Justin sent this email to The FAI Fix:
Purchased the FAI fix back in April of this year. I’ll be honest, I read a bit about it, but it was basically a last-ditch effort to get my hips feeling better before a fairly demanding military course.
In the months that followed, I went from literally being unable to play floor hockey with my family over Christmas break without pain accompanied by limping for hours afterwards to being able to run, move laterally, and being able to sit relatively comfortable in the bottom of a squat.
I have tons of mobility and flexibility issues and I do occasionally have flare ups due to getting complacent and slacking on the program (not out of debt yet), but I have progressed to where I have added in crawls, movement training, and yoga to my traditional strength training and running.
On the previously mentioned course I rucked many kilometers with 70+lbs of gear on my back without issues. Brazilian jiu-jitsu, something that can be great for hip mobility, was just making things worse due to the hip pain and tightness being extreme and had to be stopped for a few months. Well, that is back on and I have had many say I am moving more smoothly than I ever have.
Muay Thai, something I thought was lost to me forever as I could not kick above the waist without terrible pain, is looking more and more like an inevitability, rather than a pipe dream. I was 29 and so much of my life has been defined by being an athlete. I was a competitive distance runner for years in high school and university then went from weighing 135lbs at 5′ 10″ and running a 17:26 5km to a 465lb deadlift and competing in powerlifting meets and even a bodybuilding show back in 2011. I have been training for 15 years. There is more to life than that, but it did define me a bit, you know? And it was being stolen from me.
Worse and worse over the years and I felt tighter, old beyond my years, and dejected with my training. I sometimes cried in the car on the way to work. What the hell was wrong with my hips?! Why were so many of these things I loved being taken from me? I felt helpless and was desperately searching for something. Met with an orthopedic surgeon and surgery was an option, but it just didn’t feel right. Physio was okay, but I didn’t feel progress, just a bit better after each treatment for a day or two. I don’t know you.
I watch your videos and you seem like a good dude who wants to help people. Maybe you just enjoy the money that comes in from this program. Maybe a combination of both? Like I said, I don’t know you, but I am telling you that you saved my life with this program. I guess this whole ramble has come down to me saying that, but also me saying thank you. If I ever see you on the street up in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, I will introduce myself as the guy who dropped a ridiculously long email and shake your hand.
We were so inspired by Justin’s email we asked if he’d provide some more details:
Q: What were your problems like on a daily basis and what diagnoses did you get from health professionals?
A: Problems were: at lowest point couldn’t move my feet more than two feet apart after a light jog for a few km. Couldn’t play floor hockey with my family without limping for a few days afterwards. Driving became a bit uncomfortable. Diagnoses from health professionals were pretty spot on. Right away a MRI and X-ray were ordered up and a torn labrum with cam impingement was shown.
After that started with some physio, dry needling of the hip as well as some exercises to improve internal rotation (had 0 degrees of this compared with 40-45 of external). Not really helpful, so we progressed to stage two which was meeting with orthopaedic surgeon. This took a few months and by then had discovered the FAI fix and was making some progress. Met
with the surgeon and he was great. Advised me to keep going with the program as it was offering relief and to only book an appointment if I had exhausted that option, physio, etc. So that was positive. Definitely a lack of education from the physio side of things into what FAI is, although it seems like there is a shift from “bone issue” to “hip function/tissue quality problem”.
Q: What did you try to fix the problems?
A: As mentioned above, physio, etc. Tried some stretching and lacrosse ball work on my own, but was just throwing darts in the dark at this point.
Q: Were there any reasons you were hesitant to try the FAI Fix?
A: Money. I am always skeptical if anyone looking to make a buck off you, but Shane’s experience (the before and after of the overhead squat for example), the free content on YouTube that offered some relief, and honestly desperation at that point led me to spring for the program. Best decision.
Q: Why did you decide to try the FAI Fix and what has your experience been like (including your present state)?
A: Decided to try FAI as it seemed medical professionals were a mile wide and an inch deep. I am sure Shane knows more about the fitness world than just FAI issues, but he certainly seemed to be a mile deep in the problem that ailed me so I figured having a subject matter expert’s program designed for exactly where I was would be a good thing to try.
I noticed relief pretty quickly. I had to be careful to stay away from what bothered me; hip flexion, legs wide apart, and even standing up straight at the top of a deadlift caused pain.
Anything side to side aggravated me. Running, direction changing…that wasn’t possible without pain. So I did my exercises, tried to limit the trouble things mentioned above, and that brought progress. After a month or two hey…I can squat down almost parallel and don’t have that impingement pain.
Then whoa can go below parallel.
As the hip became more mobile I had to be careful adding things to it. It was also tough to distinguish between what bothered me and what was just the hip being sore from use again or new ranges of motion being weak and fragile, but I always kept an eye out for that telltale impingement feeling. Setbacks happened.
Got too eager and kicked a heavy bag, squatted too fast testing things out, moved poorly at jiu jitsu, etc., but progress isn’t always linear I suppose.
Where I am at now. I am pretty much out of rehab and onto training. My hip is probably functioning better than ever and my training has DRASTICALLY changed. I still have down days where it seems a bit off (due to lack of effort with the program) and periods where I think I regress. Just cleaned and front squatted for the first time in a year and a half basically. Have been deadlifting and squatting consistently for a few months.
Have incorporated movement training and yoga into my life and my warm up consists of crawl variations and movement flows that would have caused my hip to perhaps literally explode and shoot out like shrapnel into some unsuspecting gym goer. I make sure I incorporate some movement into each warm up as a way of solidifying and strengthening these new ranges of motions that I have. I never did mobility or stretching for years and years and it certainly caught up with me.
Now as I am training usually twice a day I do feel like my FAI specific work has fallen by the wayside due to complacency from being content with where I am at now. I feel I would really benefit from following the program again and it would take me to the “I can do most things again so this is fine” stage I am at now to something greater.
Q: Do you have anything you’d like to add?
A: Nope. I feel the program didn’t just give me things to follow, but it also helped educate me. I know more muscles, their function, lots of terminology and exercises, and most importantly greater concepts about the hip’s role and what can hold it back than I did beforehand. I went from having something that I loved feeling like it was literally stolen from me to having friends and strangers come up to me asking me how I move that way or how my hips can be mobile enough to do A or B.
It’s a great feeling and as I am writing this I am thinking back to how confused, frustrated, and just hopeless I felt. It was a really dark time in my life to at age 28 and 29 feel like you have…lost your body.
Especially when being physically active and training has been a big part of what makes you you since you were a child. And now here I am; 30 years old and feeling loose, free, more mobile than I have ever been, and like I have so much to learn and do and explore and play.
I really do owe much of that to this program, so thank you!