Podcast #121: Fascia: Making Sense of the Nonsense with Danny Foley


“It never really made sense to me how something so sophisticated and so vexing could be so dull and boring in lab and in lecture.”

“We [Tim Kelly and Danny] were trying to figure out how to be strength and conditioning coaches when strength and conditioning doesn’t work [due to injuries].”

“Even without saying the word fascia, just this restorative approach to strength training.”

“The guys that are a little bit older, 25, 26, they’ve got a few years in the game, they just enjoy it, it’s almost like it’s refreshing [fascial based training].”

“I think the number one thing that I get in terms of feedback and response is that I feel better, I feel like I’m capable of  doing x, y, or z.”

“As an all-pro outside linebacker, I don’t need to make you bigger and faster, I need to make you capable of going and playing and doing what you do as often as possible.”

“I just think it’s silly. If we look at it from a 10,000 foot view, we’ve seen athletes across  all decades and across all sports, achieve the highest levels by doing dramatically different training (Marinovich style, lab with diagnostics, guys just doing hills, push ups, sit ups).”

“There is no framework, there is no blueprint, everything is a blank canvas, all of us are probably just coat tailing off of great genetics at the end of the day.”

“We understand what the concrete X’s and O’s are… you have to move fast to play fast, in order to move fast, you have to be able move weight, if you can’t wrap your head around that, go sell real estate or something, this is not the field for you.”

“Fascia creates this interconnected medium for all the other biological structures.”

“Fascia may not have contractile elements, it may not be a force generator in the pure sense, but it is inextricably linked to everything that we all focus on otherwise.”

“If we bias the parameters of training, we are able to somewhat emphasize or selective bias connective tissue structures as opposed to contractile tissue structures.”

“If we are on that musculotedndinous side, we’re loading, it’s predominantly above 80%, it’s a simple movement, it has high external stability, and we are really focused on progressive overload and force output… when we transition to the myofascial side, it’s going to be more of a focus on integration rather than isolation, a submaxinal loading parameter (velocity rather than load), and we’re going to do it from different varying positions (variability as opposed to overload).”

“The two are absolutely coupled. I’ve never, in any case, had someone where this is a myofascial training approach and then this is a musculotendinous training approach. It’s just one being more emphasized than the other periodically.”

“We’re just trying to do different things different ways… I think that’s the ultimate athlete X factor is the ability to tolerate variability.”

“We are purely just trying to improve their ability to be adaptable to variability… multiple foot positions, centers of pressure, bases of support, loading from above/below the knee, doing things multi-directionally.”

“Adding muscle mass, getting a fat person to be less fat, improving rudiment speed levels, that is very basic, that is very easy. Sports performance and injury restoration are exceptionally complex.”

“With injury and return to play, we do have to be more surgical… are you a machete or a scalpel?”

“If we could see utility rather than role, we could see a real change.”

“That’s my ultimate goal at all times is how can I potentiate or create a transient optimal window to apply load or stress because I want everybody on the floor at all times.”

“You gotta do different things… Direction of load is a non-negotiable to driving connective tissue adaptation.”

“If lifting and sprinting is meat and potatoes, eventually we need to get some fruit and vegetables.”

“We start with this really wide funnel, gpp, we’re gonna do a little bit of everything, and then we continuously work our down to this very refined point where we’re just gonna focus and refine that. With injuries, flip that funnel.”

“When you have somebody who has an Achilles injury, you start at the Achilles and then you work your way out.”

“Immobilization is the worst thing you can do to the human body.”

“When we immobilize, it essentially becomes flaccid… and it becomes more fibrotic.”

“With the tendons, we want to move as much as we can in X position, in the fascial sense, we want to be able to move in this manner as many different ways as we can.”

“The better attuned and the more tensile resiliency that the epimuscular connective tissue has, the less strain we’re gonna see on the Achilles or patellar tendon.”

“No differently than all roads lead to Rome, all force leads to the bone. It all goes back to the same place.”

“As we get older, we rely more and more on what we do well.”

“I don’t ever look at adaptations or movement profiles as being this or that.”

Jumping higher/getting stronger: “whether it was because of the tendinous adaptations or the muscular or the fascial, I think it’s different for everybody because we have different proportions of these things to begin with.”

“Do we feed that strength or do we facilitate their deficits?.. at 16 years old, that answer is definitely different than when they’re 26.”

“When they’re 15-17, we can kinda shove them in the direction that we feel is best… when they 27-29, it’s definitely a nudge.”

“What we do has to be ground based or active with the hands… I haven’t done a dead bug in 5, 6 years because core work/myofascial line work, has to have a ground based component and we have to have a pressurized foot, similarly with the hands.”

“If we have an athlete who does not ever train or we have somebody who is in the gym every single day, between those two athletes, statistically or probability wise, the one who is in the gym every day is much less likely to get injured. If you don’t train, you get fragile. Any reasonably decent training is doing something in the preventative sense towards injuries because it’s a probability thing. So this is also paradoxically why, injury is not preventable. Because it’s a probability.”

Framework: “Firm barriers navigated loosely. So I know within reason what I do or don’t want to do.”

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Website: https://www.ruderockstrength.com

Fascial Mechanics for Sport: https://ruderockstrength.thinkific.com/courses/fascial-mechanics