*it finally happened!*
From 2009-2014, I was physically and mentally broken from the art I love so dear...
... and what I finally did to over come it without surgery.
[Saturday, 28 November 2009]
It's the weekend after Thanksgiving -- I was rolling with a now close friend of mine (he was a white belt then) and he got me in a position called "the lock down".
He had it in pretty deep -- it was a borderline kneebar.
But it wasn't close enough for me to feel in danger, it was just annoying.
He kept squeezing the s**t out of it -- it hurt like a SOB. I remember telling myself, "when I get out of this thing, I'm gonna destroy this guy" -- LOL!
(I eventually did get out and the destruction commenced LOL, he and I laugh about it to this day)
He was like, "brother, I did't want to let go because I didn't want to die".
LOL, fair enough.
The round eventually ended and I had this "weird feeling" in my knee. I couldn't put weight on it and the pain grew by the second.
After 10 minutes, I could barely stand on it.
Time goes by...
4 weeks to be exact.
I'm still in constant, throbbing pain, and now my knee locks at random.
Eventually I go see an orthopedist.
And guess what?
... confirmed MRI scan, torn left medial meniscus.
"That's great, I told myself, just f***ing great!
The only option was to have invasive surgery If I wanted to train Jiu-Jitsu at a high level again.
But, it gets worse!
I'm just getting back to "normal", it's still hard to lock my knee, if fact, it feels like I have a baseball stuck behind me knee and I can't even sit on my heels.
It happens again...
[25 August 2012]
I was rolling with a purple belt and BOOM, torn right MCL on a freak half guard sweep defense.
Again, surgery was required to repair If I wanted to get back to training.
For 5 years, physical activities I greatly enjoyed like training Jiu-Jitsu, strength training with kettlebells, and running were no longer enjoyable.
... lost not knowing what to do next
I felt like loser.
It felt like every time I was building momentum, something would derail my progress, like a f***ing MCL tear.
But I couldn't control that, I knew the only thing I could control was
... my effort
... and my attitude
And everything would fall in place.
So what was I gonna do about my situation?
Well, I put my head down and got to work -- eventually I got back on the mat but was limited and had to completely change how I trained Jiu-Jitsu.
Which actually made me a better, smarter, and more efficient BJJ player.
I kept training with my kettlebells 3 days a week and maintained my daily Yoga practice.
Eventually I stumbled across a concept call:
Neurodevelopmental Sequencing is the normal developmental progression infants go through as they grow.
This sequencing includes:
- The ability to roll from their belly to their back and their back to their belly.
- Rocking back and forth on their hands and knees (posterior rocking).
- Crawling and eventually pushing down to achieve their first squat.
- And last but most important, standing, walking, and running.
This same sequence I witnessed my son and daughter progress through in 2011, also happens to be the same postures and movement strategies rehab professionals follow for their patients.
So, I went...
Back To The Basics
No matter what corrective exercises I tried:
- Single leg balance exercises
- Bosu balls
- Etc... (I couldn't even do kneeling exercises because of the pain)
My knees were not improving, something was not connecting.
That's when I realized I had to go to the lowest point I could to challenge myself...
I literally had to learn to roll and crawl all over again as an infant.
It sounds silly, but you know what?
Things started to change.
My recovery between training sessions was improving, I was getting stronger and most of all...
The pain in my knees was subsiding.
Then, one day I was at a workshop learning all this cool stuff and the lecturer said something I'll NEVER forget
"... Movement Is A Behavior".
Let me give you an example:
When your child acts up and displays bad behavior do you correct it? Or do you let it continue?
You correct it of course, other wise you're re-enforcing bad behavior, right?
The same goes for how we move, if we move poorly and do not correct it, the bad behavior will only increase.
This will limit your ability to get stronger and more mobile, so you can train more Jiu-Jitsu.
Which only leads to more frustration with yourself and eventually bleeds over into your family life.
Worse case scenario... you inevitably get injured, AGAIN and now you can't train at all (Like me the second time in 2012).
Lets dive a little deeper...
If we start to load poor movements, we are only further re-enforcing this bad behavior. This is what Gray Cook calls, putting fitness on top of disfunction.
On the flip side, once we correct a movement behavior, the best way to make sure the correction sticks is to load it, through the proper progression of static and dynamic motor control followed by strength training.
Remember, movement is a behavior and you always want to reward/re-enforce good behavior by loading it with an external load and...
Kettlebells are the best tool to accomplish this.
Because the kettlebell is a live weight.
Meaning, compared to a dumbbell or barbell, as the kettlebell goes through particular ranges of motion, the center of gravity is always changing.
This requires your brain to send signals to your muscles to fire reflexively (i.e., without conscious thought) to stabilize the correct joints at the correct times to allow your joints to go through a full range of motion.
THIS is what makes the kettlebell superior to other tools for rehab and recovery which is why...
It's so much more than just a strength and conditioning tool.
So, you're probably wondering, Hector, how do you put all of this information together and into action?
I'm glad you asked.
Introducing Mobility Secrets!
This is the program I developed and have refined over the course of the last 10 years. It's helped me rebuild my body and rehab my knees after two [frustrating] Jiu-Jitsu injuries:
- Torn left medial meniscus, 2009
- Torn medial collateral ligament (MCL), 2012.
Inside I reveal the 10 Secrets to not only improving mobility and flexibility, but also to enhance your strength, performance, and recovery
... so you can train MORE Jiu-Jitsu and go on to impact more people -- especially your families.
Here's what it will do for you:
- Restore lost mobility and flexibility through a step-by-step progression on how-to perform each movement in the right sequence (this is the key).
- Trick your mind into taking the breaks off of your muscles to allow your body to go through its natural, full ranges of motion.
- Lock in new-found mobility so you don't wake up the next morning back on square one.
- Save you time by removing your 20 minute foam roll session before training, and your 20 minute foam roll session after training.
- Improve your sense of well-being and confidence to do the things you once did in college WITHOUT the fear of being broken the next day.
- Plug-n-play; the ability to mix and match bodyweight and kettlebell exercises, making mobility and flexibility training fun again (after all, you'll only stick with something if it's enjoyable).
- Improve your total body strength by restoring lost function in the shoulders, hips, and ankles, ultimately becoming bulletproof allowing you to move effortlessly on the mat and keep up with the young bucks.
- Control cortisol (the stress hormone) and free radical damage by decreasing stress levels through a daily endorphin-releasing morning recharge -- so you start the day right and be excited to take on your day.
- Improve strength endurance, work capacity, and burn maximum calories through the integration of both bodyweight and kettlebell movement flows.
- Recover FASTER so you can train Jiu-Jitsu again the very next day without feeling like you've been hit my a Mack truck.
- And much much more...
I Was On the Verge of "giving up"
When I started working with Hector 18 months ago, I had pains throughout my body running from my ankle and calves through my shoulder and neck. I was on the verge of "giving up" when I was introduced to Hector. Within 6 weeks, I noticing my aches and pains had diminished. After 12 weeks, I couldn't even remember what the aches and pains felt like. I am now pushing 50, and if I had found Hector earlier in my life, I know I could have avoided many years of pain and stayed healthy and in shape for a much longer period of time.Thank you Hector.
"Strength and Conditioning to Another Level!"
The first time I saw a kettlebell I thought , “there is absolutely no way this little thing will give me the workout I need.” Well, other than BJJ, this was the toughest training I've ever done. Training with Hector helped my BJJ game in more ways than I could imagine . Being a fellow BJJ practitioner himself, he knew exactly what I needed to improve my performance for the mat. Hector's kettlebell program as taken my strength and conditioning to another level!
Here's what you're getting...
The complete mobility secrets system
Component 1: The Mobility Secrets Program ($618 Value)
This is a step-by-step bodyweight and kettlebell mobility program. All 10 Secrets are detailed – photos of each exercise, reps, nuances – everything. And yes, it has a real world value of $309 – this is the current monthly investment for our coaching students here at Hardstyle.
Component 2: The Mobility Secrets Video Library ($97 Value)
Inside you'll find 8 detailed videos on how-to execute each of the 10 secrets. I share valuable insights on technique, variations, regressions, how to create your own flows, and safely progress with kettlebells.
The total combined value of the Mobility Secrets package is $715
But since you're not coaching with us in person we couldn't ethically give you the pleasure of investing this amount.
It won't cost you
And it won't cost you
Nor will it cost
Because you're a reader of the Strong As Hec blog, you have an opportunity to get the entire package for only:
The armbar and bent armbar flows are positively magical and have almost complete eliminated my shoulder limitations!
"The Highest Privilege I’ve had"
Training under Hector has been the highest privilege I’ve had in Jiu-Jitsu, he helped me develop a confidence that I didn’t even know existed. His coaching isn’t overwhelming with a bunch of fancy exercises. Hector will teach you how, why, and when to move. Within 2 months of training, my resting heart rate dropped to the 50's and my blood pressure dropped to around 110/70. I had chronic hip pain that disappeared after a few weeks of training while my flexibility and mobility skyrocketed; I even dropped 10-15 pounds!
"I Medaled for the FIRST Time As a Brown Belt!"
Hector's coaching helped me prepare for the Pan JJ championships (one of the biggest BJJ tournaments). I medaled for the FIRST time as a brown belt! His coaching program helped me reach a new level of athleticism. It is the perfect balance of strength, power, and flexibility that I was missing in my game!