Interview with a trainee: Andrew LeDuc

knees interview, case study, squat We love to hear from anyone whose improved their health through exercise in training. In order to share the stories of success, we’re happy to interview anyone who feels they’ve benefited from our videos or articles. The first of our series comes from Andrew LeDuc, who approached Chris Williams to thank him for his YouTube instructional videos.

1. What problems did / do you have with your knees?

I had problems squatting down or putting weight on bended knees. It started off as a niggling pain, and I thought nothing much of it until it progressed and got worse. Soon walking became uncomfortable, and I had little confidence while running. Every time I bent my knees to pick something up, I felt pain.

2. How well did you understand what was wrong with you?

I understood I had one or both of two things: tendonitis or patellar maltracking. I also understood that my knee problem was not getting any better on its own, and that there would be no “quick fix” for it. Above all, I knew I needed help for it, as it would only get worse with time.

3. How were you told to deal with it?

After about five to six weeks of pain, I sought physical therapy. My physical therapist told me it was patellar maltracking, that it was an overuse injury, and that I should rest my knee as much as possible. He also treated me with McConnell taping, which provided only short-term relief. My physio instructed me to perform balance exercises for my leg and body, with less focus on knee strengthening. As the treatment progressed, I became frustrated at the lack of variety of exercises, and the repetitiveness of exercises that didn’t seem to be working.

4. What were the results?

Pain relief from my therapy was inconsistent and summarily poor. I had some progression from when I started to when I finished the therapy, but day-to-day movements and activities still brought about discomfort and pain. In fact, I picked up some tendonitis in my hip from some of the exercises, which didn’t heal until many weeks later. Squatting still brought about pain, and I still felt symptoms of tendonitis in my knee.

5. How did you find out about us?

I found out about Chris and his videos through a desperate Youtube search near the end of my therapy. Realizing that professional therapy was failing me, I took to the internet to see what I could learn. When I found that Chris had had the same or similar problem as I, for a great deal longer time, I took hope that I could heal my knee as well.

6. How did our advice compare with what you already knew?

Chris’ advice was almost completely opposite of what my physio had told me to do. Instead of working on balancing exercises and staying away from exercising my knee, Chris told me to seek out what brought about the pain, and stress the knee through those movements. His exercises are simple to do, and are by far the most effective in relieving pain. His knowledge and helpfulness gave me encouragement to try something new to fix my knee. I learned a lot about muscle behavior and finding the right balance of exercises for me.

7. What were the results?

When I started Chris’ exercises and found that after so many exercise repetitions the pain was fading away, I knew I was on to something good for my knee. After about six weeks of daily exercises prescribed by Chris, I have no more pain in my knee. I can do full leg workouts at the gym with zero pain, as well as any activity that hurt while I was injured. At the time of this writing, I am almost two weeks without pain in my knee, the longest period of time without pain since symptoms first started six months ago.

8. How do you feel about your condition now?

I feel very confident about my knee. I know that I should keep doing the exercises Chris has taught me, but now I can work on doing less and less of those, and eventually to a point where I need only minimal maintenance to keep maltracking from coming back. At this point my knee is feeling great, and can even get better. The lessons I have learned about body mechanics and rehabilitation from Chris have been indispensable, and I have been spreading the word to anyone I know who has knee pain.

case studyAndrew LeDuc is a 19 year old student studying design at a university in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, who greatly enjoys exercising and fitness.  He hopes to become a personal trainer to better himself and help others find confidence and strength in life.

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  1. Excellent to read the interview with the young man from Philli…grandma thought it was interesting, too late for her of course.