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Still in the Fight - An Introduction to Combat Athlete Reconditioning

To preface this series, I will share a piece of my own story. For the last two decades as a health and wellness professional, I have dealt with my own injuries and surgeries sustained during my time serving in the US Marine Corps, and have lived with chronic neck and back pain from multiple automobile accidents.

The beginning of my career in health and wellness started in early 90’s as a young Marine stationed at Camp Lejeune where I was entrenched in the one-dimensional training model of the “Pump and Grunt” Bodybuilding era and old school Marine Corps exercises. My body succumbed to participating in ego-based training and outcome-based military training modules in an attempt to “Get Big."

I left the Marine Corps in 1995 at 21 years old struggling with sciatic nerve pain, neck pain, low back pain, shoulder pain, tendinitis and torn abdominal muscles.Two weeks after I left active duty, I ended up in surgery at a VA hospital.The surgery wasn’t performed properly and for two years I struggled with chronic pain and the classic VA pipeline that some of us know all to well with no alternative tools for my toolbox. As a result, I was forced to take a second look at my training methodologies.

Through self-exploration, trial and error, and years of conducting intense due diligence of different training styles, I began to incorporate a template of what is now the Combat Athlete Reconditioning Program. Currently I provide training, education, and consulting for Civilians, Military and Law Enforcement through Wellness Solutions Group LLC. Additionally, I am proud I serve as the Director of Functional Movement and Rehabilitation on the Task Force Dagger Special Operations Forces Medical Advisory Board and as Founder and Executive Director of Warrior Wellness Solutions a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization. During this time, I have had the honor of working with hundreds of wounded, ill, and injured veterans and active duty service members giving me a front row seat to what could have been implemented on the front end to mitigate their current injuries and tools to “Stay in the Fight.”

In my future posts, I'll cover the Combat Athlete Reconditioning Program in detail. This includes the two (2) distinct tracks that my tactical athletes follow as well as the three (3) primary "Modules" I use to deliver the tools to them. The two tracks are:

Track A: Directed at the wounded, ill, or injured combat athlete who will be cleared to return to active duty and reintegrate with a unit.

Track B: Directed at the wounded, ill, or injured combat athlete who has or will be medically discharged and needs to learn new and adaptive tools strengthening them to defend their home and family in spite of their injuries.

While we explore the solutions for these two tracks you will learn health and wellness tools for both “Prehab and Rehab” through Functional Movement and Integrative Nutrition. These will be tools you can implement to “Prehab” for those tactical athletes still serving in military or law enforcement with the Combat Chassis of a GT 500 Mustang or Jeep Wrangler. The tools will also help you “Rehab”if you are a responsibly armed civilian with the Combat Chassis of the Chevy Impala or the Ford Pinto in used car lot.

I will cover these tools in three (3) Modules:

Module 1: Foundation Training – This segment delivers a solution to get out of back pain, enhance athletic performance, and prevent injuries. The military and law enforcement community has thousands of compression-based injuries resulting from compromised joints, improper load carriage, overtraining, and an overemphasis on movements in the sagittal plane.This system will teach your body to return to homeostasis.You will learn how to anchor and decompress the body through breath, strengthen the core and posterior chain, and improve posture.

Module 2: Fuel Your Primary Weapons System –You will learn solutions for addressing Inflammation, Gut Health, Adaptive Field Nutrition, Super Foods, and Nutrient Density for Resiliency, Performance and Tissue Repair.

Module 3: Adaptive Band & Kettlebell Training -This segment will teach you ways to work around your injuries and limitations to achieve balanced functional strength utilize multi-planar movements within the four pillars of human movement.It will prepare you to move to the next level in the journey to improve your power, speed, quickness and functional strength of your Combat Chassis.

My next post will cover a discussion the Track A and Track B athletes and why/how they're trained differently.

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