Monday, May 7, 2012

Interview with Rick Kaselj

I had a chance to catch up with Rick Kaselj and ask him a few questions regarding his business, products, and rehab specialties. When I say "catch up"...I literally mean catch up. Rick is a very, very busy guy in that he develops alot of high-quality products that are geared towards post rehabilitative exercise for trainers, therapists, and exercise enthusiasts. Along with that, he is a national and international presenter, runs his own business and is a devoted family man. I discovered Rick a few years ago after he complimented a few of my past blog posts and I was fascinated with his contributions to the industry. He is a great guy and I am happy to have had a chance to interview him here for you. Here we go:

1.) Rick, you are known by many as a corrective exercise professional. Can you tell my readers how you got started in the fitness industry and why did you choose corrective exercise as your specialization?

When in was in junior high, I wanted to go into physical therapy because I liked helping people and I liked injuries, plus my mom said that that was a “real good job”. 

The path that most people took in my area (Vancouver, Canada), in order to get into physical therapy was to go get a Kinesiology degree.  So I went to Simon Fraser University and got my Kinesiology degree.

While going through school, I did a bunch of Co-ops (Paid internships) in a variety of places.  One of them was in a physical therapy clinic.  After seeing what physical therapists really did, I didn’t like it.  They just went from patient to patient, doing a quick assessment, slapping a machine on then and then sending them to me for exercise.

What I did find out was I enjoyed the program design, exercise prescription, exercise modification and exercise creation when it related to people with injuries and pain. I focused on doing more of this. 

I started working in physical therapy clinics, chiropractor clinics, fitness centers, large rehab centers, recreation centers and people’s homes when it related to designing exercise programs for injuries. 

As I kept working and specializing in this area, I discovered that a lot of other fitness professionals that I ran into, had no idea on what to do with people with injuries and what were the best exercises to use. I started 
putting together fitness education courses in my area when it related to designing exercises for injuries. That leads to 4 weekends of exercise rehabilitation courses that cover upper body injuries, lower body injuries, core stability and assessment. 

In order to make registration easier and have a place where fitness professionals could get information on my 
courses, I started a website. As soon as I started the website, I started getting questions from fitness professionals around the world about injuries and exercises. I started writing articles and sending emails out on the topic. I found I enjoyed the writing and this lead to numerous books, manuals and video presentations on a wide variety of injury and exercise topics that help fitness professionals and the general public better understand and recover from injuries using exercise.

Now what I do is see clients specifically with injuries, teach fitness professionals about the right exercises to do with an injury and write about exercises and injuries. It is a very cool life. It is not a “real job” but it is a lot of fun. 

2.) What is the most common injury that you see on a daily basis in your non-athletes? What  process do you use to approach it? 

The most common injuries I see are: 

Lower back injuries 

Knee injuries 

Shoulder injuries 

My process when it comes to working with clients with injuries is this: 

Step #1 – I spend a lot of time, talking with the client and gathering information in the first session. Finding out the mechanism of injury, what they can do, what they cannot do, what treatments have they done, what exercises have worked for them and what has worked in the past. Collecting this information, gives me a solid start on the exercise program. 

Step #2 – This would be the assessment part. It might be an assessment in isolation or evaluating them when it relates to a movement. I start off with a few targeted assessments but do not spend hours doing this. 

Step #3 – Then I combine what I have seen from the assessments and the goals of the client to come up with an exercise program for them. 

Step #4 – At the next session, I will repeat steps 1 to 3. Step 1 will be getting feedback on how they were after the session, how they were the next day, how they felt and how they like the program. Step 2 would be looking at the assessments we did before or use the exercises given as an assessment or I would perform assessments that are more in-depth. Step 3 would be fine-tuning the exercise program, progressing the program or re-doing the program.

3.) Your flagship product, "Muscle Imbalances Revealed" is a fantastic resource for fitness professionals. What prompted you to develop such a product? 

When I first started working with people with injuries, the focus was always on strengthening. 

They have an injury; you have to strengthen the muscles to help overcome the injury. This worked in many cases but not in all. Plus, often times it took their recovery to a point...but not to fully recovered.

Something was missing when it came to this “strengthen only” when it comes to an injury. 
In order to figure things out, I went and did my Masters’ degree in Exercise Science and took a few courses in corrective exercise. I like it and it provided more insight into what I should be doing for people with injuries. As I started taking what I learned and applying it, it helped. 

Being introduced to corrective exercise, it got me thinking more about movement and how it relates to muscle imbalances. I began to do my own research to see what else could be affecting the body when it comes to injury recovery. I found out it was muscle imbalances and with some research, I put together a 10-step process on address them when it relates to working with clients with injuries. 

This is where the Muscle Imbalance Revealed product started. I knew I had the background and expertise when it related to the rehab part of things, but I need insight and help with the other parts. I approached other trainers, coaches and therapists, that I respected and learned from to see if they would be interested in providing their insight into muscle imbalances. That lead to Mike Robertson, Bill Hartman, Tony Gentilcore, Dr. Jeff Cubos, Dean Somerset, Kevin Yates and Eric Beard, all getting involved in the Muscle Imbalances Revealed. They all brought their area of specialization when it related to performance, fitness, health, rehabilitation or pre-habilitation and muscle imbalances. 

It has turned out to be a fantastic resource that has helped thousands of trainers, coaches and exercise enthusiasts. The program has evolved into much more than just muscle imbalances but into ways of improving performance, fitness, health and rehabilitation.

4.) In your opinion, please rate the best sources for personal trainers to receive continuing education from? For instance, where do you rank seminars, books, DVD, networking, face to face consulting, internships, or product reviewing among the most effective ways for trainers to learn more? 

At this point in my career, I get my learning from reading the research on Pubmed or from experts in the field. I very much enjoy reading the research to see what is new and to confirm if what I am doing is right. It is great to get the information from the source. This is my number one source, it is Pubmed. 

Many times I will load up my iPhone and when I am flying to present a course, I learn from experts in the field. I take notes into a book that I have, I apply what I leaned with my clients and I will write about it on my blog. There are a lot of experts in the area that have amazing blogs (which are free), books and DVDs. I recommend looking out there and finding people that have information that interests you. 

Nothing can replace face-to-face learning. I end up teaching about 10 weekends a year and I learn a lot from the registrants during these weekends. It is so important to take what you have learned and apply it. You can do this with going to seminars and internships. 

As time has passed, I spend less and less time going to fitness conferences. I find the material is to basic and often times very equipment based. I hate to say this but it looks like the fitness associations are being run by the fitness equipment companies. 

5.) Do you find the personal training industry is different in Canada compared to the USA? Are you in favor of licensing in this field, and if so, why? What types of things can be done to improve the industry? 

I am not able to compare Canada and the USA when it comes to the personal training industry. Since I have only worked in Canada. One difference I do see is in the USA, people are use to paying for their health. They pay to go to the doctor. They pay to go to physical therapy. In Canada, based on our health care system, people expect to have someone else pay for them. This could be the government or a benefits plan. This is changing in Canada but the change is slow. 

For about 10 years, I was a volunteer for an association where we were actively pursuing regulation in our province (What we call a state in Canada.). The process was very time consuming, expensive and bureaucratic. I could go on and on about regulation and licensing. It boils down to three things. #1 - Who is going to police the regulations or licensing and pay for this. #2 – What certification will be the standard. #3 - Many personal trainers will just choose not to follow it because it is too restrictive and expensive. They will give themselves a different name other than personal trainer and describe what they is different then personal training. 

I feel the industry is getting better. I have been in it since 1994. It has come a long way. At the start, all the training was provided by fitness associations and now many experts in the area are sharing their knowledge directly with fitness professionals. This has been a big positive step for the industry. There are numerous amazing blogs, like yours, and products out there by experts in the fitness industry that have helped thousands of fitness professionals. Just like with every industry, there are bad apples but often times, those bad apples fade away and what you are left with is the premium crop of apples. 

I think that is it John. Thank you very much for allowing me to share a few things with your readers. Thank you all and take care.

Muscle Imbalances Revealed - Lowerbody edition is on sale for the next 3 days. I have my own copy and, without a doubt in my mind, it is one of the most comprehensive and diverse exercise/training product on the market. Check out the website sale and go for it!



Post a Comment

Thanks for checking out the blog and commenting!