From Pain That Kept Me Up At Night To Lifting Weights Like I Did In My 20's
"2015 and 2016 were the years of free-styling my workouts. It was a lot of fun, until it wasn’t — when I hurt my shoulder, in training. You’re not supposed to hurt yourself training. That’s what good programming is, it prevents you from hurting yourself.
I’ve almost always enjoyed natural physical ability, strength, and even ability to put on a lot of muscle, quickly. My big 5 lifts have always been strong. So not being able to bench, or really, not being able to push or pull much of anything for almost all of 2016 thanks to my shoulder injury was a big deal for me.
And, it wasn’t just physical inability, there were things to deal with emotionally and psychologically — like, when, for most of your life you’ve been big and strong, it becomes a defining characteristic, and suddenly, you’re shrinking, and weakened, and unable, like really unable, to move anything you’ve been able to move since adolescence….yah, that’s a problem.
So, back to my messed up shoulder. It was so bad, I actually couldn’t sleep some nights. I would move it wrong in the middle of the night and it would shoot me almost straight out of bed. I had it looked at and got some conflicting diagnoses from clinicians (MD/Surgeons). One of them recommended a scope, right away. I was NOT convinced, nor ready for surgery. Enter Kate.
One session with her, and we had a plan. She quickly uncovered core issues with how my shoulder was functioning and worked with me on the program to restore function. I don’t need to go into detail here, but the program did involve me committing to do the work. Kate was a fabulous motivator. She was sensitive to the things I’d discussed above, i.e. the personal/emotional impacts of the poorly functioning shoulder.
Fast forward 3 months and I was moving quite well again, and back to sleeping like a baby. Fast forward 6 months, I had just turned 39, and I took on a maximum strength program. I’m back to moving loads I moved in my 20’s — like really f**kin' strong! So in 2016, I went from hurting myself benching 245, to 6 months later, in early 2017, benching 345 - all of which was facilitated, and continues to be facilitated by Kate’s coaching.
She’s a magician, but a very, very scientifically sound magician. I’ve become one of those guys that hears anyone complain of a physical ailment, and I inevitably say, 'you should probably see my friend Kate.'"
–Jordan Ison, photographer and lifter of heavy things
I Learned So Much About Myself
I learned so much about myself as I swam in the sea of content that coach Kate has shared...Instagram, newsletters, blogs, workshops, and, of course, the Unbreakable Body exercise videos.
I learned not just the foundations of being unbreakable (and how you can be unbreakable at any age!), but also inspiration from all the guests that they have in the monthly Members Only Workshops.
The community is so supportive—everyone is there to help and empower each other! Watching people push and become better versions of themselves will definitely get you moving!
- Jag T., powerlifter, adventurous traveller, and passionate caretaker of his body
I Was Willing To Do Anything To Feel Better
"When I first started working with Kate, I had been suffering with significant shoulder pain and limited range of motion from a wake boarding injury 6 months earlier. I had a difficult time raising my arm, and even getting dressed was a challenge.
I also had a history of 20+ years hip pain caused by my piriformis. I often woke up at night because of the pain, which I would rate as an 8-9/10. By the time I started with Kate, I had stopped exercising all together, and feared that might be forever.
As a former physical therapist I could quickly see that Kate's program was sound. In addition to that, I had never learned her skills or approach and I felt that if there was any hope for me, she was the one to help. I knew that my improvements would not happen overnight, but I was at a point where I was willing to do anything to feel better.
Eight months later, I have been pain-free in both my hip and shoulder for weeks, I am training for a 5 k, have gone for a 20-mile bike ride, and am starting to do progressive resistance training for my shoulder – like push-ups!
Kate’s knowledge and skill are unparalleled, and her eye for details are impressive. More than that, Kate gave me back my confidence. She never pushed me too far, but was a great encourager and cheerleader. After living with pain and limitations for so long, and I can literally say Kate gave me back my life!"
– Cassie Laymon, entrepreneur and enjoyer of biking, running, swimming, and being pain-free
Kate Got Me On A Clear Path To Success
I had come up in the martial arts and spent 5 years competing in CrossFit when an old knee injury finally caught up with me. I remember very clearly, I was walking down the stairs one day and realized, "woah, I'm 32 years old and it hurts me to walk down a little set of stairs!".
I tried a bunch of different things to fix my knee pain over the course of about a year - some things would help temporarily but I always wound up very quickly back where I was walking down those steps in pain.
My work with Kate has changed all of that. For the last two years I have made consistent progress and am now able to do many of the lifts and movements from competition days, pain-free. Working with Kate has been utterly fantastic. She achieved progress where many other practitioners hadn't, surgeons, physiotherapists, naturopaths, chiropractors, and coaches weren't able to have an impact.
Kate got me on a clear path to success. The moments of pain and doubt sometimes still happen but I now have a place of knowledge and confidence I can go to in times of trouble that gets me moving again.
I would never kid anyone, getting out of the kind of pain that I was in took time, dedicated effort, more than a little frustration, and constantly checking my ego at the door of the gym. Being the weird guy in the corner of the gym while people crush fun workouts isn't always the most fun. But I would not have gotten to the type of pain-free movement that I have today without the course that Kate put laid out and her wise council along the way. More importantly, I had a lot of fun doing it.
Kate was not only there to support me when things got tough but worked with me to customize my program so that I got to do some of the movements I craved while also giving my knee and my body what it needed to get moving properly. If you're looking to move better and feel better I can't recommend Kate and her work strongly enough!
The Last Twelve Weeks Have Been Quite Transformative
Coming to the end of my first 12 weeks with UB, I just wanted to reach out and say thank you for the training and give an update on how it all went.
This training was exactly what I needed and the last 12 weeks have been quite transformative in terms of what I’ve learned and the fitness I’ve gained.
I don’t know if I used all facets of UB complete to their fullest, but I think that’s part of the power of the program;
You offer a bunch tools in the UB toolbox and part of the process is figuring out what mix works best for the client, at that juncture. I did seem to find a good mix of content that I was able to build into a consistent routine.
Here are a few take aways I’ll be carrying with me:
1) Just do the work and have faith the results will follow. I think this was a new one for me since for the most part I’ve just kind of pieced together my own training in the past so I didn’t always have a systematic approach or truly believed in what I was doing. Having a program to follow, I was able to force myself to dispel doubts about what I was doing and just commit to completing the assignment and then see what happens.
2) Be conscious of what your capabilities are and train in that zone. I noticed that I had a lot of pre-conceived notions of what was “legitimate” for a given exercise or what I had to do for a workout to be a “workout.” In particular, I wanted to do the mobility drills exactly as you prescribed in the videos. But, over the course of the last 12 weeks I’ve fine tuned my approach to be honest with what my strengths and deficiencies are so that I can accurately train those abilities.
3) Don’t be a hero. Consistently doing something is better then doing everything or nothing. This is a constant process of dialing myself back but it's definitely a good reminder in order to find what’s consistently doable rather than having “hero” workouts.
Thanks again for all the feedback and putting together such a well crafted program and interface.
–Charlie H., 20-something lover of all kinds of movement and sports