This post marks the first in our new Ruthless Perfomer Q&A series. Throughout this series we’ll be talking with various health and fitness influencers regarding their specific niche and how it effects the world of health and wellnessa at-large.
Today we’re joined by Dr. Touchinsky who established Blue Mountain Family Chiropractic in 2005. His early focus was helping people suffering with pain and injuries utilizing hands on chiropractic care. Within the first few years of practice, he realized that many of the cases seen required more than just physical treatment. People were dealing with issues caused by poor diet, lack of exercise, inadequate sleep, and other lifestyle related factors. However, due to a variety of reasons, none of their health care providers were addressing these issues. This lead Dr. Touchinsky to study and become certified in Functional Medicine.
What is Functional Medicine and why is this something you’re so engaged in?
Conventional medicine usually seeks to identify a problem, an injury, or an illness. Diagnosis and treatment of that diagnosis is their forte. They are the doctors of “what”. They want to know what is wrong with you, and then they apply the treatment designed for that problem.
The best way to describe functional medicine practitioners is we are the doctors of “why”. Why are you sick? Why do you have an autoimmune disease? Why do you have chronic fatigue? This “why” can vary… it may be poor gut health due to frequent use of antibiotics in the past, or nutrient deficiencies due to an inadequate diet, or excessive stress from work, overtraining in the gym, or lack of proper sleep and recovery. The “why” can vary from person to person so we look at each individual’s “why” so we can develop a plan for that person and not their disease.
Teach us something… What is something within health that you think many physically active, healthy individuals may be ignorant to (i.e. I am always sure to teach clients about the relationship between the lymphatic and muscular system)?
Gut health is supreme. “You are what you eat” is a common saying. However, it’s not that simple. It’s what we eat, digest, assimilate, and excrete. Our digestive system helps manage what our body takes in to help build muscle, health and repair all sorts of tissues including our vital organs, make neurochemical and hormones, etc. It also helps us get rid of the toxic by products of doing all of that. It’s both the fuel injector system and the exhaust system. If the gut is chronically inflamed it’s going to affect nutrient absorption. If there’s constipation, it’s like plugging up the exhaust pipe in your car or the chimney in your house. This affects health more than most people realize.
If you doubt that or this is a new concept to you, google “gut” and <insert health problem or disease name here> and take a look at what shows up.
What do you think is the easiest thing individuals already engaged in a fitness program can change about their daily routine to further improve their health?
Most people can benefit from eating less meals per day and eating within a 12 hour time period per day, with earlier being better. An example might be at 7am, 11am-1pm, and 5pm-7pm. Eating food disrupts normal equilibrium and places the body under stress. It’s a necessary function, but triggering that stress every few hours is not good. It’s beneficial to give the body plenty of time between our meals and then one long period per day of 12 hrs or more. There even some interesting research showing that more than 12 hours can be even more of an advantage. This is called intermittent fasting or time restricted feeding. This can be taken even a step further by doing full water fasting or a Fasting Mimicking Diet on occasion. For more information on that, search for fasting and Dr. Valter Longo.
As someone within the field, what do you think about the current state of chiropractic care? What are some common myths or concerns that you come across regularly? Are these concerns warranted?
Chiropractors practice methods that are the most effective means of addressing muscle, joint, and many nerve issues in my opinion. We have extensive training and spend our career seeing people with injuries and pain. Not only are we trained in treating these issues, but diagnosing them as well. This makes us a great first option when someone has something wrong. If it turns out it’s a more serious issue that requires a surgeon, or if there’s doubt and more testing needs to be done, we can refer or order testing such as blood tests, MRIs, and CT scans. Most of the time we can start treating immediately and begin providing patients relief on day one.
Some common myths that I see are we only treat the spine. That might be how we got our start over 100 years ago, but we now are trained on evaluating and treating a wide variety of issues. We’re not just “bone setters” either. I work just as much on the muscles as I do the bones and joints. Another common myth is that once you start going, you have to keep on going. There may be some cases of permanent injuries or those that have very demanding jobs where it makes sense to see someone once every few months to keep them in good shape, but in most cases my goal is to get the person out of pain, show them what they can do for themselves to prevent the problem from recurring, and then discharge them from care.
Most forward-thinking individuals working in healthcare admit it’s a rather flawed system. What do you think is the most troubling aspect of modern healthcare in America? What do you think is the easiest problem within healthcare to fix?
It’s a very flawed system. Health insurance dictates care and most providers end up treating to the insurance. Insurance payment to providers is based on what is done to a patient. It’s procedural based. That means that the more “stuff” that we do to patients, the more we bill, and the more we get paid. If you do less “stuff”, you get less payment. This only promotes overutilization of certain services. Additionally, an officer visit where your doctor diagnoses a common cold gets paid the same as a visit where they diagnose and (attempts to) manage diabetes. The latter is way more complicated and requires much more attention and expertise to handle. I could really go on and on, but I’ll leave it at that.
The easiest problem to fix is to take away the middleman. Take away insurance. That sounds horrible because it’s the only way most people can afford to see a doctor, but by taking away the middle man we would lower the costs for everyone. If people had to pay for everything out of pocket (at least up front), then they would help, along with the doctor, if a procedure or test is really necessary. If you doubt this, ask any provider, “do you tend to order more testing on people with or without insurance?” For those that truly can’t afford care, we can take the money we use to subsidize health insurance and set up free and reduced clinics. At least this would put money directly into communities and building facilities and paying providers, vs. sitting in the coffers of insurance companies to selectively dole out as they wish.
**Editor’s Note: John Matulevich of Ruthless Performance will be appearing on Dr. Touchinsky’s Podcast “Healthy Habits with Dr. T” this wednesday night. You can preregister to listen to the podcast at the address here or watch it live on facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/doctortouchinsky/ **
If you’re not familiar with the Ruthless Performance Mavericks Program, it’s something well-worth looking into as a primary or accessory strength & conditioning program. The program consists of 3-12 workouts per week (depending on season, goals, recovery status, etc.). Though the program is rooted in long-term strength gain, the Mavericks workouts also build up cardiovascular endurance, mental toughness, hypertrophy, and any and all other capacities one would hope to develop through a traditional workout regimen.
This is true to the extent that I’ve personally used the Mavericks program as the base for prepping for events across the athletic continuum; from a 65 mile cycling race spanning from Philly to Atlantic City to powerlifting meets. The program has also been the primary physical preparation tool for big-game hunters, swimmers, CrossFit athletes, and more.
The program is so versatile because of the formative and fundamental role that a well-designed strength & conditioning program has on any athletic or performance-oriented endeavor. By building up such an encompassing portfolio of exercises, energy system capacities, movement proficiencies, and athleticism as a whole, individuals are easily able to transition from one skill or sport to the next, and do so at an extraordinarily high level.
The Ruthless Performance Mavericks Program differs from some of our other programs in that the workouts are the same from one individual to the next, only differing in load, intensity, and an individual’s overall athletic capabilities. Emphasis can be moved throughout the program as well. For example, a bodybuilder may take the accessory volume more seriously, while a powerlifter may focus more on the strength and primary exercises involved. In our Athletic Development programs, each program is individualized outside of the warm-up. Similarly, among personal training clients, every aspect is much more up to the goals of the individual. The Mavericks program is a cost-effective tool to build an encompassing base of athleticism and is great for individuals who may get bored of traditional or more predictable programing. This program is no better or worse, but if you think it may be right for you, reach out at RuthlessPerformance.com/contact to get started.
Today we’re going to show you our current main exercises and how they fit into the bigger picture of the Ruthless Performance Mavericks programming…
We’re seriously focused on some elements of training that we’ve largely neglected in the past. These elements are density, volume, and lactate threshold. These elements of programing are in most of our workout bouts, but rarely break into our ‘A1-A2’ sets (or to the unindoctrinated, this would be referred to as the main work).
Of our currently programed 7 workouts, 4 are comprised of heavy, high volume-strength work—these will be the focus of today’s post.
All of which are done 10×10, and as an ‘EMOM’ (every minute on the minute). The traditional lifts don’t always transition very well into this type of super high volume training and can be detrimental to long-term and short-term central nervous system function, this is why the exercise selection is slightly odd…
Day 1 – Front Squat – 10×10 – EMOM
Day 2 – Incline Barbell Press – 10×10 – EMOM
Day 3 – Rest/ Active Recovery/ Conditioning
Day 4 – Romanian Deadlift – 10×10 – EMOM
Day 5 – Overhead Press – 10×10 – EMOM
Day 6 – Rest/ Active Recovery/ Conditioning
Day 7 – Rest/ Skill Work
The primary work as listed above is not the entirety of the strength workouts. There is always accessory work which varries from day to day. The Front Squat Day, for example, may be followed by a circuit of 3 strength exercises, like Hamstring Curls, Contralateral KB RDLs, and Overhead Med Ball Slams. Then, either another 2-exercise circuit like calf raises and toes-to-bar, or a quick conditioner like Rower Repeats or a Stationary Bike Tabata…
Skill work varies from person to person, depending on their goals or upcoming seasons. For me, skill work currently consists of target work with the bow for the upcoming hunting season. Conditioning work consists of a combination of hill sprints, strongman work, long-distance steady-state cardio, rower, or cycling. Conditioning workouts are included with the Maverick’s program, but these tend to be only for individuals working specifically on the Maverick’s program.
For athletes competing in CrossFit, Powerlifting, Hunters, Cyclists, or Runners, their conditioning days and times are traditionally filled by their skill specific training or by the mandates of their coaches.
A 10×10 EMOM is by no means standard programing for the Maverick’s Training, but we recognize the need to maximize these capacities. For this four-week cycle, we are trying to maximize hypertrophy, tolerance for higher-volume strength work, as well as to back-off of CNS input before coming back with some higher-intensity conjugate style training.
Sign-up or learn more about the Ruthless Performance Maverick’s programing by emailing us at info@RuthlessPerformance.com
Registered Dietitians are licensed nutritional professionals with an undergraduate degree and supervised practice hours. Among completion, a national exam must be taken to be officially licensed and practice as a professional. Registered dietitians are recognized by The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics with mandatory completion of CEUs (Continuing Education Units) to maintain registration.
The term “Nutritionist” does not require extensive school and professional training. Essentially, anyone can call themselves a nutritionist because they read a few books. That is not to say nutritionist don’t know what they’re talking about but nutritionists can’t assess, diagnosis, or treat nutritional-related problems where as a Registered Dietitian can.
At Ruthless performance, we offer nutritional services by a Licensed Registered Dietitian.
It’s simple: All Dietitians are nutritionists, but not all nutritionists are Dietitians.
By Jesse Rodriguez, RD, CSCS
View the last edition of ‘Featured Fitness Content’ here.
Personal Training, Coaching, and Strength & Conditioning
Does Shaving Improve Swimming Performance? By Allan Phillips via Swimming Science
Weight Loss, Nutrition, and General Health
The 12 Most Effective Ways to Spark the Recovery Process By John Rusin
Are Nightshade Vegetables Bad for You? An Evidence-Based Look By Kimberly Yawitz via Diet vs. Disease
How Much Fish Oil Is Too Much? Via Strength Sensei
Carrageenan: Friend or Foe? By Nicole Spear via Strength Sensei
Strength Training, Powerlifting, and Bodybuilding
Breaking Down the Depth Jump By Nancy Newell
7 Exercises Lost to the ’80s By Skip Hill via EliteFTS
Everything Lateral Lunges By Erica Suter
Motivation, Business, and Success
A Quick and Dirty System for Goal Setting: A Done-For-You 60 Minute Workshop To Live An Intentional Life By Michael Keeler via Business for Unicorns
Physical Therapy, Alignment, and Injury Prevention
Posture By Vern Gambetta via HMMR Media
Hyperoxia Improves Swimming Performance By G John Mullen via Swimming Science
Ruthless Performance Coaches’ Content
Ruthless Performance Guide to Mineral Supplementation By Jesse Rodriguez via Ruthless Performance
Internal Program Review: Collegiate Swimmer Off-Season Strength & Conditioning Program – Day 1 By John Matulevich via Ruthless Performance