Ryan Baily & Coach Erik and Family USA vs. Canada


Name:                       Ryan Bailey – Water Polo

Stats:                           35 years old, 6’6”, 250 pounds

Goals:                         Improve overall strength and conditioning

Starting Point:         
Water polo player
Four-time NCAA All-American
NCAA national champion
2008 Olympic silver medalist
Three time Olympian
Abducted scapulas
Structural imbalances
Shoulder pain
Fat hamstrings
Elevated xenoestrogens
Cortisol issues

Approach Taken:     

Ryan had been playing sports at a very high level for nearly 30 years so we were looking to create radical changes in a training program while maintaining a high level of performance. Essentially, we were trying to reverse the clock for Ryan to make him feel and play like he’s 28 years old again.

From a nutrition standpoint, we looked at his hormone profile and did a bio signature analysis and determined that he wasn’t getting enough protein in his diet. Ryan had fat hamstrings and needed lots of fiber and mineralization with green vegetables to help reduce body fat in that area.

We put together a profile for Ryan’s supplementation. We tested his digestion and gave him a few digestive aids for about 6 to 8 weeks to help him metabolize and break down protein and nutrients for better absorption. We also did a blood analysis. We wanted to test vitamin D3 levels, methylation levels, do a general blood glucose, and lipid panel to gain insight to his nutritional habits.

Based on this analysis, he needed a little vitamin D. His methylation levels were low which indicated that he wasn’t getting enough vegetables and minerals in his diet. We put him on a special formulated B methylation complex with methyltetrafolate, which is one of the most absorbable forms of your B vitamins, B12.

From a training standpoint, we focused on countering all dominant muscle groups. The pecs are a dominant muscle group so we focused on scapula retractors to reposition the shoulder so that when he goes through the throwing motion, he’s not in pain. By putting the scapulas in the right position, we improve the efficiency of the throwing motion, so by strengthening the scapula retractors, we’re stabilizing the rotator cuff.

We also worked on external rotators in the shoulder, which is where you are get into the teres major. The teres minor is one of the rotators that was weak. Keeping Ryan strong was imperative so we needed to ensure that he didn’t have back pain and to improve mobility and core activation.

Ryan has a 2-meter position, he’s the big guy who gets fed the ball and does a lot of scoring so he gets double teamed, triple teamed, and sometimes so he will have three guys on him. We worked to reduce the stress on the forearm extensors. Forearm flexors are really strong due to the circular motion that occurs when he’s eggbeatering.

There’s also a rotational flexion motion on the opposite arm of the shooting arm so we had to strengthen up the forearm extensors. We worked on recovery techniques to lengthen the bicep brachialis, which was weak and work on loosening and lengthening both heads of the bicep. We worked on release techniques to open up and lengthen the lats, which were well developed, and this opened up the chest. Putting the scapulas in place enabled Ryan to play without experiencing shoulder pain.

We dry land trained Ryan using a lot of one arm movements and movements with no legs or legs off the ground. This strengthens the core and gives a specific transfer to the sport of water polo.

Ryan is an elite athlete so he has ingrained movement patterns from 20+ years, so our focus to change the structure and the balance of the muscles to improve the efficiency of the patterns. By improving efficiency of the movement patterns and balancing the structure, we can counter the repetitive overuse of the muscles.

Progress Achieved:  

  • Gained 10 pounds of lean mass
  • 14% body fat
  • Improved strength
  • Better overall condition
  • Eliminated shoulder pain
  • Adjusted nutrition