How is Somax different from coaching?

Coaching is a technology that is more than 2,000 years old. Its basic assumptions are that all athletic problems are either mental or muscular:  an athlete either does not know what to do, lacks motivation, or they need more strength and endurance.

After analyzing more than 4,500 runners, 1,000 swimmers and hundreds of golfers, Somax has discovered that most athletic problems are due to restrictions caused by microfibers in the connective tissue between the muscles.

Unfortunately, many of these microfibers form as a result of poor coaching.  Lifting weights, over-distance running and swimming, using hand paddles, plyometrics, sit-ups, 'core' work all improve strength and endurance—but they also create microfibers (mild scar tissue) by tearing many of the tens of thousands of tiny, individual muscle fibers that make up each muscle. As part of the healing process, microfibers (mild scar tissue) form in and around the muscles to immobilize the area.  Unfortunately, once the area has recovered, the microfibers not only do not go away, they tend to accumulate over time, making the athlete stiffer with age.

Thus, if you are a golfer who lifted weights in college, you will have restrictions to your swing in your 40's, 50's and 60's that cannot be improved with stretching.  If you are a swimmer, runner or soccer, baseball, basketball or football player in your 20's or 30's, you will have restrictions in your movements caused by microfibers that formed when you were starting out in your sport—and that cannot be released by stretching.

As we all know, stretching cannot release scar tissue, and microfibers are a mild type of scar tissue.  The only way to release the microfibers that formed decades ago is through our Microfiber Reduction program.

Microfibers also form as a result of innocuous falls and impacts, such as falling off a bike when young, playing tackle football, sliding into base, diving on the court to retrieve a basketball, getting elbowed in the ribs during soccer.

Childhood illness such as bronchitis, pneumonia, chronic colds and allergies can create microfibers around the rib cage.

Stress is also a source of microfibers.  As we unconsciously tense our muscles in response to stress, our connective tissue, which is not very bright, thinks we have broken a bone and starts to form microfibers in the connective tissue between the muscles.  Once the stress has passed, the microfibers not only do not go away, they continue to accumulate over time, making the athlete stiffer with age.

Why don't more people in the sports industry realize that restrictions in the connective tissue are responsible for most performance problems?

The connective tissue, which covers every muscle, bone, nerve, blood vessel and internal organ in the body was left out of early anatomy books as it was too difficult to draw.  In the 17th century its name was changed from 'muscular membrane' to 'fascia'.  Unfortunately, 'fascia' means 'to bind' or 'strip'—but connective tissue is neither.  Its purpose in the body is to facilitate movement—allowing the muscles to slide past each other so that they can stretch and contract.

Because there are no major diseases associated with the connective tissue and as a result of its misnaming and being left out of most anatomy books, the connective tissue has slipped under the radar as coaches, trainers and physicians have concentrated on the muscles. The word muscle is derived from the Latin word for 'mouse'.   So the sports industry has concentrated for thousands of years on our 'mice'.

The major indication that microfibers in the connective tissue are the source of most performance problems can be found in our success rate.  Seventeen Olympic athletes who completed our program went on to win 44 Gold Medals and set 11 World Records. An amateur rowing team of rugby players made the Olympic Trials in just six months. Our four professional golfers won the US Open as a rookie, improved their putting from #113 to #1, quadrupled their tour income, and increased their longest drive on tour from 295 to 400.  Our one professional baseball player improved his base-stealing from 18/9 to 10/1 and, as a result, increased his contract from $500K to $1.75 million in one year. Our professional soccer player went from playing the bench to leading his team to the National Championship.

Our recreational runners usually cut a minute per mile off their running pace, our tennis players add 20 mph to their serve and one increased his forehand speed from 55 to 96 mph.

No one who trains or coaches the mind or muscles has come anywhere near our rate of success.

But old assumptions are difficult to change. Think how long people thought the world was flat, despite plenty of evidence to the contrary.

Unfortunately, the primacy of the muscles in athletic achievement has only been confirmed in people's minds by the success of steroid-laced athletes and over-distance training in running and swimming.

We estimate that it will take several generations before the sports industry recognizes that most performance problems are due to restrictions in the connective tissue.

In the meantime, you can benefit from this new technology and improve your performance far beyond what coaching has to offer.

Are microfibers also responsible for chronic sports injuries?

Yes. Our research with runners, presented at the 1984 USOC Conference on Biomechanics in Sports, showed that restrictions in the shoulders caused most running injuries by disrupting the normal movement of the legs.  Our experience with golfers and tennis players is that most low back problems are caused by restrictions in hips, an insight supported by peer-review research in the publication of a study by a well-respected orthopedist that found that pro golfers with low back pain has significantly less internal rotation on their lead hip than pro golfers who were pain-free.

Is there any other evidence that microfibers restrict performance?

Our analysts have logged over 1,000,000 air miles going to athletic competitions and training centers around the world, measuring the flexibility of elite athletes in their sport-specific ranges. Over and again, we have found that World Record holders are significantly more flexible than their slower competitors.   The reason that other researchers have not found this is that they are measuring the wrong ranges.

The most popular flexibility test is the sit and reach. But only a small number of sports require this range—diving and gymnastics. Breathing ranges, for instance, are much more important to endurance sports than sit and reach. Rotational ranges are more important to baseball, tennis and golf than sit and reach.

Somax has also spent thousands of hours measuring the range of motion of athletes from videos of their performance. Over and again we have found that the best athletes are the most flexible. For instance, the golfer who won the most pro tournaments in history was also the most flexible golfer of all time, able to kick his cleats into the top of a door frame in his 70's.

Since most athletes stretch as part of their training, and we know that stretching cannot release microfibers, then we know that athletes who are far more flexible than others are that way because they have fewer microfibers. This has also been confirmed by our work with teams. The best athletes on the team were the ones with the fewest microfibers.

How is Microfiber Reduction different from other forms of connective tissue massage?

Our clients who have tried other forms of massage, myofascial release, etc. report that Microfiber Reduction is not only more effective in improving their flexibility, but the results are longer lasting. One of our triathletes, for instance, completed his program with us at age 52. At age 72, he won his first Ironman competition.

If other programs were the same as Microfibers Reduction, they would also have 44 Gold Medals and 11 World Records to their credit—but they do not.

Can I do Microfiber Reduction myself?

No. It takes us a minimum of four months to train someone to do Microfiber Reduction.

If you want to learn how to do this, take a look at our Practitioner Training Program.

Why is video analysis so important?

Frame by frame video analysis allows us to measure the restrictions in an athlete's movements. This tells us where to look for microfibers. Often, this is not a straight forward process. As we mentioned before, restrictions in the shoulders can cause problems with the legs in runners.

After we have released the microfibers that we think are restricting our athlete's performance, we do a second video analysis to see if that specific problem has been resolved. If it has, we move on to solving the next problem. If not, we look elsewhere for the cause.

Measuring our results, measuring from video, measuring ranges—all of these have enabled us to improve performance far beyond coaching.

Is there no role for the muscles in sports?

You have to be fit in order to compete.

But you have to be efficient in order to win.

At Somax, we concentrate on improving efficiency—which is why our athletes win so many competitions.

Can I continue to lift weights, do sit-ups and over train?

Only if you want to create more microfibers and lose the flexibility and performance you have gained from your Somax program.

Athletes are much too anxious about strength. It all stems from being beaten by an older, stronger athlete when we were young. But our research, for instance, found that the best freestyle swimmer had 10% less power in his arms than his slower competitors. Many of history's greatest golfers, baseball batters and pitchers never lifted a weight in their lives.

All sport is movement. Chess is a competition, but not a sport, because movement is not important in chess.

Movement requires flexibility.

The more flexible you are, the better you are able to move.

There are other, more effective ways to improve strength than lifting weights and doing sit ups.

There are more effective ways to improve endurance than conventional overtraining.

Only in sports do we use technology that is thousands of years old.

It is time to move on.

Why does it take 2-4 weeks to release microfibers?

Athletes are usually not aware that they have flexibility problems until they have lost at least 50% of the flexibility in one or more ranges that they need for their sport—which means that it will take 2-4 weeks to release them.

Athletes become aware of stiffness usually only late in their career. This means their microfibers have had decades to multiply.  When an athlete does our program, they are reversing decades of accumulated stiffness, even though they have only been aware of it for a short time.

What is the age range you work with?

We have worked with infants as young as 3 months old who suffered from colic as a result of microfibers in their back. We have worked with golfers in their 90's.

How long has Somax been in business?

We have been helping athletes improve their performance since 1970.

What do you recommend I read on your website?

We recommend you read our page on Microfiber Reduction.

Read about our clients and see before and after photos here.

Learn about our Tension and Stress Reduction programs.

Once you have a clear idea about our programs, you are welcome to call us at 1-800-227-6629 to order our demonstration DVD and discuss your personal goals and athletic problems.