. But …
Andreo: Yeah. No, you’re absolutely right and you used the word there. I lecture on this all the time in my seminars. You used the word “prerequisite” and it has got to be the most underutilized term in – I mean any training environment – you never hear that word “prerequisite”. Like you get a group of people, 50 people in a class, and you go, “OK, we’re all going to do snatches,” and they go, “Hold on here. Whoa!” because if you give me 50 people to assess, the number of people – let’s say that they are sedentary individuals. The number of people that I would clear to do snatches would probably amount to zero, plus or minus zero.
Then you were talking about play. OK. So getting back to what you said. Get out there and play. I totally agree with you if the person has been living a life which is akin to keeping healthy joints. But you take a 30-year-old and this is where people get – this is where I think the training community is faltering now. You take a 30-year-old and you give him to a trainer and the trainer prides himself on, “I’m a functional trainer. I only do functional exercises. So, we’re going to start off with the Turkish get-up or we’re going to start off with a clean,” or whatever.
What I teach in FRC, in functional range conditioning, is actually a regression from that concept and it’s saying, OK, before we get into functional exercise, exercise that mimics what humans are supposed to be doing, we have to reverse the clock and we have to take a dysfunctional human and give them the prerequisites to be human.[Music]
Ryan: If I may, like for example – because of like what we do here in GMB. So we have let’s say – oh man, I don’t even know. Actually there was a video in which you talked about handstands and so it’s something you mentioned in there and bam, I was just like, “Yeah!” because you talked about people having wrist issues and it just makes sense. People think they’re just going to kick up and be able to do a handstand or something. But if they don’t have that extension of the wrist and they load that structure, obviously they’re going to get injured, right.
So I guess that’s what you’re saying then, so instead of actually looking at that snatch, look at what’s happening or what needs to happen and then take that apart and work on that joint. Is that correct? Then make sure …
Andreo: So yeah, it’s almost like I’m saying – see, I always say this term. I say you can’t have – you have to have articular independence before you can have articular interdependence.
Andreo: What people try to do is they jump right to these compound exercises because they say joints work together and movements happen together, together, together. That’s fine. But if one of the joints that’s involved in a particular movement is not working as a joint should, then the movement might happen but something else has to take the load. Something else has to overwork in order for that to …
Andreo: And you talked about handstands and just to – for people who didn’t hear what I was saying, a lot of people want to do handstands now because of the movers. For some reason, handstands have been – it’s weird that handstands are the popular thing amongst movers, considering it’s static.
Ryan: You don’t even have to go there with me. I’m just like, yeah …
Andreo: I mean it’s fine. If you love your handstands, it’s a healthy thing to do. But people think that the first – and I’m not – I mean this is not my realm. My handstands are horrible. But people think that the first exercise that you should do to do a handstand is to get in front of a wall and propel your entire body weight over these tiny joints in our wrist.
Then you ask the person. “Well, before we do that, let me see your wrist range of motion,” and they go like this. I go, “OK. So if your body obviously only trusts you to do that much, why do you think it’s a good idea to propel all of your body weight on your wrist and you think that’s step one?” That’s step 10.
Step one is, “Does your shoulder function like a shoulder? Does your elbow function like an elbow and does your wrist function like a wrist?” step one.
Step two, do the shoulder, elbow, wrist – I’m only choosing three but there’s more …
Ryan: Sure, sure, sure.
Andreo: But do they have the load-bearing capacity in the ranges of motion that you’re forcing to be able to do what you’re asking of them without getting injured? Now if you think about the definition of injury, people – I mean let’s start with that because people really need to understand why you get injured.
You get injured when the load that’s being taken is greater than the load-bearing capacity of the tissue. Now if you’ve never worked load-bearing of the wrist – how many people work load-bearing of the wrist?
Ryan: Yeah, hardly anybody, right? Yeah.
Andreo: Anybody – grip strength is horrible now because we type on these keyboards. Our hands are weak. Our wrists are weak and to the extent that people wrap their wrists up when they’re lifting, which is crazy to me why you think that’s a good idea. Then we’re like, fuck that, let’s just propel ourselves onto our hands. People come to me and they go, “I don’t get it. I’m doing handstand walking and my wrist hurts.”
But it’s not only that. It’s not only that obvious. I have – I had a few power lifters in last week and I mean power lifters should be good at squatting.
Ryan: Yeah, yeah.
Andreo: Obviously. But when you look at – you break it down and you go – you look at their hips. You look at their ankle dorsiflexion and you say, “You don’t have the necessary dorsiflexion of your ankle to do a high bar back squat.” So when you load it with 5000 pounds and then you get hurt, you shouldn’t come to me all confused. I mean if you can’t do a movement unloaded, adding load to it is a pretty dumb idea.
So I mean it’s all about prerequisites and like we were saying before, I think the trend of functional training has done worse for us because we’re doing it based on the assumption that our joints are working well. I always have the assumption. As soon as somebody comes to see me, your joints, unless otherwise trained, your joints probably aren’t healthy and working as they’re supposed to be.
Now I will give you an example. You take someone’s shoulder. You put them into internal rotation. What happens? As soon as they go into internal rotation, their whole shoulder starts hiking forward. So to me, that tells me that your scapula, which is the ball and your humerus – or sorry, this humerus is the ball, the scapula which gives the socket. They’re moving as one thing.
Andreo: OK. So if you take – if I ask you, “What’s the definition of a joint?” It’s when two bones come together and are able to dissociate and move independently. That’s what a joint is. It’s technically the space between two bones.
So if a joint – if the two bones are working as one, then you don’t have the joints and if you don’t have the joints, it doesn’t matter how much you practice the movements. It’s not going to go well for you. That’s the main issue I have.
Ryan: Yeah. I mean that works well if you’re doing – well, in my case because I did judo so long and I love to grapple. That’s a good thing but not a good thing when you want to be healthy, right? So …
Andreo: Yeah, absolutely.
Ryan: So then right at what you said then, so basically if you look at a person and sorry to bring it – you know, to the GMB thing but something that we just recently released is called the Element and it was basically looking at, OK, you’ve been sedentary for so long. You might want to do all these exercises. But first, let’s figure out. Can you actually squat down to the ground? What’s keeping you from doing that? Just like you said, is it your hip? Is it your ankles? OK. If it’s that – if that’s the case, then here’s what we need to do in order to help you fix that.
So talking to you is really refreshing of course. I mean love your stuff and I’ve seen tons of video. But it’s unfortunate that there’s so much information out there that doesn’t cover this, right?
So I think this is what – this is wonderful. I’ve always wanted to talk to you about this kind of thing because it just – to me it’s fascinating. Obviously I’m not a physical therapist. I’m not a doctor or what not. But I love to move. I hate using the terminology “mover”. We always think it sounds like a person who carries furniture flights of steps.[Music]
Ryan: But as far as – how can a person though – as a trainer though, when is there too much therapy involved, I guess?
Andreo: Yeah. You know what? If I’m being – if you’re mistaking what I’m saying, I don’t think that therapy necessarily is the answer. The way I do it is this and you’re right. I have a – I’m very fortunate to be able to look at it from both sides. So I train people, but then I also deal with the injuries that come out of training.
Ryan: Sure, sure.
Andreo: Right? So the prerequisites that I’m talking about are not necessarily something that I as a therapist can give someone. OK? I think a lot of therapists have the notion that they’re able to fix things. Like, I can fix things. I can make a correction and everything will go well. I always say that through the beginning of history of scientific research, there has never been – it has never been shown that a tissue can respond to a single input. Let’s say a treatment input permanently. It just doesn’t happen.
I mean the nervous system can respond quickly but it’s only short term. [0:28:24] [Indiscernible] short term potentiation and long term learning or long term potentiation. So I would say no matter what I do as a therapist, I haven’t really accomplished anything in one sitting. In order for something to stick and hold, it requires training.
So in my mind as a therapist, I get someone to the point where training inputs are going to be accepted.
Ryan: I see.
Andreo: That’s all I do. But I don’t fix anything. Training fixes everything. All I do is kind of prepare the canvass of the body to be able to accept the training, right?
Ryan: Nice, nice.
Andreo: So it’s the training of the joints that – and like you were saying, you assess it. You’re like – the first question a trainer should look at is, “Do they have a joint?” Forget everything else. I mean everyone is always worried about – there are lots of systems out there and I don’t like to shit on anybody’s system.
There are lots of systems out there that are looking at the nervous system or what I call the software. There’s a lot of fascinating theories all about facilitation of muscles and inhibition and balance of muscles and this muscle shut off and this is turned on. I always say that we really understand very little about the nervous system. The software is not something that we understand.
What we do understand very well is the hardware and the hardware is humerus, glenoid. When you move humerus, this humerus moves independent of glenoid. Unless that happens, if you’re trying to correct nervous system function and you’re trying to do a complicated movement pattern, if a shoulder is not a shoulder, then it’s …
Ryan: I get you, yeah. It makes a lot of sense. Yeah.
Andreo: So the first part of training for a trainer is to be able to look at a human and say, “This is not functioning like this should.” That’s a very difficult – I mean it’s not an easy task. You have to learn that which is what I teach at the seminar at FRC is let’s take the ankle. What is an ankle supposed to do? Awesome.
What is the ankle doing? How do we make it – take it from what it’s doing to what it’s supposed to do and then we can get them trained. I think people get confused because they might go on my Instagram and they might see me doing – I don’t know. Nothing as complicated as you but then people think it’s complicated. Like doing a revolving bridge or something like that.
Ryan: Sure. Sure, yeah.
Andreo: They go, “Oh, that’s FRC. That’s functional range conditioning. That’s what he teaches.” I always say no, that’s what like Ryan teaches. I don’t teach any of that. I’m just giving displays of what is possible to do safely if your joints work and all I care about is, “Do your joints work?” and you’re talking about movers for example. I mean my system is being used by baseball players, hockey players …
Ryan: Brazilian jiu-jitsu – yeah, everybody.
Andreo: It doesn’t matter.
Andreo: My grandmother – like anybody who moves and has joints and functions, I just give people the prerequisites. That’s all I care about. I don’t care about teaching people how do to handstands. You can do that. You of all can do that.
Ryan: Yes, yeah.
Andreo: Yeah. I mean that’s not my thing. I move around. I can do some stuff.
Ryan: Very well.
Andreo: I train as much as I need to train for martial arts, because that’s all I care about. That’s what I train for.
Ryan: And you just hit up another just awesome topic. We can talk about this some other time, but yeah, go ahead. Yeah, keep talking about that. Yeah.
Andreo: That’s what FRC is. Anybody thinking they’re going to come to my course or my courses and they’re going to learn some amazing back flipping, I will just refer them to you dude. I have no – that’s not my thing. My thing is in order to do what you do, how can I make someone do that safely and efficiently so they, number one, can learn faster – let’s be honest. If you’re learning on a good base with good mobility, good stability, all things you learn will be done quicker.
Ryan: Yeah, yeah.
Andreo: Number two, safely.
Andreo: Can you do it safely? That’s all I do.[Music]
Ryan: You mentioned that you only do enough to make sure that you’re able to do what you want to do.
Andreo: That’s right.
Ryan: So you train specifically for what you want to be doing. So I think especially – I don’t even know how old you are. But like me, I’m not trying to play the age game or anything like that. But I’m 42 now and I’m very, very happy, very happy with where I am right now. A lot of people, they send me Facebook messages, challenges. Can you do this and can you do what not?
It’s funny because it’s – I do the things that I do because I want to do them and I only need to be able to do a certain amount of something to accomplish what I want to do. I think a lot of people miss out on that but a big part of it is making sure that my body is healthy enough to be able to actually still do the basics. So like what you’re doing and looking at the joint integrity and making sure that it is healthy, so that I can continue doing the basics, so I can do those types of things, is so important.
So I guess going back to our original question about what doe it mean to be a better human, it just all comes down to joint integrity I guess you could say. Can you use the body in the way that it was meant to be used?
Andreo: Yeah. Can you become a generalist? I mean – that’s what it is. I mean if you’re – I think people are confused when you ask someone, “What are the goals of your clients for training?” I don’t know that people really go over these goals all that well because if you say, “The goals for my clients are to be able to play with their children in the school yard on a regular basis,” and then you say, “OK, let’s start by doing handstands and we’re going to do snatches.”
- Nowhere in – let’s pretend things can be functional. I have a real hard time defining if an exercise is functional because for me, you can only determine if something is functional in retrospect if the movement went according to your plan that you can say, “Oh, that was a functional movement.”
Ryan: Sure, sure.
Andreo: But to say that a snatch is functional and a bicep curl is not is a very confusing thing.
Ryan: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Andreo: Because I don’t think anybody in the history of the world ever lifted something like a snatch just to get something above their head. It seems like a very inefficient and dangerous way to do it. So if you’re not competing in Olympic lifting …
Ryan: Olympic lifting, yeah.
Andreo: I’m not saying – and I mean other sports. Snatching is very good. It’s – I’m not saying it’s not a useful exercise but you really have to determine if the risk to benefit ratio is there. What are you trying to get out of this? If you take a 40-year-old female client and she’s like, “I want to be in shape. I want to look good,” which apparently is – you can’t look good anymore in training. If you want to look good – it’s a sin.
I want to look good. I want to be in shape. I want to be able to play with my kids. You say, “OK, let’s do snatches.” I don’t think you’re really listening to what they’re saying. I think what she’s saying is I want to wake up and get out of bed and not feel like I’m 80 years old. I want to be able to lift a child up and put them somewhere without herniating a disc.
Now if those are your goals, getting as much weight above your head as you possibly can, as fast as you can, is not going to bring you to that goal. So a lot times, the trainer puts their goals into their clients.
Andreo: And I mean you really have to decide if that’s really what they want. If that person wants just to be healthy and relatively strong and relatively mobile and relatively this and relatively that, then it’s not about [0:36:06] [Indiscernible] and dead-lifting two times your body weight. It’s about getting their joints. Does their shoulder work? No. How can we make it work? Then how can we – moving forward, how can we improve the longevity of that shoulder?
Andreo: And I think the word “longevity” is another underutilized term. People don’t worry about it. They always worry about, “How can I make this basketball player jump higher? How can I make the runner run faster?” OK. But what are you doing to make sure that when they’re 40 or 50, they’re not in crippling pain? And those are just – instead of being complicated things, it’s easy things done repetitively. So we do something called “controlled articular rotations,” which is – I won’t get into the details but they’re rotary type exercises that I prescribe as a morning routine.
So I always say that you warm up for your day. So you get up every day. You’ve been lying down for eight hours. There has been no fluid motion in your joints. It’s stale. Get up. Move all of the joints in your body and which only takes about five minutes. Move all the joints in your body to get all of the stale fluid out. Bring the new fluid into the joints. Wake up the mechanoreceptors that you’re going to be using throughout the day and then throughout the day, I always say if you’re doing nothing else, pick a joint and move it.
So you’re saying how do we prevent – we can’t go back to hunting-gathering days. I get it. But it seems that it’s a dose response. The more you move the joints, the healthier it seems to be and the more you ward off the generation.
So one of my major things that I have all of my athletes do, my clients, my patients, everyone, is a morning routine of articular motions. Your grandmothers do this. They go, “I get up. I do my exercises. I could do these things.”
They had it right. Get the joints moving. Keep them moving as much as you can and if there’s a dysfunction brewing, learn to recognize it and then learn to give the right exercises to normalize that joint and then keep it moving again. So it’s easy but difficult I suppose.
Ryan: Well, yeah, there you go. It’s funny you mentioned the grandma. Over here in Japan every morning at 6:00 AM, they have what’s called radio – it’s radio – it’s rajio taiso in Japanese but radio exercise basically was the – they’ve just been doing it forever, right? You go to the park and I will get up really early. I take my dog on a walk or something and there would be like a hundred people in the park and they will be doing – it’s kind of like tai chi in China or something like that.
But unfortunately nowadays, hey, we’re too busy. Got to wake up and just check our cell phones, make sure we get the latest Facebook update instead of taking care of our bodies, because that’s more important.
Andreo: Yeah. People would look at that. They go, “What are those weird people doing in the park?”
Ryan: Right, right.
Andreo: I look at them and I say, “What is that weird person doing commenting on the weird people in the park while they’re sitting on a park bench on their iPad?” or whatever. You’re the weirdo, not them.
Ryan: Yeah, exactly, exactly.
Andreo: It’s like when somebody watches someone meditating and they go, “Oh man, that guy is a tree hugger. He’s a crazy person.” Do you know how much research is out there on meditating and how good it is for you physically and mentally? It trumps almost all research on stuff that we do, but people look at that like those people are crazy.
Andreo: And the fact is, is that you’re crazy for thinking that.
Andreo: You know what I mean?
Ryan: Yeah. It’s so funny, man. I mean – and that’s a big thing too because maybe – and over here in Japan, it’s like this is what I do. It’s like it’s meditating, right? So actually, I’m really hooked on Headspace right now. If you haven’t heard of it, check it out. It’s really great. But anyway – but yeah, man.
Ryan: It’s a guy by the name of Andy – what is his last name? Puddicombe I believe it is. Anyway, it’s an app that he has got called Headspace.com. I tell you what, it’s great. I love it. I absolutely love it. It’s – he’s looking at more like mindfulness instead of calling it meditation because this is what you said. It’s like people have this thing. Ooh, it’s meditation. It’s all these hippie freak guys when in actuality – I mean hey, I would rather be chilling and enjoying my life than be so stressed out that I couldn’t function.
So yeah, this is so great what you’re talking about, having a morning routine, make – getting up in the morning and doing something that – just five minutes in the morning, making sure that you’re starting your day off right and then throughout the day, rather than thinking about, “Oh, I need to set aside this block of time to exercise,” if you’ve got time, instead just move your body a little bit, right?[Music]
Ryan: Now I mean that’s …
Andreo: I don’t have a study to back it up but I’ve seen a lot of patients in my day and I noticed that people who are more dynamic in life, they’re more dynamic people, they express themselves with their hands and they’re moving and they’re always – I usually find if I screen them versus someone who’s kind of – you know, just never moves, just kind of sits there, I find that those people who are dynamic have way healthier joints.
You shouldn’t be surprised about that. Again, people are always like surprised at these things. But that’s how joint health is maintained. So people will always – they will always go, “Prove it. Give me the RCT. Give me the randomized controlled trial that proves that moving more makes you healthier.” I always say that maybe nobody studied it directly but indirectly, if you read literature, I mean the – it just screams out at you.
I’m always one – when I teach my courses, the first – one of the first things I say is don’t chase literature for answers. Don’t look for the paper that will justify what you’re doing. You have to take a bird’s eye view and you have to say, “What do humans know from amassing all of the research throughout history, the history of research?” and things pop out at you. For example, if you don’t move, things stop moving.
Ryan: Duh, right?
Andreo: Yeah. I mean it’s – you don’t brush your teeth, they go away. You don’t use a particular range of motion in your life, they go away. You teach gymnast and I always use this example. I say if you take – I have three little ones and all of them are born with the ability to do the splits.
Now, when I change my kids – no, I don’t change my eldest, my middle one, but my youngest one is still in diapers. I just take his hips and I just kind of do some circles. I just kind of stretch him out. I’m not sitting there and [0:42:38] [Indiscernible]. People think that.
But I always say that if I get my kids to do the splits on a daily basis, what do you think they will be able to do when they’re 50?
Andreo: The answer is the splits.
Andreo: So people think that age kind of sucks away flexibility. It’s like no, you not doing flexible stuff sucks away flexibility.
Ryan: Yeah, yeah.
Andreo: If you don’t do it, it goes away.
Ryan: Yeah. If you don’t use it, you lose it. Yeah.
Andreo: Yeah. I mean it’s – and it’s – everyone knows this. But how well do we put it into practice? That’s the question. The same thing with – I talk a lot about kids because I always make the joke that if you’re at my seminar, you’re old enough, that it’s too late for you. You already decided [0:43:24] [Indiscernible]. If you want to make a difference, start with your kids.
Andreo: For example, you have children. Please do not put them in shoes because it’s stylish. In my household, we have a rule. No shoes, no socks anywhere in the house or on my premises at all. Why? Because shoes were not part of the evolutionary process. Shoes are a way for it to tell your feet, “I don’t need you anymore. So please start withering away and dying.”
Then I have a video out on foot strength and I always say take any patient that has plantar fasciitis. Ask them to just lift their big toe. They stare at their toe and they just kind of, “Uh!” They’re just trying to make their brain connect and literally, their brain forgot to have toes, because they can’t even lift a toe.
So like that’s bad. Where do you not see that? People who did gymnastics as children, people who danced as children, people who are martial artists as children. You don’t see those problems.
Ryan: And you don’t see them too much in Japan because no one wears shoes over here, right? Now interestingly enough, so you’ve got – so when I went to university over here in Japan, the first place I lived, I walked in – it was a dormitory and it was just a squatter. It’s just – the toilet is just that hole in the ground and it’s so funny because here, when I first came over here, that was tough. I mean we’re not used to that kind of thing, right? But I got used to it.
Unfortunately though, few years after that, they got rid of all those toilets and now pretty much everywhere you go in Japan, you have the Western style toilet where you’re sitting on the throne, right?
So you see kids nowadays who cannot get into squats because they haven’t been squatting down for the toilet, which is extremely interesting. Yeah. You see 80-year-olds, 90-year-olds over here who can just get right down into a squat, no problem. Stand right back up. Just going on with their own business, just like you said. You don’t use it, you lose it.
So just like shoes, same thing. I totally agree with what you’re saying. I mean it’s – why constrict and force yourself into a particular compromising position? Everybody does it every day unfortunately and …
Andreo: Well, it’s like I always say. If you were to wear – let’s say you wore gloves. Let’s say you wore mittens for 30 years of your life and the majority of the time you wore mittens. Then you take the mittens off. How well do you think your hands will function?
Ryan: Yeah, that’s good.
Andreo: I mean think of like – like you say you don’t use it, you lose it. I mean people think of that generally and they’re correct to do so. From my perspective, I think at the cellular level. That’s the level that I assess. That’s the level that I train and I treat.
At the cellular level, mechanoreceptors, like the little receptors, touch receptors, movement receptors. It’s the same thing. If you don’t activate them, they go away. A lot of the receptors for example muscle spindles are built into your muscles.
So if you don’t use the foot muscles and the foot muscles start to wither, with those foot muscles go the receptors.
Ryan: Receptors, yeah.
Andreo: So now you have decreased neurological feedback occurring. It’s – again, it’s right here. It’s all written down. It’s not like we don’t know what to do. It’s that we pretend. We just pretend that it’s not …
Ryan: Yes, crazy, crazy.
Andreo: Because it’s genetics. We were talking about flexibility earlier and stretching. I don’t know how many times I hear this but people come in and they will always say to me, “Oh, yeah, I’m not flexible.” I go, “Oh. How often do you stretch?” and they go, “Never.”
Ryan: Well, there you go.
Andreo: Yeah. What do you think was going to happen? You know what I mean? You want to get into stretching? That’s another topic.
Ryan: Yeah, that’s – I think we need to save that for another time because oh boy, that – we could really do that. I tell you what, man. Let’s go ahead and end it here. If you’re cool, I want to get you back on the horn again so we can have another chat and man, it has been an absolute pleasure, absolute pleasure.
So much to talk about man. I tell you what, listen, for all of those listening, I will be sure to have links up here where you can get more information on the doctor. I just love calling you that, man.
Also upcoming seminars, what not, homepage, Facebook, everything, all you need to know. Anything you want to leave us with?
Andreo: I got nothing.
Ryan: You got nothing? Well, hey …
Andreo: I got nothing.
Ryan: I guess all I could say is just keep moving. I just had to say that.
Andreo: No, no, just – yeah, keep moving.
Ryan: So bad, so bad. So bad.
Andreo: You know what? Everyone just – just pretend that you’re a human.
Ryan: Yes. Just pretend. That’s all we have to do, man.
Andreo: Pretend. I know you’re above it, but just pretend.
Ryan: All right, man. Let’s talk soon. Thanks again. Thanks everybody for listening. Thanks.
Andreo: Thank you.[End of transcript]
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