Smart Athlete Podcast Ep. 159 – Dr. Chris Kolba

[00:00:00] Better shape you and I think if you have kind of that stubborn mentality, that that goes a long way, too, because it’s not easy coming out of surgery and rehab from surgery. But I think having that mindset of, you know what, this isn’t going to, you know, I’ll run into people like that that have just that that mindset that they’re going to get better, that they’re going to work through it. They’re going to they just tend to do better.

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Jesse: [00:01:09] Welcome to the Smart Athlete Podcast. I’m your host Jesse Funk. My guest today has over 25 years of experience in sports medicine physical therapy. He has his PhD in holistic nutrition. He is currently a guest lecturer for Ohio State’s Physical Therapy Program and the coordinator of their technical rehab program Ohio State’s Sports Medicine Program, that is. Welcome to the show, Dr. Chris Kolba.

Dr. Chris: [00:01:34] Thank you. Appreciate it. Pleasure to be here. And I appreciate the invitation to come on come on the show and talk.

Jesse: [00:01:41] Yeah, absolutely. So, like for you, the listener, if you’ve been around with me for a long time, this is season 4 now, I think, Chris, you’re like episode 158, 159, something like that. At the beginning of the show, I spoke with a lot more, I guess I’ll say like academicians and researchers.

[00:02:03] And you are to me kind of right in that intersection between where I’ve been lately and where I started in that you still kind of live in that college world, but obviously like much more applied practice instead of just doing the research side. So you just perfectly write snugly in the people that I like to talk to. So thanks for joining me and thanks for I didn’t say this before we got going.

[00:02:36] So for you, the listener, sorry for making –, but Chris was gracious enough to reschedule. My wife and I just had a new baby a couple of weeks ago, I think. So you were scheduled for the day after she was born. And I was like, I think I need to take a couple of weeks off before I get back to this. So thanks for the coordination and getting rescheduled and everything.

[00:03:03] So as I mentioned before, we got recording, although I know you’ve got a real deep history in your profession, I don’t really have lots of nice little tidbits from like social profiles and stuff because that’s not really what you do. So maybe I’ll just start at the beginning and ask, how did you get where you are? I guess if you want to take us back to like maybe undergrad, even if you want to go that far and the journey I guess, to get where you are.

Dr. Chris: [00:03:34] Yeah, yeah. I mean, I started high school, you know, they start talking about what do you want to do for the rest of your life? And I had no idea. I was kind of clueless, honestly. So I went to community college for two years, just taking the jet edge, trying to figure it out, thinking at that time, way back when business computers were starting to get big. So I’m thinking, “Oh, that’s where I’m going to go.” Boring as hell. Like, it wasn’t really clicking for me.

[00:03:58] Just ran into was working with a girl, started talking about physical therapy and sounded kind of interesting. Always been involved in sports and like exercise. So I did a little research and said, “Hey, that’s that sounds like what I want to do,” transfer it over to Ohio University and the rest is history. And I was fortunate, you know, after graduating to get into these pretty good sized sports medicine clinic with some people that were really kind of thinking forward and doing a lot of things from that perspective.

[00:04:29] Really educated me a lot on functional training and strength training and diving into the NCAA, getting my strength and conditioning certification, and just really starting to pull those principles into the physical therapy realm really kind of set me off and I’ve always been a good learner, but then just getting outside the box, that physical therapy and just continually always trying to figure out how can I do things better? Continue education reading. 

[00:04:57] Now with the Internet, it’s great. So just through all that and just kind of a little bit of being in the right place at the right time and just being fortunate to get around people that were a lot smarter than me and open to kind of helping and teaching me and challenging me and you know, and then having a little motivation myself. Like finally in college, once I figured out what I wanted to do, then that motivation, desire, drive kicked in and really just kind of hammered away.

[00:05:23] And like I said a couple of times, being in the right place at the right time in terms of performance and clinics. Clinics. within Sports Performance Centers, which is kind of where I was and where I’m at now in my clinic. It’s been great and it’s kind of how I’ve gotten to where I am now. I guess so.

Jesse: [00:05:43] One thing I want to think about is, you know, you just mentioned and I think you’re involved in teaching continuing education courses is thinking about like how the field has changed over the course of your career because I think it’s in some ways, I think it’s easy to go, you know, rehab is rehab. You need to strengthen the muscle and make it stronger. It’s weak. Or if you have a stress fracture, rest. And then we do this to try to strengthen the bone over time, whatever it is.

[00:06:15] But I know, like even in my tenure of being an athlete and getting injured, I’ve seen a shift from like strictly going like concentric exercises to like eccentric loading. And that’s over the last ten years or so, I think I’ve seen a lot more emphasis recently on just eccentric loading to help rehab muscles so that they don’t get injured as easily. When you come back, I’m obviously you’ll correct me on the intricacies of that, but just how has the field changed for you over time?

Dr. Chris: [00:06:53] Yeah, so when I first came out, everything was kind of all about isolating everything, because if you think about strength, training comes out of the bodybuilding world. So even in therapy we were isolating things, doing single playing stuff, and there’s still a place for that. Isokinetics was really big. We strap people into these machines and we kick them pulled and again the foot’s off the ground and we got some data in terms of strength and that’s how we made some of our decisions.

[00:07:18] And then we started to see the pendulum shift a little bit into that whole functional training, closed kinetic chain movement. Or now we kind of started to appreciate the fact that when the foot’s on the ground, the body is moving over it, and all three planes of motion working against gravity, ground reaction forces and momentum like things are a lot different. The muscle actions are different, the speeds are different, the lows the forces are different.

[00:07:41] So we started shifting our approach to physical therapy from that perspective. And then just looking at more of that functional, “functional aspect”, things have just kind of continued to grow and grow from that perspective to where we are now. And now it’s some things kind of get recycled, but now we’re still considering performance and function. But what are the best ways to do that eccentric lengthening when you’re looking at tendinopathy, which are just degeneration of the tendons and muscles, are diagnostic capabilities from the imaging and physician sides if advanced surgeries advanced.

[00:08:19] So our understanding of some of these pathologies have improved, which then have improved our ability to do our rehab. So from my perspective, I’ve always kind of been that road guy trying to do things a little differently than everybody else in terms of applying strength and conditioning principles, really taking the functional training to the nth degree of fortunate to be around guys like Gary Gray. That really taught me how to think like that and apply rehab like that.

[00:08:48] And so I think that’s kind of where we’ve changed, but there’s definitely been a huge growth. I’ve been fortunate to kind of live through those phases, you know, kind of where, let’s say early on in my career they started putting the scope into the shoulder. So now we have a greater understanding of this whole continuum of micro instability to full instability, the surgeries that we have for kind of at that point now with the hip. So I got to go through that. I got to go through the accelerated ACL rehabilitation phase, the close kinetic chain phase, the functional phase.

[00:09:20] So now we’re just, I think, just continuing to fine-tune those things. So from the time I started to now, it’s been huge, huge differences. And again, I try to teach those principles in my continuing education classes that I do. So I try to make things pretty practical. We try to bring that side of it to it because in school they do a great job of teaching us how to manage the acute subacute phases of kind of healing and rehab.

[00:09:46] But again, due to time and all the other things we have to cover, we don’t always get into that advanced. So what happens when you get the athlete? What happens when you get that person that’s relatively pain-free? They’re starting to move around a little bit. Applying those advanced concepts of strength and conditioning and function aren’t always there. And if you haven’t been around people or taken some education classes that have kind of exposure to that way of thinking, you don’t always kind of pick it up to the nth degree.

[00:10:14] So that’s where I try to kind of really what the students in the clinic, students come in contact with continuing education, try to really get them to see that part of it. So even though for schooling, we have to do certain things over here, realize this whole other side of the world is here. So when you get out, you can go and start to seek that information. So there’s like, I’m 30 years in now, I’m still learning. I’m still trying to find new and better ways of doing what I want to do, getting people better.

[00:10:45] So, I mean, there’s a whole world out there so that the learning is just nonstop if you go out and go out and seek that. So that’s kind of what I try to do with a lot of the students and in the course, teach at least introduce that concept of kind of thinking or moving towards that progression of exercise and attaining the goals that people want to get to.

Jesse: [00:11:10] One of the things you made me think about talking about how loads change and how the demands on a particular let’s say, was injured, now rehabbed. Muscle is as people return to sport. Whatever sport that is is the potential for re-injury. And this is something that I spoke with podiatrist Mark Gallagher back on episode 125. So if you saw my eyes wandering around the screen, I was trying to look up Mark’s episode number because I didn’t have it just off the top of my head.

[00:11:45] And one of the things I talked about him, I asked him and I like to ask people like him and you about is like. How do you get people to continue, let’s say, the rehab or prehab or the routines that they need to prevent injury? Because I know when I spoke with him, he said that’s the most difficult thing is getting people once they go. I feel good. I’ve returned to my sport, getting them to continue to do that like maintenance work that really makes the world a difference in not seeing them come back into the clinic.

Dr. Chris: [00:12:23] Yeah. No, I would agree that that whole exercise program that we kind of have terminology that we use probably is the hardest thing to do. So I think for me, again, what I try to do is kind of focus on what do you want to get back to doing? Like I want to get back to running or playing with the kids. Like, okay, in order to do that, let’s take running. For example, every time your foot hits the ground, that’s 6 to 8 times your body weight. You’re doing that over whatever distance.

[00:12:48] So if you’re not keeping your strength up. You know, eventually that’s going to break down. And as you start to age, your strength is going to start to diminish unless you’re training it. So I try to try to emphasize the fact that strength is trainable throughout a lifespan, balance proprioception. We also lose as we get older or stand falling. But they don’t always understand, Hey, I can train my balance.

So trying to give them some controls, trying to get some appreciation too, you know, tying it into keeping them doing what it is they want to do. And then I also kind of throw in, hey, if you want to be truly functional and independent as you get older, strength and balance are going to be your key.

[00:13:32] I mean, look at — look at your parents or look at your grandparents. Maybe your grandparents. Exercise wasn’t that big of a deal back in the day and you see them progressively struggle with day-to-day activities. I think Peter Attia, I heard him talk on a podcast one time and he’s like, you know, what does it look like to be a kick-ass 100-year-old? You know, I got to be able to climb stairs, get up and down from the floor, lift the grandkids, carry groceries.

[00:13:58] So, you know, people want to be independent. People want to be enjoy those older golden years. I guess we can call them. We don’t want to be brown and crusty. Right. So I try to tie that in to the fact that you need to maintain strength in that balance. So those are the things I try to, like educate people on and try to get them to kind of wrap their head around why they should continue to strength, train and do some balance training from that perspective. Because not only is it going to help them with their sport activity, but it’s really also going to help them in life for maintaining that independence.

[00:14:37] So I think of like building kind of your strength and your conditioning. It’s kind of an insurance policy. So if your fitness level is up here, this is the minimum level to just be independent, sustain an injury. You might drop down a little bit, but you have enough reserves, strength, power, balance to be able to then just kind of bounce back up. But if you’re just one of those folks that’s just getting by, you know, you’re not very strong. You know, you don’t sleep well, you don’t eat well.

[00:15:04] All of a sudden you have a decent injury or maybe you break a hip and knee or not breaking knee, breaking ankle or whatever it might be. All of a sudden you drop below that level. Now you’re in an assisted living home like you probably can’t. You don’t have enough ability to get back up over the hump because you’ve kind of gone too far down that rabbit hole. So I try to kind of in a nice way, kind of talk a little bit about that, why that is just really so important, at least just from a life perspective. So.

Jesse: [00:15:36] You know, as I think about that, what’s interesting, I think kind of like we were talking about before we got going, I’ve been dealing with Achilles tendinosis this year and rehabbing and stuff and I’m trying to get back to running. I mean, I’ve been running, but just it’s a continual progression of trying to run but not run too much and doing the rehab and all that kind of stuff.

[00:15:57] Thinking about like. How do you end up in this place of, you know, you’re talking about what is it — What does it look like to be a fit 100-year-old? I think about the mentality of like my own father, who will be 80 at his next birthday and other older people I’ve spoken with in the office say the phrase of like, I don’t feel old. I just my body’s getting old, like, mentally.

[00:16:26] And that makes me think about the idea that like how internally, psychologically, I think we perceive ourselves probably more static than we are. Like, I am this thing, I’m not changing. And I think I was probably subject to this as well, where in my mind, like I was a collegiate athlete and I pride myself on being a runner and all these kind of things. And I’ve done these things, but I’m not in that kind of shape anymore.

[00:16:55] But I still have this image of myself, and I think that happens with many of us, especially as people get older when they don’t implement those like strength training programs to maintain the strength. Because it’s like I’ve always been able to get upstairs, like, why? Why would I not? Why would I have problems getting up stairs? Like, yeah, but age deteriorated you to a point where now you can’t get up stairs because you didn’t do the thing. And I think that’s to me that seems like the mentality to try to like overcome as the, the idea or like inherent feeling of where these static creatures since we’re not.

Dr. Chris: [00:17:37] Right. Yeah. I mean I think it happens, you know, you go through college, you’re probably you’re training a lot, you’re exercise and maybe a little bit after college, you know, and all of a sudden you get married, you have kids, a job takes off. Ten years goes by like that, and you’re like, “Oh, no, I haven’t done anything in ten years. I have this big belly. I just feel like crap”, you know, I’m not sleeping well and then so it’s easy to and the body’s resilient. I tell people, look, you’re going to you may able to get away with this for a long time, but eventually you’re going to lose the war.

[00:18:08] But the body is an extremely resilient thing. So we still get up and go every morning. It’s just all of a sudden now 50, 55, we wake up, we’re like, Man, I really feel like I really feel crummy. Like I just can’t move around like I used to. And you’re right. So I try to get people to again, try not to get too far off the path. Try not to go too far down the rabbit hole. But, you know, we can build strength. We can build balance at any age. Right.

[00:18:35] It’s just that the farther down that rabbit hole you go, the harder it is, the more work it takes. You know, you look at some of these people when you look at obesity and stuff that are it’s a very frustrating, you know, they work their tails off. They lose 10lbs, but they still have a lot more to go. So, you know, it can be very frustrating because, again, our body doesn’t like to lose weight and it doesn’t like to gain weight. So it’s not it’s not as easy as, “oh, just start an exercise program and you’re going to feel great.”

[00:19:04] It takes some time and dedication and consistency and it can be very frustrating for people like I take it for granted just because I’ve been in it for so long. And with the physical therapy background I understand like some of those things and I’ve kind of kept with it, but your average person trying to figure out what to do and how to do it, I mean, it’d be very frustrating what you see every January, right? The gyms packed. Everyone’s all over the place, like people just looking around. They don’t know what to do. They’re just following what other people are doing.

[00:19:32] And then all of a sudden, March, it’s empty again, you know, because it’s not as easy as just go exercise. There’s a method, there’s a method, there’s a progress program to whatever the goal is to get there. And unfortunately, a lot of people just don’t don’t get it because they don’t have that information or know somebody that can give it to them. So.

Jesse: [00:19:54] Yeah. It makes me think about comedian Patrice O’Neal. May he rest in peace. He has this like bit about so he had he’s really overweight guy. He had diabetes and he talked about his this bit about like going to the gym and like just having this like this epiphany moment where he’s like, I’m going to change my life. And then just talking about the difficulty of like go to the gym. He’s doing all this work and you put it in and you’re putting in the time and then being like, I look the same. Nothing changed. Like, I just needed a dimple or something, like something needed to be different.

[00:20:34] That mentality is so tough. I think that’s where people fall off the wagon because it’s like it really is such a time game and you’ve got to be consistent over time and you’ve got to be able to put in the work when you don’t see anything happening. And that is what’s so tough. It’s like. Because you put in the work and if you don’t see results for all the work you’re putting in, you’re like,”Why the hell am I doing this? I’m putting myself through all this stuff.” But there are changes happening. You just don’t necessarily appear all at once.

[00:21:09] Or consequently, like, sometimes people will lose a lot of weight quickly. Then they’ll plateau. And then that plateau is like roadblock. And then they fall off the wagon. And it just that. Again, just the mind games. You kind of have to play with ourselves to try to get us to do the right thing to take care of ourselves. It’s so tough. The other thing you reminded me of was I don’t know who did the study, but I know I saw the study about the correlation — obviously not causation we know there’s a difference, but just the correlation between like overall body strength at midlife, I don’t know if it was 40 or 45 that they took it and then longevity.

[00:21:56] But there’s a very strong correlation between the two. And it seems like, as you were mentioning, that ability to be resilient over time against life and the injuries and the crap that happens to us. You know, I would think that body strength has a big play in that. I mean, people at least I think please correct me. People that are generally in better physical shape, like if they have surgery, often recover faster than people who are not almost regardless of the kind of surgery.

Dr. Chris: [00:22:32] Yeah. No, I would agree 100% because we’ll see. Obviously athletes that come in, they have surgery. I mean, they come back pretty quick. Some of it’s obviously they may be a little bit younger, but in any rate, I think two things. Yeah, the better shape you were in and I think if you have kind of that stubborn mentality, that goes a long way too, because it’s not easy coming out of surgery and rehabbing from surgery.

[00:22:54] But I think having that mindset of, you know what, this isn’t going to, you know, I’ll run into people like that that have just that that mindset that they’re going to get better, that they’re going to work through it. They’re going to they just tend to do better. So I think that’s a definitely two big things because when you think about the other I’ve seen some other studies where they’ve talked about the two indicators of mortality are foot speed and strength.

[00:23:22] So for example, you know, the example like walking along, catch your foot, can you get your foot out fast enough in front of you to catch yourself? And then can you generate enough force at the right time rate of force development to stop yourself from falling down, breaking your hip, developing pneumonia and good majority of the cases? We know what happens at the end of that story.

[00:23:44] So yeah, I’m talking about like speed and strength. So there’s definitely a correlation between that and mortality as well because a lot of older folks that do fall, break their hip, develop pneumonia. Fortunately, like I said, a high percentage of them end up passing on after that. So yeah, I think maintaining that strength is one of the biggest things I really preach about, I guess, from that perspective at this point in time.

Jesse: [00:24:14] So if somebody has, I wouldn’t say fallen off the fall off the wagon. Maybe somebody who’ve never even been on the wagon. Yeah. How do you get them there? I mean, they say that they’re listening to this and either they’ve stopped their routine or they want to get started. But they’re like, “How do I get started”? Obviously, there’s only one of you. We can’t just send you out to each and every person that might need your help. Yeah. You know, how. How do we get people started and keep them with the program?

Dr. Chris: [00:24:47] Yeah. I mean, there’s a lot of great trainers out there. It’s a matter of just sometimes finding it through word of mouth or whatnot. Some of this has some success. So obviously that’s important to kind of guide you to kind of give you that because again, most people will respond to anything. It’s kind of once you get past that initial phase, things plateau. That’s where kind of having someone to kind of change your program, manipulate sets, whatever it might be to kind of keep you moving through those plateaus.

[00:25:17] And the other thing I try to stress people is like, just keep it simple. Like just drink more water. If you’re not drinking any water now, just drink a cup or two. Just start with, you know, eat a few more vegetables instead of having two Snickers in the afternoon, have one like just make small changes, try to sleep a little bit more because I think people get overwhelmed with all these, all these everyone’s telling them, “Oh, you should be doing this, you should eat this.”

[00:25:43] Keep it simple. Try to drink a little bit more water. Try to get some more fruits and vegetables, then, you know, try to cut down on some of the junk food. You know, it’s not going to happen overnight and try to sleep better. If anything, sleep is. I mean, we continue to understand how important sleep is, especially when it comes to weight loss, trying to sleep a little bit more.

[00:26:02] And then once you’ve mastered those things, then we can start whittling away a little bit. I think just trying not to get people overwhelmed, I think is the key component. But with the exercise, it does take somebody to kind of guide you. So if you have a friend or a relative that’s relatively knowledgeable, they can help you or find a good personal trainer or at least to kind of get you started, you know, and kind of teach you how to do the exercises, how to do it properly, what are your sets of reps look like?

[00:26:31] And then the nutrition side of things without getting too crazy because I think you mentioned earlier, people go on these crazy diets, they lose a bunch of weight, they know everything stalls out, then they end up kind of gaining all that weight and more back. We see that yo-yo effect from people that are constantly dieting. That’s not good for your overall mortality either. So and again, not to mention problem, sure, it’s super frustrating.

[00:26:55] So that’s kind of my general kind of recommendations, you know, in terms of just trying to get somebody started, keep it simple, you know, “be consistent before you’re heroic.” I love that quote. And again, just be in it for the long haul. So.

Jesse: [00:27:14] I think that’s I’m writing that quote down just because I like it. I think that simplicity, I think, is sometimes difficult and deceptive. Because I think you see like say you go to go to the gym, you’ve never been to the gym before. You go to the gym and there will invariably be men and women there that are in just incredible shape because they go to the gym all the time and they’ve probably been doing it for years.

[00:27:46] And it or if you just go like even media portrayal, which sometimes is or often is unrealistic if you want to go like Hollywood standards because they do things to manipulate their bodies which are not healthy or realistic for most people. Or even then. But I think because of that, that perception of like here I am and there they are. And there’s this like such a vast goal for what it feels like, such a vast gulf between the two.

[00:28:17] You get this like all or nothing mentality, or it’s like you get there and you’re pumped, you’re motivated, you see your read, your motivational quotes, you’ve you’ve heard the speeches, you’re ready to go. You’ve got you got your jock jams going on in your ears. You’re all ready to work out. Got your kale smoothie. Everything’s going. But then, like, you forget that you don’t necessarily have the systems and habits in place to maintain that.

[00:28:47] You know, I don’t know how many — I like comedians. So there’s this comedian, Bert Kreischer, who has the hardest time losing weight, and he’ll talk about how he’s basically a maniac, where he’ll like he’ll be like, all right, I’m going to lose weight. And he’ll just, like, only eat a salad for breakfast. And then he’s kind of starving by lunch, but he’s holding on. And then by dinner, like, the wheels fall off and he’s like, I had five cheeseburgers and I got a pizza. Like, that’s that thing where you go, like, I’m all in, but you don’t have the habits and systems to maintain it because when you go, I’m only going to eat salads. Well, now you’re not taking it enough calories.

[00:29:27] And like, you’re starving yourself and you’re going to make like your brain’s going to like basically fry and start screaming at you going, We need something like anything, and what’s your option? You’re going to go back to the thing you knew, which was burgers and fries or whatever it was. That was your habit before. Instead of trying to like you said, I loved it. You said instead of having two Snickers just have one, right? Like it’s not even let’s go have a kale salad. It’s just like just cut out maybe one treat.

Dr. Chris: [00:29:59] Right. I think that that’s a hard sell, too, is when you tell people you need to eat more. Like what? Or I’m like, if you’re not giving your body, it’s going to slow the metabolism down. So they say, I think if you if you decrease your caloric intake by 20%, your metabolism slows down. So then not only do you not lose weight, you may even gain weight.

[00:30:22] So it’s hard another hard thing for people to wrap their head around when I tell them, hey, you’re not eating enough. And they “Yeah”, they tell me, “Oh, I ate a salad for lunch”, “I had a banana for breakfast or yogurt. And then I do a little something for dinner” and I’m like, it’s not enough, especially if you’re training on top of it. I talk to like athletes and stuff like that.

[00:30:44] Guys don’t and I don’t mean to sound that way, but guys typically don’t have that problem. They just eat like crazy. It’s usually the females, the female athletes that talk about body composition that they struggle with, like having to eat more, understanding the fact that you have to eat more. But then go back to your thought on the gym. The other thing I’ll try to tell people to do, too, is when they go to the gym, because, again, just look around. Not everybody there is buff and spandex out. The majority of people are average.

[00:31:13] And you’re not alone. Like just be consistent, take it slow steps and just look around. Don’t just focus on the people that are like super fit. Because again, just like focusing on the media, you’re just going to get it’s just maybe not realistic for you. Focus on just look around everybody else because most probably 75% of the people in the gym are just average or they’re where you are trying to get. Trying to do better, whatever, whatever it may be.

[00:31:41] So my neighbor is a great example. He decided he’s going to start working out. So I took him to the gym. I just showed him how to do. We just put the machines a simple circuit. He walks on the treadmill. He’s like, I’m not really looking to lose weight. I don’t think I will. But I do feel a little stronger. I just feel a little bit better. And then we just talked about drinking some more water and then our bottom about food per se right now and he does okay. 

[00:32:06] So just keep it simple and don’t focus on the wrong things. Like you said, don’t focus on the media star, that’s all Jack for his movie role. I mean, there’s a lot of other things in play or the 25% of people in the gym that are actually really fit. It’s not that’s not you, at least not right now. So don’t focus on that. You know, so those are also useful advice for people.

Jesse: [00:32:30] Well, that’s. But again, it’s — I’m interested in the mind. So I like to talk about that aspect because I think. You know. I think most people know diet and exercise is going to be good for you. Right? I don’t I don’t think maybe you’ll correct me, but I think when you talk to clients, I don’t think you say let’s work on your diet and exercise. And they go, “Oh my God, I never would have thought of that.”

Dr. Chris: [00:32:55] Right. Yeah.

Jesse: [00:32:56] It’s such a —

Dr. Chris: [00:32:56] People know.

Jesse: [00:32:57] Right. So I don’t think it’s like people are unaware, but just the part people are unaware about. And again, I’m not trying to put words in your mouth, but just I’m taking a guess is just like the nuance of, “Hey, man, if you just, like, drink 8 glasses of water a day instead of only drinking Mountain Dew, you’re probably going to feel better like you do. You don’t even have to go to the gym. You just drink the water.

Dr. Chris: [00:33:26] Exactly.

Jesse: [00:33:27] And how — Again, this is the tough part. Talking about Patrice has been everything just incremental gains because it doesn’t you don’t go from overweight to like Jack movie star even in a year like it takes a long time and incremental gains especially the invisible ones. Aerobic improvement. Minor strength improvement. Mobility flexibility like the — It’s – I feel like that’s really hard to demonstrate to people.

Dr. Chris: [00:34:02] Yeah, I mean, I agree. And I was just thinking about something you said a minute ago and just what was it now?

Jesse: [00:34:13] I said a lot of things.

Dr. Chris: [00:34:14] I know it was one of those things that we talked about before. I had it in my mind. I should have wrote it down. Yeah. And then it got away from me. Oh, yeah. Primarily, most people know that eating right and exercising is good for it. I think it comes down to the discipline. You know, people just either don’t want to for whatever reason, and they just don’t have the discipline to do it.

[00:34:36] So I think one of the things that has helped me is just the discipline. I mean, I’ve been in martial arts since I was 15. I think that really instilled that sense of discipline in me when I figured out kind of what I wanted to do, that assisted in being disciplined and focused on where I wanted to go, what I needed to do with my schoolwork. And that’s also kind of like same thing with my fitness. You know, people will look at me and say, “Oh, you’re just a fitness nut.” I’m like, not really. Like I’m 80, 20.

[00:35:04] Like 80% of the time I’ll pay attention to what I eat. I do exercise regularly all the time. And the other 20%, I don’t care if I don’t eat a whole pizza, I eat it. But I’m not going to do that every single day. Right. So I think that also helps people like really? So then they realize, you know, you don’t have to be super disciplined. Like you can have a little bit of leeway, just keep it in moderation.

[00:35:25] But again, that consistency thing, the discipline making decision to do it and then sticking with it. But yeah, I think you hit the nail on the head there. I think it mostly just comes down to the discipline of doing it or locking into doing it. A lot of people nowadays, they just don’t want to do it. Or maybe they don’t really understand the long-term implication. And then later on in life, like, “Oh shit, maybe I should have done some of that.” But, you know.

Jesse: [00:35:51] Well, I mean, we as humans, with some exceptions, these people tend to do well. We as humans are typically very bad planners. Like we’re not good at perceiving future implications of current actions. I mean. The closer it is, the easier it is. But when you start talking years, decades down the road, it’s so in perceivable, especially the younger you are. Right, because say you’re 20 and you’re like, yeah, but when you’re 70, like, well, that’s almost four lifetimes from now. You know, if you’re only 20 before, I guess it would be 80, but so three and a half lifetimes.

[00:36:35] It’s such a long time. So you go, “Well, I don’t care. I’m going to go out drinking with the guys”, like it’s you know, “That’s what I’m doing every weekend all the time. Even though it may be detrimental to my health. I’m young, I bounce back. I don’t.” And it’s that like. Inability to perceive. I think that’s very difficult. I do want to make a little bit of a hard juxtaposition because I want to ask you about this.

[00:37:01] You were talking about you work with firemen, police officers on rehab, prehab performance. That kind of stuff. So I kind of want to ask you about – What specific needs they have? What does that kind of program look like? Because obviously, those are both very physical jobs. But again, obviously, I think firemen probably get more credit culturally for being in shape versus there’s the perception of like the doughy police officer that likes to eat donuts, even though — gosh, Chris, what was his lastname? I have a very early episode with a really cool police officer on the show. Go back to season one of the playlist in season one. You’ll find it. Chris I can’t remember his last name right now, but can you talk to me about that, that program, what you do with the men and women and what that kind of looks like?

Dr. Chris: [00:37:59] It started like pretty early on in my career, like when I just happened to have a few police officers I was working with and I was already pulling the strength and conditioning and I had the martial arts background and I was thinking like, “Hey, these guys need to be able to like fight to go back to work.” So I’m like, “Hmm, probably should incorporate some of the combat type of stuff.” So start again, just doing the functional stuff, the progressive overloading of the strength training and then adding that combat piece.

[00:38:27] And then all of a sudden, you know, they started referring, refer and refer. And then all of a sudden I was seeing a regular group of that population just started to get to know more and more people that working through that law enforcement around our area. And then I decided, you know, I really want to see more of these people. So I thought, I want to like. Design a program basically, it was kind of selfishly to kind of just get more of them in here.

[00:38:52] So then the NSCA has the tactical strength and conditioning program came out and that’s kind of I think what spurred me on to maybe formalizing a program and then having the background of Ohio State and the resources that we have and talking to some people, maybe it was a perfect fit. It was an area we do a great job of handling the 18 to 22-year-old athletes. We wanted to bring that same model to that first responder population.

[00:39:19] So through the efforts of myself and some other people, we started moving in that direction. So we have some. Contacts. Like I work pretty regularly with a SWAT team here. I see a lot of our Columbus police officers. We have some cool things go on with one of the fire departments out in an area of our town. One of our other clinics are doing a lot of cool stuff with them. Basically, just first thing we wanted to do is obviously establish a relationship and get them access to care.

[00:39:51] So when you have an injury instead of just going to the urgent care, we have a system now where they can call us Texas. We get them right in to see an orthopedic sports medicine doctor, get them evaluated, figure out what it is, what they need. If they need therapy, boom. Go see Chris. Get into therapy. We’ll get you back to doing what you need to do because we’re going to incorporate running, jumping, lifting, punching, rolling the jujitsu, ground, fighting stuff and then started working also then on providing in servicing, educating them on strength, training, nutrition. We bring in some of our sports psychologists or sports nutritionists educating them on that.

[00:40:29] And then now we’re starting to kind of move into kind of the performance piece where we’ll look at testing, strength, power, eye tracking, eye hand coordination, developing profiles for them. It’s kind of where we’re at now to then determine strengths and weaknesses and then giving them tools to work on that so that now they’re not only better for their fitness, they also are better at their jobs, which require a lot of those tenets. 

[00:40:54] We’re kind of, again, slowly working out in other agencies are contacting us in our area, and that’s kind of where we’re at. And I kind of see mostly like law enforcement just because most of the guys I know and gals will just refer people to me. And a lot of the ones I see have are usually doing they’re more of the active folks, you know, they’re usually doing jujitsu, they do martial arts, they’re involved in training other officers and defensive tactics and stuff like that.

[00:41:23] So it’s fun from that, from that perspective. So that’s kind of where we’re at, what I’m kind of doing, and it’s just slowly kind of getting to that point. And so it’s been good. So we just started to kind of start to put in the performance piece with our SWAT guys that we work with.

Jesse: [00:41:41] One of the things I kind of curious about, it seems like the people you work with are already pretty active. But I think about like to me a more kind of stereotypical sense, like construction workers, but like anybody who does a physical job, I feel like by the time they get older often end up with some kind of physical malady, ailment that they’re like, I’m crippled because of this thing or my back hurts or whatever.

[00:42:12] So I would feel like, you know, police, fire, EMTs, whoever it is doing this kind of physical first responder kind of jobs. They would need some kind of as we already kind of touched on for like the general population, but maybe even more intensive in their case, some kind of like everyday maintenance program to hopefully make it so that when they reach retirement, they’re not like, you know, I spent 30 years on the force and now I can’t tie my own shoes like. So is that- Do you spend any time at all doing that or is that a consideration at all?

Dr. Chris: [00:42:49] Yeah. I mean, a lot of what we try to do with that educational piece and like I said, I’ll go down every month and meet with them. We do injury checks. So yeah, part of that education part is injury prevention because I mean whether people realize it or not, depending on where you’re at, these guys and gals in law enforcement, they get beat up, they get knocked around a lot.

[00:43:11] So, I mean, once you see a lot of post-surgical firemen, too, you know, they get injured. There’s a lot of dangerous stuff happening. We just kind of assume you’ve got the big, strong, sexy guy that runs into the building. He puts the fire out, the gal runs out, you know, everything’s happy, you know, or the police, you know. I mean, they’re just there’s a lot of different aspects to their job that put them at risk for a lot of different things.

[00:43:34] So, you know, yeah, our main emphasis is injury prevention. So we do a lot of screening with them, trying to identify where their weaknesses might be and then educating them on how to address those things. So trying to minimize injury, but they’re going to get banged around a lot. And then if you look at like my law enforcement guys, a lot of them are involved in jujitsu and various martial arts. So I’m on top of their job. They’re doing that, which also, again, you know, is an athlete. Just if you’re a pretty regular athlete, you’re going to get hurt.

Jesse: [00:44:06] Yes, I have a martial arts background, so I understand.

Dr. Chris: [00:44:09] Yeah, yeah. So, I mean, so you add that on top of some of the stuff they’re doing and there’s a big potential for injury, which I think is why we really want to get in and work with this group, because I think we can do a lot of good for them. We have I mean, and we’re just continuing to kind of build our kind of presence and our footprint and our ability to kind of take it to the next next level of what we want to do with them and help them with.

[00:44:37] So it’s been great. I mean, the guys I work with are super great. They’re super open to anything we want to do. They’re very receptive and very appreciative. And so it’s been it’s been fun, it’s been rewarding, it’s been good in that aspect.

Jesse: [00:44:49] Yeah. Chris. So as we’re starting to wind down on time, any longtime listeners they know I like I do this every season I have a different question I ask every single guest for that season. So this season’s question came to me from a friend and she suggested this because not enough people do this. So I put a lot of people on the spot with this question, but I think it’s a good exercise for all of us to try to figure out. So this season’s question, which I’d like to ask you now, is how do you celebrate your wins?

Dr. Chris: [00:45:22] How do I celebrate my wins?

Jesse: [00:45:24] And the wins is whatever, however you define that, that’s not necessarily like, oh, you won, like you were sparring and you want to match. It’s not that it’s however you define wins. Like, how do you take time to celebrate that?

Dr. Chris: [00:45:38] Hmm. Like, if it’s more of a personal thing, I know, I got through a tough workout that I really don’t want to do. For me, it’s just kind of an internal thing. I just feel I just give myself a little pat on the back. I feel good about it the rest of the day. If maybe it’s something a little bit more professional, personal, maybe. You know, me and my family go out to dinner, celebrate something that way.

[00:46:01] Sometimes it’s if I’m working hard trying to do something, I just take a little time off. I just kind of chill out from the day to day, just grind, grind, grind, trying to just continue to do whatever I’m trying to do. If I’ve accomplished something or gotten something done, I’ll just chill out, take a little time to relax, reflect on it, enjoy it, just enjoy that, the feeling of that accomplishment.

[00:46:22] So, I mean, like I said, I’m pretty simple kind of laid back guy. I don’t get to sanctimonious about things, but yeah, those are probably the things that I would or how I would probably celebrate those wins beyond just jumping up and down with my arms in the air and in the back room where nobody can see me but.

Jesse: [00:46:41] Chris, I know that you’re not a big social media guy, which is totally fine. But I typically ask people if they want to reach out if there’s any good way to reach you. For you in particular, I don’t know if that just means if you’re in the Ohio State area, coming to the clinic or reaching out. But is there a good way to get in touch or is it just maybe if you’re law enforcement in that area, then reach out.

Dr. Chris: [00:47:04] Just in my email chris.kolba@osumc.edu. I mean, I love social media. I’ve tried to do social. I end up just not having the time, you know, I’m saying like —

Jesse: [00:47:15] Oh yeah.

Dr. Chris: [00:47:16] Back in the day when it was called microblogging before it became Twitter. So I’m thinking, “Oh, I’m going to have this big blog.” So I start it. And then I just it’s a lot of work, like for, for being consistent and putting your podcast together because it takes time, it takes effort. I find myself just not having the time between everything I want to be doing at work, family, my daughter spending time with them. I just don’t have the time. So I love the social media. I just haven’t really put a lot out there on a consistent basis like that.

Jesse: [00:47:49] Yeah. So no worries. So if, if you need something for Chris or you got a question for him, just send him an email. That’s usually the best way to get in touch with me, too. So I absolutely understand. Chris, thanks for hanging out with me today.

Dr. Chris: [00:48:02] Yeah, it’s been great. I appreciate you having me on. And, you know, good luck with everything with you and the new baby. And Enjoy is your first one.

Jesse: [00:48:08] Yeah.

Dr. Chris: [00:48:10] It’s awesome. Girl or boy?

Jesse: [00:48:10] Girl.

Dr. Chris: [00:48:12] Yeah, I got a girl. She’s 19 already, dude. It’s going to go like that. But I’m telling you, you know, teach them. Teach them about nutrition fitness from the time they can understand your voice. No pressure. I’m just — teach him an education and that it’s cool to see the development. 

Jesse: [00:48:30] Appreciate it.

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