Who Are The Functional Fitness Fellas? | El Paso, TX (2021)



In today’s podcast, Dr. Alex Jimenez talks with Alexander Isaiah and Ryan Welage both medical students at the National University of Health Sciences, about the several new approaches that they developed in order to help people continue to engage and participate in exercise from the comfort of their own homes and how they became the Functional Fitness Fellas.


Who are the Functional Fitness Fellas?


Speaker 1 [00:33:27] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*:  OK, so we are live. So at this point, we’re discussing exactly how we’re going to go with the approach, guys. Hey, Ryan, Alex, how are you guys doing?


[00:35:02] Alexander Isaiah: Pretty good, not too bad.


[00:35:03] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Hey, listen, what we’re going to do today is we’re going to discuss a bit of what you’re doing specifically. We will be talking about functional fitness and the idea that these two young men have been performing. Now Ryan Welage and Alexander Jimenez are medical students out there at the National University of Health. We will talk about specifically functional fitness and the things that they’re doing out there. So we’re bringing this to the community, and we’re going to broadcast, and we’re going to see how it’s going live. So right now, I know that we’re on Facebook Live, and it is propagating to quite a few people. So a bit of what functional fitness is and what you guys decided to do. Now, functional means that we find the proper way of movements and dynamics, but I’d like to know a bit of what you guys did when you developed this new organization called the Functional Fitness Fellas. What is the Functional Fitness Fellas? Alex, why don’t you go ahead and knock it out and tell us what you’ve done?


Alexander Isaiah


[00:36:09] Alexander Isaiah: When we first decided to do the idea, it was more of a necessity as we came up with the idea. So during this whole epidemic and quarantine situation, we were forced to find new ways to work out. And Ryan and I realized that bodyweight stuff usually wasn’t going to cut it, so what can we do to start implementing some resistance? And he and I started taking a look at different kinds of weight sets and where to order them, and they were overpriced. Then supply and demand took hold, and weight sets that were only two hundred dollars are now thousand dollars and vice versa. It started to get way too expensive for someone in college or on a limited budget to afford. Plus, we had to lug these weights from the second floor out into the parking lot every day, which would be a hassle. So we looked into the second-best option, and it turned out to be resistance bands. And I had already started using resistance bands, either in the gym or in the CrossFit stuff as I was growing up. Still, I never really implemented a way to focus on exercising and hitting each muscle group, and I just hit Ryan up and was like, “Hey, man, why don’t we try these resistance bands and try to see how they work?” And we ended up liking them. Then we started coming up with a protocol, and then that’s where the idea flourished, that we could provide the public with this information on how to do these exercises from anywhere. I mean, from a playground to a door to an anchor that’s stable in the house or outside. You could implement these, and that’s kind of where it sprung to life from.


[00:37:47] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: The type of exercises you came up with are unique, and I got to see what you and Ryan were doing. Tell me a little bit before we go into that, Ryan; what is your background and tell us a bit of because I did introduce you guys early on, but I didn’t tell them your background. And I know that Alex and Ryan have an NCAA background history where they’re their champions in their own right. Ryan, you’ve done a lot of national championships in basketball. Tell us a bit of what you’ve done in terms of your fitness and in the sports you’ve been involved with?


Ryan Welage


[00:38:24] Ryan Welage: Yep. So I grew up also athlete from a very young age. I’ve been a lifelong basketball player, and in high school, I guess people are excellent high school teams. I won back-to-back state championships. I had to finish my high school career with a record. It’s about one hundred and seven. I think I’m like second, all-time in state history and school percentage. I own the record for our school’s most points in a season in our school history. And then so I got the opportunity to play Division One basketball. And so I did three years at San Jose State University, which is in an outstanding conference in the Mountain West, and I had a promising career there in my junior year. I started all three years. In my junior year, I averaged over 18 points a game shot well from the field. I was a very efficient player. And so actually, I graduated in three years with a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology, which I think is served me well with what me and Alex are doing. And with chiropractic, I took a lot of biomechanics, classes, a lot of anatomies, and so on. But sport-wise, I graduated in three years with that, and then I got to kind of a transfer off and did my senior year. Xavier, which is a nationally renowned basketball school, is an outstanding school. And so, I got to play my senior year there and pursue my master’s degree. And so, after my senior year, I had some options to play professionally. But I ended up turning that down just because I loved baseball, and athletics has always been a big part of my life. I ended up turning a couple of overseas offers and a couple of the NBA developmental offers down to going to the National University of Health Sciences and pursuing my dual chiropractic doctorate degrees like Alex’s.


[00:40:18] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: You know, with that kind of background, you probably experienced a lot of exercise protocols that you learn in kinesiology, and that probably came to into effect while you were doing this particular protocol with Alex. Alex, tell us a bit of you and what you’ve done in the past in terms of your fitness experiences and your dynamic sports.


[00:40:41] Alexander Isaiah: When I was younger, it was mainly a football, which we got introduced into wrestling, and I wrestled throughout the years; we went to a bunch of national tournaments that it pretty decently won a state tournament in high school, got offered and wrestled at St. Cloud State University for a little bit. And, I mean, we were exposed to a lot. I got to work with Danny, who pretty much invented the ideas of CrossFit before CrossFit was CrossFit. And a lot of it was a lot of resistance training and weird, dynamic movements that he was preparing me for, whether it was hand-eye coordination, coordination, neurological stimulation, or another kind of forward-thinking methods that he applied in our training methods. And so I got the CrossFit background and a lot of martial arts growing up and wrestling. So between the flexibility and agility and strength training with bodybuilding and getting the whole dynamic movement through the connective tissue and development with CrossFit, I got the ability to hit all these angles from different training points and understand the physiological effects of the body with varying methods of training. So with either wrestling and stuff like that, we got exposed not only myself but Ryan as well to a bunch of other training methods that not a lot of people have seen or have only done one type of those methods.


[00:42:06] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: You know, when you look at both of you guys, you can see that there’s an enormous amount of experience and a lot of life experiences that made a big difference in terms of your fitness awareness and dynamics. How did you guys meet, and what did you do to forge this new relationship with the Functional Fitness Fellas? How did the genesis of that begin?


How Did Functional Fitness Fellas Begin?


[00:42:28] Alexander Isaiah: Well, I guess in our meeting, it was our buddy, Pete. We just sat in the front, and we had this talkative person that wouldn’t shut up the first day of classes, and we would come to love them. But it was hilarious because Pete brought us together and we kind of just ended up studying, and we always sat in the front row. And Ryan was always really good with the muscles and anatomy, and I was always good with biochemistry, so I always geek out in the front, and Ryan knows I love biochemistry.


[00:42:58] Ryan Welage: Yeah.


[00:42:59] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: So you guys have some biochemistry experience, right?


[00:43:02] Alexander Isaiah: Oh yeah. 


[00:43:05] Ryan Welage: Alex was a big help in biochemistry classes, and he helped me learn so much.


[00:43:11] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: I got to tell you, one of the things that you guys bring together, you bring together a new world of awareness in terms of biochemistry, biomechanics, and putting it all together. You guys are the new wave of understanding, and I would like you to tell me a bit about it. And can you guys because I’m learning about what you guys are up to? Tell me a bit about what you guys do in functional fitness. What is it you guys do? And how is it that you guys progress the process and go through the protocols? Because I know you got some videos because people want to know what this is about and understand what they can do in this new world order of being enclosed. And they want to have ideas as to what they can do that bring about great fitness. So why don’t you go ahead and take it from there, guys?


[00:43:55] Alexander Isaiah: You take it, Ryan, I know you like to talk about it.


[00:43:57] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: What is the purpose of functional fitness and the guys?


What Was The Purpose of Functional Fitness?


[00:44:02] Ryan Welage: Well, so we know


[00:44:04] Ryan Welage: That there’s a lot of well-meaning fitness influencers out there, but we wanted to bring a more scientific approach to it, a more evidence-based practice because we felt that there was a lack of solid movement, a solid exercise out there, especially in the social media sphere. I know a lot of the stuff that you know we might even take for granted would be revolutionary on this. You know, the average person on social media was to hear it. So we just wanted to bring our knowledge, and we both have unique backgrounds who’s seen a lot. We’re well-educated in the sciences and anatomy biomechanics as well as we’ve both gotten to work with a lot of really elite strength and conditioning coaches. So we just wanted to bring that knowledge and our unique touch to it and share it with people because we think we have a lot to offer.


[00:44:57] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: That is awesome. Let me ask you this. The rubber band idea. How did that happen? How did you guys begin with using rubber bands and dynamic movement polls? This new apparatus doesn’t cost much money, and you can, from what I see here and what I’ve been able to understand, you can convert your whole house into a fitness center with minimal expense. Is that correct?


[00:45:19] Alexander Isaiah: Oh yeah. The way they blossomed was really; I just spent maybe about eight or nine hours sifting through YouTube videos. And it dawned on me what Ryan and I could provide the public with when I sent him a video of this guy who has 10 million subscribers. He looks at the camera and says the hamstrings originate at the iliac crest and then goes back to explain why we should be doing deadlifts because it originates at the iliac crest. It originates at the ischial tuberosity for those of you who don’t know, and that’s like a different ball game of mechanics and movement. To those of you who understand anatomy, to those that you don’t, it’s about 10 15 inches away from the right spot. So I looked at him; I was like, Dude, we could honestly take this to a whole different ballgame. I mean, this guy is not even a licensed therapist, and he’s providing millions and millions of people with the wrong information, not only of where things attach and function, but also the movement of certain things. I mean, I got blessed to have a father who had 40 some odd years of bodybuilding experience. I got to work with coaches who had 30 40 years, even more, if you compound their knowledge for wrestling. I got to work with trainers who worked in the functional movement since the 70s and 80s when this resistance band was a thing. And I was like, You know what? Let’s give it a try. You know what? I’m the type of person that I’ll try everything at least once. You see, if I don’t have an experience that I’ll give it a shot. And when I got these bands, Ryan and I started working out; we had like a two-week period where was like, OK, this works, this doesn’t work. This is complete B.S. this is legit. And then, all of a sudden, we started making up our own movements that were highly similar to those in the gym, and no one had come up with those types of movements. It was just different angles of application, and suddenly we started getting better and better at it. I always have my own 48-hour rule that you start getting comfortable with once you spend 48 hours in something. And I think that’s after around 20 or 30 workouts. Ryan and I were satisfied with these movements, and we solidified a set of movements that we liked. I mean, Ryan knows that we’d come up with a new movement every day, and we’d say, OK, this is what we should be doing. OK, this works perfectly. This doesn’t work at all. Let’s skip that.


[00:47:52] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: When we look at this, this is very revolutionary, and its dynamics come from people who have done high-performance training. Has this type of fitness kept up to par and made you as intense as training, let’s say, basketball or even wrestling? Does it do that? Does it get you as excited and energy expanding as those other exercises would do?


[00:48:23] Ryan Welage: I was telling Alex, I think I’m actually in better shape, and I’m getting a little stronger now that we’ve been in quarantine. And it’s fascinating. Alex found a few studies done by some physical therapists that strength training with bands recruits more muscle fibers because it activates the stabilizers and so that you can feel it. I mean, me and Alex kind of went through a learning curve, and I think anybody that goes with bands that have only been lifting with dumbbells or barbells, especially, you’re going to feel it’s going to work out a little differently. It’s going to you’re going to feel a little differently, and you’re going to have to stabilize actively. And so I think, and like Alex was saying, you can do almost everything you would typically do in the weight room just with bands so you can increase and decrease the tension. But you’re adding in that stabilizer effect. And I know the word core and activating your core is just thrown around a lot out there. But using bands does make you stabilize your core even more. And so I know that I’m in just as good of shape, if not even better. I just weighed myself a few days going, and Alex had a scale at school that we could use, and I’ve gained a couple of pounds since quarantine. So I think that’s not just something you can use to maintain, but you can get better, and we can get better during quarantine to get stronger.


[00:49:58] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: You know, one of the things I did notice when I started watching these exercises is that you two have juxtaposed body shapes. You’re an ectomorph, more of which is a tall individual, tall for even tall people. How tall are you? Six nine OK. And Alex, you’re about what? How tall are you? 


[00:50:17] Alexander Isaiah:  I’m five-eight.


[00:50:18] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Five eight. So we got about a foot difference, and we’re going to watch the videos and see how the dynamics work on that. I don’t know which one of you guys has the videos cued up?


The Exercises They Provide


[00:50:28] Alexander Isaiah: I have them right here.


[00:50:30] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Do me a favor, go ahead, and screen share some so we can see them and talk to me as you’re doing this stuff because I want to understand what type of procedures you’re doing as you can see that you got Ryan there. I see Ryan. I see Alex in the background. Tell us a little bit about what’s going on. Go ahead. You take it from there.


[00:50:49] Alexander Isaiah: So kind of what’s going on here is we’re doing just some regular rows here, and we have Ryan kind of working out. And we can see that we have kind of like an anchor. This was initially intended to be a dog anchor, but we use our little method here. So as you can see, he’s doing the regular types of rows that he would be doing in the gym instead of a linear movement. He’s stabilizing not only his core is using his quads to stabilize, but he’s also making sure that his directors are keeping him propped up and proper so he can work those rhomboids in the upper parts of the trap and the posterior dealt correctly. And it’s just a whole stabilization mechanism. They always say that the king of lifting is a squat in the squat is the king of lifting because it forces you to stabilize your life and your core and your upper body. And with these banded exercises, you’re getting the same effect and stabilization in all points of movement, not only just in the muscles being worked as well as the accessory muscles.


[00:51:56] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Ryan, you were doing this particular exercise, and you’ve done, you know, back rows. How is this different in terms of what you’re doing? Because you look like you’re locked in place, and you’re holding a whole lot of muscles engaged that typically you would never even think of using when you would be doing a regular, let’s say, a pulley row? What’s going on here? Tell me a little about what you were feeling.


[00:52:18] Ryan Welage: Absolutely, this exercise is a full-body exercise. I mean, as Alex said, you can see my thighs and hamstrings are engaged, and your core has to be involved. I mean, you have to be able to stabilize and hold yourself in place. So aside from that, the bands provide so much tension on the way back down that again, it forces you to recruit all the stabilizers and recruit your legs, to support you, to keep you from being drawn back in. So that exercise right there, aside from obviously just being a regular row, you know, you could get on a rowing machine, but the difference is this is truly a full-body exercise. And so it is more functional in that way that it’s a full-body exercise and a natural range of motion. So this is one of my favorite exercises that we were able to come up with.


[00:53:10] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Two things I’ve noticed here. When you work on fitness and require people to do specific exercises, you know, you always tell them that you’ve got to start from the core. It appears that you got your core engaged in this entire movement through all ranges of motion. Is that what you’re feeling?


[00:53:25] Ryan Welage: Absolutely. If you let go for a second, I mean, I would fall forward. You have to be completely engaged. And again, yeah, that’s something that I thought there probably would be a learning curve for people that have just been barbell training, and they probably haven’t been used to having to keep their core engaged through the whole range of movement. But I think that they in training and even this particular exercise significantly can help them.


[00:53:53] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: You know, the level of neuromuscular reeducation. I mean, that’s occurring in the body. It’s adapting many of us. When we started lifting weights for the first time, we ran into the first time we had neuromuscular reeducation on the squat. When you pull the squat bar off the very first time, if people can remember when they do squats, there were all over the place. It took about three or four days of learning how to grab a barbell and bring in your both your legs together. It’s the same thing that’s happening here because you’re training the brain to engage the entire body simultaneously. Alex, what is it you’re doing here on this particular one?


[00:54:30] Alexander Isaiah: So here we have just a different variation of shoulder press. The cool part that I liked about these is that not only are you foreseeing the concentric reaction, which would be up, but the E-centric has to be controlled, and not only did I realize that my delts were working a lot harder, but it was fascinating because, on the e-centric on the way down, my lats were having to engage a lot more. So it was not only working those, but I also had to work my lower back to keep me forward to stabilize my core towards the front. Slowly, I wouldn’t fall on, and I had to stabilize as almost every part of my body almost like a contraction to be able to do the exercise there.


[00:55:12] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: You know what I’ve noticed, too, as you’re doing this, it seems like the rubber bands are giving a forgiving range of motion. In other words, it allows the joint to follow its standard glide. In other words, it’s not going to force you in a position that is abnormal for the joint because it appears that it gives. Is that what it’s shown here, too?


[00:55:33] Alexander Isaiah: Oh yeah. The cool part about these is that, I mean, on the bottom here, it felt maybe like 100 pounds of shoulder press, and towards the top, it’s all-around 185, so it’s following the natural strength curve of not only the joint but as well as the muscle. So as you go up higher, it gets heavier, and as you come down lower, it gets lighter. So it allows less stress, less stress on the joint, and more focus on the muscle.


[00:56:00] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: This is absolutely a fantastic experience when you see this. This is not a normal range of motion, and this is a regular rep. It is amazing. It’s progressively changing as the distance changes, and it seems logical. But if you notice there’s only one rubber band here, is that correct or two?


[00:56:18] Alexander Isaiah: That’s what the cool part about this is that this is a 40-pound rubber band. 


[00:56:27] Alexander Isaiah: So in a linear-pull,


[00:56:28] Alexander Isaiah: The rubber band pulls 40, but if you bend that rubber band a half, you’re getting 40 on each side. So this is a total of 80 pounds here.


[00:56:35] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Wow. And by the time it was in the top, you felt the load?


[00:56:37] Alexander Isaiah: Yeah, so around here, it’s approximately 80 pounds, let’s say here felt around 100. This is just an obscure measuring method, and we need to solidify these numbers, but it did feel around 185 toward the top there. Now we take a look at someone, let’s say, with different body mechanics. Let me see. Here we go. And we can download this here.


[00:56:58] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: By the way, just out of curiosity, was that the same cable with that same rubber band? 


[00:57:02] Alexander Isiah: Nope, this is a 30-pound rubber band, so we could see that Ryan is a lot taller. So the farther he is away from that point of contact, the more it will cause a higher load there.


[00:57:14] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Ryan, how did you feel on this one? Tell me a bit about what you were experiencing this one.


[00:57:18] Ryan Welage: Yeah. So like Alex is saying, it does feel natural strength here because, at the top of the movement, which is where you’re most potent, it’s heaviest. Still, where you’re weakest, which is a lot of people, you know, on the bench, they get caught, you know, as they go down, they can’t get back up, but it falls the natural strength curve, and it allows you to to do more weight where you’re most substantial, which is something that you can’t do, obviously with a barbell. So as for this specific movement, Alex and I were working on the incline bench, which I think many people would think of. You know that the weight room close like they’d be like, there’s no way I can do an incline bench with this, but all you need is something that you can put in the ground and watch. Alex and I had this thing at school here. But we also mean Alex also looked into something that we can buy to help tell people what to put it in the ground. And so we found on a shed tool that we can do. At some point, we can talk about how we were able to link into the ground with a hook-like that so that we can hook it in the ground and then put the cable through and do this exercise.


[00:58:23] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Now I notice that you’re doing this outside, and you show different areas. Now I see that when you have some videos here of you doing things like show actually rain. I have a video here. I’m going to go ahead and show my screen, and it’s just a second here. And what we have is Ryan doing a specific type of procedure, and I’m going to show this on your screen here. Now this particular one, you can see that you’re doing this in an area that’s just an anchor. Is that correct?


[00:59:03] Ryan Welage: Yeah, and the cool thing about that jungle gym was they had a lot of different anchors, but again, we found a way to do this inside your home if you have any door that you can put a slip through. It’s got a little ball on the other side to keep it in place so you can hook the bands to that. So any door on you can do this. So we’ve found a way just to do this anywhere. But obviously, we wanted to train outside when we could.


Different Workouts Using Resistance Bands


[00:59:31] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: And in this particular one right here, I have Alex, and you’re showing, and you’re talking about the bulb holds around the door, correct, Alex. Yup. What is it, what’s going on here, or what are you doing here?


[00:59:42] Alexander Isiah: So we’re doing pullovers, the same thing that you would do to get that as serratus interior to prevent any scapula protection. A lot of problems with that is that some people don’t work on that interior. So they have issues with those scapula protruding outward. And it causes a little bit of an effect to be put in a range of motion that is not stable and causes scapula whinging. So by strengthening those, you can prevent that.


[01:00:10] Dr.Alex Jimenez DC*: Ryan, you were doing some other exercise, and I’m going to take you to this particular one. I’ve noticed that when I’ve always lifted weights, I’ve always known that there’s always the best exercise for a motion. And one of the most common ones is the incline bicep bilateral curl when you lean back and do curls. This looks very similar; though you’re leaning forward, you’re getting a good pull on the bicep. What is it you’re doing here in terms of this one? This is not a bicep exercise; what is this one?


Bilateral Curls


[01:00:41] Ryan Welage: So we were in lower pecs with this exercise. So we were keeping our arms straight. Got it, and makes sense. So we were like we were hitting the bicep and the lower pec there.


[01:00:54] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: So the lower pec on this one is the one that you’re doing this not for biceps, I can tell you, didn’t curl the arm this much, so you have them straight. So. And how did that feel?


[01:01:03] Ryan Welage: I mean, it is an excellent hit on the lower pectoral muscle, and yeah, those are something I never really felt before. Before I hit bands isolating the lower pectoral muscle. So, yeah, that was another great exercise.


[01:01:20] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: This particular one I’ve noticed here, Alex. Tell me a bit about what you were doing here.


[01:01:23] Alexander Isaiah: Let me, if you want, let me share my screen. 


[01:01:26] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: You got it. These are fantastic exercises, guys. You guys are really up to something unique here.


Chest Press


[01:01:37] Alexander Isaiah: Here, we have kind of just more of a regular chest press. So the cool part about this is that my upper torso probably weighs mainly around 100 pounds roughly. And this band right here is a hundred and fifty pounds, resistance band. So on the bottom part, it’s about 100 pounds, and towards the top, it’s around a 300-pound chest press. So kind of going in through the movement. It feels like a pretty heavy push-up. And let’s say that you’re stronger than this, right? Just at another band, and if you’re still stronger, add another band, and I don’t think anyone’s going to be doing it a 500-pound push-up anytime soon. So you’re getting a pretty good amount of resistance in the proper mechanics of it all towards the top. It is heavier and towards the bottom. It is lighter, allowing your pack to get that full range of motion while preventing possible areas of injury.


[01:02:33] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Wow. All right, so what other stuff do you got in there that you were looking at because I saw that you had a lot of other goodies.


[01:02:40] Alexander Isaiah: We got tons of videos here. Let me see.


[01:02:42] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Share please because I think everybody wants to see what’s going on here. I’m interested in this. Then, if you could tell me a bit of what you’re doing now in terms of that one, it’s fantastic to look at that.


Squats and Shoulder Press


[01:02:57] Alexander Isaiah: So here we’re doing a kind of an almost like a squat press, and we’re just playing around with the ideas, but it turned out to be an excellent mechanism. I mean, before Ryan had gone home, we were doing resistance bands with squats, and we were getting around the same reps. I mean, we probably had about 10 or 15 bands on this thing when we were doing squats, but it was still around a three to four hundred pound squat when we were doing it.


[01:03:20] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Ryan, what are you feeling here? What do you think? Because that’s just amazing. I’ve worked out for years, and I’ve come from the 80s, and I have never done a squat where you’re doing a shoulder press. The only thing that will come close to it is a snatch or clean and jerk, and those kinds of things would bring this. This is an Olympic lift.


[01:03:37] Ryan Welage: Yeah, this is another great one we came up with. So we could squat more in later sessions, or it was a little light for this one. It’s a bit light on the squat part, but it loads the press over the shoulders heavy because, again, at the top is where you get the most tension. So it’s a tremendous overhead shoulder exercise. And again, just the way the band moves, it’s so much safer for the shoulders. I told Alex that my joints were feeling better because I was using mainly dumbbells and some barbells. And so my joints, honestly, feel better than they have in a long time from using these bands just because they allow such a natural range of motion.


[01:04:23] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Look at this man, you guys went out there; it looks like it’s a little bit cold out there too, huh?


[01:04:29] Alexander Isaiah: Little bit, yeah. Ryan says it’s a beautiful day outside if it is 30 degrees out.


[01:04:35] Ryan Welage: I do like to train outside.


[01:04:37] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: You know what? That’s the beautiful thing about it. You got this, and it’s fantastic. Go ahead.


[01:04:42] Alexander Isaiah: We have a variation of wrist curls to strengthen the flexors of the forearms. And actually, it’s pretty heavy there. I mean, even though it’s a 40-pound band, we’ve not only bent the band in half but bent it almost into three different quadrants. So by the time that you bring it up to the proper stabilization, it’s around 50 60 pounds of a wrist curl.


[01:05:03] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: That is amazing. And again, there’s no way to do this without engaging the core, and there’s no way. What’s going on here with these tricep pushes, right?


Tricep Extensions


[01:05:17] Alexander Isiah: Yep, so tricep extensions here. Here’s another variation of it.


[01:05:35] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Ryan, you’re going to have another career in photography. I can tell.


[01:05:40] Ryan Welage:  Alex taught me quite a bit about photography. He had a camera, but I was just trying to get a good angle, and we spent a lot of time filming each other, you know, trying to make these videos for people. I think we all improved. 


[01:05:59] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Alex, what are you filming here regarding the tricep? Because you can see the angle pull changes dramatically as your body’s putting it?


[01:06:08] Alexander Isiah: So we pause it


[01:06:10] Alexander Isaiah: here and take the triceps out for the movement. Let’s talk about what needs to be stabilized to be able even to do the movement. So not only do we have the core stabilization, the rectus abdominals from stopping you from being pulled up, but you will also have the serratus anterior and the posterior muscles preventing you from coming up, as well as preventing any movement in the shoulder area. So by acting in the shoulder, you’re forcing all these muscles in the upper body to stabilize, as well as the lateral side of the pec, to be able to do a tricep extension. So you can see as I’m getting tired here, you can see I’m starting to come up a little more than I was initially and keeping that stabilization from there.


[01:07:01] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: What kind of pumps do you guys get? You know, do you guys feel the same swole I guess that you would think that if you’re lifting weights or is it a little bit different? What do you feel like after you’re mentioning Ryan that you felt sore? How did you feel when you were doing these things, and how does the muscle different?


[01:07:20] Ryan Welage: Yeah, I mean, I again, I feel just as good of a pump from using bands as I had ever felt from using barbells. I mean, I think it’s. The way we’ve been able to assess some of these exercises up and on again, you’re talking about recruiting the stabilizers, and you’re recruiting more muscle fibers that need more blood flow. So you’re going to get a great pump using bands. There’s no doubt about that.


[01:07:45] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Alex, you mentioned to me that you noticed your body changing after you started doing this kind of work. What did you see?


[01:07:52] Alexander Isaiah: I noticed that I had more stability. As well, as I had less body fat built onto me too. I usually aim for about 15 to 20 reps on every exercise that we do here. The vital part of these is to explode on the way down, but controlling up and forcing that eccentric stabilization is a critical factor in many of these exercises. I’d say it’s not in most of these exercises, and you get more of a burn with these types of things too. The primary way I noticed it was to let me see if I could find the video here.


[01:08:30] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Ryan, you were doing with the triceps in this particular one. Does the lockout happen when you lock out? There’s a lockout, or is it under a constant load that prevents the lockout? Or is the lockout real challenging to attain in terms of the extension of the arm?


[01:08:44] Ryan Welage: Yeah, it’s complicated to obtain because, yeah, as you said, with the bands, there is constant tension, and there’s a continuous need to stabilize. It forces you to stabilize at all times. So we were a little all over the place when we first started using bands. And I think many people are a bit all over the place when they first do it, almost shaking a little bit faster than they do some of these exercises. But again, it’s incredible how quickly you can adapt. And it teaches you to contract in a new way.


[01:09:16] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Alex, when I thought that was Ryan was going to do them at the time. How did this feel in your biceps?


[01:09:22] Alexander Isaiah: I felt good. Honestly, biceps probably have benefited the most from these types of workouts because it’s under a constant load and gets heavier as it comes towards the top. When we used to train, you and I always used to force a negative on everything. This is just a negative in itself with everything you’re doing, it’s getting heavier on the way up, and it’s getting lighter on the way down to allow that muscle to work in different mechanisms.


[01:09:47] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: There is the ability to go into the muscle and benefit from the concentric and eccentric in a way that has never been done. It’s always been known when you lift weights, you’re concentric was the idea. But as fitness became more science, they found so much in the eccentric motion that was part of the training that developed the muscle that this is pulling in. This is maintaining the load on the absolutely centric and being kind to it on the way down, which is typically where most people get hurt on the eccentric, not on the concentric; they get hurt on the eccentric on the extension or the opening of the muscle. This prevents a load that would reach the maximal pole and actually may damage the tissue. So this is amazing in terms of its structure when you study it. What are you doing here? Can you do it at concentrations or something?


[01:10:43] Alexander Isaiah: Some concentration curls here, and it’s good for the biceps there. As you know, I tore part of my bicep when I dislocated my right arm. And to work in such a manner and break up that scar tissue and work through it is good.


[01:11:00] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: It’s great. You guys, you’re offering a tremendous amount of diversity in this presentation just because you’re dealing with different body types, and you’re watching the body adapt to it. Which ones are you doing here? Are these are flies?


[01:11:13] Alexander Isaiah: Yep, these should be flies here.


[01:11:21] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Nice stabilization, you’re forced to stabilize nicely, right?


[01:11:25] Ryan Welage: Yeah, and you can almost see I kind of wobbled a little bit at first because it caught me off guard again. It takes a bit of getting used to because you’ve never been forced to stabilize like that. I mean, if you just go to the cable machine at your local gym, they’re not going to force you to stabilize in the same way that these bands are going to the way we’re doing it. So it’s an entirely different feel. And when people get a chance to do this, they’re going to be able to tell what we’re talking about.


[01:11:59] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: What else you got in there, Alex? Some cool stuff in there.


[01:12:04] Alexander Isaiah: Oh yeah.


Wrist Extensions


[01:12:15] Alexnader Isaiah: I say this is probably a good one here. Ryan hates these, but they’re good.


[01:12:21] Ryan Welage: Wrist extensions?


[01:12:24] Alexander Isaiah: Yeah. So I started looking into why I started to do a lot of research because I got lateral epicondylitis or tennis elbow. And it’s a weakness in the extensor carbide radial brevis. And by being able to strengthen these, you allow the forearm to get a perfect pump. But not only that, but it pretty much works well on the abductor palace’s longest as well as the brevis to some extent. But yeah, these are great for wrist extensions. I love these are falling in love with them, and I probably won’t go a day without doing some sort of wrist exercise.


[01:13:01] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: OK, guys, I’ve got to tell you, this has been a very much of a learning experience for myself watching what you guys are doing. From a physiological state, just from the way we deal with patients here at our office, we’ve done a lot of exercises, and rubber bands are a new addition over the last, I’d say, last decade or so. But it’s gone from just a superficial level of exercise work to very complex science. I think you guys are forging this new fundamental physiology motion or kinesiology motion. And we’re learning a lot here. What are you guys taking from this? And I’d like to hear from both of you guys because I want to understand what you guys are doing and what we have to look forward to with the functional fitness fellas, and what you guys are going to do with this new protocol and program in the future.


[01:13:56] Alexander Isaiah: We’re going to do a lot of different things. I mean, Ryan has an extensive background and how to be an NCAA athlete while being vegan. I don’t do well with carbs, and it’s just my genetic genotype. But whether it’s from diet to exercise to a book of the week to discuss different contents, we will be going into other things. And a cool part about these bands is that I’m sure you know about the X and Y axis and the z-axis in terms of rotation and anatomy. And the cool part about these bands is that it forces muscles in every plane to stabilize the movement of that one isometric contraction of that muscle. So we’re getting a lot of different movements, many other implementations, and a lot of different ideologies that are being worked on. Once the weight room opens up again, we will be doing videos on how to use bands in the weight room and how to implement them on free weights. There are different mechanisms, different ways you could tie the bands up. And not only from them, but the world’s best powerlifters use resistance bands to get those heavier weights. If you can do it, three hundred and fifty pounds squat with two bands that equate to 250 pounds in each of them, you’re going to be able to squat in pounds like it’s almost nothing.


What Resistance Bands Can Help Improve Your Workout?


[01:15:08] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Ryan, I watched some videos where you were doing some, you know, was like a hack squat. I think it was a hack squat or some sort of leg press where rubber bands were attached to the machine. So this is like a hybridization process where you not only are you using standard machinery, but you’re amping it up with rubber bands and getting double the benefit because now you get the rubber band constantly centric load along with the concentric blast of a machine. What is it you guys were doing there in the gym? Because I don’t have that particular video, but I do remember I got that video. 


[01:15:41] Alexander Isaiah: Let me share that with you.


[01:15:43] Ryan Welage: Yeah. So we had hooked up a band onto each side. And again, I think that’s part of what we can do once we come back to the gym is we’re going to integrate the bands with some of the barbell and dumbbell and machine and some of the other stuff. But again, I like how it tests you where you’re strongest, but it allows you to do more reps because with more weight, according to your natural strength, or because it’s heaviest when it’s at the top, but its lightest at the bottom, which is where you’re the weakest. So that’s one of the things I love about bands I think many people can take advantage of.


[01:16:24] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: You don’t even have to change the weights that much you can keep the same weight on. If you want to go for more, you can do more. But this is amazing how much that load increases during that period of time. Wow. Well, I’ll tell you what; I look forward to hearing from you guys and seeing what’s going on and learning about the nutritional components and the things that you’re going to do with their diverse presentations that you guys are going to have. So let me ask you this what are we looking forward to in the next one? Because I know we got one scheduled, I think within a week. I look forward to it, and we’re going to start broadcasting that one. But I want to be able to learn different concepts and ideas from this. And I can see that the people watching this will see that, you know, with the bag with a bunch of rubber bands in it. Is it expensive to get into this?


[01:17:07] Alexander Isaiah: We bought everything for a hundred bucks.


[01:17:07] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: You just basically amped up your gym, huh?


[01:17:11] Alexander Isaiah: Exactly. I mean, the problem with right now is that everyone bought resistance bands, so they are a little out of stock for a lot of these, and many people are charging ridiculous prices. So what we’ll do is we’ll try to find you guys some credible sources to buy these resistance bands that we’re also going to be putting and launching our website within the next week or two, putting all the videos up there description in each of these videos, a bit of us, the background and everything. Ryan is going to be taking the vegan supplemental thing to a whole new level. I’ve learned a lot of things from him in terms of the types of foods that would favor your microbiome and help your gut function better through him. We will be doing shakes; we will be doing books to do it all. So there is no single topic. We’re going to hit it all from a functional perspective. That’s why we are the Functional Fitness Fellas, and we’re going to be kicking ass and taking names and showing you what works and what doesn’t.


How Do Vegan Mechanisms Work With Fitness?


[01:18:03] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: The biochemistry, because you guys are, I mean, I’ve seen the work you guys have done in the biochemistry. Ryan, I was looking at your website, and you got some excellent biochemical reactions and studies on your website. So I look forward to understanding a lot about the vegan mechanisms to deal with your diet and workouts and a little synopsis of that. What kind of things do you do, mainly, your philosophy in terms of vegan approaches with that level of athleticism because it is rare to have this diet level. I’m not sure you met many vegan people in your sport, but tell me a bit about your awareness of vegan and how it began.


[01:18:49] Ryan Welage: Yeah. So you’re right; there are not too many high-level athletes that are vegan, although it is a growing movement. But so, I can quickly tell the story of how I went into it. So my junior year of college was at San Jose State, I played almost the whole game every game, so I had a high workload. But I had terrible shin splints, and I was obviously in the kinesiology program. I was researching inflammation and all this stuff, and I was looking into the biomechanics, and I thought my biomechanics were pretty sound. So I’m like, OK, that’s not it, and I’m looking in the nutrition. I was finding that some of these animal products, especially the ones that aren’t grass-fed, you know, they have a lot of hormones that all the stuff and dairy, particularly they have the potential to be more inflammatory. And as I talked about on my website, part of the reason is that they have a higher omega six to omega-three ratio. And so, those omega 6s become arachidonic acid through the biochemical pathway. And then, they become this molecule called PGE two, which is 100 times more inflammatory than the PGE three, which is the byproduct of omega 3s. So this the omega 6s are causing a lot of inflammation. And so once I went to an entirely plant-based diet, I found that I had terrible shin splints, and I kid you not that my shin splints completely went away in about three or four days. It was a profound difference. And I kind of went on to learn that I wasn’t the only one that had had this type of volume experience. A lot of people have benefited from a plant-based diet. And I was interested in nutrition and continued to study it. But that was how that kind of my start as I tested it, and I had excellent results. And you know, I found that speed up my recovery, where I wear a trackable one, I found that my resting heart rate dropped by three beats per minute when I made the switch, which I thought was pretty incredible. My heart rate variability went up. So I thought I saw some profound physiological changes. And so I just never went back.




[01:20:59] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: I got to tell you, this is what I want to hear about that. Maybe we can do that on the next one that we talk about, precisely the vegan approach to your training. And this is a fantastic thing because I know, Alex, you were doing something you were sharing with me about the days you eat the higher proteins and eliminate the proteins or the high meats or those chickens, or just the animal-based proteins and on days that you don’t train as hard, you changed your diet plan. So I want to learn a lot about this because it’s so important that people understand what you guys who are actually on the frontlines of learning medicine today are doing. So I look forward to having you guys. I want to thank you guys today for taking this time; it’s been a bit intense, but it has given people an insight into what’s going on. And I hope that the individuals watching this have learned something and can take it to another level. This is a fantastic time. It’s a time where we’ve been quarantined, and we’ve come up with some creative ideas. Any words or thoughts from you guys before we leave?


[01:22:04] Alexander Isaiah: Get ready for the information.


[01:22:06] Ryan Welage: I appreciate you having me on.


[01:22:08] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Oh, no, we’re going to be doing this. So you guys are scheduled for the next show, and it’s already broadcasting. I think it’s next week, and I’ll hook up with you guys in; it was a blessing. I’ll have the recordings out to you guys. You guys have a great night, and thank you for sharing your time. I appreciate you, Ryan, Alex for taking the time to teach us some of these things because I want to know, and I know every one of my patients wants to know what’s going on here. So thank you for bringing it to us, guys. I appreciate it. And hey, have a good one, guys. Blessings.



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The information herein on "Who Are The Functional Fitness Fellas? | El Paso, TX (2021)" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional or licensed physician and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.

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Our information scope is limited to Chiropractic, musculoskeletal, acupuncture, physical medicines, wellness, contributing etiological viscerosomatic disturbances within clinical presentations, associated somatovisceral reflex clinical dynamics, subluxation complexes, sensitive health issues, and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions.

We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from various disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system.

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Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, RN*, CCST, IFMCP*, CIFM*, ATN*


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Texas DC License # TX5807, New Mexico DC License # NM-DC2182

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Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, RN* CIFM*, IFMCP*, ATN*, CCST
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