The Resistance Movement

eccentric resistance training

Tom Hadfield (619) 518-6486

Email:

TomHadfield@gmail.com


What’s in a name?

No, we are not we talking about the French Resistance during World War II, nor are we talking about Poncho Villa or Geronimo. What we are talking about is eccentric muscle movements that we use in resistance stretching to resolve muscle tensions. When we resolve muscle tension, we can improve overall well being as well as resolve many problems from chronic lower back pain to bunions that are cause by muscle tension.


First let’s define eccentric muscle movements:

There are three types of muscle contractions under resistance:
  • concentric, where the muscle goes from a lengthened position to a shortened position,
  • isometric, where one specific range of motion is maintained while the muscle is statically flexed, and
  • eccentric, where the muscle moves from a shortened position to a lengthened position.
To illustrate, if you did a forearm curl while lifting a dumbbell, you would be doing a concentric motion; if you tried to curl an unmovable object, you’d be doing an isometric motion; if you were doing a forearm curl where the object was heavier than the amount of strength you were applying and your arm went from being flexed to being more extended because of the resistance applied, you would be doing an eccentric contraction. Eccentric contractions are the exact opposite of concentric contractions and this movement is what we use to remove muscle tension in the body by lengthening specific muscles.

Next, let’s discuss resistance stretching.

When I first heard the term I thought is was a true oxymoron, how can a muscle be contracted and stretched at the same time? I thought stretching was relaxing the muscles, not flexing them with resistance. What we typically think of as stretching is slowly moving a joint towards its end-range of motion while the muscle is relaxed. Roughly six years ago, a man named Bob Cooley made the profound discovery that muscles actually lengthen during the eccentric phase of a muscle contraction. Bob then realized that by focusing on eccentric contractions, postural problems can be resolved and increases in range of motion can be made very quickly. This lengthening of muscles has the therapeutic benefit of removing muscle tensions that are pulling joints out of alignment.


And, why does muscle tension cause so many physical problems?

Muscle tension creates knots in our muscles that shorten their resting length. One example is that muscle tension in your lower body can causes back problems. If one or more of your major muscles in your lower body (hamstrings, quadriceps, and gluts) are shortened by muscle tension, there will be constant tension pulling on your pelvis. With tension
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on the pelvis, your spine will be constantly pulled which will put uneven pressure on your vertebrae and this will cause lower back pain that can manifest into a bulging disk. Tight hamstrings pull your hips down and forward and cause a posture of hunched shoulders and back. A massage or realignment might move the spine back to where it should be, but the problem of uneven tension is still there and the pain and its associated problems will remain. Eccentric resistance training treats the specific problems and is not just a reaction to a symptom. The results are immediate, cumulative, and permanent.

Who am I and what is The Resistance Movement?

My name is Tom Hadfield and I am 61 years. I have recently given up my career of sitting in a cubical and staring at a computer all day to become an eccentric resistance trainer. Throughout my life, I have always been active and involved in some sort of physical activity and sport.

I spent my high school and college years competing in wrestling and am currently very active in surfing and snowboarding. Several years ago I was experiencing what I thought the typical aging, over the hill athlete had to face. I had sore muscles from any strenuous activity, long recovery time from extensive exercise, and constant aches and pain. I had the same sore back and stiff neck for five years.

On a very lucky day, I was introduced to Nic Bartolotta and Chris Maher of E-centric Strength by a close friend Gary Martin. Gary chose to work with Nic and Chris rather than having surgery on his bulging vertebrae. Both Gary and I see what Nic and Chris did for him as completely miraculous; not only did Gary fully recover from his back problems, he is now feeling better and performing athletically better than ever.

My wife and I received personalized assisted sessions from Nic and Chris, as well as attended group self stretch and paired stretching classes. This has resolved many of our physical problems, and I can truly say, has improved our lives. Over the past four years Nic has taught me the stretching techniques and has encouraged me to spread the benefits of eccentric resistance training. I have created The Resistance Movement to work with clients who can benefit from eccentric resistance training.


What is Eccentric Resistance Training?

Eccentric Resistance Training is where I assist clients with specific stretches in a personalized one-on-one program tailored for specific needs and goals. Sessions usually last one hour and can be performed either at my residence or the clients’. One of the benefits of eccentric resistance training is that specialized equipment is not needed; it can be performed almost anywhere. After the client learns from the assisted stretches, individual self stretches and partner stretches are taught so the client can continue to receive the benefits of eccentric resistance training.

Some short personal case studies:


Sessions:

Sessions generally last one hour and are guaranteed to produce results. In the first session we will assess your current strength and flexibility and work with you to construct a training program specific to your needs. We start with assisted stretches because they are the most efficient and effective method available. After the client has learned the principles of eccentric resistance training with assisted stretches, self stretches and how to stretch others can be taught. We also provide couples sessions where individuals are taught to work with a partner.

Costs: