Monthly Archives: August 2017
In episode 2 we discuss we share some more metal, drink some more whiskey, and talk about how training for physical fitness, MMA, and shooting all go hand in hand.
I used to say that anyone who can physically squat a thousand pounds surely doesn’t have any mental weakness but much like many other definitive statements that I have made, I’m about to challenge this one. I first began lifting back in 7th grade. As I started puberty, I shot up in height very quickly but my weight always lagged behind. People would comment about how skinny I was on a regular basis and during that period it had a pretty major impact. I didn’t like being called small or skinny and in my head believed that a man should be big and strong, hence the start of my weight training journey. Fast forward a couple decades and I met the expectations of my 7th grade self. I got up to 280 lbs, I had elite totals in powerlifting, I had gotten lean enough to step onto a bodybuilding stage. I had checked all the boxes for “manliness”. Then earlier this year I stopped taking testosterone, something I had been on for about 7 years. My levels fell to that well beyond the “normal” range and into the “uh oh, that’s not good range”. Fast forward 6 months from then and I’m still dealing with those terribly low numbers. But beyond the physical changes that I faced, the mental challenges were the hardest to deal with. Since seventh grade I had been focused on getting bigger and stronger and for 17 years I had continued to make progress in those endeavors but once I came off testosterone I had to watch that progress begin to landslide backwards. Spending 17 years building the framework of my identity around what I looked like and how strong I was didn’t set me up well for dealing with the effects of that framework beginning to crumble.
I am not alone in this. I’ve been around lifting and training and fitness for my entire life. People have tons of reasons for beginning their journey and everyone’s journey takes them on a different path but so many people use the gym as a way of dealing with the emotions of life. This can be both good and bad. For many, they have setup up their identity in how they perform under a barbell, how many likes they get on a video of them training, how many followers they have to share their journey with. Unfortunately social media has become a window into so many lifters psyches and while the window my look sturdy and strong, the foundation is weak and frail. Many lifters will read this and think “Man, this guy sounds like a total wuss.” I don’t blame you, I would’ve thought the same thing. But for those who may be a little too familiar with what I’m talking about, I think I can help. I am in no way claiming to have this whole mental strength thing figured out. I am sharing with you things that I have found work for me as I work my way towards daily improvements in mental strength with the hope that they will work for you too.
Do Something You Suck At
Once I stopped pursuing strength and size, I realized I had to find something else to work towards. Luckily for me anything other than strength training was going to be a serious challenge so being the extreme individual that I am, I decided to take on lots of new things that I suck at. First, I started doing CrossFit. CrossFit was a conditioning challenge greater than anything I had attempted since playing college football. Anything that lasted longer than 1 minute was a kill shot to my lungs so when the first workout I attempted lasted over 30 minutes I was pretty sure I was going to meet my maker. Combine that with all the gymnastics movements and, despite being a college athlete, I feel like I can’t even walk and chew bubble gum. I also started doing jujitsu which, for those who haven’t ever done it, is as much a mental challenge as it is a physical challenge and the thing about jujitsu is that your size and strength don’t give you any advantage whatsoever if you don’t have the skills and technique. I proceeded to get my ass kicked on a regular basis by people way smaller and better than me. Finally, I started running. Someone (my wife) convinced me to do a warrior dash which is a 10 mile obstacle course (the longest I’ve ever ran is a 5K). And then another friend (I’m going to classify Angie as a friend here because I really
hate love hate love her) convinced me to do a half marathon. Now, anyone who knows me at all will know how shocking it is to hear me say I’m going to run a half marathon. But here is why: I really suck at CrossFit, jujitsu, and running.
While it feels so comfortable to stay in our lane and do things we’re good at, growth only occurs when we’re forced to adapt. I was as ill prepared for every one of these things as I could possibly be but that made me have to let go of my pride and in doing so I got to learn, I got to grow, and I got to gain strength not only in the CrossFit workouts, on the jujitsu mat, or on the trails but mentally as well. There was something very powerful about saying to myself “David, you really suck at this, you’re gonna suck at it for a while, and it’s gonna hurt really bad. Deal with it and don’t quit.”
Find a New Pain
There is a certain pain associated with different physical acts. As a power lifter, there is a familiar pain involved when you are getting your knees wrapped about to take your third squat attempt in a meet and the lifter in front of you takes forever. By the time you get to the bar your feet are asleep, you can’t feel your legs and you feel the weight of hundreds of pounds stressing every muscle, tendon, and ligament to the max. In football, there was a familiar pain in the 4th quarter when you’re trying to catch your breath as you sprint down the field to get ready for the next play in the last minute of a close game. All your knuckles are jammed, you’re bleeding from your nose where someone snuck a finger through your facemask, and you’ve been in an all out wrestling match with the lineman across from you but you still have to put your hand on the ground and rush with everything you’ve got. Both of those are familiar pains and that familiarity takes away their fright.
It was always easy to think of myself as tough as I watched new lifters squirm like crazy the first time they got their knees wrapped. But I was only tough in the sense that I was prepared for the pain each time and I knew exactly what to expect. A new pain, however, has a far greater power for drilling it’s way into your psyche and telling you to tap out. That has been my experience with distance running. While lifting is incredibly painful, the time frame is relatively short. Running produces a more constant nagging pain, a relentless voice inside your head that tries to make you focus on how your feet, your ankles, your legs, and your lungs are burning. It says “Just take a breather. Walk for a little bit.” Having not been used to this, a new mental battle has begun against an unfamiliar enemy. And like any other battle, while both sides will take their beatings, one will eventually come out victorious. Through that victory new mental strength is gained. Knowing that you have power over that new pain will strengthen you for the next time you face it.
Go Off Grid
As many benefits as technology has brought us it’s brought just as many negative consequences with it. I am reading a book about the Louise and Clark expedition and one of the things that is so amazing to me is their use of the english language. Their only way of communicating other than talking was through writing. If they wanted to invite someone over for dinner they had to write them a letter (much like a wedding invitation) and they would use a thousand words to describe a leaf. Now a days a text convo between two people wanting to go to dinner goes something like:
“thumbs up emoji”
In our hurry, we have become dumb. To top that off, with the majority of our physical needs met very easily (food, water, air, shelter) people have turned to the internet to meet their social and psychological needs. Now everyone uses social media for all other social pursuits: friendship, love, community. While there are benefits to it, many people get sucked so much that the social media pursuit becomes the predominant factor in their physical pursuits. Now the goal is to gain followers, get likes, and share the whole experience through a glass screen. I’m not saying don’t post on social media, I do it as well. But instead take some time off. Do some workouts that you don’t tell everyone about. Even better, get outside and disconnect. Go for a run, go for a hike, go for a bike ride. Enjoy physical activity apart from worrying about getting someone to video it. And enjoy that physical activity in nature. Few things can make you realize how insignificant you are as a roaring water fall that is millions of years old. With that realization you will be forced to separate from your self absorption and just enjoy the experience. When you start to collect experiences and lose the idol of self worth you will be free from the mental and emotional strain that comes from trying to perform for the crowd. You can focus on enjoying the experience, even if it is a painful one.
Go Forth and Prosper
While I may be putting the pursuit of physical strength on the back burner, mental strength has now become my next mountain to climb. I don’t know how tall it is, how hard it will be, or if I’ll ever summit. I just want to keep putting one foot in front of the other and give it my best effort. To anyone who can appreciate a challenge, I invite you to join me in taking it step by step.
The CrossFit Games
I sat glued to my computer screes all weekend watching the CrossFit Games. My friend Gus Vandervort participated in the Master’s 55 and older category, so of course I wanted to see his every performance! Additionally, watching all of the athletes, ranging in ages range 14-60+ are beyond inspiring!
The workouts were grueling and these athletes completed no fewer than 11-12 events over a 4 day period. Their recovery time seemed shorter each day, however with the sound of the horn at the beginning of each event, their game face was on and they were as ready as if each event was their first.
These athletes dedicate every day to being their very best. They eat, sleep, breath and train CrossFit every minute of every day. They are completely dedicated to their sport. Anything less than 100% does not lend one to this high of an achievement!
The CrossFit Games athletes are the 1% of the CrossFit population. They are the elite, and their training is quite literally a full time job. As a recreational CrossFitter, we don’t have much in common with them, so it may seem…however, I think we have more in common than we realize.
Why Are you Here?
You cannot come to CrossFit once or twice a week and expect to learn CrossFit. CF is a weekly, monthly, yearly, journey. The process to learn all of the movements and skills necessary to grow in the sport is one of dedication and commitment. If you have chosen CrossFit as your method of training, and you’ve bought into it hook, line and sinker, then that is the first commonality between us and them.
To quote Greg Glassman, “While CrossFit challenges the world’s fittest, the program is designed for universal scalability, making it the perfect application for any committed individual, regardless of experience. We scale load and intensity; we don’t change the program. The needs of Olympic athletes and our grandparents differ by degree, not kind.” If you show up to each class and you give 100% to learning, growing and becoming not only a better CrossFitter but also a better human, then that too is something we share with the 1%.
While watching this weekend (and years past) it doesn’t take long to see one of the greatest things about CrossFit, and that is its community. At no point during the CrossFit Games was anyone left alone on the floor to struggle through their final reps. Within seconds of the other athletes recovering from their event, they gathered to encourage the others competing along with them. In no other sport have I ever witnessed this type of camaraderie. This type of camaraderie can be experienced in every local affiliate around the globe and in my opinion, is the most important element of CrossFit.
Be a Part of Something Bigger Than You
If you’re here to just get in a good workout, then you’re doing it wrong. Be here to sweat, work and struggle beside those who are also sweating working and struggling. Be here to be a part of a community that is passionate about our sport, passionate about the changes it has made in our lives and share in our joys and our failures. A great workout is a piece of it, but it is perhaps less important than the community you are becoming a part of.
Gus went on to finish 12th place in the Men’s 55-59 division, which is pretty fantastic! He had highs and lows in his performances, but one thing that stood out the most for him was the sense of community he felt among his CrossFit brothers and extended CrossFit community. In the end, isn’t a sense of belonging what we all strive for?
Have you ever heard the cue “wedge into the bar” when hearing someone coach? If not you have not heard a damn thing said at NBS Fitness, it is a “staple cue” that many of the heavier squatters use along with a variety of others. This cue helps set the bar on your shelf which is made by muscles in your upper back. Ok cool, so why does the title mention bench? Have you ever heard the cue to wedge your back in during a bench, probably not, which could also be why you look like Gumby trying to hold weight over you.
It is now an ongoing thing that I get cussed out by Dave Tate every time I visit the S4 Compound, I’m like the step child that always messes up and gets scolded. So after my lashes, I just sat like a fly on the way and see him coach others, the last trip to the compound for the team UGSS he coached many lifters on the bench press and I picked up a few new cues. Now, these cues did not make my wedge into the bench pad but I decided to try it to implement Dave’s cues after my walk out which I was having trouble with. My Lats kept adjusting and I would slightly slide cause I did not have enough pressure pushing into the bench pad so learn from my #PovertyBench to not make the same mistakes.
To implement, after you set your feet in position BEFORE YOU DRIVE YOUR BACK INTO THE PAD, I want you to grab the bar with both hands. Now, I want you to push against the bar (needs to be a loaded bar) forcing your body to the bench and hold it there. Once you have yourself pressed in nice and solid THEN drive with your legs wedging your arch into place and locking your lats and loading your triceps and lats in preparation to un-rack the bar.
- Set up
- Push against loaded bar until upper back is pressed into bench pad
- when you cannot push any harder start leg drive and wedge (pin) back to the pad
- keep triceps and lats loaded and ready to un-rack
- keep this position the whole time
Stay tuned for article and video soon
Check out the new podcast from myself and two good buddies where we talk about everything from training to shooting to combat sports, politics, and interview some really cool people. Episode 1 is below.
14 years ago today, my dad died.
Are you all uncomfortable yet? You shouldn’t be. The subject of death is so taboo that after the initial acknowledgement of the event, we are expected to keep it to ourselves, lest we make others squirm. But for those close to death, the events that follow can be such a catalyst for profound reflection. I know it was for me. Until the last few years, I have kept it to myself and even vague-answered questions about why I feel so connected to what I do.
Don’t get me wrong: I would prefer my dad not be dead. Obviously. He was a super great guy. However, this event in my life was one of the single most influential events I ever and possibly will ever endure. I had so many experiences in formative years in my life via his sickness and his death that molded me to appreciate the human connection.
Specifically, the importance of human touch.
I know that’s a strange segue. To explain: I had never been someone who appropriately engages emotions. This was particularly the case on what was the saddest day of my life. I can remember sitting in the hospital, knowing that I was hurting, but unable to express it. I sat silently. I watched life slip away, and just absorbed the pounding in my chest.
I left the hospital suite and found an empty comfort room. I called my best friend and asked her to bring my belongings home, and informed her that my dad had died. I hung up. As I turned around, a woman approached me and expressed condolences. And then, in the most ballsy move ever, she gave vulnerable 15 year old me a hug. Something about that embrace acted as an emotional elixir.
I lost it. I felt everything. I had the most sincere cry I had ever had, and oddly felt some relief in being able to just feel my circumstances. I was far from happy, but I was able to face my emotions head on. This instant was one of many that I would ponder for years to come.
The woman didn’t say much I hadn’t heard. It was the human touch. I have always been a hugger and a snuggler, so in a lot of ways, I just assumed that physical touch was healing specifically towards me. Some consider physical touch their love language. However, as I progressed through my education, the topic of healing and its tie to touch was something that would show itself over and over.
I took a quick dive into the clinical sector of physical medicine and saw this tie more and more. Since then, I have networked with many physical therapists, athletic trainers, massage therapists and chiropractors. If they agree about nothing else, they all report that at times, the impact of just touch alone seems to accelerate healing in patients. I have had numerous massage therapists report that often clients become emotional during therapeutic massage. While emotions are extremely intangible, there seems to be a good emough of research on the matter.
Harry Harlow was an American psychologist who studied a variety of social-interaction phenomenon’s. He took particular notice of the increased mortality rate in infant orphans during WWII despite their relatively safe circumstances. His work concluded that the infants were suffering from a lack of human touch, and thus a lack of comfort. As infants lack communication skills, they often resort to physical communication and comfort. Without this, their will to live and health plummet.
In more recent time, Berkley student turn DePauw professor Matt Hartenstin sought out to find if touch communicated compassion. His trials included separating people by a barrier with a hole cut out. One participant was to stick his/her arm through the barrier and was given a list of emotions to convey through touch to the others forearm alone. Because of the variety of emotions being tested, the anticipated correct guess was anticipated to be 8%. However, compassion was correctly guessed more often than not. In fact, most emotions where correctly identified about 50% of the time. ‘
There have been countless bits of research between the two time frames above, and most research concludes that physical touch is a great medium for communication. A few other study conclusions:
– Human touch for infants improve weight development as well as mental and motorskill development.
– Touch (from trusted individuals) reduces the heart rate, relaxes the mind and increases attentiveness.
– touch can reduce muscular tonicity and result in a healthier musculoskeletal system.
Anecdotally, I find it fascinating to see people melt into hugs, as the only language a hug presents is one of love. And while my initial realization that this may be a factor came at a time when I was hurting, I am glad it occurred. My life changed dramatically as I was able to explore this phenomenon and it led me here: a career and life in the world of physical well being.
Why your training must change over the years.
When it comes to the true definition of a powerlifter I am still a novice in the sport. It has been five years since walking my scrawny ass through the front doors of NBS fitness, starting with only a map (training program) down a road leading to strength. This “map” was bias toward squatting, benching, deadlifting, and at the time over-head pressing – which no longer happens – to direct me towards my goals. Over the last five years many things have come and gone but the main lifts always stay the same, here is what has to change to allow the progress to persist.
HOW YOU NAVIGATE TRENCHES
There is a phase in powerlifting where nothing comes easy, this is the time where good names fall into the abyss, burn in the fire, or decease to be remembered for anything in the sport. Years 5-9 are where you are in the trenches fighting for it and finding out what truly works. What works must change with time, change with ability, change with goals and without these changes you can only cash in so many times before that form of currency no longer is valid. This can be closely correlated with a business, particularly the NBS facility, that has changed over the years and I hear both ends of the spectrum. Some like it some do not, but one thing remains the same, there is still the best damn equipment to get better so shut up and get better or stay out of the way. What does it mean to navigate the trenches? It means that you will fail 100% guaranteed but need to be resilient and adapt to what that failure was. If you are unable to do that, this sport will chew you up and spit you out.
Have you ever eaten something you enjoyed so much that it starts to loose its flavor or degree of “aahhhhh thats good”? the same thing happens when training for strength and it is closely correlated with your training age and your current abilities. My first program was a basic 5/3/1 program and I progressed, I bet Id still have progressed till this day on that 5/3/1 STYLE of program but I would not be where I am today without the change in programming, not to mention, I would not know many aspects of different programs without experiencing new styles. As a resume some of the programming styles that I have experienced are as follows: “5/3/1”, “Concurrent” Block periodization, “Triphasic”, and currently “Gaglione Strength”. All these programs are drastically different but aid in the same thing. So how does this give diminishing returns? the program itself does not, it is the individuals that I see running THE EXACT same program over again that do not adjust percentages, numbers, and movements to aid their strengths and weaknesses. These individuals do not understand how to reflect on success (or failure) and implement the proper training protocols to adapt.
PROGRAMMING & TRAINING AGE
Training age will also have a significant impact or programming change, for the first time ever I had a training day removed from my program the closer I got to a meet. My coaches reasoning entailed risk > reward factor and I was under heavy weight that my body needed to recover from, while in a caloric deficit. All are variables that require change, as your training age increases – and actual age for this reason – the intensity of one’s loads increase, certain programs may not be sustainable for individuals as higher levels do to volume required under such heavy weight. All of these aspects are made easier with a coach (in my opinion) that can give you feedback without your own thoughts stepping in the way.
AS EASY AS YOUR WARM UP
Just as exercises give you a diminishing return when done for an extended period of time so will your warm up. Coming into the gym and having a routine is fine but your body is resilient and can potentially (more than likely will) adapt to the warm-ups you are doing. They will become easier because your body is “educated” in the ranges of motion you are playing in and the movements you repeatedly do to get there. As your main lifts go up you will begin to find certain movements either do not feel good or, “just do not do it for you anymore”. This is why we have an NBS Fitness youtube channel which gives you numerous general warm-up variations to implement before training. General body warm-ups are fantastic for all ranges of fitness goers and depending on how competitive you are in a particular sport your warm-ups will become more specific to the movement of the day towards the end.
1) Getting Out of Bed
If you were hoping this means that you should hit snooze until 10am, sorry sleepy head. This is referring to HOW you get yourself out of bed. Luckily, this is an easy fix, and one you may be doing correctly already. There are a few reason that getting bed out of correctly is important. The first reason is that the intervertebral discs in your spine, which are primarily water filled, rehydrate while you sleep. Therefor when you wake up, they are as thick as they will be all day. If we consider this in terms of fluid pressure, this means that since your discs are full of water, they are under the most pressure during this time. As you will learn a bit later in activity number 4, the movement that puts the spine in the least advantagous position and creates the most force into the low back is flexion or a crunch/sit up motion.
Judging from the information above, it should not be a surprise that the position your back hates you for in the morning is getting up using a sit-up like movement. This couples the pressure of flexed position with highly pressurized discs and comes at a time when the muscles of the spine have not gone through movement for an extended period of time. So what’s the solution? In order to keep the spine in a neutral position while also slowly accumulating the muscles back to movement from its dormancy.
Sitting is one of the activities that we do the most frequently every single day. It is also one of the most strenuous positions for your lower back. Normally while standing, we distribute forces through the body into the ground by way of the feet. Through Newton’s Third law, an equal amount of force is transmitted from the ground back into the body. When seated, these forces are now transmitted through the low back rather than the feet. This means more strain is placed onto low back. Furthermore while sitting for long period of time many people have a tendency to slouch which can lead to higher amounts of strain in the muscles of the spine to try to keep the body upright. Because this posture causes long periods of loading and subsequently a process called hysteresis can occur. This causes elongation of the ligaments which stabilize the spine, leading to more instability in the ligaments and stress on the muscles of the spine.
So what is the solution? Since most of our population is sitting while at work, we will address solutions for workplace sitting. Solutions include utilizing ergonomic seats/chairs that create support for the lumbar spine, maintaining a good, neutral posture without rounding at the shoulders while siting, and taking frequent breaks from sitting. Stand up desks are another great way to take breaks during work while still staying productive as well. Alternating between sitting and standing is a great way to avoid the long term consequences of both activities. Because a lot of the affects of sitting come from static loading over an extended amount of time, the goal of our changes are to change the way the joints are loaded even if for a short period of time.
Breathing is the single most important activity you do. Without air, we die, but breathing has more affects on the body than just providing oxygen. Proper breathing creates a cascade of events that can affect mood, stress, hormonal balance, and for the sake of this conversation, stability in the low back.
You may not realize it, but a very large amount of people breathe incorrectly. The correct mechanism of breathing involves contraction and lowering of the diaphragm to create passive filling of the airways. This diaphragmatic or normal breathing pattern is characterized by an expansion of the belly during inspiration. Abnormal breathing patterns are often a result of what is called chest or “labored” breathing. This type of breathing occurs when an individual forcefully contracts through the scalenes, pec, and other accessory breathing muscles to expand through the chest. One of the common reasons for developing this type of breathing is the fact that our societal norm loves the look of a flat stomach and puffed out chest. Unfortunately, this is the exact mechanism that mimics and stimulates labored breathing and can severely compromise your low back stability.
So how do we fix this? Unfortunately, many times we have developed this pattern over years and years of improper breathing, so this one is often difficult to accomplish in a short period of time. The best way to address this properly is to get help from a health care or fitness professional who is competent recognizing and fixing dysfunctional breathing patterns. Because this is a pattern that has been going on for a very long time, it is often hard for an individual to not only realize that they are breathing incorrectly, but equally as hard to understand how to change that pattern. One of the tools we use at Mid-South Spine and Sports Performance to address this issue is Reflexive Performance Reset or RPR. This method is geared towards addressing the neurology behind your improper breathing patterns and helps fix compensations that might be causing dysfunctional breathing.
4) Ab Exercises
This is for all of you who are concerned about getting that summer six pack to finally show this year. Core strength is an important necessity for athletic movements and spinal health, but there is a right and a wrong way to train the core, and unfortunately many people are doing it improperly.
To understand why, we need to take a look at the function of the core during movement. In the execution of any coordinated movement whether it be in athletics, at home, or while on the clock at work, the function of the core is always to produce stability and serve as a connecting link to transmit forces between the upper and lower extremities. The production of a stable core allows us to utilize our entire body to perform movement and without it, not only will we have disruption in the kinetic chain but likely many low and middle back problems as well. Again, the function of the core is to stabilize the spine and as a unit, RESIST movement.
So what movements do we not want to do with the spine and core? Flexion and rotation. Oh shit, all I do is crunches and russian twists. Sadly, we have to learn once again that another common perception in the fitness industry is wrong. Even worse, this is one of the most common ones. Meaning most people’s spines think they are an asshole.
Still want that six pack? First, go back to the last section on breathing and remember that going around with your belly sucked in is not the answer, then incorporate these abdominal movements into your training: Planks, dead bugs, wall-bugs, McGill sit-ups, bird dogs, medicine ball plyometrics, and anti-rotational movements that force control of rotation.
5) Weight lifting
Weight lifting has always taken heat for its negative effects on the spine. It’s hard to say that there are no examples of weightlifting causing low back injuries, as there are plenty, so I will not jump on that train that all weightlifting is good or all weightlifting is bad. The reason I say this is because although everyone should undergo weight bearing activity, not everyone is prepared to do it at the same degree. Therefor what is good for one person may not necessarily be good for another person. The key here is preparedness and using correct form and leverages to accomplish the movement.
So what part of weightlifting does your back hate you so much for? It hates those of you who do not respect the necessity of good form, a good program, and a good coach. This section is a wake up call to those of you who think you can just watch a few youtube videos and pick up weightlifting like you would a new hobby or any DIY project around the house and be able to do so safely. Unfortunately, you are wrong and your back may pay for it.
If you are one of these people that approach weightlifting in such a nonsensical manner, you are either setting yourself up to be weak and experience no results, or worse, an injury. Most injuries occur in weightlifting typically because of one of three factors 1) Accidents (either legitimately by chance or subsequently because you don’t know what you’re doing) 2) You don’t understand how the body responds and recovers to training and you over stress your body 3) You don’t know how to correctly perform movements and then chose to couple that with the poor choice of adding more weight.
So how do you stop your spine from getting pissed off at you? Understand that weigh lifting is a learning process, take it seriously, and then hire a trainer. A trainer will be able to analyze and give feed back on your form as well as program in a safe and structured program that will not only get you results, it will get you results safely. Any time you are embarking on the path to wellness or physical betterment it is also smart to seek the help of a qualified health care professional who understands the needs and processes that weight lifters go through and provide services to help lifters recover and progress to accomplish their goals.