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Next Level Guy

Feb 28, 2023

Today’s guest is Dr. Carlos Berio, the first BJJ Physio and licensed Physical Therapist and he's back for round 2! 

Dr. Carlos J Berio, PT, DPT, MS, CSCS, CMTPT, HKC is the Executive Director, Head Sports Pain Expert, and Founder of SPARK Physiotherapy in Alexandria, VA. He is a licensed Doctor of Physical Therapy, a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, and a Trigger Point Dry Needling Expert. He also holds a Master’s Degree in Clinical Exercise Physiology. His combination of hard skills and an ever present focus on the client experience is what makes Dr. Berio and SPARK Physiotherapy an industry leader in all things ‘performance physical therapy’.  

He is most recognized for his work with BJJ/MMA players as well as collegiate and professional rotary power athletes. His personal experiences as a collegiate baseball player and as a competitive Brazilian Jiu Jitsu practitioner, make him a sought after resource on the field and in the training room.

Carlos remains active in several sports and is an avid BJJ enthusiast, motorcycle rider and adventure race runner.  

As he says ... Treating sports pain is my skill. Returning people to play is my passion”

Our first episode is available here.

Here are some key points that I would advise you to concentrate on

  • Taking part in sport can be the best thing in the world, however it can be taxing on the body, and rehab and pre-hab exercises can help you build longevity into your training. 
  • Pre-hab does not need to be a drain on your day, you can make it a habit, that you do in the morning and evening. Learning to cook properly, take an interest in your health, more walking, some basic work on your body and your health can will be going strong well into the winter of your life. 
  • Dr Berio recommends interviewing your physios, doctors etc. They need to be the right fit for you, and you trust that they have your best interests at heart. If one isn't working out, find another one, you are not stuck with only one, you can source the best options for your health as you need. 
  • Your body should work and move in 3D, with all parts working towards overall performance. It should be move in all types of motion Dr Berio mentions, if you can't then a physical therapist can help you find the weak link in the chain for better health and movement regardless if you play a sport or not. 
  • Getting tested regularly in different areas such as blood pressure etc, can give you a base line that lets you track your progress and see changes and health improvements over time. 
  • You don't need to eat 100% clean all the time, but eating clean in moderation allows a treat meal here and there. You can still enjoy the luxuries in life, and don't need to be a monk, but a little maturity helps you do the things you love a lot longer than someone that lives for the short term fix. 
  • You need to give your body stimulus to want to change. However, too much and you can get injured, so you need to know how to heal when things go wrong. 
  • We need to create an environment where young athletes develop their skill-set AS WELL AS their understanding on how to look after their bodies going forward to keep healthy as they age.
  • Stop thinking about your performance as due to a weak muscle or area, think of your body as a system. A poor area will be causing issues, but it is a sign that the whole system is leaking energy and other parts are compensating. Fixing the issues along the chain will allow you to hit new levels of performance! 
  • Doing a movement once isn't enough, you need to be able to triple extend, hinge etc, routinely without restriction, without pain etc, if not, then you some rehab and then prehab work might help you move like a supple leopard again. 
  • Stop comparing yourself to others. You are an individual. You are unique. So your training needs to be, your nutrition plan should be, and your rehab should be too. Be unique and follow and concentrate on your own journey, be happy with the small wins and compete to be a better person than your were yesterday, last week, last month etc. 
  • Movement is medicine, it is the most cost effective, healthy and fun way to promote health and movement well into old age! Prevention is a lot less costly than a surgery will be in terms of your health and finances!    
  • Avoid trainers who use terms like 'never', 'always' etc, health is very individualized and a good health trainer will look at what you need and work with you for the best, not what they need to sell to you.   
  • It is not your current abilities that matter, it is where you can go from there - don't take negative feedback on your health and performance badly, use it to set goals to work on with your trainer to make your future better. 
  • A good trainer should help you learn, educate you and allow you to experience movements as they go, rather than dictate or worse try and sell you a course on it! 
  • Health understanding changes a lot as research and understanding are performed. Setup some Google alerts, use websites like PEDro and read up on what is happening, what is understood etc (consider the potential bias in it) and learn. Be open to new ideas and consider implementing it into your own health journey.
  • Look for the coach and trainers that want you to get better, not only interested in making money from your health. 
  • Training plans can be reversed engineered from your end goal, but they need to be designed to what you need to do, your restrictions etc. 
  • A lot of what we considered 'Health Law' is now being debunked and found to be unnecessary or unsuitable, don't hold onto what you knew, be open to listening to new ideas and see what works. 
  • As you age, you need to add in a layer of prehab exercises and some slight modifications to your playing to keep playing as long as you want to. 
  • Not all health equipment works. Not all is suitable for you. Just because it sounds scientific doesn't means it actually works. research the products you use to see if they are worth it.