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Fuel Your Strength 422 - Injury, Pain, and Physical Therapy Over 40 w: Dr. Leada Malek

Injury, Pain, and Physical Therapy Over 40 w/ Dr. Leada Malek

Getting back into training after injury or pain can be scary. Whether your injury is past or present or an ongoing or onset pain, learning to move between physical therapy and getting back into the gym requires some nuance. This is why it is so important to have a team working to help you achieve your goals and get you back to the training and activities you love.

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Key Takeaways

If You Want to Improve Your Overall Health Over 40, You Should:

  1. Make sure to work with a trainer or team who is invested in your wellbeing
  2. Tweak your workout so that it feels good for your body right now, even if you need to do things a bit differently 
  3. Focus on the big picture of your health and your short and long-term goals

Exercise is Medicine with Dr. Leada Malek

Dr. Leada Malek is a licensed physical therapist and board-certified San Francisco Bay Area sports specialist. She is one of the 9% of US therapists who specialize in sports therapy.

Dr. Malek uses a combined approach of manual therapy and specific therapeutic exercise to help her patients move better, perform better, and compete again. She believes that exercise is medicine. Whether you want to start moving more, move again, or improve, Dr. Malek is passionate about helping you get there.

How to Age Your Way

Dr. Malek knows that your scope of practice as a DPT, trainer, or other field in the industry requires cohesive training and a whole-person approach. This is why Dr. Malek focuses on client-centered care, especially for those of us who are over 40 and learning how to adapt our training to our bodies as we age. 

Aging is beautiful, but you need to know how to keep your body strong as it changes. Your body is adaptable, and while it won’t happen overnight, staying strong, fit, and healthy past your 40s and beyond is totally possible with the right attitude, training, and recovery.

Getting Clear on Your Why

One of the first things you need to get clear on, whether you are returning to the gym after injury, working to prevent chronic or onset pain, or just want to start taking care of yourself better, is that you have to be clear on your goals. Ask yourself what you are training for and how your goals play into what you want to do. This can help you support your body and mind. Exercising for life is crucial to your physical longevity, mental health, emotional state, and ability to handle life’s stressors. 

Dr. Malek is here to provide you with tools you can take with you throughout your life to ensure that you can do the things you want to do without the fear of injury. Are you ready to return to the gym after an injury or pain? Share your story, comments, and experiences with me in the comments below.

In This Episode

  • How to take a step forward if you have been stuck dealing with injury or pain (9:44)
  • What you need to be thinking about as a person wanting to keep your body as healthy as possible (15:47)
  • Learn how the old notion of staying still when dealing with injury or pain is changing (27:32)
  • Tips for teasing apart the strings that make up your total physical and mental well-being (34:57)
  • Discover the inspiration behind Dr. Malek’s new book ‘The Science of Stretch’ (39:33)

Quotes

“Proper programming, proper instruction, and consistency do wonders.” (16:05)

“You can still get strong. The issue is I think we are made to believe that we are just supposed to get old and be old and feel old. And I think people need to understand that it is still possible and important. So no matter your fear, understand that this should be a priority.” (17:54)

“The only bad workouts are the ones you are unprepared for, under-fueled for, and pushed through. Those are the workouts you want to be mindful of.” (28:25)

“Everything is playing a role, and I think we just need to zoom out and recognize that we are working with a system and not just an injury.” (38:16)

“As you get older, the biggest thing is what goals are you working towards, and how can you supplement those goals? (46:32)

Featured on the Show

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The Science of Stretch by Dr. Leada Malek

Dr. Malek Website

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Related Episodes

FYS 362: Sports Injury Rehab & Return to Lifting with Dr. Leada Malek

Injury, Pain, and Physical Therapy Over 40 w/ Dr. Leada Malek

Steph Gaudreau
When you’re over 40 and lifting weights and trying to stay fit and active, it might seem like injuries and pain are something that you’re constantly dealing with, or you’re in fear of. Today on the podcast, my guest is walking us through what are some of the most important concepts when it comes to strength training, physical therapy, bridging the world between the two, and staying fit and active over 40. If you’re afraid that an injury could take you out of the game, or you’re currently dealing with one, this episode is for you.

Steph Gaudreau
If you’re an athletic 40, something woman who loves lifting weights, challenging yourself and doing hard shit, the fuel your strength podcast is for you. You’ll learn how to eat, train and recover smarter, so you build strength and muscle, have more energy and perform better in and out of the gym. I’m strength nutrition strategist and weightlifting coach Steph Gaudreau.

Steph Gaudreau
The Fuel Your Strength podcast dives into evidence-based strategies for nutrition training and recovery. And why once you’re approaching your 40s and beyond, you need to do things a little differently than you did in your 20s. We’re here to challenge the limiting industry narratives about what women can and should do in training and beyond. If that sounds good, hit subscribe on your favorite podcast app. And let’s go!

Steph Gaudreau
Welcome back to the podcast. I’m so grateful that you’re with me this week. If you love the show, please take a moment and hit subscribe on your favorite podcast app. Or if you’re watching me over on YouTube do that over there as well and ring the bell for more notifications. On this episode of the podcast. I’m really happy to welcome back a guest we’ve had on the show before Dr. Leada Malek is a doctor of physical therapy.

Steph Gaudreau
She is a sports physical therapist. She has an incredible whole-person approach and is very progressive in her approach to getting people back to training and doing the things that they love, if they’ve experienced injury and or pain on this episode are really diving into what are some of the most common issues that folks in their 40s and beyond, especially if you like to be active or athletic or you’re thinking about getting back into training, what are some of the things that we really need to think about to navigate the world of injury, whether it’s past or present, ongoing or new onset of pain, how to move between physical therapy and get back into the gym and do your strength training and the training that you love, and so much more.

Steph Gaudreau
She’s also sharing with us more about her brand-new book. It’s an incredible resource for anybody who wants to better understand the science of stretching, and how we can really use stretching to our advantage when we’re strength training and participating in the activities that we love. Without further ado, let’s hop into this episode. really welcoming back Dr. Leada Malek to the podcast. Hello, Dr. Leada Malek. Welcome back to the podcast.

Dr. Leada Malek
Hi, Steph. Thanks for having me on again.

Steph Gaudreau
I am so happy to have you back on because I was saying before we started recording your podcast episode out of 400. And over 420 episodes at this point is the number one episode that I recommend to all sorts of people to listen to. Because it’s so important, and it’s such a great resource. So that was February 2022. And you were last on the show.

Dr. Leada Malek
Wow.

Steph Gaudreau
I know.

Dr. Leada Malek
It feels like yesterday. You could tell me it’s February 22 still and I’d be like exactly.

Steph Gaudreau
Yeah, time has flown by. So in case anybody’s listening and they’re like, what was this episode about? We talked about injury rehab and returning it to lifting weights. And that was episode 362. So I recommend this to a lot of people because I really do believe that scope of practice is extremely important. And though them listening to you on a podcast is not the same thing as working with you in person. I’m such a believer in though I am a strength coach.

Steph Gaudreau
I am not a physical therapist, I obviously cannot diagnose what’s going on with somebody or even recommend a course of treatment for somebody to get back to the things that they love to do. And I know you talk a ton about the scope of practice. So I’m wondering if you can talk about some of the things that you see now that social media has really democratized information. It’s given people a platform, even like yourself to share the things that you have as your expertise. But what do you see that I guess makes you kind of cringe a little bit or why is the scope of practice such an important thing as a DPT?

Dr. Leada Malek
Yeah, I think one of the biggest things is understanding what pain is in general, like just even if I’m like, if I’m a PT, my job is to navigate people through the rehab process, help them through these injuries, pick apart the injuries, pick apart these pain generators and narrowed down on what exactly might be causing their pain, what factors are contributing to their pain, I need a strength coach or personal trainer to help me with the other part of the plan of care, which is things that they can continue working on, continue strengthening on when they’re not in rehab, I only have an hour with them, maybe in some in some clinics even less time.

Dr. Leada Malek
And that’s once maybe twice a week, you might get them the other one time or twice a week, it’s so nice to have a cohesive team that actually ends up covering their base. Well, the issue with personal training and strength coaches, while some of them have an incredible education, they actually come from someone who has PhDs and what they say, which is phenomenal. The issue is they just don’t always study the injury, process, and pathologies to the depth we do. It’s not in their curriculum, and it’s not something that they have to do, which is fine.

Dr. Leada Malek
But if you get someone with like a labrum tear, and there’s only so much you can do to modify through pain, which is I’m all for, if you’re like, well, that’s not too bad, let’s do this, let’s do this exercise for your shoulder instead, and then ends up being in a position that puts more load in a certain area of the shoulder than we’re into an issue. But if we would have worked with a physical therapist, you could kind of pick apart this, what paints the picture of pain so that this person can continue to the exercise as well.

Dr. Leada Malek
So the scope just allows us we both use exercises and modality for the most part, we use manual therapy, maybe the personal trainer or strength coach, administer some stretches, and that’s fine. But there is there is a division where at that point, we cover ours, and you cover yours. And then that bet just makes better client-centered care, I think, in my opinion. And I just see that in social media where it starts to blur a little bit people are like, Hey, if you have this pain, do this exercise. And it’s someone that does not have the education and pain science or biomechanics or whatever.

Dr. Leada Malek
And they’re, they’re trying to tell someone to do an exercise around a pain that they don’t know what it’s causing. And then the caption has nothing to do with it. So there’s just so much blurred lines, and it’s like, Okay, now we get a person with this injury who’s desperate on social media, this is a worst-case scenario, they do this exercise posted by a trainer or strength coach or whatever, makes it worse because to me, but I just learned this on social like, and it’s the same for PTs in some Cairo’s and whoever else is posting a little bit irresponsibility, but that’s the big picture is just knowing where your scope stops and where to reach out for help. Because in the end, it’s about them.

Steph Gaudreau
Yeah, absolutely. Well said, I appreciate that. And I always think, you know, I think sometimes people get a bit frustrated with me when I’m sending them to resource people who have resources, people who are professionally trained in these areas, making those referrals, for example, and I think people get kind of frustrated, because they just, you know, they’re not feeling well, they’re maybe they’re are in pain, or they’re just feeling limited in what they can do, as opposed to what they were doing before and they just want a solution. And then to be told, Well, hey, I’m not the person who can help you do that. And really, it’s for their own benefit. In the long run.

Steph Gaudreau
I’m wondering if you can speak to maybe from a bit of the client’s point of view, I see a lot of one of two sides of I think what is the same coin, one side of the coin is I’ve been dealing with an ongoing thing, we’ll just call it a thing. In some joint or muscle, there’s something giving me pain, and it’s been for months or years, and I’m still just trying to push through it, figure it out myself, or just hope it goes away. On the flip side, we see sometimes people who have done their PC, they’ve worked with a really great person to help them rehab. And then they just don’t know how to either take that next step and get back in the gym, or they’re super afraid to do so.

Steph Gaudreau
And they kind of linger in that liminal space between the two, right, where they’ve done their PT but they’re not getting back into the gym and sort of progressing past and having that bridge between. Can you speak from the client’s point of view? I guess, like being in one of those two places, and how each person might take a step forward?

Dr. Leada Malek
Yeah, I see this a lot too. And I think with the first case is this the person who’s dealing with this ongoing chronic nagging issue that they’ve maybe tried to self-treat or not treat at all hope it goes away, kind of do different things? Maybe just push through it and modify it. That case is something I see. I see. Good amount. And I always like to preface like I’m in California, I think we are, we get a fairly active population out here.

Dr. Leada Malek
And this isn’t always the case, I always remind people not every place in the US is someone that’s has people that are as fitness forward or like, just in that in that focus, but we get people here that are like, already have their routine and they are set in there. Their usual I work out Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, I do cardio on Tuesday and Thursday, and that’s fantastic. But sometimes that poses a limit when you have a chronic injury because you’re just not used to something, taking away from that routine for a little bit, which is a little side note on injury rehab. So you’re doing something chronic and you haven’t had someone actually look at it, it can be really eye-opening when you finally go get someone to look at it, because maybe it’s not anything that’s particularly wrong.

Dr. Leada Malek
But it may be something to do with lifestyle modifications, potentially, it’s this random ache and pain from this underlying injury from a while ago that just gets his exacerbated. When life is super stressful. Your sleep is crap. And everything just kind of falls off. Totally common. I think it saves a lot of time when you figure out what could be triggering it, whether it’s something that’s biomedical so something that you’re doing physically, or a certain exercise, maybe it’s every time you average, less than five hours of sleep a night and work is below distress, that is stressful. That is something that a physical therapist can help you tease out, if you finally go for this chronic injury or this nagging sort of random thing that’s been limiting you, you get a better sense of how to manage it.

Dr. Leada Malek
And that’s something I see all the time with patients and they come in, they’re like, oh my gosh, I just feel like I have a better handle on it now. And it just doesn’t take away from your life. And we refer to it as quality of life. But how much of your mind and how much of your time is it consuming when you don’t know what’s going on? And isn’t that worth getting? Get checked out? And getting an honest opinion on it. Someone that’s not going to be like maybe you need surgery? Or maybe you stripey tea? There are tons of avenues. And I think sometimes people are scared of getting that. Because they think, Well what if they say I can’t work out again, that shouldn’t be the case.

Dr. Leada Malek
If you get a PT who’s willing to work with you and your goals or a physician or orthopedist. Chances are they’re going to set you up so that you can continue to do at least a good amount of things you like while we’re addressing the issue at hand. The chronic case, I’ve been off for a little bit, and I’m slowly trying to get back. And I don’t really know where to go from here. Now that I’ve graduated from PT, oftentimes, if you’re lucky enough to say you’re lucky enough, but if you’re at a PT clinic that’s willing to work with you through a certain amount of is sometimes insurance does pose a limit to this.

Dr. Leada Malek
However, for the most part, you should always be communicating with your PT about your goals, they should ask you. And if your goal is I want to get back into the gym and do a pull-up and I haven’t been able to because the shoulder has been an issue. That’s what’s for us to help. That’s up for us to put in our plan to get you there. And we’re going to work with you to make sure that you’re equipped so that when you go back, it’s not as daunting. So it’s ideally it’s fluid with your rehab, you’re doing your rehab for your shoulder or your neck, and then you start doing stuff for each of those body parts. As you start to progress to that goal of a bullet.

Dr. Leada Malek
Once you’re in that range, you can kind of fly solo and you can give it a shot. And so really the end of rehab is this blend of I’m mostly in the gym. Now I’m not as focused on my pain, I actually don’t really feel my pain. And you’re just sort of what we call like flying solo, or what I like to call it I just help people like Go for it, give it a shot for a month, let me know how it goes, your frequency of PT goes down. You may have been going once a week for the three, or four months prior, then you drop down to every other week, every three weeks. And then you check it out once a month. Now time luxury insurance like this is all you know something to consider but that’s what it can look like.

Steph Gaudreau
Yeah, I appreciate you walking through both of those cases. And I come across a fair number of both. And it can be hard when people don’t know necessarily what is the next best step or like you said they are there’s a fear behind them taking that next step. One of the things I hear super often working with the community that I do, which is generally over 40 women who have been athletic in the past or are newly inspired and motivated to incorporate more fitness into their life for whatever reason.

Steph Gaudreau
One of the things I see a ton is this, just overall apprehension about what if I get hurt or how do I start getting fit so then I can go to the gym and get fit. And I’m sure it’s gonna vary. There’s so many factors here. But what is some of I guess, what are some of the broad brushstrokes that you see, people need to think about as they’re getting back into the gym, or they’re kind of getting into the gym for the first time, let’s say, they don’t really have anything going on.

Steph Gaudreau
But there’s just this like, I don’t know, now, I feel like I’m not 20 anymore. Everybody keeps reminding me of this, I can see my gray hair, you know, all these things. And they’re worried about keeping their body working as well as possible going forward. And so it gets it’s kind of a risk-to-benefit analysis. But where do you see some of the best advice or some of the things you’d want them to think about coming through,

Dr. Leada Malek
I think you can. Also, the most important things to think about as you’re hitting an age where you’re not feeling as confident going into the gym, I think it’s important to understand the three things. And the first is proper programming, and proper instruction and consistency, do wonders. And that’s I’ll build on this in a second. But going to someone who cares about your well-being in the gym.

Dr. Leada Malek
And some way if you are someone who needs proper instruction, or if you’re thinking about the way you learn, if you need someone who’s going to be giving you that one-on-one attention, go there, invest in that so that you can build confidence in doing certain exercises, sometimes people end up just dropping in a group fitness class, which is great for, you know, just dropping in and schedule flexibility, but you don’t get that one on one attention. And sometimes the classes are 20 people and I see a lot of injuries in group fitness for a variety of reasons.

Dr. Leada Malek
But that’s not to make people scared of going, it’s just to understand what you get with one-on-one versus a group fitness situation. And so for one understanding, getting a coach that’s invested in your well-being and cares, and that’s someone that you can talk to about your goals. And this is going to be willing to accommodate you and set those modifications because one, it’s in their scope of practice, they should, but to that, they actually will take the time to do it.

Dr. Leada Malek
The second is understanding that this is important. You are at an age where after 29, your muscle mass starts to decline. It’s just a natural progression of things. The way the body works, it’s not as it’s not as bright as it would be unless it’s given the stimulus that it needs, which is the beautiful thing about skeletal muscle is that it retains the ability to adapt. And which is so cool, because you’ll see people in their 70s I just started weightlifting. And they’re deadlifting. And people are like, Oh my gosh, are they doing that? You can still get strong. The issue is I think we’re made to believe that you’re just supposed to get old and just be old and feel old. And I think that people need to understand that.

Dr. Leada Malek
Look, this is still possible. And it’s important. So no matter your fear, understand that this should be a priority. So you make these efforts. The third is the basics. How do you get back into this, I think starting understanding that the body is adaptable, but it won’t happen overnight. You can start with lighter weights. With proper instruction, you can have that go up, you can start with certain muscle groups and certain compound motions versus individualized accessory motions or whatever, and switch it up.

Dr. Leada Malek
That’s for you and your trainer to figure out lots of levels to slowly ease back into a workout program and slowly build from there because one, it’s possible. And two is important. I think the biggest thing is understanding that this is going to take time and it’s never just about your workout routine. It’s also about what you’re eating. It’s also about how you’re sleeping. It’s also about what you’re believing about your body. And it’s just all these it’s a big picture.

Dr. Leada Malek
And it’s a lifestyle step that after a certain age it just becomes a little bit more of like, okay, I need to focus on this or otherwise. Yeah, we’re not 20 anymore, it’s and that’s fine. That’s, that’s the beautiful thing with the body changes. We just need to keep it strong, because science shows a variety. I want to get into this, but so many benefits of resistance training and continued exercise. It’s if it came in a pill, it would be the most popular pill on the market.

Steph Gaudreau
And that’s why if only it were that easy. I think I you know, I definitely echo your sentiments there that when we are younger, we probably just have more we have more leeway. We have more leeway to you know, as we say fuck around and find out, and maybe when we’re a bit older, we have more life stress. We have different things going on with our bodies and our hormones are changing.

Steph Gaudreau
We just may not have as much wiggle room or leeway to kind of leave things up to chance and that’s kind of what I hear you saying like you have to be strategic and mindful and use that hard-earned wisdom of life to help you move forward in a way that’s going to you know, you will be able to enjoy those Benefits of training. You know, earlier you mentioned pain. And this is something that, again, I hear so often, you know, there’s maybe an existing injury or there was a particular thing that gave someone pain, and then maybe they went to PT, and it got better.

Steph Gaudreau
And then they’re in the gym, and they’re doing whatever it is, and oh my gosh, that pain is back. And they are, of course, usually very nervous, very scared. And I’m wondering if you can talk us through a little bit about, and I know this is extremely complex, and there’s probably, you know, whole entire courses and dissertations on pain. But can you walk us through some of the again, I guess, like, big picture ideas around pain? In other words, if I’m experiencing pain in my shoulder, does that mean I’ve you know, irreparably damaged my shoulder? Might there be something else going on? What are some of the other factors that could go into my sensation of pain? In my body?

Dr. Leada Malek
Question, I think, with pain, you can always think of it as a signal from the body. And it’s a signal that’s telling your brain like, hey, there’s something going on. And it doesn’t always mean these are the big things, it doesn’t always mean tissue damage. And it’s, it doesn’t always match the severity of the injury, everyone’s had a paper cup before hurts like hell and likely doesn’t need surgical intervention.

Dr. Leada Malek
On the flip side, you can have an MRI with significant tissue damage and the need, it can look pretty nasty in there. A lot of people don’t have pain. So it’s often a signal for one. So if you feel something, you should some of the building blocks this is to pay attention to it. Try not to freak out. I know that can be a little bit scary. But understand that the signal and it may not mean that anything is actually wrong. But it is worth addressing early pain is a weird thing. Because it’s an alarm system, if we tune it out, the body is just going to kind of work around it and take the path of least resistance.

Dr. Leada Malek
The issue with I think some people ignoring the pain is that if it hurts with a motion, say you have ankle pain, or whatever. And when you ignore it, you go through your life, we use our feet a lot to walk around, you start moving a little differently to accommodate for the pain, and then you run into some other weird issues along the way, potentially, I think it’s important to recognize that the pain that you’re feeling may not indicate that something’s wrong, but it is warranting your attention.

Dr. Leada Malek
So try to if you can pay attention to some data points. And that’s how long it lingers. How if it goes into the next morning if it’s more of a discomfort versus a I can’t move right now, something seriously limiting me, those are two different types of pain stretching past a certain point can feel uncomfortable. But having an actual ankle sprain can feel a little bit different. Those are very different injuries. But just getting an idea, I think you can consider how long the pain lingers. If it takes away from your life. If you’re starting to pay attention to the pain more than your life, you should be getting checked out.

Dr. Leada Malek
Again, it might not be anything, but it’s better to know that versus living on this uncertain like I don’t know, and now I’m thinking about it all week, and it’s taking away from my workouts. I don’t want that to happen. So that’s one thing. The other types of issues are there’s different kinds of pain, we have pain, that’s more of an acute injury like you fractured your wrist or something that’s its own type of pain. You have neural neuropathic pain. So that’s something that’s more like sciatic discomfort of its pain, it’s tingling, it’s numb, it’s maybe like this deep, dull, diffuse discomfort versus sore muscle or there’s just started tender to the touch lots of different types of pain.

Dr. Leada Malek
So if you can figure out some of those data points for one, it’s, it’s good to tune into, but you can take that with you to your PT appointment or whoever you see for your, for your pain or discomfort. And they can help you tease these out. So I think the building blocks with that is understanding it’s a signal, pay attention to it. Try to live your life without aggravating it, but also get checked out.

Steph Gaudreau
Yeah, thank you for walking through that. I know these questions, because we’re not necessarily honing in on any one specific kind of injury, or pain can be a little tricky to answer. But I do appreciate you just kind of giving us these broad brushstrokes because I think again, it’s just stuff that’s on people’s minds. You’re like, oh, okay, I do want to start playing pickleball Alright, here’s what I want to start. I’m starting to play pickleball you know, I haven’t done any kind of exercise in years, but it seems much safer than something like strength training.

Steph Gaudreau
He, or you know, I’m scared to strength train because it seems so technical. But then, you know, I’m, I’m going to wholeheartedly go play pickleball and throw myself into it. And I’m not worried about that. So I think it’s sometimes there. It’s very contextual and very nuanced. When you’re kind of talking to and working with people who are in the over 40 crowd, like myself, what are some of the most common, I guess, body complaints that you come across?

Dr. Leada Malek
I think the big ones I see are, I definitely see a lot of shoulder and neck pain. I also see back pain, SI joint stuff, and I think hip. Occasionally I’ll get some plantar fascia up. But it’s usually I find that secondary to something else, or the plantar fascia comes on, then there’s like an accompanying hip or back pain. I often see a couple of spots with women in the over-40 crowd.

Dr. Leada Malek
Because I think most of the time they are doing something regularly, they’re pretty, whether it’s life is keeping them active, or they’re busy like women are working. And they’re they’re doing stuff. So it’s never like, oh, I don’t know, I was just sitting a lot. Now my back hurts like these people that I see are typically engaging in a pretty active lifestyle, whether it’s going on a regular walk, or going to the gym. And so I find that sometimes it’s a couple of spots that limit a few different things that they do. It’s something in the workout, or like when they’re doing stuff at home. It comes on separately, but it’s related.

Steph Gaudreau
Yeah, that makes sense. One of the things I hear a lot as well, I’m just going through like my mental my mental Rolodex, the things that people DM me. Yeah, but I think it’s a good, it’s a good talking point. You know, there’s this concept that, and I think we sort of touched on this on our last episode, there’s kind of an old school of PT, or an old school of exercise and fitness, where the idea is, if something’s bothering you, or you have an injury, you just need to stop doing every single thing, just completely cease movement.

Steph Gaudreau
And I’m sure this is also highly contextual. But know, how is how, how are newer schools of thought changing this and challenging this notion of, you know, is it better to stay moving? Or is it better to stay put? How do we navigate that when there’s something going on that’s bothering us?

Dr. Leada Malek
I think we’re starting to learn more about exercise and mental health and how heavily those two weigh in someone’s recovery. There, we use the biopsychosocial model of pain. So that’s the bio is the shoulder. The psychosocial is your mental health and social support network where you’re at with just in life, and how much these play a role in your trajectory of rehab.

Dr. Leada Malek
And I find that I always like to remind people that you know, the only the only workout I used to think the only workout was the one you didn’t the only bad workout was the one you didn’t do know, the only words of that workout that you that you did was the one that you don’t know how the saying goes was the one you were unprepared for or under fueled for and push through.

Dr. Leada Malek
That’s those are the workouts you want to sort of be mindful of. And so while it is important to keep moving, I think we’re pushing for people to do that is I’m really big on making sure that you’re recognizing these different levels of fatigue, in pain, exhaustion, and reflecting on your sleep and your food as a part of that. But in the grand scheme of things, you definitely, usually in the absence of a fracture or broken bone, don’t need to stop everything in the presence of an injury or pain.

Dr. Leada Malek
More pain, because not all pain means an injury. So you can feel confident in that. If it feels good. You can probably keep doing things modify, we use the word modify a lot in physical therapy. And I think that’s such a beautiful thing. Because there are so many variables you can mess with your workout to get the same thing done. You can if you can’t do a bicep curl, you can try something else. If you can’t do a shoulder press, you can lay on the floor and do a floor press to go lighter on the weight, maybe add some pauses to go partial range, there’s so much you can tweak so that you can still feel productive.

Dr. Leada Malek
I think that plays a bigger role in not only maintaining strength and surrounding muscle groups, or the muscle group in question or the injury question but also for your mental health. If you’re someone that needs exercise, and I see this all the time in the clinic, someone can be like, Look, I have this injury, I haven’t done anything and it’s taking a major toll on my mental health like I am not in a good place right now.

Dr. Leada Malek
Okay, let’s see how you can keep doing all the things that fuel your mind and your body so that you can keep doing this. And I think it’s something that we should probably spotlight more Often, we’ve tried to push that more as you definitely don’t need to stop exercising in every way possible in the presence of an uncertain discomfort that you’re feeling.

Steph Gaudreau
Mm hmm. Yeah. And I mean, I would imagine and I can even think from personal experience of times in the more distant past when I would crash my bike or something, or hurt my back in the gym deadlifting years ago because I really let my ego get in the way. And it was sort of, let’s just sit on the sidelines and do nothing. And I mean, dealing with that, that form, or that challenge with an injury or something like that, and just the athlete identity is one thing altogether.

Steph Gaudreau
But as you said, that kind of, you know, I mean, I can think about even days where I have the day off from training, or I’m just sitting more when I’m working. And I’m like, Man, my back is getting sore, I can tell I just haven’t been, I haven’t been moving very much. And, you know, you multiply that out, I guess, over months and years, which does happen in some cases, when people have really gotten knocked off track by life and everything else. And I think sometimes, from what I hear from people, it’s just you kind of can get into this positive feedback loop of now though, the less I move, the more things hurt, the more you know, it’s hard to get around. And I just don’t want to do as much. So I appreciate your thoughts on that.

Dr. Leada Malek
One of the hardest things to do is get back into shape or like, again, I always like to say like, it’s better just not stop if you can help it. Something as minimal as a D load week that ends up being D load season. That’s fine. And as long as you just going through something, just be okay with it, I find we have two different identities. Often it’s one that’s like, please go do something, anything, I’m okay with that. And the other is like, okay, let’s scale it back.

Dr. Leada Malek
Let’s do the bare minimum because you’re someone who needs to be okay with this. And I think that tends to follow the athlete and then the little bit more, we, we end up being very competitive, we feel like we need to continuously train at a level that’s super intense to feel productive. And I think there’s a bridge between the two is understanding what productive really means. And I think that’s something we can all benefit from reflecting on that definition might change through life, you know, your productive workout, when you’re 18 is probably going to be different from your productive workout when you’re 43. It’s just different.

Dr. Leada Malek
It does. But it ends up being at a certain point where you have to reflect, are you what are you training for. What are your goals? How does play into what you want to do? And I always like to say like, you can train hard, like you can absolutely be at a level and build to a spot. But when you’re off for a certain season or whatever, you got to adjust. Yeah, absolutely.

Steph Gaudreau
Before we dive in if you listen to this episode, and you’re like, Okay, I am ready to get to work, I want to take my strength, muscle energy, and performance and take it up a notch, I want to take it to that next level, I want to feel like a badass, but at the same time, do it in a way that works with my physiology, as an athletic woman over 40 with coaching and community support and go ahead and check out Strength Nutrition Unlocked.

Steph Gaudreau
This is my group program, we’re going to lay out the framework for you and guide you as you implement and really customize it to all the things that you’re doing your preferences, your likes, and the places you want to go with it, then go ahead and get onboard, you can start your process by submitting an application at StephGaudreau.com/apply, we’d love to hear from you and see you inside the program. One of the many things I appreciate about you is that you take a really well-rounded approach to understanding what goes into somebody’s you know, supporting somebody’s body and mind.

Steph Gaudreau
All the things you talked about, you talked about sleep, you talked about D load, which is like my favorite word. I always try to get my lifters to usually more frequently D load than now that we’re over 40 You are such a huge advocate for proper fueling and staying out of low energy availability and talking about red s and all of the reasons that can impact people. You know, when you’re pulling back and looking at the big picture, how do you start having those conversations with people because it can be so contextual?

Steph Gaudreau
And so it’s just it’s like a messy ball of string, isn’t it? You know, you start pulling on one thing and you’re like, oh, okay, so you’re going through this really hard time and maybe you had something really stressful or tragic happen or like oh, like you’re not eating very much like how do you start to tease those, those strings apart when you’re working with someone?

Dr. Leada Malek
I’m so glad you asked that that’s honestly I’ve learned and this is not something I knew right? By the way, as a new grad, it was just like, when you’re a new grad PT, you’re like, what’s the injury? What are the tests? You don’t, you’re just focusing on it with all the skills you’ve learned. And then after a little bit, you realize, I personally think you save so much time down the line, the plan is so much more effective when you ask about these things early on, and continuously check in on them.

Dr. Leada Malek
Because if someone’s going through it, and they’re not eating well as a result, or in combination, and everything outside of their injury is kind of a mess. If I’m just gonna give them a home exercise program, and be like, Great, let’s work your shoulder and rotator cuff with these eight exercises, let’s do them four times a week or something that’s a little heavy, and they don’t even have the capacity to do it. That’s gonna get me nowhere, that’s gonna get them nowhere. So I’ve learned to ask about this early on and check in with it frequently.

Dr. Leada Malek
For the most part, I can tell when something ends up changing in someone’s life. And every few weeks, if I see them, every week, I can tell. But I find that this is the building block. And the overlying picture is the fact that we need to exercise for life. And that’s something that I think is really highlighted, specifically in women, as we are learning more about the body that our muscle mass changes at the bare minimum, we’re talking about muscle mass, we’re also talking about the heart, the exercise capacity, we’re talking about bone health, we’re talking about metabolic health, there’s so much more to the picture that goes beyond just can you keep doing shoulder press, further your quality of life.

Dr. Leada Malek
And so I think understanding that big picture first sets the foundation for oh, this is how I should be viewing exercise and my injury and the ability to do it. It’s not just about your end goal in the short term. This is about life. We’re talking life right now. And I think it’s just so huge when someone has that aha moment, like, oh, yeah, I guess what I’m doing isn’t sustainable. How are you supposed to keep doing this? When life gets crazy, and you get you, I mean, at something, I’m in my 30s now, and I’m getting my friends are having babies on one end, and I’m also going to funerals for the older generation on the other. It’s weird.

Dr. Leada Malek
I’m at a weird place right now with an understanding of life. And it’s very different from I think some people in their 20s. And you’ll feel you hit that at various stages. I’m like, Alright, where am I at? I’m am I emotionally ready for this workout? Am I emotionally available to be in the gym, my heart is this week, and I joke about that, but it’s serious. You have to be at a capacity where you’re able to tolerate life stressors, physical stressors, mental stressors, and if you’re not calculating your effort for that something’s gonna get injuries are very multifactorial.

Dr. Leada Malek
It’s never one thing that causes it’s usually a combination of things, whether it’s the capacity of the tissue to tolerate the load, and that just can’t be the straw that broke the camel’s back, or is it your five hours of sleep for the last six months and your stress? And how is that manifesting in the rest of your body? Are you also eating less? Is your what’s your what’s the status of your hair, like, hormones wise, like, everything is playing a role? And I think we just need to zoom out and recognize that we’re just working with a system and not just an injury. Mm-hmm.

Steph Gaudreau
Yeah, I couldn’t have said it better. And I really appreciate hearing your thoughts on that. And the big picture is so important because we can’t just isolate, you know, it would be one thing if we’re unknown, we’ve got like a little mouse muscle hooked up to electrodes. And we’re seeing, seeing how it’s moving right as we as we electrically stimulate it. And we’re like, ah, a system in relative isolation, even though some other things are going on there too. But yeah, we’re whole complete people with lots of different things happening happening and going on.

Steph Gaudreau
And I really appreciate that about us taking that person-centered approach. I would love to now kind of shift and talk a little bit more about your newest project that you were talking about before the call started, but your amazing new book called The Science of Stretch. Tell us what’s like what inspired you to create a book like I always say a book is, you know, in well, maybe you don’t know in Lord of the Rings, you know, we just Boromir says like One does not simply walk into Mordor. Yeah, One does not simply write a book. There’s a lot that goes into it. So what inspired you to create this resource for people?

Dr. Leada Malek
This was this is really interesting. So the book is called The Science of Stretch. It’s about stretching and mobility, in the simplest sense, and I did not wake up one day and was like, Oh, I write a book on stretching and mobility. That’s definitely not how this happened. And I think that’s a different route than some people have. This. The publisher DK Books with Penguin Random House has this amazing series called The Science of and they’ve covered different topics.

Dr. Leada Malek
They’ve covered the science of running, sciences, yoga, pilates, and most recently strength training, and if believe there’s one other missing. But they found me on Instagram. And they noticed the publisher reached out. He was like, Hey, we like how you teach like, Have you ever thought of writing a book? And I was like, Is this a scam? Like, what are you talking about? To me on his emails? No, it was legit. And then I said, No, I haven’t like, what did you have in mind?

Dr. Leada Malek
And they mentioned, they were hoping to just focus on this next topic. And this is their audience. And initially, I was on the fence, because stretching is interesting. It’s gone through a lot with the research. I’m sure you’ve seen it on in your, in your world. But you get like two camps at this point. It’s like stretching for everything or stretching for nothing. And I don’t think I was at a place where I was like, do I need to? Not really like kind of screw it. But I agreed to write this book because I get so many questions about this all the time. And honestly, I’m kind of tired of it. Mostly when I say not from not from patients, but like from my family.

Dr. Leada Malek
Like, come on, guys. We’ve already talked about this. But we PTS get questions about stretching every single day. Because way back when the answer for everything was stretching, it was like stretch for muscle tone stretch for this stretch for that. And so I know that the research has changed a lot. And then in an effort to try to clear up some of the space and take what’s so much a like a mystery around stretching and the limitation that people have with approaching exercise right now just the all the barriers, I was like, You know what, this might be a chance to clear the air a little bit and get someone past this hump of anything and get them more comfortable to move their body and feeling like there’s less mystery to and just haven’t been more confident.

Dr. Leada Malek
So I took it from the big-picture point of view. I’m a sports physical therapist, I love working with athletes, being on the field is my home base, and I work with active people. This book may or may not help with that at all. But I thought, You know what, maybe, maybe this will help people. And so that’s why I did it. It was really cool because I got and it gave me total freedom to put what I wanted in the book, provided we had to narrow down some things because I was getting really excited with all the stuff I could potentially add.

Dr. Leada Malek
The book is 224 pages, it’s got some weight to it, I have it right here. It was awesome. And then not exactly a small book. And to the surprise of my family, I don’t know what they thought I was doing. And I was like I’m writing a book on stretching. When I finally saw my mom was like, wow, it’s got some weight. Um, but the book goes through how amazing the body is and what happens when we stretch, it allows it really breaks down movement and anatomy and physiology to like take you away from like, this is just a stretch to Whoa, this is what’s happening in the muscle. This is what my brain is telling my muscles to do.

Dr. Leada Malek
This is what happens when potentially my muscles change as I get older. There’s a section on stretching, and eight, I should say healthy aging, which it’s again, this book just doesn’t I feel like the books out there on stretching you might come across are very much like, let’s do this. Let’s do splits tomorrow, like you can do. Like, it’s a lot and like maybe what if I don’t want to do this live? What if I just want to know if I just stretch or not? So this book tells you it breaks down what happens when we stretch, it’s not telling you to stretch that’s for you to make an informed decision on your own once you learn about what happens. And I think that provides just like the level of empowerment that I tried to give my patients and I think that independence of like, look, this is a tool.

Dr. Leada Malek
This is something you can take with you throughout your life. And it’s got all these great dynamic stretches, how to make them static basic mobility stuff breaks down the differences between flexibility and mobility. What it means to move through a goal versus just daily life. There are routines in the back for people who like to walk people who like to run and it breaks down, like a dynamic warmup. What that looks like a mobility of mobility advance, which is a little bit harder, hold it for longer. Yeah, that’s a nutshell. I kind of just give a bigger overview but I’m very Yeah.

Steph Gaudreau
What a fantastic resource along those lines. When I think people are thinking about again, being kind of over 40 They’re like, alright, I haven’t been doing much lately or I have been doing a lot of training but I have kind of fallen into that camp of. I don’t need to stretch I already have a million other things I have to do you know if one thing if there’s one piece of the low-hanging fruit of this tree I could cut off it’s probably stretching. What does science tell us about how our tissues are potentially changing as we age?

Dr. Leada Malek
We know what happens to muscles as we get older, we kind of lose that mitochondrial density that gets a little bit weaker and we lose the sarcopenic situation that becomes a little more in reach as we get older. And that’s loss of muscle strength and muscle mass stretching, which I always like this is interesting because what we’ve looked at was stretching in general function, we typically look at how effective something is in helping someone live in life.

Dr. Leada Malek
And that’s usually getting out in an office chair while getting a walking gait speed. It’s like basic needs for function in the grand scheme of things, doing bodyweight squats, doing basic, quick mobility, we’ll get you through that. But I think our bare minimum and our baseline are changing. And this isn’t quite reflected in the research, because not everyone is participating in physical activity point blank. So I think for the active population, what if we don’t want to just function and like, get in and out of a car without pain? And like, what if we want to actually lift and move toward a goal? That’s where I think you can zoom out.

Dr. Leada Malek
Because on the basis of stretching in general function, yes, it can help. There are certain areas, certain muscles, for example, like the calf and the hip flexor, stretching those regularly can help someone that’s older, maintain their gait, and like the little things like that. But I think, as you get older, the biggest thing is what goals are you working towards. And how can you supplement those goals, the biggest benefit we’re willing is definitely the biggest bang for your buck is cardio and resistance training, we know that those are the big ones.

Dr. Leada Malek
Flexibility, I think, to supplement whatever those activities are, is going to be the kicker. Because yes, you can strength train through a full range of motion to maintain that flexibility. But guess what, strengthening through a full range of motion is pretty hard. And the muscle is weakest at where it’s most lengthened. So doing a, like a deadlift, at its greatest depth is going to be harder than going halfway by design. So if you can’t actually reach that, and your goal is to get more flexible in that range, you might need to consider other options. And that’s where stretching can actually come into play. And so I like how this is able to supplement that.

Dr. Leada Malek
And I think that’s something that you can consider when you’re doing your workouts is whether or not the stretch is going to benefit what you’re about to do. Generally, a dynamic warmup involves dynamic stretches. And I think people forget that stretching isn’t always static, it’s dynamic, you can have active your muscles, anytime your muscle lengthens, past its resting load, it’s without an added weight, it’s going through a stretch. So pushing on a hamstring stretch, versus doing a deadlift, you’re still stretching a muscle at a certain capacity. So I think it’s the big picture is what do you want to do? And do you have the range to do it? And if you don’t, here are some tools. But also if you do, here are some tools.

Steph Gaudreau
Yeah, I appreciate that. I think one of the other places people get a little bit stuck is they do want to include some amount of dynamic stretching or mobility work or whatever it happens to be. But they have been led to believe that any kind of stretching prior to lifting is going to affect the muscle’s ability to produce force and basically what lift heavy what, what what do you what do we know about that? What is the real answer there?

Dr. Leada Malek
The real answer is for and I think this is studied in mostly somewhat active people. So always take that with a grain of salt. But what we know is static stretching, Is static stretching going to be holding it past a point of 60 seconds, or 48, or hitting the 35 to 40 dynamic is anything underneath that? So static stretching, holding that stretch might diminish power performance, however, it’s usually pretty small in the way that it actually happened, and it’s mitigated with a supplemental dynamic warmup. That’s it.

Dr. Leada Malek
So if you want to stretch before it feels good, feel free to do it, it’s not going to kill your performance likely that much. As long as you’re doing a dynamic warmup afterward if you don’t want to risk that you can do a dynamic warmup prior without stretching but I would recommend if you’re trying to hit ranges in an exercise or you’re Miss you lacked a certain range of shoulder mobility or, or hip mobility and it helps you to get to that range to achieve an adequate dynamic warmup that matches up with the activity you’re about to do, then I might supplement that it doesn’t need to take long is the thing like the stuff can take 15 minutes if you’re going for just basic prep.

Dr. Leada Malek
Now if you wanted to train flexibility on a different level, that takes a little bit more dedication and a little more time but as far as pre-lift, you’re not going to detract from your performance very much if you partake in some stretching. And if you don’t have any underlying issues and you don’t have time to stretch, you can skip it. You can go into the light and I would just recommend doing a light on A warm-up of just lighter sets of whatever you’re going to do just to prep. So you’re not going from zero to 100. Right

Steph Gaudreau
away. Yeah, that’s great advice. Very, very, very solid, very measures about

Dr. Leada Malek
the muscles as it age and power reduction. And if most people have some level of tendinopathy, that does better with a warm up just little things like that. Bias be towards making sure you get a warm-up.

Steph Gaudreau
Yeah, do those, do those lighter sets that you’re lighter RPE is Get ready, you know, prep even just just to keep the bar moving along a decent path. You know, if you load that bar up super heavy, you haven’t done any warm-ups, that’s gonna be a rude awakening. I guess the last question I have for you is, if you had to pick three of your favorite flexibility exercises, or stretches, what would be kind of your all-star team of like, I know this hard, like, but three, if somebody was super crunched for time, or you just want to give them the best of the best.

Dr. Leada Malek
Um, if I’m looking at actual dynamic stretches, and sometimes my dynamic stretches and my lighter warmup sort of mix, because I’ll end up doing like a lateral squat, and then I’ll hang out there for a little bit. But some of my favorites, World’s Greatest stretch, that always feels great, it’s very, you know, you get everything in there. And I think it’s name that would, so it’s got some, something to back the name, I think it really hits everything.

Dr. Leada Malek
And if you haven’t seen what a world’s greatest stretch is, you’re getting like a deep lunge position, you’re reaching one arm down, and you’re reaching up to rotate. So you’re getting spine, you’re getting hips, you’re getting chest pecs, you’re getting ankle, and calf and the back. There’s one, I also kind of like a garland squat to hang out. And when you come in down into a deep squat, you kind of shift around. But I like to pair that with coming back up and doing it making that dynamic. Because this is me when I do more lower body.

Dr. Leada Malek
And I also thread the needle, which is definitely a favorite, I think that feels good for just about anyone who does it gets upper-body rotation. And if you don’t want to do that, and if you want something that’s a little more static and slower. The Bretzel stretch is also really fun, where you’re it’s kind of like a book opener with an added pull for the quad and then your neck can be facing either direction. You’re opening up the chest, these are all in the book, too. If you’re curious what the heck these are.

Dr. Leada Malek
And I think a classic that pretty much always feels good. Is a child’s pose stretch. Charles noses. Nice, I think those are the main ones. Yeah, if I had to consolidate.

Steph Gaudreau
That’s a pretty solid, pretty solid roster right there. I guess I do have actually one more quick question. So one of the things that my lifters find is challenging, especially if they’ve come from five days a week of CrossFit-style training. And I’m not picking on just crossing it here. But you know, any kind of circuit style training, Metcon style training, where they are constantly moving, there is barely any rest.

Steph Gaudreau
And then we’re moving them toward a strength training session where they’ve got two to four, maybe five minutes between their heaviest set, I mean, there’s just more time to sit around and not do a lot. One of the things I have to sometimes pull people back from is wanting to do all sorts of things in the rest periods, intervals. I mean, you name it. What are your thoughts on doing some light mobility work or stretching between these like heavier sets where we’re kind of resting to regenerate ATP? And that sort of thing? What do you think?

Dr. Leada Malek
I think there was a study that showed that if you do stretch between sets, it might be beneficial, or it does nothing. Those are the two things. So I think if that’s something that you feel like it’s getting tight, hitting a dynamic, it doesn’t even have to be dynamic, just be a short, static stretch on the lower side. 30 seconds between sets should be fine. I would just consider how fast the movement that you’re planning on doing whether it’s like a power exercise, are you?

Dr. Leada Malek
Are you benching or are you throwing medicine balls, maybe consult if you’re working with that and you’re resting between those sets. I will keep the stretch a little bit shorter just in case you are dabbling in that power loss. Production. I think it’s a nice way to calm them down if it’s not going to affect their exercise. Yeah. ABS if you’re doing upper body, that’s fine.

Steph Gaudreau
For sure, yeah, I think, you know, I’m always that I learned how to lift with. I mean, we had social media, but it was a lot harder. I feel like to get lost in our phones and things like that. And so I don’t really have a problem. setting the timer on my phone and then the timer goes off. Like it’s ready for me to get up and lift again. But I know that there’s, it can be so hard for people to, to sit in.

Steph Gaudreau
And there is this element to a feeling like I’m being lazy, right, I need to be productive. And we kind of touched on that with athlete-athlete identity. So yeah, if I guess people can do, some light mobility work or some dynamic stuff in between, if they feel like they just have to do something, it’s probably better than doing a bunch of things that are only furthering their fatigue.

Dr. Leada Malek
Right? I think this is an I always like, this is what I mean with you got two types of people, I mean, obviously, many more, but two main types of people in the gym, the one that’s potentially scared of doing it, and this is very new. And then you get the athlete who cannot stop moving and only feels productive if they’re like completely exhausted after their workout. It’s not it, that is not it. And that is so not where we’re at in 2023.

Dr. Leada Malek
And there’s still some coaches out there that don’t think that but the reality is, you got to recognize where we’re rest and recovery comes in. And you have to consider, you know, zooming out and looking metabolically, you have different energy systems that take you through these workouts, depending on which workout it is, whether it’s a cardio, or you’re doing sprints, or you do something like a benchpress and recognizing where the rest level plays a part in helping you do this better. And I think people forget, like, oh my gosh, I gotta rest Oh, no, like, I have to keep moving.

Dr. Leada Malek
No, this is actually for your own good. This is for making sure that the next set comes out on top where it’s supposed to be and you’re not just completely depleted. Then you get the other side of the spectrum now you’re just running on high your whole workout and then you’re overtraining or overreaching, and then that can trickle into other effects. But yeah, it is like psychologically, like being okay with arresting them, sometimes I challenge my athletes, so I’m like, No, do nothing. Like I need to do that. I need to just sit for 30 seconds or even be bigger and be okay with that. Let’s, let’s embrace this.

Steph Gaudreau
Yeah, type of exercise. Yeah, it’s, I find it a little bit, too. It’s hard to get people sometimes to understand the utility of and the necessity of different rest periods, especially with energy systems. Because you could do a pretty heavy set of five-day deadlifts, or back squats, or benching, or whatever you’re doing. And it was hard, but you, you don’t have the same sensations in your body, you’re probably not profusely dripping with sweat.

Steph Gaudreau
You’re maybe you’re a little bit out of breath, but it’s nothing like you’re doing a hit workout. And so the sensation is, I don’t even really feel like I did very much. And now you want me to sit and do nothing. So that’s, that’s a that’s a tough one. Especially at first. Yeah, feel like overcoming that. But you said it well.

Dr. Leada Malek
You gotta be okay with him recognizing where rest comes in between sets and the workout. Yeah, you gotta consider like what you’re trying to do to like, what is this workout today? Is it a strength workout? Are you doing a circuit? Are you doing a hit workout where you’re actually having these are all different types?

Dr. Leada Malek
And I think accommodating that and recognizing demonstrates a level of literacy in your ability to coordinate what your body is doing throughout your workout and this. Like I said, the big picture for life. It’s so much more than just like, Okay, now I’m resting you know, I have to do 10 jump squats while I’m waiting.

Steph Gaudreau
Thanks so much for walking us through that. I really appreciate it. Remind us again, the name of your book where people can find it, and how they can follow along with you on social.

Dr. Leada Malek
The name of the book is Science of Stretch and it’s from DK Books. And let me show you a peek at the inside actually. Yeah. There are a lot of physical activity guidelines and like general stuff too. But for example, you’re getting these beautiful that were once images of me. But I had this Zenden where you’re looking at all this different mobility and just dynamic stretches what’s actually happening when you do it.

Dr. Leada Malek
So, so cool. So this is something that you can find that’s available pretty much anywhere at this point. Penguin Books on their website will tell you where they are Amazon, Walmart, Target, Barnes and Noble, Powell’s. It’s in a lot of different places, but you can find it if you just type in Science of Stretch. I am on Instagram at Dr. Malik P.T.D.R.M.A.L.E.K. And it’s also my website and TikTok and Pinterest and Threads and all this stuff. I need to get better about that but for now, that’s where you find me.

Dr. Leada Malek
Grab it for yourself or a friend and honestly, it comes in the series so if you know someone who likes running likes yoga, get them both them it’s there’s such a cool book to have, and everyone that this apparently has been a really killer white elephant gift Oh, that’s been stolen a bunch of times multiple but yeah, gifting this is, I think it’s such a good idea, not because I wrote it, but because it just allows people to, like, oh, right, okay, I’m gonna start moving. And it’s just such a gateway to more activity.

Steph Gaudreau
Yeah, I was also gonna say, if you own a gym or coach at one, get a copy for a gym, you might not have clients that you work with, get them a copy, you know, it’s, it’s something that really can, can be such a great resource for so many people.

Dr. Leada Malek
There’s even, there’s a section on bony morphologies, too, and like, when not to stretch when you’re talking about like hip impingement or cam lesions or pincer morphologies and arthritis. And like bunions, there’s a little bit on that, too. So there’s so you get an idea of like, oh, this might be limiting someone’s mobility or someone who’s never been taught anything about it.

Steph Gaudreau
Awesome. Well, congratulations on such a huge project. I appreciated how you were sort of like “Surprise, here it is already”. And so I know how much work goes into that sort of a project. And you are to be commended for undertaking such a project. But super appreciate everything you do.

Steph Gaudreau
Your Instagram, like I said, the podcast episode we did. I am constantly sending people to you. You’re such a wealth of information. And just doing such great stuff out there in the world, having these nuanced conversations, looking at the multifaceted nature of all of these things. And I think you’re just an absolute gem to do the work that you’re doing. So thank you.

Dr. Leada Malek
I appreciate you doing all this in this space. It’s so needed. So I very much appreciate you.

Steph Gaudreau
Thanks for being here.

Dr. Leada Malek
No problem. Thanks for having me.

Steph Gaudreau
All right. There you go. That is a wrap on this episode with Dr. Leada Malek. I am so incredibly grateful to her for taking time out of her busy schedule to come back on the show and dive into some more topics that come up so frequently with my community. As Dr. Malek said in this podcast, we are really helping you to stay active for life. And that takes a shift in approach and mindset, learning how to roll with the punches deal with injuries when they do pop up, and ultimately get you back into the activities that you love.

Steph Gaudreau
So you can enjoy all the physical and mental health benefits. Make sure you check out her social media and pick up a copy of her book, like I said, it would be a great gift for yourself or someone else that you know is really into training. So check that out anywhere that books are sold.

Steph Gaudreau
You can find the show notes for this episode over at StephGaudreau.com. And please hit subscribe on your favorite podcast app, it really does make a huge difference. And finally, if you’re looking for coaching support, and a framework around how to integrate fueling, training, recovery, and stress management practices, particularly to perform better build muscle, and add strength, then check out my Strength Nutrition Unlocked program. This comes with weekly coaching calls a full program and a super supportive and amazing community of like-minded women. You can check out more and apply at Steph gaudreau.com/apply Alright, thanks for joining me on this episode. And until next time, stay strong.

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Steph Gaudreau

Hi, I'm Steph Gaudreau (CISSN, NASM-CPT)!

Nutrition and fitness coach for women, Lord of the Rings nerd, and depending on who you ask, crazy cat lady. My mission is to help you fuel for more: bigger muscles, strength, energy, and possibilities. We’ll do it with my signature blend of science, strategy…and a little bit of sass.

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