President Barack Obama’s 2015 State of the Union Address was all over the news and social media this past week. While I did not watch his speech in its entirety, it did get me thinking that, due to our prolonged absence from the blogosphere, perhaps Robert and I should take a page out of POTUS’ book and put out an update on what we’ve been up to and what we’ve got in store in the near future. And so, without any further ado, I give you the inaugural IHP State of the Union Address:
My fellow health and fitness enthusiasts, we at Integrative Human Performance are well aware that our blogging frequency has not been up to par in recent months. Unfortunately, both Robert and I fell victim to the demands of a grueling academic schedule and were forced to turn our time and effort towards more pressing matters (e.g. not failing out of college). We’ve returned for our respective spring semesters rested, refreshed, and ready to get back to writing. We’ve also both retooled our academic schedules to allow us more flexibility, so we’re excited for what the coming months will hold!
Before I get to the future, there are a few events from over the winter break that I should highlight. Robert and I both began our journey in the field of human health and performance when we interned together over the summer of 2012 at Athletic Evolution, a Nike SPARQ training center in Woburn, Massachusetts. Under the guidance of Scott Duggan, AE’s Director of Strength & Conditioning, we were introduced to the coaching process and started what is now going on a four year whirlwind of continually learning and improving. Over the winter break, Coach Duggan and the rest of the AE staff were gracious enough to have us back to help out in coaching some of their college-level groups, as well as introduce the staff to the methodology of the Postural Restoration Institute and how to integrate it into their program. Rob and I did two presentations for the AE staff in total. The first one, which was filmed and can be viewed in its entirety on our Youtube channel, covered the neurological and physiological underpinnings of PRI, the specific postural and movement patterns seen in the lower body, and how to identify and address those patterns. The second presentation, which was also filmed and may be posted to the Youtube channel soon (we’ll send out an update if it is) was a continuation of the first and covered specific postural and movement patterns seen in the upper body, how to identify and address those patterns, and specific strategies of integrating PRI techniques into training programs. In addition to these two presentations, Rob also filmed a brief “Training Tip of the Week” segment at AE for a local television program. The segment, which discusses tips on optimizing core positioning and function, can be viewed here. All in all, we had a great time working with Coach Duggan and the rest of the AE staff. They are fun to work with and share our desire to always learn and improve; we’re excited to hopefully collaborate with them further in the future!
Speaking of the future, we have some cool stuff planned for the months ahead as well! Rob, who is in his final semester of his undergraduate career at the University of Southern California, will be conducting research with USC’s Biomechanics Department. The goal of his first project is to create an algorithm for prescribing corrective exercises that athletic trainers and strength coaches can use with their athletes. In addition to filming the exercises and explaining how to perform each one, Rob and his team plan to do EMG testing to compare muscle activity. He also hopes to pursue other biomechanics projects, like comparing the kettlebell swing to Olympic lifting variations to determine which is better for horizontal force and power production.
I will be active in research as well. I have joined the laboratory of Dr. Robert Beelman, Professor Emeritus in the Pennsylvania State University’s Department of Food Science, as a research assistant. We plan to investigate the roles of Vitamin D, selenium, ergothioneine, and glutathione in health and athletic performance, and hope to develop novel methods to increase delivery of these compounds via nutrition and supplementation. I am also working to get approval for a study done in conjunction with the Department of Kinesiology that would investigate the effect of various training periodization strategies on gains in muscular power.
There are a few other things that both Rob and I have in the works, but we’re going to keep those under wraps until they become more concrete; we wouldn’t want to get you all
hot and bothered for nothing! We do, of course, plan to post articles regularly regarding our endeavors as well as any relevant topic that might come to mind. Speaking of which, if you have any questions or suggestions for blog posts for us, don’t hesitate to let us know–we love any and all feedback! We also enjoy actual contact and conversation with human beings; it might come as a shock (to no one) that we’re not exactly the life of the party here at college. Anyway, I digress–this has been the 2015 IHP State of the Union Address. Thank you and God bless.