Dave’s RBT Story
How a Big Ass BAND Helped A 30+ Year Old Iron Pumping Physical Therapist Stay Fit & Athletic at 50+ while helping 1000’s of others do the same.
It’s pretty wild to think back on your childhood and realize some of the crazy stuff you did was actually a foreshadowing of where life would take you.
It’s definitely the case when it comes to My RBT Story and something I am excited to share with you.
Farm Boy to Physical Therapist
As a boy growing up on a Wisconsin Dairy Farm, 25 miles from any civilization (my opinion at 15), hanging out and playing a little pickup basketball or working out at the high school weight room with my high school teammate wasn’t happening.
Instead my weight room was a garage (in the summer) and an unfinished basement (in the winter). My equipment…. old plastic weight, tires. hay bales, sledgehammers, and elastic straps my dad used as bungee cords. I also did a ton of jumping up on hay bales, sprinting through cornfields, and running up gravel roads.
Yes my parents, as well as a few neighbors, thought I was nuts.. Especially when I would do it in the snow or on the hottest days of the year, but it added to the conditioning effect.
Yes I played high school sports and no I wasn’t very good.
But it wasn’t the game that I loved, It was the training.
Crazy Right?? Keep reading, there was a method behind the madness…
Knowing the Farm wasn’t for me, I attended the University of LaCrosse to major in something that allowed me to learn more about how the body worked.
Having suffered a few injuries in high school, Athletic Training and Physical Therapy seemed to be a good fit. If nothing else, I would learn how to fix myself.
What better way to learn how the body works than by fixing it when it gets broken.
I left LaCrosse in 1986 with a BS in Physical Therapy and a minor in Athletic Training.
I was fired up to fix people’s back, knees, ankles, hips, and shoulders. For the next 7 years, I dialed in tight and learned a ton while getting a lot of people better and a few worse. However, there was something that continued to bug me.
It’s hard to explain but as a 30-year-old guy who lifted weights every day and considered himself pretty athletic, I was waking up stiff and small injuries kept popping up. Interestingly I was also noticing how much my injured patients were struggling in a similar way. Obviously just getting stronger lifting weights wasn’t translating into staying athletic or returning back to activities lost after injury.
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Thank God for a Crazy Therapist and a Goofy Band Guy named Dick
In 1994, I started searching trying to figure out why just getting stronger wasn’t working. I came across a physical therapist named Gary Gray. This guy was high energy and a little crazy but what he taught me about how the body moved hit home with me. The body was a fast reactive 3-dimensional machine and lifting weights was a well thought out slow 1-dimensional exercise approach. So essentially lifting weights was teaching the body to be slow and 1 dimensional. No wonder my iron pumping approach was getting stiffer, tighter, routinely sore and feeling old. Needless to say, I followed this guy around for 2 years learning and implementing everything he taught me. The more I learned the better results my patients and I got.
During that same time a second game changer came along. While attending a football clinic at the University of Notre Dame I became bored listening to a bunch of old coaches talk football so I went for a walk. I strolled into a huge indoor training facility and sat down to watch this short little goofy guy named Dick demonstrate all kinds of crazy drills with these big rubber bands. As I watched Dick do his thing with these bands, I started thinking about what Gary had taught me about how the body functionally moved and a huge light bulb went off in my head. 2 hours later I bought a couple of bands and I set out to see if my idea about bands could make me and my patients better.
For the next year, I started training myself and rehabbing all my patients with bands combined with the knowledge Gary had taught me. A funny thing happened… people started moving even better, recovering even faster and I personally was getting more athletic. As a matter of fact, I had returned to sprinting again and my times were equal to my high school times. At 38 I was definitely looking, feeling and moving better than at 18.
It all started to make sense….
A Band Worked Just Like a Muscle… So would the Body Like Exercising with It?
I Will Never Forget TOM
Tom was one of those special patients that I will never forget. He struggled with cancer and over time it had impacted several areas of his body.
One day while in the clinic working with Tom, it hit me…. my “patients” were really active minded people that were exercising to get better. It was the same reason I exercised. Thanks to Tom that day, I started training, not rehabilitating people not patients. It was this mindshift that took me into the next phase of my Band Training Journey.
From Rehab to Fitness and Performance
So if my resistance band training approach helped people recover from injury faster, would it not be a great way to get athletes faster and strong on the field. And a long way also get active minded fitness enthusiasts more “Real World” fit????
HELL YES it would.
To prove this I launched a pilot performance enhancement program (Gtown Fast n Fit) and a weekly adult fitness program (Gtown Bootcamps). The goal was to use real people to prove resistance band training could make young athletes stronger, faster and active adults look, feel and move better.
With these pilot training programs combined with the my day job as a physical therapist, I was now training (not rehabbing) individuals from seniors to high performance professional athletes using the same band training system.
Resistancebandtraining.com is launched
10 Years after discovering crazy Gary and Dick’s big ass bands, I launched the first Resistancebandtraining.com. The goal was to start sharing information worldwide on a proven but unheard exercise system using a large continuously looped band to get people looking, feeling and moving better I started writing weekly blog articles, publishing videos on youtube and doing workshops for anyone that was interested. Within 2 years I had written 100’s of blog posts, created 400+ youtube videos and had done probably 50 workshops.
Needless to say things got crazy back then. I was running resistancebandtraining.com, instructing a fitness camp 4 days per week, running a 4 day a week after-school athlete performance training program, still working in the clinic and trying to chase after 3 healthy children. Fortunately, I had an awesome teammate in my wife Karen who made sure I knew where I was going every day.
I wanted to help as many people as possible get better and resistance band training was the tool and Resistancebandtraining.com was the platform on which I could do it. So in 2008 I launched Resistance Band Training Systems, LLC and with my wife as my partner we became full fledged small business owners. Quantum Bands, the exclusive band of RBT, soon followed along with several training accessories, the RBT Certification and tons of other educational resources all designed to help people start “Getting Better with Bands”
Let’s Get YOU Better with Bands
I won’t say it’s been easy running the only online website exclusively devoted to teaching and training people on how to get better with bands but it’s sure has been rewarding and exciting seeing 1000’s of fitness enthusiasts, athletes, trainers and coaches discover that lifting weight only is not the best way to get the body stronger healthier and performing at a high level. Resistancebandtraining.com always was and will continue to be, all about sharing first which is why we easily have the largest FREE online Resistance Band Training resource library, YouTube channel and newsletter following.
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Your knowledge, experience, instruction and products continue to improve the quality of my life. thanks for acting upon your desire to help people enjoy their lives more fully.
Always GOOD Stuff! Thank you. I bought your bands years ago and they are STILL serving me well.
Trish Van Gorden
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I am pretty sure we will help you get better faster with bands. Think of it as having your own weekly band training session for FREE.
Look forward to starting to share with you Today!!
Dave “The Band Man”