Thursday, February 12, 2009

Z Health Master Trainer Evaluation Review

Greetings! First off I apologize that it has taken me forever to get this review up. I am currently working on my dissertation research, so I am spending tons of extra time in the lab testing subjects. I am investigating the effects of an over the counter Energy Drink on heart rate, fuel usage (carbs or fat being burned during exercise) and vessel effects. As soon as I have any published data I can talk about, you will be the first to know.

All the tests are in the morning since the subjects are fasted. A HUGE thanks to all the subjects that have volunteered already---THANKS!! I could not do it without you and much appreciate your time.

I also just got word that I had my revision work from my PhD oral exam completed, so I just that is great to hear. I just have to finish up my research now and crank out some papers. My goal is to be entirely completed by my birthday this August at the absolute latest.
Picture of me in San Diego to prove that I was there (even though I was indoors for 90%+ of the time)
Z Health Master Trainer Evaluation Review

As most of you know, I was in sunny San Diego CA the first week of January this year to kick off the year at the Z Health Master Trainer Evaluation. It was great to be there while many of my friends were freezing their butts off sub meat locker style in Minnesota.

Why All the Fuss?
A great question, is "What is involved in the Z Master Trainer Eval?" To start off, I must
admit that I signed a two way NDA (non disclosure agreement) so I can't give you details on exactly what happened. I can give you a run down of my experience though.

In order to even be eligible for the program you must have completed Z Health R, I, S, T
Phase (levels 1-4) by this past March and then formally apply for the program. Here are some older blog posts with my reviews of the Z Health training (click below). Note: I don't have a review from R Phase since I was not blogging at that time.

Z Health Info and a Brand New Study on Strength Training and Insulin

Z Health Level II Update #2 from Sunny AZ

Z Health Level II Update #3--the final one

Z Health I Phase in Practice Update

Z Health Level 4 Wrap Up and Good vs Bad Calories

Z Health Interview, S Phase, Research, USAPL Results

Z Health S Phase Wrap Up

Z Health S Phase Update I

R Phase is about 6 days and the others are 4 days each, so you are at 18 days of Z Health training and this assumes that you only went to each one once! I've done R Phase 3 times and I Phase twice and many others have done more than that. If you have any questions about any Z Health cert, esp R Phase, please drop me a line and I am more than happy to chat with you about it. If you talk to the find folks at Z Health, be sure to mention that I sent you. Full disclosure, I am NOT an employee of Z Health and I make ZERO money on anyone that shows up to a certification; although I do get some money off future certifications that I complete.

The Master Trainer(MT) program started in March 2008 with about 40 people and 10 were at the live training about 9 months later.

Each month we had various assignments that reviewed R, I, S, and T Phase in addition to essays, online quizzes on anatomy, conference call and other questions.

San Diego, Here I Am!
Once we were at the training, out grade was primarily (I can give you all the details) based on
1) Presentations. We each had the chance to present twice on a pre-assigned topic. We got
45 minutes to present including time for questions each time.
My 2 presentations were on:
I. The role of the brain's reward system in learning new (and improving old) exercises/movements.

The 10 second overview is that HOW you cue an athlete and the STATE of the athlete are crucial for optimal learning and thus execution. Dopamine also plays a HUGE role in the motor learning/chunking process

II. The role of threat/high stress and the brain's response to it.

In short, as heart rate increases the body get closer to a "fight, flight, or freeze" state and weird things start to happen such as police officers not even hearing a gun shot that happened right next to them. Think about the implications for this in athletics, esp Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) where your heart rate and adrenaline are flowing BUT you still need to make key decisions and not let technique degrade.
Note: If anyone is interested in more information on those 2 topics, please let me know.

2) Grand Rounds. We would take a full history of an athlete and then write up what we
think we may find and how we would address it.

3). Rapid Fire. This gave my indigestion. Pretty much any Z Health topic was placed in a large hat and names were drawn from one hat and a topic was drawn from the other hat. Without looking anything up, you had to teach the class on the spot how to do it right then and there while you were graded. Ugh. Included in "stack of topics" (which I was seriously hoping what have been involved in some freak accident with a paper shredder, but no dice. drat) was various muscles that we would have to describe the orgin, insertion, muscle test, nerve glide (if there was one), innervation and bonus for blood supply for the muscle. So if I drew "sartorius muscle" I would list off each of the above and demonstrate a muscle test and nerve glide (if there was one). Needless to say, that is a ton of stuff to know.

6 Whole Days
That was the basic breakdown of how the 6 days went. We also had some addition lectures on business topics too, which was great. We were evaluated the entire time.

I thought that I would go out to CA, be busy during the day and then relax at night. I figured I would detox myself from coffee too while I was there too--ha! I slept less and drank more coffee than in the previous week. My roommate Scott Perry (if you are in Bend OR area, look him up at the Z Health site HERE for a session with him), would get there early and quiz each other on Z Health topics. We would have the training all day and worked through lunch 3 of the days (I think) and get home at about 7 or 7:30pm after picking up a sub from subway. At night we would either work on our presentations (I spent 2 weeks before I even left working on mine and other Z Health topics) and/or review muscle testing and quiz each other. Crash into bed, rinse and repeat for 5 more days!

The Last Supper
Sat night we went out to dinner and that was a great time. The stress of the 6 days was over and I was happy to know that I was one of 4 that passed at the live event. Whooo ha! Time to relax over good food. I had a seared tuna steak with red pepper and pesto sauce with crab meat on top. Awesome!! See the Flickr link on the lower right side for pictures.

Sunday I hung out with Dr. Cobb and a few others for a bit and then headed off to see the fine folks at Essential Strength for a session on myself. If you are in the San Diego area, I highly recommend you contact them by clicking HERE.

So, looking back on it, was it worth it? I would say yes. It was a great chance for me to really test myself and see what I could accomplish. I also work best off of deadlines, so having a hard deadline to put together 2 presentations and really dig deep and make sure I knew the material was good. It was also great to spend 6+ days with other highly intelligent and highly motivated people.

Any questions you have, please place them in the comments. If it is something that I can't answer, I will say so; but you never know until you ask. Below are the comments from Dr. Cobb.

Rock on
Mike T Nelson

Announcing: Z-Health Master Trainers

Announcing the first group of Z-Health Master Trainers!

Last week, in sunny San Diego, California, four people earned the first ever designation of Z-Health Master Trainer. Six others earned Master Trainer(p) status, indicating provisional standing.

These courageous souls successfully completed six full days of testing on a variety of topics, including:

1. Public Speaking
2. Skills Teaching
3. Client Assessment and Evaluation
4. Client Program Design
5. Professionalism

These individuals achieved the following designations through hard work, drive, and preparation:

Z-Health Master Trainer
Leah Davison
Mike T. Nelson
Theresa Nesbitt
Zachariah Salazar

Z-Health Master Trainer(p)
Alisha Toombs
Katie Bigelow
Kent Johnson
Lou McGovern (note, Lou has completed the follow up work as has passed now)
Luis Hernandez
Scott Peery

We will be sharing much more about this landmark event in a special feature newsletter next month. Until then, please join us in congratulating these outstanding individuals on their hard work and accomplishments. We are very proud of each one of them.

More to come next month!
Dr Cobb