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Backpacker Radio

Apr 27, 2021

In today's episode of Backpacker Radio presented by The Trek, we are joined by Dr. Freeborn Mondello. Freeborn, who is a Doctor of Physical Therapy, explodes our brains with some non-conventional advice for hikers, backpackers, and really any endurance athlete. This includes why stretching might be a waste of time, the importance of heavy weight resistance training, and why the traditional 3 sets of 10 reps is going to be counterproductive to your goals- and yes those last two points are not contradictory. Whether you're training for a hike or simply want to maintain good health, you'll find this conversation fascinating- we sure did.

We wrap the show with a triple crown of days of the week, a new gross or not gross, and some good innovating pee pants for people with vaginas.

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Interview with Dr.Freeborn Mondello

00:04:30 - QOTD: What’s an injury you have that always comes back? 

00:06:47 - Welcome Dr.Freeborn Mondello! 

00:07:43 - You’ve done multiple iron man races? What does that entail? 

00:10:09 - What is the chafe situation like after a 2.4 mile swim and immediately hopping onto a bike?

00:11:12 - Where have you done your iron man races? 

00:12:48 - Did you consider throwing in the towel on the 106 degree day? 

00:15:02 - You’re a champion mountain biker?

00:16:10 - How do you go from excelling at a sport where you use high twitch muscles to a sport that uses slow twitch muscles?

00:17:46 - Have you had your muscle twitch fibers measured? 

00:18:49 - Is there any science to support being able to switch your muscle fiber types? 

00:19:57 - So you grew up in Silver City near Gila National Forest? 

00:20:30 - So you’ve been familiar with the CDT for a long time? 

00:22:01 - How did you get into physical therapy?

00:25:19 - Is there anything cool you learned why getting your doctorate that most people wouldn’t know or expect? 

00:27:00 - How much of a role does neurology play in PT? 

00:30:26 - Can you explain dry needling?

00:34:10 - So it’s really your nervous system sometimes telling you that you can’t do something rather than your muscular system?

00:36:30 - Would an orthopedic surgeon have a different take?

00:37:14 - How do the mechanics of dry needling work? How far in does the needle go? 

00:40:12 - Can you tell us about the performance enhancing aspect of dry needling?

00:42:41 - Is there something about dry needling that would make it against the rules? 

00:44:06 - Does dry needling have a place in the context of a thru-hike? If this is their first time, are those dice worth rolling?

00:46:51 - Is dry needling more effective for acute injuries or chronic ones? 

00:48:27 - How long does dry needling last? How often do people have to come back? 

00:52:20 - How does the central nervous system play a role in weight training overall? 

00:55:49 - Pavel’s kettlebell training video and Rogan interview 

00:56:26 - Can you define hypertrophy vs. strength training? 

00:59:27 - Do the nutritional requirements differ in hypertrophy vs. strength training? 

01:03:08 - What would your protocol be for someone getting ready to hike in a couple months? 

01:09:40 - Can strength training work with things you have at home? 

01:14:20 - Are kettlebells that different from dumbells? 

01:15:44 - If you’re on an island and you can only bring one kettle bell with you, what weight is it? 

01:17:06 - How long are you supposed to swing kettlebells for? 

01:18:57 - Don’t just buy a kettle bell and start swinging!

01:20:20 - Why is 80% the ideal number for optimal strength training? 

01:23:40 - Why is strength training important for endurance sports? Why is doing deadlifts helpful for someone going on a thru-hike?

01:26:17 - Is stretching helpful? What role does it play in endurance sports? 

01:30:12 - Is foam rolling helpful? Balls that roll out your muscles? 

01:32:08 - Is it possible that foam rollers or lacrosse balls do help people or is it a placebo effect?

01:34:37 - So stretching can help flexibility, but that doesn’t necessarily help injury prevention? 

01:36:04 - Can you talk about the difference between mobility and flexibility?

01:37:33 - So tension can just be solved with various workouts? 

01:38:48 - What should someone look for to find a good physical therapist or a good personal trainer? 

01:42:54 - Is being stretched to your full capacity after ACL surgery advisable? 

01:43:53 - How can you tell the difference between an injury you need to rest and a sore muscle you can just push through? 

01:46:34 - How do you open hip flexors to reduce lower back pain? 

01:48:32 - What is your youtube channel? RunfreePT (five way hip drive) 

01:49:52 - What is the best way to prevent shin splints? 

01:52:08 - What can people do to help prevent foot issues? 

01:56:02 - Is it a good idea to ease into minimalist shoes before a thru-hike?

01:59:00 - So it sounds like strength is the solution? 

02:02:10 - Where can people find you?


Triple Crown of Days of the Week

Gross or Not Gross? 

  • Zach ate moldy beef sticks
  • Chaunce drank Harper’s drool

Mail Bag

5 Star Reviews 

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Shoutout to Pauly (our editor/beats guy) @paulyboyshallcross

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