The Fitness Fixer
The Fitness Fixer

Fixed Injuries, Got Strong, With Functional Exercise - Real Life

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This fun note and great story came in from Robert Davis:

" I have tried to find a way to contact you for a while now!

"I have a story I thought I would share and I am so glad I had found your books and website.

" I had injured myself via weight lifting in late October. I had felt the warning signs before this, however I ignored them and continued to train full out. The result was I had hurt my lower back very badly. The pain was unbearable.

" Sitting hurt. Getting up and walking hurt. To top all this off, I was so adamant that one's "back" health is determined by how well you can stretch forward bending! So this became a discouraging struggle as the more I tested that, the worse I hurt! I had many bad habits besides that and will go into that in a moment.

" I kept training "thru" the pain and bad movement thru to about November 24th. I kept aggravating the area thru bad habits (while doing these exercises. Arched back, rounding etc). I finally went to the doctor and he just made me do some simple movements and the typical straight leg lift. He had decided for now that it was not something all that bad and said that we would do a MRI (or was it CAT scan?) if it did not get better.

I struggled for the next few weeks as I was told to simply rest. I realize the fallacy in this because "just taking it easy" had lead to muscle weakness. It was now a double edged sword by Christmas. I hurt in my back, but when I tried to exercise it it was so weak it hurt more.

I finally ran across your website just after Christmas and before the new year. I started to play around with the ideas at first. I was still stuck though on "better" meant no more pain bending forward. So for a week or two more I played back and forth with these ideas.

" Finally around the 15th or so after the new year I decided "what the heck" I will order some of your books. They seemed more promising then anything I had looked at and I realized in an "aha" moment that it was a form of exercise, which I so very much craved at the time as I simply love to exercise. This "resting" was driving me nuts..

I was watching a show on TV one night on beaches and shell collecting of all things and the biggest "aha" came to me in the form of a little girl. I watched adults picking things up and they bend right over without thought. This went on for a while. Then I saw a child pick up shells. She squatted every time! I said to myself "jeez these books are absolutely right, I am basing everything on bad habits!"..

" I immediately started becoming aware of everything I did during and after exercise. I took your book "fix your own pain" and have almost memorized every chapter and decided if I am going to do this I am going to balance my whole body.

" So after weeks of this (trial and error). I slowly got better. Things I learned along the way are this.. Bending over to pick stuff up is not healthy nor is it natural (that child in the show!).. I learned even after doing weight training for 2 years that my legs were still not as strong as I thought. I learned I had developed bad leg positions from unhealthy squatting (on the knee joints instead of behind). I had further learned that I was holding my feet outward and I think this had come from doing leg pressed with feet slightly out to try to target certain areas.

" I learned to strengthen my core much more effectively and better thru the ab revolution and fix your own pain. I was a 500 crunch type person. I am no longer doing sit ups crunches or whatnot. The stuff in your ab revolution is much more difficult to do and healthier.

I learned to strengthen my body thru its own weight, destroying the myth that you need "weights" for gains as I found these exercises to be just as challenging, if not more in some cases because of the added balance and flexibility required.

" I am now sitting here writing this and I tell you that compared to the initial injury and repeated re-injury (doing the same exercises with bad habits) to now, I am close to 100 percent.

" The funny thing is, I no longer have the desire to go back to weight training, which is odd because that was my life! I have discovered a whole new world of fitness with body weight alone. I am trying more challenging things by the day and I have realized that this is actually more fun the weight training for health and I am getting the same, and often better results (since I am not a body builder, just love exercise and looking fit). I had gone and bought a few things like pull up bars and planche devices and am currently working on mastering some very difficult moves that require body strength alone, but at the same time a mindful awareness of how I am doing it by using your techniques (keeping the back straight with slight tilt etc, no arching).

" It is fun working up to one arm pull-ups in good form. Jeez, to think you could bench press close to 300 a few months ago but doing a few of these exercises in your book were hard! I was surprised I could not do very many pull ups or hold these planks and whatnot.. I am set on a new adventure and I love it because it feels so "free" and balancing. I don't have to spend a huge fee to go to the gym. My gym is my body and functional movement.

" Thank you for your knowledge. Having my back back (sorry for that funny saying!) is great. I intend to keep it healthy now and have begun the correction process of all my body, all the way to my feet!

" I don't look at my injury as a mistake anymore. I look at it as a life changing experience and a chance to explore more functional and fun ways of living. I have passed this site and your books on (not my personal copies!) to a lot of friends into fitness. Some are already reporting healing knees and what not and even re-considering how they live and workout!

" PS I have also changed to a Vegan diet just to see what happens. I was very intrigued by the 72 year old body builder who is vegan.

"You are a godsend.
Robert Davis"


Great work Mr. Davis! Robert has been sending me many insightful updates with photos, to be posted with his ongoing success stories. His next story starts here:
Cardiovascular Cleanup.




Click these posts for topics mentioned:
Vegan Health:

Weightlifting and Weightbearing With Lower Spine Overarching (Sticking out too much in back) Compresses Vertebral Facet Joints:

Ab Revolution - Learning and Using Neutral Spine to Prevent Spinal Compression:

Spotting Spinal Rounding in Exercise:

Rest Isn't The Answer:

Lifestyle Functional Natural Fitness:

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Aha! Photo by himmelskratzer
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About the Author


M.Ed, PhD, FAWM

Dr. Bookspan is an award-winning scientist whose goal is to make exercise easier and healthier.

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