#PTonICE Daily Show – Friday, June 28th, 2024 – The Fitness Athlete Summit: recap

In today’s episode of the PT on ICE Daily Show, Fitness Athlete lead faculty member Mitch Babcock recaps the annual Fitness Athlete Summit, discussing how students become leaders in loading, confident in their strength & coaching, and the importance of walking the walk.

Take a listen to the episode or check out the full show notes on our blog at www.ptonice.com/blog

If you’re looking to learn from our Fitness Athlete division, check out our live physical therapy courses or our online physical therapy courses. Check out our entire list of continuing education courses for physical therapy including our physical therapy certifications by checking out our website. Don’t forget about all of our FREE eBooks, prebuilt workshops, free CEUs, and other physical therapy continuing education on our Resources tab.


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Good morning PT on ICE Daily Show. It is a wonderful Friday morning here in June. I hope you’re doing well. Thank you for tuning in. Whether you’re tuning live on Instagram, YouTube, or if you’re streaming this and downloading this, after the fact. We are glad you’re here and thank you so much for making PT on Ice the daily show your downloadable PT daily podcast. Today’s topic is Summit Recap. So we had a Fitness Athlete Summit this past weekend here at CrossFit Fenton and I want to talk to you about some main principles so just some main themes that kind of stand out to me as faculty after observing and watching kind of the things that went down this weekend. It was a wonderful weekend and thanks to all of those that attended the course this weekend. You guys knocked it out of the park and we’re going to get into that shortly. I do want to draw your attention to the fact that there are three online courses starting up in July. So if you are sitting there looking to get involved into an eight-week interactive online course, there are three that are kicking off just this first week of July. So I want to draw your attention to them before the holiday weekend kicks up and you lose track of what’s starting. You’ve got Brick by Brick where you can work through with Alan about all the details around getting your clinic actually going. Like what are the steps involved to getting NPI number, business bank account, tax ID, all of those things that are necessary and legal to get your clinic up and running. Alan will walk you through all those steps in a brick-by-brick online course. We also have a Rehab of the Injured Runner. Jump in on that course. It’s a phenomenal resource for a lot of very actionable stuff. If you are a CrossFit coach like I am, there is nothing better than being able to come to your CrossFit athletes with a lot of running related tips, and strategies towards increasing their mileage, increasing their cadence, and decreasing pain that they have with running, because we all know us CrossFitters are pretty bad runners. So that’s my little shout out to the Injured Runner course. That online course kicks off in July as well. And then the last one is our Fitness Athlete Pelvic course online. Jump into that one as well for all things pelvic floor, bracing, strengthening, modifications related. That’s your resource for all things pelvic. Online only, those are some eight week options for you. It was a wonderful summit. We spent all day Saturday, Sunday going through our traditional fitness athlete content. But in addition to that, we had a number of folks, we had probably 15 or 20 PTs come early and jump into a Friday afternoon class here at CrossFit Fenton. We went out to a local restaurant, kind of had some drinks and socialized a little bit Friday night. My introduction to the weekend said, we’re looking to make this the most fitness heavy course, Con Ed course, you’ve ever went to in your life. Taking the fitness athlete course and literally ramping it up in intensity and load, and the participants answered that call all weekend long. From the first moment we broke out in back squat, we had plates on the bar, we had people getting into a heavy back squat, breaking down technique, and that theme carried on all the way through the weekend. I was stoked to see it. I love the fact that the participants leaned into the challenge that the weekend presented. And so I walk away with a couple common themes. Before I get into those, I do want to shout out our wonderful team. We had eight faculty from the Fitness Athlete Squad here this weekend, all did a phenomenal job with the lectures that they led, and it was really an honor to sit back and just kind of watch the team do their stuff. So Zach, Guillermo, Joe, Kelly, Jenna, Tucker, Alan, myself, it was a wonderful job. Team, I just want to give you guys a shout out real quick before we get into this.

The first thing that comes to mind after the weekend is the fact that these individuals, anyone that participated in the course, are now leaders in loading. in their respective communities and clinics. They’re going to take all the confidence that came from the weekend, all the principles, all the learning, and they are going to be the resource in their relative clinics for helping people get stronger. And that is such an important role and a big responsibility. And you could almost see it and feel it in how attentive everyone was to the lectures and how detailed they were in the coaching and how they dove into the nuance of the barbell lifts and didn’t just skim through them. You could tell that the participants at this course wanted to soak every ounce that they could from it because they knew that they were taking it back to their clinics. And maybe they had an uphill fight ahead of them. Maybe they knew that the clinicians that they’re surrounded with and they’re 9-5 aren’t on board with deadlifts or barbells or dumbbells or heavy loading or EMOMs. And they know that when they roll back in that their sword better be sharp because they’re going to be up against some resistance and kind of swimming upstream, if you will. But I appreciate the fact that they kind of knew that challenge, that they were ready for it. And I feel really confident that those folks are going to make that change. It’s not an easy change. Anyone that’s out there in their clinic right now listening to this being like, that was me. I was the crazy person in my clinic with the timer on the wall and the barbells banging in the clinic and everyone thought I was nuts. But hopefully you guys can share some of the stories that it works. Meaning, not only with your patients, but with your colleagues. That over time, these principles start to rub off on your colleagues that maybe were, you know, detractors at first. They weren’t really on board with the mission and the vision, but they started to see your outcomes. They started to see how much fun your patients were having, and that they started to adopt those things as well. And over the series of maybe some weeks, months, or years, you now have a clinic staff that kinda operates very similarly. Everyone is now on board with the loading. Maybe it took a few in-services. If there are any tips, tricks that you guys have encountered, this would be a great podcast to comment, share, or just leave something in the comments below this of little things that have helped you and your clinic get those folks on board. You’re now the leaders in loading in your respective communities. I hope you don’t back off of that line. I hope, if anything, you keep pushing that line forward, saying, no, not only do we need this, we need more of it. We need heavier, more intense loading in the clinic. And if it takes me being the person to start this in my community, then I’m going to do that.

That leads me on the second point that I saw over the weekend is the confidence of strength. Strength confidence, right? And that can be defined in a couple different ways. One, personally, seeing a PT relatively scared of the deadlift, relatively fearful of their low back. lean into that deadlift section from the principles and the lessons that we teach prior to to the technique breakdown to the coaching and then eventually the max out deadlift lab and watching the confidence change in just that one hour lecture is huge. Seeing that they’re like, man, I didn’t realize I was that strong. I didn’t realize I could do that. I didn’t realize my colleague could do that much weight as well. We have this newfound sense of confidence around our own strength and our own low back. But what comes secondary to that is the confidence of the strength movements themselves. I now have confidence of instructing this deadlift. I know what I’m looking for. I know what a good start position is. I know what a bad one is. I know how to cue and correct this thing. I feel much more confident with the movement itself, not just with my own strength because I feel confident with that too, but with instructing and teaching the movement. We know that physical therapists’ beliefs around their low back impact the treatments that they select and the outcomes that they get with their patients. Your fearfulness of your low back strength or your back pain is wearing off on your patients in a bad way. And seeing clinicians really overcome that this weekend is one of the best parts of the entire course and not just the summit itself. But there definitely was an aura. Having the entire fitness athlete team. Having all of these participants that were really down with the mission. Really leaning into this. You could palpate the change in confidence with just that one lecture itself. It was a great moment. It was a great breakout. And I hope that that confidence that you have. After going through a course like this, where you get stronger, where you feel more confident with the strength, with the barbell movements, that you maintain that confidence by way of staying involved with the barbell, staying in the gym, continuing to practice what you preach, continuing to lean into the movements that you’re not the greatest with. But get more coaching, get more refinement, and develop your skill set. Because that confidence will go a long way, not only in your personal health and development, but in your treatment, health and development, right? So it’s really bifactorial, and I’m really excited to see the change in that.

The other component, and I just have two left, the other component was watching the development of the coaching confidence, right? Seeing clinicians go from the first breakout of the weekend, telling people to activate muscles, don’t do that, into the later part of day one and into day two, where you’re starting to see a much more engaged, effective coaching. We come in as a profession looking to change movement with our hands or our mobilizations or our manipulations and techniques. And we leave the weekend realizing how much more effective we can be just by coaching, using our words, using tactile feedback, using tempo, using targets, using visual things. That component, that change will really carry with you in your treatments. being able to walk up to somebody and get into an effective coaching position that you can break down the static position, refine that position, break down the dynamic component of the movement, have them pause in a position where they’re losing shape, correct that shape using a slow tempo to allow yourself time to make the changes you want to do. Refining your coaching ability goes so far in your your ability to refine movement in the clinic. Seeing that coaching confidence develop, seeing your ability to change movement with your words and not just your hands is really, really helpful and something that as a profession we really need to wrap our heads around more and spend more time refining. Maybe the mobilization technique doesn’t need more reps. Maybe just your coaching does. Get a few more reps in there. It was a really wonderful weekend, team. From seeing the confidence of the strength movement to knowing that you guys are going back to your clinics to be the leaders of loading in your relative communities and watching how much you leaned into that coaching development side of the weekend was really, really powerful. I hope you take all of that stuff. I hope you take all the lessons, all the lectures, all the research articles. You compile that with all of your in-person experiences that you had over the weekend, watching people get after it.

And most importantly, walking the walk, right? From Friday’s optional workout that a number of clinicians jumped in on, to Saturday night’s WOD at the end of day one, which you guys are accustomed to from taking ice courses. What you don’t know is that we really ramped up the heat with this being the Fitness Athlete Summit. We had teams of three, we had heavy power cleans, we had bar muscle-ups, chest-to-bar pull-ups. Like we had a really spicy piece for 18 or 20 minutes there Saturday night, and all the clinicians didn’t back away from the heat at all. And we even had an optional cardio piece on Sunday day two during lunch that we had more than 50% of the participants jump in on. break a sweat before we grab a little bite to eat on Sunday. Walking the walk, living this lifestyle, showing your patients in your in your relative communities that you can get strong, you can get confident with this, you can get fitter, you can get more shape and what that’s going to do for your lifestyle. If all of that spurred from this weekend, it was the best weekend I could have dreamed of. In every single weekend we hit the road, we hope to do something similar. So hats off to everyone that was a participant this weekend. Hats off to the entire fitness athlete team for conveying the message loudly and with intent. I appreciate that very much. I look forward to the next Fitness Athlete Summit. We’re going to do another one next year. We’ll get the entire team together. I don’t know where it’ll be yet, and I don’t know what things we’ll have in store for it. But I know that we had a ton of fun this year, and there’s no reason to stop that anytime soon. So be looking for the entire team to come together next year at a destination we haven’t determined yet, with some coursework built into the weekend that maybe you don’t find everywhere else. Be looking for that. Team, I wish you a wonderful weekend. If you are heading into a 4th of July vacation and you’re stepping away from the clinic a little bit, I hope you recharge the batteries. I hope you spend time with family and friends, enjoy the moments of life, and then get back into the clinic where you make a difference. And don’t forget that you do. So, with that, have a wonderful rest of your Friday and a wonderful weekend. Take care, everybody. 

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