We’re facing a new norm (or at least a temporary one), where courses are headed online. Nonetheless, the opportunity to learn about Reflexive Performance Reset is one that I welcomed, especially as I write this from overseas.
I heard about the course form a podcast that Charlie Weingroff did with J.L. Holdsworth, one of the founders of the system and formerly a record setting elite powerlifter. It is also a nice bonus that the online course now offers CEUs, which became extra important this year with opportunities for live education so limited.
What is RPR? RPR is a system of daily self care techniques that allows you to instantly feel better, move better and live a better life.
Being able to practice on a wide range of body types is always welcomed in any sort of manual course, but for this, I’d say the wakeup drills are so dang simple that I don’t feel like I lost too much by not being able to experience this live.
One analogy that they use is of an electrical system. They say nervous system is the electricity of the body; the RPR system tells you where the switches are. (Very similar to the old FMS analogy of the body being a system of “Software” and “hardware.”)
The centerpiece of the course is the wake-up drills. They are a series of self-administered manual drills designed to tap into the nervous system and wake the body up prior to activity. You can use them at any time, but they are mainly designed to complement an existing warmup routine. They also present a bit more in depth on breathing, which helps explain some of the “why” behind the system.
I also liked how it was simple and concise and presented on an understandable level (which is to be expected at this was not a clinical course. In fact, it wasn’t even targeted specifically at the trainer audience. It was presented in such a way that even the high school coach with no formal anatomy or physiology training to put the system into practice.
There was a reasonable amount of depth to explain the rationale behind the drills and some finer points in administering. The course began with a lecture during which the presenters explained how they arrived at the system and presented some general information on training philosophy. They then introduce the drills basically altogether in context but then step back and dive into the drills one-by-one in greater detail.
One thing that makes this work is the “alarm clock” analogy. Your alarm clock can be in the other room, but it can still wake you up. To carry this to its logical limit, we’re presuming wakefulness versus non-wakefulness being a binary state. You’re either awake or you aren’t. The drills either wake you up or they don’t, but if you are closer to ideal (i.e. being in the same room), we can expect your chances of waking up are elevated. I’ve actually found
I honestly have not used the system nearly enough to say if it “works” but personally I do feel more open and connected after doing the drills. When I do have the chance to put in more reps on more people, I fully expect them to add value to whatever program I’m running (currently I’m in a full time clinical setting and not in a position to use the wake up drills for my usual training groups).
My only critique is there were a few minor inconsistencies in how the drills were presented. Nothing major. One of the presenters would demonstrate a drill one way, and other would present a slight variation. I’d say this is a feature, not a bug, especially since that meant we got to see different presenters apply the drills with their own unique styles. And remember, one of the keys was there is a reasonable bandwidth in the allowable range of “correct” for the drills.
Overall I’d highly recommend this course for the trainer, coach or clinician whose philosophy includes empowering their clients/patients to be self sufficient. We have long lamented how people aren’t “compliant” in doing their “homework,” but its not surprising if we view self care in those terms. That’s pretty much the opposite of empowering. With wake up drills being simple (no equipment, no lying on the ground, no contorting your body into odd exercise positions) and efficient (<5 minutes), the system is designed to set up people for success.
Allan Phillips, PT, DPT is owner of Ventana Physiotherapy