The MT Hybrid Athlete Program
Learn how the MT Hybrid Athlete Program © and CE course will help you to achieve the greatest longevity as a therapist than you ever thought possible. This article will show you the type of strength training you need as a therapist, volume and rest periods, as well as how you track your progress with this program!
✖ Are you struggling to apply more pressure even though you have lowered your table and used all of your bodyweight?
✖ Are clients annoyed that you go from 0-10 in one second, without ramping up the pressure in between?
✖ Do you feel like you just got ran over by a mac truck after a deep treatment?
These are all things that I commonly see happen when I work with other therapists.
A big issue with burning out is that we are not physically able to endure what we put on our schedules.
Maybe we are at first, but there is a point of negative return.
So. . . this being said. . . what is the solution?
The answer. . .
The MT Hybrid Athlete Program!
What You will learn
→ Why strength is so important for a massage therapist
→ Strength endurance
→ Progressive overload principle
Why It Is So Important to you
Deep tissue and deep pressure are a common technique that a lot of clients love and swear by, and a lot of therapists heed to those calls.
But the fallacy here is that even with the use of your bodyweight and or setting your table lower, therapist’s can still fall short of achieving the clients wanted pressure.
This is where implementing strength training comes into play.
Now, I don’t mean becoming a freakishly strong competitive powerlifter, but being able to have strength over the course of your day is going to be key.
Having more strength as a massage therapist will help you:
✓ Use your legs to help you leverage your bodyweight correctly
✓ Have much better control over your depth of pressure
✓ Help you to have freakishly long endurance with your workload
Now that sounds incredible, doesn’t it.
And. . . when you put these things together, it will feel effortless to your client, in turn relaxing them.
Now that you have learned why having more strength will benefit you. . .
Let’s get into what type of strength you actually use in massage therapy.
Like I mentioned above, you don’t need the type of strength of a powerlifter or a short distance sprinter will.
There are different types of strength that you can train, but strength endurance is the only one you will really need.
So.. What is strength endurance exactly?
The bolstering of endurance throughout a given amount of time, through the use strength training.
Exactly what you would need to be able to use more and more pressure.
Strength endurance will allow you to do firm to deep pressure for much more time than you’re normally able.
The most effective way to utilize this program is:
- Moderate to heavy resistance
- Reduced rest between sets
- More volume
Obviously to gain strength endurance, moderate to heavier resistance should be utilized.
Noticed I said resistance and not necessarily free weight.
It doesn’t always have to be free weights that you are using.
You can utilize:
– Weight Machines
– Free Weights
– Fitness Bands
For the amount of resistance to start with, you should comfortably be able to do 8-10 repetitions with proper form.
But for this program in particular, you will only be doing 2-3 reps for the first exercise.
I will explain why you want to start a bit lighter later, so read on. . .
We are looking for good, quality reps, slower on the way down and explosive but controlled on the way up.
In the member’s area of this site, there is an Exercise Index that goes in to great detail with tutorials, uses, benefits, variations and set/rep parameters to be used with the MT Hybrid Program.
Rate of Perceived Exertion
Other wise known as RPE – much like the pain scale used in massage therapy – is a scale we use to measure how challenging the exercise feels.
1 is very easy, you could do it in your sleep, many times.
5 is moderate, you could likely complete 3-4 more repetitions.
10 is nearly impossible to get on more rep, on the verge of failure.
As I mentioned above, you want to start with a resistance that feels like 5-6 RPE, so it should be relatively easy to feel like you could complete 8-10 and have a few more left in the tank.
The beauty of this program is, is that we use 5-6 RPE for the entire program, so you can do this year round without much fatigue.
Rest Periods Used
For you to properly work on endurance, you want to rest about 30-60 seconds in between sets.
Resting this amount of time will not only ramp up your endurance, the longer you do this, but it will really set on your metabolism and burn many calories. 👍
If you cannot complete the number of repetitions, or your form breaks down in any way, the main thing is to lower the weight, not increase the time.
The ultimate goal with strength endurance is to be able to complete your sets with increasing ease and also working your rest time down to 30 seconds.
When I began this workout, years ago, I started out at 70 seconds, and with that I was almost bent over trying to catch my breath!
So it may be a good thing to start out conservatively.
You can think of volume in this sense as the amount of work you are doing.
Volume is what makes strength endurance training so effective.
When you are doing more than 5 sets you are activating more of your Type-1 muscle fibers or slow twitch fibers.
These are the most useful for powerful contractions and can sustain activity for much longer than fast twitch fibers.
It is good to strive for 10-15 sets for all of your strength endurance exercises.
The more amount of work you can build, the strength and endurance you can achieve is endless.
How to track your progress
So you have a better understanding of what type of resistance you will use, how long to rest and how much work to do in your workout. . .
But how do you track the progress that you make along the way?
Enter progressive overload principle.
Your body doesn’t care whether you are trying to build muscle, have a better heart, be stronger or run faster. . .
All your body and nervous system cares about is keeping you alive and functioning the best that it can.
That being said, the only way that your body will improve or change is when you put it in an environment that will convince your body that these changes need to be made!
I can’t say it any less blunt than this: You need to force it to change.
This is exactly why you see people in life or in the gym that look and stay exactly the same. They are not truly pushing themselves to be better.
That is for another day and rant.
So. . . to really feel better in session, to be a stronger therapist, to be able to withstand an 8 hour day without feeling fatigued. . . You must provide your body with the positive environment it needs to change.
The Dial will not turn unless you force it
Moving on. . Let’s take a look at an example of what I mean.
In this example we have someone who is doing deadlifts with 100lbs for 3 sets of 10 reps for 10 years straight.
What happens? Nothing.
This person isn’t changing any parameters (resistance, volume of work), so there is no need for their body to change.
Now, if you take this said person and they add 10lbs to that deadlift the next week, now their body perceives this 10lbs as change, so it will adapt accordingly, increasing strength.
Same thing if they then add a 4th set. Now their body is adapting to added work.
How This Applies to you
Now that you know what it takes to make changes to your body, now we can apply it to you, the massage therapist.
Being that the main goal is to build strength and endurance, we want to progressively overload those variables.
This means adding more pounds to your exercises, shortening your rest periods, or adding a set in. The parameter is up to you!
The main point is to do better than your last workout. It doesn’t have to be every workout or even every week, as long as you are able to do better than you previously did.
I strive to at least have every aspect(strength,rest,volume) up in some way, every month!
What progressive overload looks like
These are the types of changes and increases that we always see with the MT Hybrid Program.
These results are typical if you dedicate yourself to the work that it takes.
I have no doubt that it can happen for you.
Summing it all up
I really want to thank you for taking a look at this article, and I am very excited for this to be my very first post!
I hoped this helped you to understand why the MT Hybrid Athlete Program is the only strength training program you will ever need as a massage therapist:
→ How having more strength can help take your pressure to the next level
→ Why strength endurance is a must if you want to have a long lasting career as a bodyworker
→ How to use Rate of Perceived Exertion to make the choices for resistance
→ How to use progressive overload to track your progress and keep you moving forward