‘Don’t just strive to be normal, strive to be independent’
Ability is limited by your mindset. In the recent year, I have been privileged to have started working with the wheelchair community, Parkinson’s, and Multiple Sclerosis. I saw great things done by people who never wanted to let their capabilities set limitations. As I grew through my experiences I began to take a turn, I noticed the same physiotherapy, the same 3 sets of 10 reps, with the same results. I decided it was time to take my extensive athletic training knowledge and added to their programming.
Although this project has become a labor of love, I’ve already seen increment success in endurance, strength, and power in the individuals that needed it. But more importantly, I’ve been able to inspire ‘Independence.’ The few things we take for granted, like getting up to go sit at a patio and enjoy a quiet lunch, can seem like a mountain to traverse for a quadriplegic in a wheelchair. The key in your in your life is to find the ‘Why.’ Whether it’s driving a car, having the health to carry a child through pregnancy, or the honor to play at the highest level in Wheelchair athletics and the opportunity to represent your country; these are all possibilities with the right training and the right inspiration.
In regards to the science of training adaptive athletes, it was time to bring the acute training variables back to their programming; I start to train adaptive athletes in the same manner, with only a few modifications on the way:
Sport specific aspects dependent on needs as well as function:
Assesses your biomechanical imbalances, muscular instabilities, core strength and weaknesses
Customized test which retrieves data in regards to your max heart rate, work capacity, functional core, posture and strength under cardiovascular duress. Both these assessments give us data for the baseline of your performance
Examines your 1 rep maximum push or pull on the Big 3; the squat, bench press and the deadlift. This test is optional and usually for those that are in powerlifting, or for those that do power/strength sports such as Football, Rugby or Hockey
Measures your body fat percentage as well as 5 measurements throughout your body to set a guideline for later success in regards to weight loss or rather muscular hypertrophy
Finally, I give you a questionnaire so that I can look at your week in review. This is the more holistic of the test, as it looks at your schedule, your eating habits, blue light exposures and most importantly your sleep