CategoryNeuromuscular Adaptation

Secret Sauce: Part 1


Firefighters have a uniquely challenging job. They have to move powerfully and efficiently with little time or space to warm-up, move unbalanced, heavy loads even from awkward positions, and perform strenuous, repetitive motions over years of service. This leads to orthopedic injuries, such as shoulder impingement syndrome or chronic back pain. Orthopedic injuries such as these were the leading cause of worker’s compensation claims for a Fire Department in Southern California.

My business partner, Trevor St. John, and I were brought in to consult with the fire department and work directly with 110 firefighters. Our brief: could we lower the number of orthopedic injuries suffered? To address this query, we developed a unique program for firefighters called Preparation for Chaos (PFC).

After a year of using PFC, the fire department reported an 80% decrease in the number of days lost due to injury and a 65% decrease in workmen’s compensation claims.

I’d like to let you in on the secret sauce. (more…)

Postactivation Potentiation: Built-in Neuromuscular Tuning


Postactivation potentiation (PAP) is a normal, regularly occurring feature of a dynamic, healthy neuromuscular system. One does not need an exercise professional, massage therapist, or any other specialist to elicit PAP any more than one needs a doctor in the room in order for blood to clot in a wound. However, with an understanding of the characteristics and purposes of PAP, professionals can use the PAP to enhance strategies for helping clients reach their goals. This is the first in a series of articles that will explore PAP and how it may be used to understand and manage aspects of exercise programming and design.