Episode 3: Recovering From Injury


Myth Busted: Muscle vs. Fat

Pictures like the one featured perform very well in social media. They’re also a standard argument for when clients encounter a bit of a plateau when it comes to weight loss. “muscle weighs more than fat”.
Which would indicate that you’re still making progress even though it doesn’t show up on the scale.

Although it’s true that you can make progress without it being visible on the scale , the difference in size/weight is often heavily exaggerated.

In pictures like this one, it seems like fat takes up about 5 times more space than muscle in terms of size. This would mean that muscle is about 5x heavier than fat if the size is the same. But is that really true?

The mass of tissue can be expressed in a volume unit such as the cubic centimeter (cm3).  Water is 1 gram per cm3, while a muscle weighs 1.06 grams per cm3 (UrbanChecka M 2001). Fat mass has a weight of 0.9 grams per cm3 and would, therefore, stay afloat. In ascending order we would rank fat, water and finally muscle mass. Muscles are at most a fifth (20%)  heavier than fat, not 500 percent, as the picture suggests. The picture below would be a more accurate representation of the actual relationship. But that’s not as spectacular as the fake version of course  😉



Readers Question: Noisy knees

When I squat, my left knee makes all kinds of noise. And not once, but really a series in a row. It does not really hurt, but I’m worried. And it’s just not a nice sound. Do you have any idea what this can be?

– Menno

Mark Chen, Physiotherapist

Sounds in joints are very common and exist in various forms, for example, there’s “snaps”,”pops” and “cracks”. Sometimes they are a one-time thing but they can also be constant, as you describe in your question. I can immediately reassure you; 90% of all knees crack, and as long as there is no pain, there is no clinical value. This rule of thumb applies to all sounds joints make.

The knee is a bit special when it comes to sound-making and that is mainly due to the kneecap. Visualise the kneecap as a kind of boat, which lies in the bony groove of the upper leg. There’s cartilage between the kneecap and the femur for smooth movement.

If both surfaces are smooth, there would probably never be any sounds. But that’s not how it works for most people. There are countless factors that determine how our knee is loaded and how the cartilage is stressed as a result. Think of sports, work (for example road workers) and footwear. These factors allow the structure to adjust. A “rippled” structure of your cartilage is very normal, but it does provide a bit more friction when there is a lot of pressure on the kneecap. For example, in squatting.

If you still worry after this explanation, there are ways to change the direction of your kneecap. As long as you do not experience pain, however, you do not need to take any action as far as I am concerned. Ask around in your own environment who else has noisy knees and you will be surprised. And in Dutch, we have a saying that would translate to something like this:

“creaky cars go the longest” , let’s hope that applies to your knees as well!




The one thing only 1% of people do

The Marines have a saying:

“Everybody wants to go to heaven
But nobody wants to die
And that’s just real
At the center of bringing any dream to fruition
Is self-discipline
Something as simple as food and eating

is not about your body as much as it is about your mind
It’s getting command of your mind to be able to choose actions
That are in your own best interest”


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Readers Question: Groin Pain

I play soccer and fitness, but during training I often suffer from pain in the groin. Two years ago, my left groin was strained and I started exercising a little bit too soon. Now I have a lot of problems with my right groin during and after training. I find it very annoying during exercise, but also in daily life. Do you have tips?



Mark Chen, physiotherapist

You’re partly answering your question yourself. You started training too early. We are all bound to certain laws of nature when it comes to repairing damage in the movement system. This recovery takes place in a number of phases and is time-bound. There are a number of things you can do to speed up the recovery, but speeding it up is not possible. But slowing down is!

It seems that this happened to you. If you have suffered damage to your muscle fibers, they must fully recover before they are able to be stressed at the same level again. Especially in sports like football, where the entire lower body is heavily loaded. Starting your training too early can ensure that your injuries are maintained or worsened. Time to reduce the load and practice patience.

Visit a physiotherapist and have your groin checked. This way you can exclude that damage is still present and make an estimate for how much you can stress the area at this time. Often there are also ways to take pressure off parts of your body during activity. Think of athletic tape for example. These are the brightly colored pieces of tape that you see often nowadays, with football players, runners and even swimmers to support peak effort. Sometimes this can help you to train without your groin being constantly overloaded.

Good luck!


5 Questions about Athletic Tape

The sports enthusiast is probably already familiar with it: the colored tape that decorates the calves, thighs or arms of (top) athletes. This so-called medical tape is also being used more and more by non-athletes. Why?

Physical therapist Mark Chen explains it.

1. What is medical taping?

“Medical taping is the collective name for taping with the characteristic, brightly colored, elastic tape. There are many different brands (Curetape, Kinesiotape, X-tape) that are all similar in appearance and function.

The founder of medical taping is the Japanese Kenzo Kase. In the seventies, Kase was already a well-known name in chiropractic and acupuncture. His main point is that physical exercise and muscle activity are necessary to prevent or cure physical problems.

The stiff tape that was available at that time and was used mostly to restrict the freedom of movement of a muscle or joint did not have this effect. Kase, therefore, looked for a tape was more like human skin. In this way, you can improve the physical functions and support injured muscles and joints, without restricting the body’s movement possibilities.

Thus, after years, Medical tape was put on the market. In the last ten years, Medical tape has also gained a lot of popularity in Europe and more and more physiotherapists are becoming skilled in medical taping. ”

2. What kind of injuries medical taping suitable for?

“Medical tape can be used for many different types of injuries.bApplications of the tape are nowadays mainly seen in the sports world. In case of problems in the musculoskeletal system, the tape is often used to support joints or to influence muscles to increase or decrease the load on that structure.

The tape can also be used for posture correction, swelling reduction, pain reduction and improving skin condition for example with scar tissue. Medical taping is extremely versatile. Not all therapists are trained to apply all aspects of the tape, so ask your practitioner for the possibilities. ”

3. What kind of tape is used?

“With medical taping, the tape is used that has the same elasticity as the skin, is very thin and sticks well, it is ventilating, skin-friendly, moisture-resistant and anti-allergic, but it is advisable to apply the tape to a dry, clean, hair-free surfaces.

There are several brands of tape and the type used will differ per therapist. I myself have experience with one type of tape (Cure Tape), so it is difficult to give an objective opinion about which is best. It is ultimately a matter of which tape works best for you.

4. Can you do everything ‘while taped’?

“Depending on the technique and the skin of the client, the tape can last between four and ten days, during which time you can do everything with it: exercise, showering and even swimming! The tape breathes and transports moisture, so it causes no mushy skin under the tape. Of course, intensive use shortens the lifespan of the tape. ”

5. Can you also apply medical taping yourself?

“Yes, it is certainly possible to tape yourself.” Depending on the problem, location and technique, it is sometimes useful to tape yourself (learn with a physiotherapist), which gives you more freedom, especially if you have to be taped regularly. this reduces the number of treatments that you need with a physiotherapist as well.

Nowadays there are even pre-packaged, custom-cut packages for sale at some sports stores. They provide enough tape for self-taping once with an explanation in text and illustration. However, I would advise you to buy a roll of tape and find a certified therapist to teach you how to do it. It guarantees a professional approach and is cost-efficient.

Help me with this

Mindset: Do the Work (RSD Video)

Are you doing the right things?

What are the big ones

The ones you’re ready to go all out in

And instead of having this scattered focus

Have a deep, clear focus and actually get ahead

Success comes when you do a few things well

instead of dabbling around getting lost trying to do too much

Extraordinary results are directly determined by how narrow you make your focus


There’s always one thing that’s the most important

The difference between being successful and unsuccessful is having

the self discipline necessary the resist the lure of the excuses

You do it anyway

You put in the work

You grind through

You just DO THE WORK



I want this


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Reader Question: Swimming for Arthritis ?

I have osteoarthritis throughout my body. My neck, shoulders and right hip are the worst. Which sport can I practice? I would like to swim, is this possible?
– Lida


Mark Chen, physiotherapist:

Osteoarthritis means that the quantity and sometimes quality of the cartilage is reduced. We also call it ‘wear-and-tear’. This is a normal phenomenon and sooner or later we will all experience it. It can cause pain symptoms but it doesn’t have to. The cartilage acts as a shock absorb-er. The joints can start to hurt if there is too much pressure on the amount of cartilage.

Swimming is therefore often an obvious choice; in the water you only weigh about 20 percent of your weight ‘on the dry’. So it is a very friendly way of moving for your joints. In addition, you also use almost all muscles while swimming. It provides a good blood circulation and improves the endurance of the strength-supplying muscles. Swimming can also ensures a quick improvement of the cardio-vascular system! Swimmers are among the fittest athletes in the sports world.

There are, however, a number of side notes to make. Posture and technique are important during swimming. Especially the neck can sometimes suffer severely. Take for example the breaststroke, which is popular with many swimmers. Take a good look and you will see many people swimming with an unnatural position of the neck. Almost as if the head is forced to be kept above water. If there is wear and tear at the vertebrae where this “kink” exists, it could cause more complaints instead of less.

The same applies to the shoulder. A considerable amount of movement is needed to make a nice stroke and sometimes osteoarthritis is accompanied by clear limitations in mobility.

Swimming is a nice and friendly sport for the body, but I recommend to look at the above factors. Any physical limitations can be picked up and possibly treated by a physiotherapist possibly in combination with a swimming instructor.


Good luck!

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Modafinil Review: The Brain of a Champion

I’ve been on and off Modafinil for about 3 weeks now and have been asked to write a report on my findings. So here we go:
Modafinil (Wikipedia):

Modafinil, sold under the brand name Provigil among others, is a wakefulness-promoting drug used for treatment of disorders such as narcolepsyshift work sleep disorderidiopathic hypersomnia, and excessive daytime sleepiness associated with obstructive sleep apnea.[6] It has also seen widespread off-label use as a purported cognitive enhancer.[7] In the United States modafinil is classified as a schedule IV controlled substance and restricted in availability and usage, due to concerns about possible addiction potential. In most other countries it is a prescription drug but not otherwise legally restricted.

Modafinil acts as an atypical, selective, and weak dopamine reuptake inhibitor which indirectly activates the release of orexinneuropeptides and histamine from the lateral hypothalamus and tuberomammillary nucleus, respectively, by unknown mechanisms, all of which contribute to heightened arousal.


My first noticeable effect was on day 1 of taking Modafinil (200gram). I decided to look at a technical problem I was facing with my laptop. A silly issue causing me not to be able to access my website. I found a step-by-step solution before but I immediately felt lost and decided to postpone it. Which would be my regular approach to things.

Now, after seeing the steps, I opened up 6 empty pages almost as a reflex and systematically went through the steps. After about 4 minutes, the issue was resolved.

But I was just getting into things, and I actually felt a little bit sad the task was already over.

I remembered that there’s a project I’ve been postponing for about a year. An e-book that needed to be revised and translated. Just thinking about the work involved would normally cause me to do something else, but I decided to open up the file and start working on it.

After about 2.5 hours I was 75% done. I found somebody to do a cover design, ordered it and translated a big chunk of the book. During this time I didn’t check my phone or my Facebook once.

” Okay, I thought. This could still be placebo but either way I got some shit done” .


Most sport I engage in are solo sports (lifting weights, calisthenics, Yoga) so there’s not much to figure out. But I was on Modafinil when I decided to do a kickboxing session where the coach would hold pads and I’d hit them.

The better you do, the more difficult the combinations become.

My mind seemed to be significantly more efficient in recognizing patterns and communicating them to my body. It was like combinations immediately clicked without me having to think them over. I also felt like my endurance was better. This can be explained by the decreased used of processing energy by the brain , or, could just be non-related of course.


During my work at the clinic I had my first noticeable downside to being “on” . I’m talkative and like to share information, but normally I’m also very aware of the differences in knowledge between me as a therapist and the client. I use analogy and step by step explanation to try to get what’s in my brain, in the client’s. This day was different.

My brain was making connections and associations that were more complex and far-fetched that usual and even though they made a lot of sense for me, during explanation I could tell that clients couldn’t keep up with what I was trying to bring forward.

My normal response would be taking a step back and explaining in a different, more detailed way.

This time though, my underlying response was irritation. “Why can’t he/she keep up?” was clearly coming from the back of my mind.

Noting this gave me the opportunity to change my behavior and even though I don’t think my shift in thinking and speaking was noticeable for any of the clients, it was uncomfortable for me.


-Very noticeable effect on “processing power” of the brain without feeling stimulated. Easy to get fully absorbed into a chosen task and strong need to finish projects.

-Talkative, better use of vocabulary and sometimes words will come up that I normally never use.

-Better memory, I recall names, situations much better. I also suddenly remembered a password I’d lost a long time ago.

-No coming down, no desire to take it on days when I decide not to take any.

-Slightly easier to get annoyed with people / processes that take longer than they should from my perspective.


So far Modafinil has been an absolute addition in my pursuit of getting shit done. My productivity , ability to process data and my planning has been at a level I didn’t think was possible for me. All of this has been on a dosage half of the recommended dose as well.
It’s a good thing that I don’t seem to miss it when I’m not on it. Actually, I’ve noticed that when working with clients, it’s actually better to not be on.
But on days where I need to focus on projects such as writing articles, doing research, shooting videos and creating marketing content, this is a keeper.


Hook a Brother up