#185: Geoff Lecovin, DC, ND- Training Periodization, Dry Needling & Soft Tissue Recovery

by Deanna Mutzel, DC



Have an iPhone? Click here to listen in iTunes

Mike Mutzel Podcast High Intensity Health

About Geoff Lecovin, MS, DC, ND, LAc, CSCS

Dr. Lecovin specializes in treating musculoskeletal pain and sports injuries by integrating trigger point acupuncture, soft tissue release, joint manipulation, corrective exercise and nutrition. In addition, he combines exercise and nutrition for weight loss, weight gain, performance enhancement and wellness.



Related Content: Post Workout Foam Roller Tips and Kinetic Chain Assessment

TriggerPoint GRID Foam Roller with Free Online Instructional Videos, Original (13-inch), Black

TriggerPoint CORE Multi-Density Solid Foam Roller with Free Online Instructional Videos (18-inch)

Links and Resources Discussed in This Episode

Trigger Point Performance foam roller

NASM (National Academy of Sports Medicine)

Paper about kinetic chain by Mike Boyle

Eric Helms Muscle and Strength Pyramid


Interview Show Notes

01:56 Dr. Lecovin’s Fitness Background: His interest and involvement in fitness and body building beginning in high school led him into his career in chiropractic. He found that building involved unhealthy extreme nutrition. Food is 80% of training. There is too much emphasis upon training, when the focus should be on sleep, stress management, environmental factors, diet and exercise. Supplements are at the bottom of the priority list.

04:13 Dr. Lecovin’s Current Fitness Regimen: He changed his training when he applied the NASM (National Academy of Sports Medicine) Optimal Performance Training Model. The foundation is core and stabilization. You build strength and then power.

05:27 Optimal Performance Training Model: He teaches fitness principles utilizing the OTP model. Your issue may be the symptom of another issue. Once an individual assessment is made, programming can be done: inhibiting the muscle using foam roller, lengthening muscles that are overactive, activating muscles that may be underactive, and integrate full body exercises. In his own practice, he adds dry needling and manual therapies to inhibit or activate a muscle.

08:27 Regional Interdependence: Each region is connected to the joints above and below. Women have more of an issue with knee valgus positioning (caving in at the knee) from wider hips for childbearing. The clam shell or wall slide is a common exercise given.

10:58 Upper Cross Syndrome: If you do the same thing over time you will develop micro or macro repetitive strain. This is common with people who lift weights and have desk jobs. It is commonly called the upper cross syndrome. You will see shoulders and head falling forward in posture.

13:02 Autogenic Inhibition: There are counter receptors in the muscles that respond to pressure. Through foam rolling or myofascial release, you can temporarily release/stimulate them to make them more susceptible to a stretch.

13:33 Changing a Dysfunctional Pattern: A person’s workout technique may have been poor because the mechanics were poor. Try to correct the mechanics and repeat it over and over to make neurological inputs into the nervous system to re-grove a new motor pattern.

14:20 Dealing with Inflammation: For an acute problem, Dr. Lecovin may do some dry needling as an anti-inflammatory process. Instead of RICE, he prefers the acronym MEAT: mobilize, exercise, analgesics, and treatment. He may use manual therapies, acupuncture, contrast hydrotherapy, and perhaps recommend a natural anti-inflammatory.

14:55 Chronic Issues: Patterns have been ingrained into your nervous system. It may take weeks to months to change the pattern.

15:50 Advice for CrossFitters: CrossFit participants should be screened for muscle imbalances. Routines should be periodized. Overtraining leads to breakdown. In the competitive setting of CrossFit, it is easy to break down your form, leading to susceptibility to injury, especially with faulty mechanics.

17:41 Dry Needling: Trigger points are palpable bounds in muscles that come from micro trauma, macro trauma, nutritional factors, or mechanical factors. These knots affect the length and tension of the muscle. In dry needling, the needle creates an electrical change and an immediate length tension change on to the counter receptors. It provides a window to lengthen the area and restore normal tone. Exercises to activate these muscles at this time involve very light weight.

21:27 Undulating Periodization: Dr. Lecovin does something different every time he goes to the gym. As you get older, it is important to maintain flexibility. He tries not to put too much stress on his joints with weights that are too heavy. Failing at the 8 to 10 range is healthier for your joints long term.

23:20 Trigger Points vs Meridians: In traditional Chinese medicine, meridians are pathways, some of which parallel some of the nerve pathways, which contain points that can correlate with trigger point. These are two different systems. Dry needling can go deeper than acupuncture, but it all depends upon the palpation findings.

26:42 Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization:  It is a scraping also used in Chinese medicine, also called graston. Using needles, you can miss the involved tissue, like fascia, by going too deep.

28:10 Getting Treatment Sooner Than Later: Many of us work through the pain and let it become chronic. It creates dysfunctional motor patterns in your nervous system, which can create chronic referred pain that lasts beyond the initial injury.

28:58 Where to Find a Practitioner: Dr. Lacovin practices naturopathic medicine, chiropractic and acupuncture. A practitioner who is NASM trained with a corrective exercise background will be helpful to you. It is important to have a movement assessment, a functional approach rather than a structural approach.

32:19 Lower Cross Syndrome: The overactive hip flexor, crossed with underactivity in the glute-max, can be from too much sitting or too much hip flexion exercise. Foam roller on the hip flexor can be beneficial.

32:48 Foam Rolling: Dr. Lecovin uses the Trigger Point Performance brand foam roller. People try to torture themselves and go deep. This is counterproductive. Acute problems may be superficial.

33:42 Addressing Elbow/Biceps/Triceps Pain: This can be an issue for weightlifters. Moving the area under compression is a great technique. It can be called voodoo flossing.

34:57 Joint Mobility and Stability: Every joint requires a certain amount of mobility and stability. When these are compromised, they impact other joints through the kinetic chain.

36:47 Nutrition for Athletes:  Dr. Lecovin has advanced training in nutrition and finds that nutrition principles for athletes can be used by all of us. Eric Helms devised a brilliant pyramid. It has a foundation of energy and water. This energy/calorie is used for performance, adaptation (in a fasted state), or weight management/loss. Macronutrients (carbs, proteins and fats) is the next stage of the pyramid. Dr. Lecovin ensures that athletes are getting enough protein for the activity. Consume protein at each meal. Eat healthy fats, like olive oil, monounsaturated fats, avocados, nuts, healthy saturated fats, and avoid omega 6 fats. Use carbohydrates to fuel your energy or fuel your adaptations. Being keto adapted seems unnatural for athletic performance. The more intense you are, the more carbohydrates you have. You also need carbohydrates for your adrenals. Real food carbohydrates are preferred. Dr. Lecovin trains fasted. He does a 50 minute workout. After an hour, your start to break down.

44:08 Our Ancestors and Ketosis: Our ancestors probably went in and out of a ketogenic state based upon the fact that food was intermittently available. Therapeutically, ketogenic diet can be effective. It may not be effective for everyone.

45:23 Micronutrients: In the pyramid, micronutrients and phytonutrients are from plant foods. A whole foods diet, with an emphasis on plant food, is important.

45:30 Timing: Timing is the next rung on the pyramid. When to eat, what to eat and how often to eat to fuel your performance, or not fueling it for adaptation.

45:45 Supplements: Supplements are only about 5% of performance, yet today there is great emphasis upon them. You cannot out-supplement a bad lifestyle.

48:01 Dr. Lecovin’s Morning Routine: First thing, Dr. Lecovin visualizes his day. He goes to the gym for his workout. He comes home and has a huge breakfast. He always has a smoothie (water, greens, berries, healthy fats, ginger) and some protein. He gets to the office, drinks some coffee and goes through charts/labs. He grazes throughout the day. Mid-morning he has a nut-based paleo cereal with whey protein, berries and water. Lunch is plant-based with protein. Mid-afternoon he has been having a Primal Bar or macadamia nuts and an apple.

50:32 Dr. Lecovin’s Favorite Herb/Nutrient/Whole Food: He chooses a probiotic, the herb ashwaganda, and a whole food of eggs.

51:28 Dr. Lecovin’s Elevator Pitch: Get enough Sleep. Take care of your stress. Look at environmental exposure to chemicals. Get enough exercise, balanced between cardio/respiratory and strength training. Have a balanced diet that works for you, based upon plants.


Leave a Reply