Beyond Training

The goals of healthy aging and the compression of morbidity

To many, the focus of healthy aging is to live as long as possible. We have seen the life expectancy in the United States increased from 47 years to 79 years over the last 150 years, but the maximum lifespan (oldest age people are capable of living to) has only increased marginally during the same period. There appears to be an age between 70 and 100 years old where our bodies are naturally no longer able to keep up with the challenges of everyday life and as a result, shut down (Fries, 2005). Therefore, the primary goal of healthy aging is to live through our physiologically set lifespan with the highest quality of life.

The compression of morbidity hypothesis was developed by James F. Fries of Stanford University School of Medicine and proposes that living an active lifestyle with good nutrition and practicing abstinence from dangerous habits such as smoking delays the onset of disability until the last years of life (Fries, 2005). For example, a sedentary and active senior may both live to 85 years old, but the sedentary senior may become disabled at age 75, while the active senior may not reach the same level of disability until age 84. The active senior will be able to maintain their lifestyle of choice for an additional 9 years.

A 21 year-long study following a group of runners with an average starting age of 58 years old found that the runners developed a disability corresponding to challenges performing one activity of daily living, such as walking, 8.6 years later than the control group (Chakravarty et al. 2008). The differences between groups diverged increasingly at higher levels of disability.

Additionally, the runners did not experience more osteoarthritis and had fewer knee and hip replacements than controls (Chakravarty et al. 2008; Chakravarty et al. 2008).

Habits like exercise, healthy nutrition, and not smoking are important because the occurrence of a significant medical event late in life often leads to disability. Seniors should exercise as protection against injuries that could threaten their self-sufficiency. It is never too early or too late for anyone to start.

Seniors can benefit from the cardiovascular components of aerobic exercises (e.g. hiking) and the improvements in strength and stability that come from intelligently programmed weight training. In the runner study, the investigators note that the runners should be viewed as multidisciplinary athletes because many of them gave up running for other training modalities during the study (Chakravarty et al. 2008). Fries suggests that the most important thing is to find an activity you like and stay as active as possible (Fell, 2015).

Understanding the concepts behind the compression of morbidity can lengthen the time seniors can live full, independent lives.

Further Reading:

Chicago Tribune Article

Overview of Compression of Morbidity

Review of research

Influence of lifestyle risk factors on compression of morbidity

123prevailTyler Paras – Prevail Intern

B.S. – Cellular Molecular Biology (Westmont)

Matriculating M.D. Candidate – University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine

Tyler was born and raised in Santa Barbara, California and began training at Prevail in October 2016. He attended Westmont College and will be attending medical school this fall. While at Westmont he graduated Summa Cum Laude, led a student-run homeless outreach program, and volunteered with medical clinics in Mexico and Bolivia.

After Tyler’s mother was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), he became interested in the cellular mechanisms behind the disease. He conducted his Major Honors project at Westmont on the role of the microbiome in inflammatory arthritis and conducted summers of research at Harvard Medical School studying the role of macrophages in RA. Including his critical care clinical research at Cottage Hospital, his research has resulted in seven presentations, three at national medical conferences.

Things to Come in 2016

Prevail Conditioning Performance Center is growing and expanding! We are excited to share with you what is coming in 2016.

Expanded Facility & New Equipment

Prevail Expansion

Four times the Square Footage! From 975sqft to 3800sqft, Prevail has expanded its space to become the largest space in Santa Barbara dedicated to performance enhancement training. Prevail’s new space features the following:
2 Lane 25 yard Acceleration Track
20 yard x 10 yard Turf Movement Area
4 Olympic Lifting Platforms
Motion Capture/Video Analysis
Workshop and Conference Room space
…over 4,000lbs of new weight (bumper plates, power blocks, medicine balls, kettlebells, prowler sleds, and more)

Expanded Group and Team Training Schedule!

Expanded Group Training Optios pic

With our increased space, we are excited to offer more options for training which include Youth and Adult Sports Performance, Metabolic &, Fitness and Post Rehab groups. We will be adding brand new groups for our expanded Youth Sports Performance schedule (youth, middle school, and high school athletes) as well as new groups for adults, including enhanced Metabolic Training, Adult performance and conditioning groups for the adult athletes and groups focused on moving from Post Rehab to function.

Open Gym Memberships

Prevail Space copy

We now have Open Gym Hours! Many of our clients have asked over the past several years for this option and we are excited to be able to offer this option. Beginning in 2016 we will have open gym memberships and hours available as either stand alone options or as an adjunct to all other packages for those who want to get in an extra day or two of training per week in Santa Barbara’s premier Performance Center.

New Pricing and Options & December Deals!

As the end of 2015 draws near and we look toward 2016, Prevail has positioned itself as a leader in the industry with new training groups, membership options, and state of the art facilities and equipment. As such, beginning with the New Year Prevail will have a 5% increase in prices in order to continue offering our clients industry leading services and facilities. This will be Prevail’s first price increase in 6 years. For those who have been thinking about starting a new private/semi-private training package or making the commitment to a group training schedule starting in 2016, don’t forget you can take advantage of our current pricing until February 1st, 2016!

Training with a Giant

By: Chris Ecklund, MA, CSCS, USAW

He showed up to Prevail Conditioning on his motorized skateboard, wearing jeans, a t-shirt and skater shoes.  Tom (my physical therapist) told me he was a little guy, but I thought surely he was exaggerating.  Then Jeff walked in…all buck forty-five (145 lbs) of him. 
“How can this guy beat up on guys that outweigh him by 50 pounds,” I thought.
Then I searched Jeff on YouTube and watched some DVDs he let me borrow and sure enough – one guy after another no matter how big, Jeff beat up on or submitted them all.
Jeff came to us in May of this year to improve his strength and conditioning so he could take himself to the next level in his sport (Brazilian Jiu Jitsu).  Jeff was already the top American fighter and fifth in the world.  However, he had not competed as well as he would have liked to at the previous World championships (Abu Dhabi) and was looking for the next supplement to his training to improve his competitive edge.
Over the course of the first few months of training, Jeff had made several offers for me to do a private Jiu Jitsu lesson with him.  At first I put it off as I wasn’t sure if Jeff was genuine or just being nice.  After getting to know Jeff those first few months I quickly realized two things: he had a true love for his sport that he wanted to share with me and Jeff is truly genuine…period. 
I still didn’t do it.  After another month or so of his biddings, I eventually submitted and scheduled a session with him.
So, in I went.  I wasn’t sure how to dress or act (I’ve never been involved in any kind of martial arts or self defense training).  I felt completely unsure of myself.  Of course, I was also nervous as I had—up to this point—been the expert and Jeff the student.  Now the tables were turned. 
Jeff was excited as always at the start of a training session so in we jumped.  Jeff did a fantastic job and I was quite impressed with his natural coaching and pedagogy knowledge.  We moved through (what seemed to me) a tremendous amount of information and I had a great time learning from him.  Finally, he finished with some short bouts of “rolling” (wrestling) with the two of us so I could practice what we’d covered that day.
Sixty minutes later I was fatigued and dripping with sweat (two of my favorite things about exercise). 
When I walked out the door I began thinking about why I had put off this lesson so long.  I had a blast learning from Jeff and from switching the roles he and I normally play.  After a few moments of honesty with myself the procrastination became abundantly clear…
1.  I was fearful of being in a new environment
2.  I was fearful of performing poorly
3.  I was fearful of not learning fast since I consider myself a kinesthetic learner and a movement expert
4.  I was fearful of switching roles and being the learner and no longer the expert
5.  I was fearful of “losing” to Jeff when we rolled
I was just plain fearful of looking like an idiot and had completely unrealistic expectations of myself
Why do people avoid exercise or a strength and conditioning program?
Why do people avoid getting on a good nutrition plan?
All of the things I’ve been preaching to my clients over the years I’m as guilty of as anyone (just in a different area).  I did and thought the same stuff.
I left the gym encouraged after my session that day.  I became the student and humbled myself.  It wasn’t fun to walk in the door, but it was fun after I got in and when I left.  It was hard to get there and hard to do it.  I was frustrated with myself for not being “perfect” at everything.  I felt stupid and out of place.  I felt all the same thing that our new clients feel.  But I did the simple thing I knew we ask our clients to do and that we ALL need to do on a daily basis in order to continue moving forward: be humble, learn and give effort consistently.
Two final thoughts:
1.   Our clients are awesome.  I’m encouraged at the number of people—be it a 60 year old female looking to regain health/fitness or our world class athletes—who are willing to humble themselves and become the learner again.
2.    Don’t be held back by foolish fears.  Be nervous/anxious/fearful…fine.  But don’t be limited by those things.  Yes, it is rough on the front end.  No argument.  I get that.  But it gets easier and easier.  Commit to the process.

The Structural Functionalism of Sport in America PART 1

By: Juliann Boubel, BS, CSCS

There are many institutions in society that exist to better human existence. Institutions like politics, economics, religion, marriage and family, and education are all individually distinctive but important in their relation to the whole, working network of society. This article argues the validity and necessity of sport as one of these valued institutions within America, created and maintained for the betterment, development, and unification of society. 
Sport is a huge industry throughout the world that unites everyone involved. The institution of sport in America serves many purposes, and I believe there are five major areas of influence under the umbrella of this organization. Sport acts as a means of mobility and socialization as well as being integrative, socio-emotional, and political. To start, the mobility of sport can be seen through the ladder of success it can provide its participants. For example, sport has provided great means of social mobility for those from low-economic backgrounds as a way to the top of the social hierarchy through affluence and education. College scholarships can provide access to education for individuals who otherwise would not be able to afford such learning or opportunity. Even though he was cut from his high school basketball team, Michael Jordan is one of these individuals who beat the odds and received a scholarship to his dream school of UNC. After being named College Athlete of the year twice before his final season, he was drafted in 1984 by the Chicago Bulls and has since become “the greatest basketball player of all time” (1).

Because sport creates this bridge between economic classes, 
its mobility helps unite our country and 
give potential opportunity for all athletes to succeed.
Socialization of sport relates to how it molds and shapes people into appropriate, capable members of society. The camaraderie found in sport is a unique aspect that brings people together and teaches them how to act in social situations. Formal and recreational sports teach qualities like teamwork, sportsmanship, honesty, and integrity, all of which are highly valued characteristics in well-developed individuals. According to Foundations of Sport and Exercise Psychology, “character-developing benefits of sport contend that participants learn to overcome obstacles, cooperate with teammates, develop self-control, and persist in the face of defeat” (2). The authors state that…

sport and character relate within the context of four intertwined truths—
compassion, fairness, sportsmanship and integrity. All of these qualities combine 
to form and shape character through the participation in sport 
and teach individuals how to function as a team on the field, in the gym or at the office.
See Part 2 of this Article NEXT MONTH.

Juliann Boubel, BS, CSCS is a Strength & Conditioning Coach for Prevail Conditioning Performance Center and works with athletes and fitness enthusiasts alike.  For further information regarding this topic please contact Juliann at

  1. “NBA Encyclopedia: Playoff Edition.” NBA Media Ventures. 2009. 27 Apr 2009.
  2. Weinberg, Robert S., and Daniel Gould. Foundations of Sport and Exercise Psychology. 4. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics, 2007. Print.
  3. Bell, Katie K. “Boost Your Brain Power.” Today’s Chiropractic Lifestyle 36.1FEB/MAR 2007 34. Web.25 Apr 2009.
  4. “History of Title IX.” 2009. The MARGARET Fund of NWLC. 25 Apr 2009.

Who’s the Musculoskeletal Expert…Your Physician or Your Physical Therapist?

By: Tom Walters, DPT, CSCS
I hope the answer to this question does not surprise you, but your physical therapist is the correct choice!

A study published in the BioMed Central Journal of Musculoskeletal Disorders tested physical therapists, physical therapy students, physicians from a variety of specialties, medical residents and medical students on their knowledge of musculoskeletal medicine.  The study showed that physical therapists with or without board certification and physical therapy students in their last year of school scored higher than medical residents and all physician specialties except orthopedic surgeons (see graph below).
The results of this study would probably surprise many consumers of physical therapy services, which is something we as therapists need to change.  Personally, I have discussed this topic with many individuals and constantly find that people are shocked at the level of education required to become a physical therapist and are even more dumbfounded when they find out that therapists often complete residencies and fellowships.  As therapists, we must do our best to educate patients on what it means to be a physical therapist and always take the time to explain musculoskeletal concepts as they relate to a patient’s particular diagnosis.  By doing so, we will be better serving our patients and promoting the profession.
With these results of this study in mind, I ask that the readers of this article support direct access legislation to physical therapy services. Most states have already passed some form of direct access, which means the consumer can go directly to a physical therapist for musculoskeletal problems without having to spend extra time and money by having to see their physician first. However, some states have not passed direct access or have a restricted version at this time.
For more information on direct access and to see what is going on in a particular state, please follow the following link from the American Physical Therapy Association.
Tom Walters, DPT, CSCS is an orthopaedic and Redcord certified Neurac suspension-exercise physical therapist at Prevail Conditioning Performance Center.  Tom has experience in orthopedic private practice, long-term care, traveling therapy and sport medicine.  For further information regarding this topic, please contact Tom at

About a year ago…

It was one year ago today I posted some thoughts on integrity and the joy and pleasure I have in having the opportunity to be around people on a weekly basis who exemplify that trait.  I was reminded of this again this morning.  I was further reminded this group of people exemplify character, humility, passion, commitment and a life spent investing in others.  Most important, they exemplify Christ.  Namely, the Westmont College Kinesiology Department Faculty and Staff.
This morning I was invited again to the Westmont Kinesiology Department breakfast for graduating Seniors.  Over the last couple years I have been fortunate be an Adjunct at Westmont College.  This year was a bit more special for me as I had the opportunity to be more involved in some teaching and get to know more of the graduating seniors.  Sitting and listening to parents, grandparents and students share their thoughts and hearts at how they had been impacted by the faculty in the department was both humbling and inspiring.  As I listened I realized that my own experience has been (and continues to be) very similar to theirs.  I am continually uplifted, encouraged, spurred toward growth, offered wisdom and insight about the balance and purpose of life, and share times of both grief and laughter that come with living. 
Today I realized something further, though.  I realized (and was reminded by a faculty member) that the students have had a significant impact on me as well.  I have been amazed with the students I have had the opportunity to get to know and share time with over the past 2-3 years.  Young people with hearts and minds that have encouraged me in my life, challenged me to learn, reminded me to have fun, and impressed upon me the continued need for those who lead lives of significance through character, integrity and a life seeking Christ.  They remind me that a life spent doing anything else is a but a waste.
Thank you again to the Kinesiology Department Faculty and Staff.
Thank you Kinesiology Graduates of 2010…
                …especially those of you from the KNS 160 class!
Blessings and honor and peace.
Chris Ecklund, MA, CSCS, USAW

It’s Not As Difficult As We Make It…

by Dayne Gingrich, Mental Skills Coach
90% of everything we do is a habit. 

We create those habits through massive, massive repetition… consciously and unconsciously. If we can create bad habits through such repetition, we can also create new, better habits through the same process.
The challenge is taking the necessary action to repeat the good habits over and over.
In order for anything to manifest, we must first make a conscious decision to want it to happen… this may be one of the most difficult things we do. Making that concrete decision isn’t easy, and is what holds many of us back from achieving new and better. We know we “want” something different, but too often, lack the courage to commit to that decision that will create a shift in our mindset.

The biggest mistake I see every day is people trying to “change bad habits.” Trying to change the habit actually makes us focus more attention on it, resulting in an even stronger bad habit. We spend so much time on the habit we don’t want, we ironically make it more powerful.

Instead, we should concentrate on CREATING NEW habits.
Figure out what we want… repeat over and over.
Sounds simple? It is!
It’s so simple, most completely overlook the ease at which these new habits materialize.
Clarity is very often too clear to see.
Dayne is the owner of Coach Your Mind, where he trains all levels of athletes to maximize their mental and emotional skills during competition. He’s a former professional tennis player, who has been competing at elite levels his entire life. He was recruited to play Division I basketball out of high school, and became a scratch golfer in his 20’s.  While actively competing, he immediately recognized the mental game wasn’t being pursued as widely as the physical. His goal is to change this specific focus for athletes… helping them realize the mental game is a powerful weapon that, when balanced with the physical, will separate the great from the average.
Email Dayne:

Santa Barbara High School Football Hell Weeks

This August I had the opportunity and pleasure of working with the Santa Barbara High School football program. I am truly pleased to say that my time with the SBHS coaching staff was probably the best experience I’ve had with a coaching staff from any sport at any level. The coaches were open and trusting to turn the reigns of all the Strength, Performance and Conditioning work over to my staff and me. Rare. Aside from that their communication with myself and coaching staff was excellent. Their desire to do what was best for their team(s) and begin the building process (during a rebuilding year for their program) of developing safe and efficacious training practices is truly admirable. I know that this season is going to be a long haul for them but am quite certain that with the desire and concern for doing what is best for their program, they will quickly be where they desire to be.

Hats off to Coaches Jaime Melgoza, Doug Caines, Sean Simms, Char Vandaele (ATC), and all of the other coaches whose names I’ve missed.

Below you’ll find some of the footage from the training we did on site:


Tonight one of those events happened that forces a person to stop and reflect.

One of the friends from my youth passed away. Cancer. 33 years old.

It can be a pretty painful thing to reflect on, the loss of a friend. I think mostly of her family, her husband, her young boy. And yet for me there are also joys in the midst. I know that she is no longer in pain after years of battling. I know that I will see her on the other side. I know that she is with my Heavenly Father.

But as I mentioned, it does cause one to reflect…on the meaning of life, on the significance that is given (or should be given) to the activities we engage in each day, on what is of true value and worth.

It was quite something to watch Monica live her life from a distance the last couple years. She modeled to me that “to live is Christ,” a concept I struggle with.

Blessings and peace to you Monica.

Prevail Conditioning