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170 Jackie Wu: Strength Therapy: How To Train For Life and Live To Play

Jackie Wu - Strength Therapy - Podcast

In this episode of the Super Strength Show, Jackie Wu takes us on her journey to becoming a Strength & Conditioning Coach, HKC Certified, Neurokinetic Therapy and Movement Specialist, and Owner of Live to Play. During this interview, Jackie helps you find strength in therapy and teaches you how to train for life and live to play!

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[0:00:19.5] RT: What’s up Strength Maniacs? And thanks for tuning in. I’m pleased to welcome today’s guest Jackie Wu. Jackie is the owner of Live to Play. Athletically, she was not blessed with the gift of coordination but rather awkwardness and asthma. Love of physical play held her to an early sports career in high level competitive Taekwondo and some Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, amongst other bits and pieces of various sports.


In 2088, an ATV accident left here with a broken back which led her to a journey of strength and therapy. At Live to Play, Jackie does mostly one on one sessions with either training or some type of clinical therapy like injuries, imbalances and movements. She takes a therapy oriented approach to strength and conditioning. She is certified through the RKC system as a hard style kettlebell certified coach, functional movement systems, dynamic, neuromuscular stabilization, functional movement systems, active release techniques and neuro kinetic therapy.


She has experience with elderly and pre, during and post pregnancy training but specializes in athletes and injuries. She is the head instructor for Taiwan and Hong Kong’s neuro kinetic therapy also known as NKT, which includes over 170 medical doctors and physical therapist. When she is not in Taiwan seeing clients or teaching NKT, she is traveling to various countries to learn from the best about strength and movement and physical rehabilitation and other forms of therapy. You can connect with Jackie by visiting or her Facebook page at




Jackie, welcome to the show. It’s an absolute pleasure to have you here, talk about background and story, I’m really looking forward to getting into this.


[0:02:06.3] JW: I look forward to — I’ve been looking forward to this for a while actually, it’s nice to finally talk to you Ray.


[0:02:11.4] RT: Thank you so much, the feelings are mutual and I love having guest on like yourself, you bring so much to the table, not only a tremendous amount of actual work experience but you also have that personal experience where you’ve had to overcome adversity and I think that brings a unique blend to the table where others, not that everybody should go through the entry that you had which is quite a scary one but I do think that that does add to your ability as somebody who is a therapist and a coach and trainer.


[0:02:36.8] JW: Certainly does.


[0:02:37.9] RT: Yeah, so for those of us who did not get to go through that and again, I don’t wish that upon anybody, we’re going to get to benefit from this. And that’s one of the reasons why I say it’s so important to go learn from others because some of the difficulties that others have had and the lessons that they’ve learned and the time that they spent, I mean they can come back to us within a very short period of time, impart that knowledge and wisdom to us. Again, I can’t wait to get into this with you.


[0:03:03.3] JW: Great.


[0:03:04.1] RT: If you don’t mind Jackie, tell us a little bit more about yourself? I mean we just basically scratched the surface there, there’s a lot to talk about and obviously lot to talk about and obviously we’ll get into certain things in more detail. But how about filling some of the blank spaces there in the bio that I wrote off?


[0:03:16.4] JW: Sure. As you mentioned, I do have a gym in Taiwan and it’s a kettlebell based gym that we integrate a lot of physical rehab and also prehab into it. Pretty much everybody can do it. We recognize that a lot of people have injuries or just aches and pains that they kind of just live with daily life but it kind of gets in the way with the things that they like to do for example sports activities and I’m a firm believer of that people can actually be pain free and still be able to do their sports, regardless of what kind of injury.


As you know, I did break my back several years ago, almost a decade ago actually. I’ve been able to go back to every single one of my activities despite what every single medical professional has told me. They told me I wasn’t going to be able to run, jump, twist, turn, kick, none of that. I’ve run half marathons, I’ve competed in tournaments, took up new activities and it’s all been based on the programs that we have actually set at our gym.


I’ve taken this neuro kinetic therapy just been running with it, NKC and now I’m actually and instructor for it for Asia, we’ve opened up markets in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Korea and also Japan. I don’t do the Japan one but I did the other ones. This has actually been something that’s very integral part of my therapy actually and ales my practice because  it helps people identify the root causes of why they were injured in the first place and also what dysfunctions have been caused from their injuries and we can actually pinpoint those and correct those so they can actually heal a lot faster and they can rehabilitate a lot faster with that.


Over the course of the past few years, I lived in California for eight years, moved to Taiwan, opened up a gym and now I’m actually back in California. But I work a lot with athletes for the most part, a lot of athletes or just active people. It’s really tough seeing people giving up the things that they love doing or enjoy doing just because of some little injury. For example, if you’re a runner and your toe hurts, it’s pretty hard to run well with a painful toe. Something like that is typically a quick fix for me.


I’ve seen people just say, “Oh I can’t run anymore because this toe is bothering me or this knee has been bothering me or my back’s bothering me.” And I don’t believe that people should be giving up the things that they love doing based on a little injury. Obviously everything has their limits but I mean I broke my back in two spots and I’m still able to do a lot of things that a lot of non-broken people can’t even do. Not to pat my own back or to toot my own horn but I’m just saying that these are possibilities for almost everybody I believe.


[0:06:03.6] RT: Okay, so you had an accident, a vehicle flipped over, something of that nature and you broke, was it two vertebrae basically? Were they in the same area? Lower back, mid, upper?


[0:06:13.9] JW: Yeah, I have in my T spine which is kind of in your mid back, my T4, T5, I can’t remember which one, that one’s broken. My L2 which is near the lower back, that one is called a burst fracture where the vertebrae, the bone actually got squished in a kind of a shape like a wedge of cheese instead of block.


From that accident I also had some dislocated wrist and dislocated ribs. I had a couple of herniated disks and those things I just kind of all rehabbed back to place. The only thing that I can’t fix is the actual structure of my Lumbar spine. I have to constantly make sure that my posture is good otherwise the misalignment of the spine would cause a lot of problems.


[0:06:59.5] RT: because, again, the bone itself you’re saying has been changed, the shape of it has been changed is what you’re saying?


[0:07:04.9] JW: Correct. That’s something that can’t be fixed.


[0:07:08.0] RT: Were you performing like an Evil Knievel stunt? What happened?


[0:07:14.0] JW: Almost, I was actually in the desert on a four wheeler, on an ATV and I hit a jump that I thought was going to be an easy quick one that would land on a flat surface but it ended up dipping down 15 feet and the area that I was supposed to land in had this little mound with a bush on it and I didn’t think that was going to be a good idea to land on it so I jumped.


And thankfully with martial arts training and me just like to jump off of trees and that kind of thing, I landed as best as I could and anybody who saw the incident, they all said I got super lucky, I should have shattered bones, I didn’t internal bleeding, got in a helicopter, evac’d out of it. All I came out was with a couple of broken bones and dislocated things and whatever.


I however did not know that I broke anything until actually five months after I broke it because the doctors that took the x-rays either didn’t know how to read an x-ray or they skipped the day they covered shapes in Kindergarten, not sure which but.


[0:08:15.6] RT: Yeah. Which is why you should get a second opinion, right? Something that basic, are you kidding me?


[0:08:21.1] JW: Yeah, anybody could see that, I could show you an x-ray of it right now and you would be able to see, “Oh, one of these is not like the other.”


[0:08:29.2] RT: Yeah, I was going to say, five months later, adrenaline doesn’t last that long.


[0:08:33.1] JW: No, no, no definitely not. I took my rehab into my own hands and I’ve treated it like it was a broken bone and that was actually the first and only thing I’ve ever broken in my entire life, not going to lie, I didn’t break anything else.


[0:08:42.8] RT: Hopefully it’s your last.


[0:08:44.2] JW: Yup, exactly. I had the common sense to treat it as if it was a broken, go through my own rehab. I actually ended up getting to the point where I could actually compete in Taekwondo again and competed five months after I broke it, one, and the day after, I already had an appointment with a new chiropractor and she took the x-rays that told me, “Hey, your back’s broken, I’m not going to touch it until I get a specialist’s approval.” That was the first I ever heard about my back being broken but before that, I just thought, “Well it could be broken but we’ll just treat it like it is and it just hurts a lot.” Now we’re all good.


[0:09:20.4] RT: That was how long ago?


[0:09:22.5] JW: That was the end of 2008, it was actually three days before my 26th birthday.


[0:09:27.6] RT: Okay, so I mean not that long ago. Okay, now you’re back to, you’re saying more or less back to fully functioning 100%?


[0:09:35.8] JW: Oh more than 100%, absolutely more than 100%. I’m doing more now than I used to actually which is kind of cool. Depends on the day of course but I’m doing way more than I used to.


[0:09:46.2] RT: All right, well I’m happy to hear that.


[0:09:47.8] JW: Thank you.


[0:09:49.2] RT: Let’s dive into these questions here and extract some more of these lessons and share them with the rest of us, sounds good to you?


[0:09:56.0] JW: Sure, absolutely.


[0:09:57.9] RT: Okay, Jackie, I’m wondering if you could share one of your favorite success quotes and an example of how you’ve applied it to meaning to your training and life?


[0:10:05.0] JW: I don’t really have any success quotes but I have just some mantras that I kind of live by. My gym is called Live to Play because again I firmly believe in playing, everybody should be able to play and that’s, I think, what life should be based around. If you don’t have play in your life, it gets pretty boring and what’s the point to life?


I also believe that things that you choose to do should be things that either make you happy or will benefit you in some way or shape. So that’s what I base all of my choices on, “Okay, if I do this, is it going to make me happy or is it going to benefit me?” If the answer is yes to either of those questions then I’ll do it. If the answer is no to both of those questions then I won’t do it. It’s made my choice making a lot easier. Then with everything that I do, I make sure I know why I’m doing it not just to do it blindly.


That’s actually helped a lot in training as well because I get very bored very easily and I would not be able to survive in a traditional gym setting. My workouts have been very varied, a lot of times they’re not prewritten, it’s just whatever I feel like that day and just kind of put together a solid workout depending on what I feel like that day and what I want to work on. While I’m working out I’m knowing exactly why I’m doing it and what parts I should be working, it’s a lot more focused


[0:11:23.0] RT: Okay, very interesting. It almost sounds kind of a bit CrossFit-ish would you say?


[0:11:28.8] JW: No. Absolutely not.


[0:11:30.2] RT: All right, I had to ask that question because to the untrained observer or listener, they may think that. Okay, what’s the difference?


[0:11:39.7] JW: CrossFit to me is a sport. It’s a competition where they’re competing against each other or themselves on activity and that activity just happens to be exercising. I don’t compete in exercise, I compete in sports. I use exercise as a foundation to help build my sports competitions and my athletics. Also to basically pre-hab and rehab my back, put myself back together.


But I won’t compete in exercise because to me it’s something that should be used to build your body and make it stronger and make it better, not “let’s see how much we can do with this one thing.” It’s kind of — I also don’t agree with things like race walking for that exact reason because walking shouldn’t really be something you should compete in because the point of it is to get you from point A to point B.


It’s not really a sport but again, that being said, a lot of people will jump on the bandwagon of competitions and whatever they can compete in, they’ll compete in. And that’s totally fine, that’s up to them, just not my cup of tea. I would prefer to use strength training as actual training of strength and making your body better.


[0:12:57.1] RT: Okay, that’s pretty straight forward, we’ve had people on the show before who compete in CrossFit and I raise the point that there’s people out there and I’ll admit it myself that I really don’t think the idea of doing such in a fatigue state, high rep, complex movements such as barbell snatches or cleans, racing against the clock when you’re fatigued is really a good idea.


And he basically said, “Well no, it’s not but it’s part of the competition.” So if you want to be in cross fit and do the competition aspect of it, well then you got to kind of do that. Okay, that’s kind of like driving fast in a race track right? It’s dangerous but if you’re going to race somebody, that’s what you got to do.


[0:13:35.8] JW: Exactly, good point.


[0:13:37.8] RT: Yeah, I think what happens is, I think that was Dominic Minnelli by the way that was telling me this, him and I were talking on an interview. I think the problem is that people who don’t’ know any different will look at that and just think that’s just what you’re supposed to do, they don’t realize that somebody’s made a decision and who knows? Maybe some of those people don’t realize they’re making that decision, they’re just doing what everybody else is doing in terms of competitors.


They don’t realize that those people know that and they have to stay, they realize, “Okay, I know that this is going to, in all likelihood potentially lead to some problems, there’s a higher risk to reward ratio here but I’m willing to do that.” And I think that’s where CrossFit sometimes gets criticism and I think a lot of it is because of that.


These settings where it’s a group setting, people are motivating each other, pushing each other which has a lot of pluses and benefits but it has some negatives where you start to bust down but you just want to get those extra couple of reps or shave off a couple of seconds from whatever it is that you’re doing. And then obviously making sure you have qualified instructors, I mean that’s crucial and sometimes it’s not always the case and that’s just not a CrossFit thing, that’s just across the board.


[0:14:35.9] JW: Yeah. I completely agree with that. CrossFit again, it is a sport and it’s a sport 100% and if people can view it as a sport and they can see that it’s a sport then okay great, then they know what they’re getting themselves into. Because with any sport, it doesn’t matter if it CrossFit or soccer or football or ice skating, there will be injuries that happen because it’s just basically a lot of repetitive compensation patterns that go on because you have to persevere and you have to push, even if you don’t want to.


As long as people understand that CrossFit is a sport, okay, that’s great. With every sport, there’s going to be techniques and coaching and all that that goes along with every sport.


But if people are using CrossFit as a way to build their strength properly and in a smart way, that’s probably not the best idea. I think most people get in to CrossFit thinking that it looks like it’s something fun and it’s addictive and I can get in shape at the same time, okay, that’s their choice. There’s also other options as well that you could compare to the same thing for example Jiu Jitsu, I know it’s extremely addictive, it’s horrible for your body and everybody loves it, that does it.


[0:15:47.7] RT: Why is it horrible for your body?


[0:15:50.5] JW: It’s all joint manipulation.


[0:15:52.9] RT: What’s wrong with that? You can tap, what’s the problem?


[0:15:55.9] JW: You can attack but you also have to know how to defend.


[0:15:58.3] RT: No, not attack, tap.


[0:16:00.5] JW: Oh tap. Then the whole competitive nature of everybody kicks in, you don’t want to tap right? You don’t want to tap because you don’t want to lose and you also have to trust your training partner because if you have an overzealous training partner that just wants to beat everybody, that’s obviously not a very safe thing.


[0:16:17.6] RT: Yeah, I’ve rolled around a couple of times where you have somebody who is over zealous and let’s say they kind of — especially when you are a willing participant in a way to allow them to practice some moves, they get very excited, they get something on you and then they just try to yank that thing on as hard as possible, as quickly as possible, that could lead to some problems real quick.


[0:16:36.4] JW: Oh absolutely.


[0:16:37.2] RT: For those who don’t know, tapping means when somebody gets you into some type of a maneuver, some type of a hold, a choke, a joint lock of some sort that once it gets to the point that you don’t think you can either get out or you can’t handle the pain, you tap. They’ll do that even in the UFC for those who are familiar with UFC you’ll see guys tap.


Anyway, pretty much everybody nowadays knows what that means, tap uncle, it’s the old school way of saying it. But yeah. Oh man, it can get a bit gnarly, you see some of the fights on TV where guys get their bones broken just because they just refuse to tap and that can potentially happen in practice, it’s not very common to look into that extent but the wear and tear over time, is that something that you can recuperate from or rehabilitate over time like all that wear and tear on the joints?


[0:17:26.0] JW: Depends on how much it is and what extent the damage is actually. If there’s structural damage, it’s a little bit harder to deal with but there are ways to actually rehabilitate it to better than it can be if that makes any sense. The traditional sense I guess but there are ways to make it better than what it is and if there is no structural damage then yes, absolutely people can get back to what they were 100%, maybe even better if they do it the proper way.


[0:17:50.5] RT: Okay, for somebody who gets in, who is healthy and let’s say they’re doing something like Jiu Jitsu for example and they’re rolling a couple of times a week, what would you say is a good advice for them? Taking into account the fact that ultimately there is a competition going on and you don’t want to be somebody ho the moments that put their hands on then you tap, “Oh know, I’m good, I’m done.” What would you recommend to them to kind of balance the factor of actually pushing yourself and not being so stubborn about it that you end up hurting yourself?


[0:18:20.3] JW: In the sport or outside of the sport?


[0:18:24.9] RT: Both. How about both?


[0:18:23.9] JW: Okay. In the sport, I highly recommend focusing more in technique because if they’re focusing on strength and speed with no technique, that’s how injuries typically occur. If they’re focusing more in technique, they’re a little bit more slow and methodical, they’re putting a little bit more thought into it, it’s a lot more controlled. And with Jiu Jitsu itself, the whole thing started just for the sole purpose of having this smaller guy beat the bigger guy, it’s not something that you really should need strength or agility for, you just need to have good technique and a good strategy.


That being said, nowadays, obviously Jiu Jitsu is more of a competition and you’re matched up with people that are with the same size and probably around the same strength, but same size. Strength will have a little bit of impact on that but if you have good technique and you know how to manage your energy then it actually works out pretty well.


I’ve rolled with people that are twice my size and I used to do that frequently because there weren’t very many girls where I rolled, if at all. I would roll with guys twice my size and for whatever reason, they thought I was just ridiculously strong and compared to them, I probably wasn’t. I just knew how to conserve and manage my energy properly and not waste my energy where it didn’t need to be wasted.


Even though I didn’t have that much technique because I was just a white belt, I still managed to get by and do pretty decently I would say just because on that energy conservation thing. Then I would focus a little bit more on technique and then that’s how it actually improved a lot more. Outside of practice though, I would recommend something that would balance out the things that Jiu Jitsu does not have. For example, Jiu Jitsu focuses more on the front side of the body, a lot of flection type things. There’s not a very much extension. So in the gym, I would focus on having them do more extension based workouts.


[0:20:22.6] RT: Yeah, good point.


[0:20:24.1] JW: Yeah, so like deadlifts, that kind of thing, bridges. And I would definitely work on strengthening the core in an extended position as well as movement with the hips and using the hips as the prime mover because there’s a lot of people in Jiu Jitso end up not using their hips which is by 90% of them, that’s just a number I pulled out from thin air, but most of the people in jiu jitsu have low back pain because they don’t know how to use their hips properly for the movement, they’re just using their backs.


But yeah, I would definitely work on training the areas that don’t get trained in Jiu Jitsu but in a strength setting. I know a lot of people like to do the crazy cardio because they think they need the cardio for the stamina when they compete or when they roll just in practice. So they just do all these crazy cardio workouts and they just work themselves to the bone and they’re sweating and they’re huffing and puffing and they’re dead and they can’t walk and the next day they can’t get up for work and it just kind of ruins the rest of their life. Well not ruin but it just impedes the rest of their functioning life because of their play.


So unlike a lot of people where people used to work and life as an excuse to not play, a lot of Jiu Jitsu practitioners will do the opposite where they use their jiu jitsu as an excuse of why I’m late for work or why I’m tired for work and why this and that. If they train properly, if they just train a little bit smarter, they can have both. They just don’t seem to realize that a lot of time I think.


[0:22:04.2] RT: Yeah, like you said, it’s quite addicting right?


[0:22:06.0] JW: It’s very addicting. It’s like a game of chess.


[0:22:10.9] RT: That’s exactly probably the best way to describe it, you got to be thinking so many moves ahead and just counters to the movements and counter counters to the counters and it’s really addictive because it’s not just a physical thing, there’s a lot of mental stuff going on. Okay, so I’m thinking of somebody showing up to work saying, “Yeah, I was rolling too hard yesterday on the mat and too much sparring, that’s why I’m late.”


I’m just trying to think, in what work environment is that actually going to fly? Is somebody actually going to go along with that? Manager, boss going to be like, “Oh, oh you were? Okay, yeah, no problem Timmy, it’s okay if you’re an hour and a half late for work, don’t worry about it. You can’t be at the meeting tonight? That’s okay too, don’t worry about it.” I don’t think it’s going to fly.


[0:22:56.5] JW: It normally doesn’t and I guess the tardiness aspect of it is a little bit less because people drive themselves and people are used to that but any of them saying like if they’re lagging a little bit at work or if they show up to work with a black eye or something. That’s not the first time I’ve seen that, I’ve seen quite a bit of that.


Or they got arm barred and their elbow hurts and they can’t really type, it’s a play hazard and they’r4e okay with that because they’re just trading with overzealous people or they were the overzealous person themselves.


[0:23:30.0] RT: You’ve mentioned managing your energy properly. What do you mean by that before we move on here to the next question?


[0:23:37.2] JW: With every movement, it doesn’t matter what you’re doing and this applies to pretty much everything I think in life. Your body has obviously a lot of muscles and a lot of structures that hold it together and I’ll work synergistically to do the movement that you want to do. Now the thing is, when you’re doing a particular movement, you don’t need your entire body to do that one movement.


For example, if you’re bending down to pick up a pen, you don’t need to use all of your back muscles and all of your leg muscles and all of your arm muscles and all of your neck muscles. All you actually really need to do is just brace your core, bend at the hips and that’s pretty much it. Maybe like a little bit of finger flexing and that’s pretty much it. Whereas — so that would be an example of proper energy management was just to focus your energy on the proper muscles to perform that function.


For example, like with the Jiu Jitsu, if you’re playing bottom, you have somebody that’s on top and your back is on the bottom and you’re facing up and you have a grip on the gui which is their uniform. A lot of people will just tighten up their entire body, their whole arm and they’ll just kind of be in one of those really flexed and contracted states for their entire body because they’re so focused on holding on to that gui and they’re focused on not letting go and they’re focused on just using all their might because they know that their fingers aren’t that strong maybe.


That’s a waste of energy because you’re using up a lot of energy on the rest of your body that you don’t really need to when your entire goal is just to hold on to that gui and keep it stable. All you really need to do is just work the finger flexers, keep the elbows in and just hold the shoulder tight and that’s pretty much it. And that you don’t really need to use much else other than core stability but that’s pretty much it, you don’t need to flex every muscle in your body. And that’s…


[0:25:35.0] RT: Oh go ahead.


[0:25:37.7] JW: Yeah, a lot of people that I see, especially beginners, you don’t see it as much with the more advanced practitioners and Jiu Jitsu and I’m saying some purple belts and up, that means they’ve been in it for at least seven years but a lot of the people who are a little bit newer to it will take the approach of flex everything because I’m so excited about keeping whatever I have or doing whatever I’m doing so that everything fatigues very quickly.


[0:26:05.1] RT: Right, including just your overall energy and not just the individual muscles themselves but yeah, you just burn up your energy that much quicker. Okay, very interesting. Thank you, I appreciate that. Because I just want to know exactly what did you mean by energy conservation.


[0:26:18.1] JW: yeah, I could go on for days about that, there’s a lot more that goes to it but that’s just a little window.


[0:26:23.0] RT: That’s a teaser to bring you back on. We have to get into that next time. Okay, let’s jump in to the next question which is sharing a story of a time in your training when you encountered a major challenge and I mean, I don’t know? It sounds like maybe you kind of touched upon that with the breaking a couple of vertebrae there. I’m wondering, take us that time in your life and if you don’t mind telling us the story, kind of paint the picture for us and sharing the lessons that you learned from it.


[0:26:49.0] JW: Two major times that I encountered was number one was yes, when I broke my back and actually number two, when I hurt my knee a few years ago. I’ll actually touch on the one that’s with my knee because that’s probably a little bit more applicable to most people. I’m assuming that not as many people break their backs as hurt their knees.


[0:27:08.9] RT: Yeah, I would agree with you there.


[0:27:11.1] JW: I would actually hope that was the case too because breaking your back is not a fun thing. A few years ago, I was training for — I was actually in Jiu Jitsu training and somebody had done something stupid and they just basically pushed in a different direction that shouldn’t have gone and I tore my LCL and a meniscus. And it was a grade two tear, it wasn’t too terrible but it was just enough that I stopped training for a bit and I wanted to let it heal.


What I ended up doing was that was about the time that I started up my gym, so I basically stopped training, used my knees as an excuse and focused all my energy on my business. Sounds great doesn’t it?


[0:27:57.1] RT: Well I think it’s a lot more common which is probably why you picked up, chose this to dive in to.


[0:28:02.4] JW: Exactly because if you can’t do one thing, you put all your focus on something else. It was great for business but it wasn’t that great for my body physically as well as with my previous injury of my back, I actually… I knew that I needed frequent and consistent workouts to keep up with the maintenance of my back and the health of my back. Taking time off of working out was actually a horrible idea for me. But business was doing well and sorry to say, a few years later, I realize that my body was falling apart. Not really a few years, a couple of years later, I realized that my body was falling apart.


I was in pain a lot and all the back and my knee was still hurting and my hips started to hurt and just like other things just started to hurt because I already had the previous injuries that I just kind of ignored and just didn’t put myself back together. So I actually spent the last year like basically all of — what year are we in? 2016. So 2015 I spent a little bit more focused on putting myself back together and that helped quite a bit and the beginning part was a little rough, I would run into all these little road bumps and speed bumps and if I did one thing a little bit off then my back would be jacked up for about a week and I couldn’t walk or whatever.


The thing was, I had to keep going and no matter what, I kept going back to remembering what it felt like to be normal again, as weird as that sounds. Just whatever it felt like to be uninjured and have a healthy body. I realize that one of my biggest faults is consistency in that area. So I started with something small, I basically started with just making one change in life, not even necessarily in training but just in life so it has something that would regiment me and I knew that sleep was something that I wasn’t doing very well with and I’m a naturally a night person. I love staying up till 3:00 in the morning, I love sleeping in, that kind of thing.


But I realized that that was actually hurting me more than anything else because if my sleep was off, if I didn’t get enough sleep or if I stayed up too late the night before I got up too late that morning, my entire day would be thrown off. And if that was thrown off, the entire week would be thrown off and so on and so forth.


The first thing I did, even before changing anything in my diet was actually to prioritize my sleep and first it was just getting a good solid seven or eight hours of sleep and I tried going to bed at the same time every night and sometimes that would work and sometimes it wouldn’t work. But what I found for me, and I know this doesn’t work for everybody but what I found for me is that if I wake up at the same time every day and it doesn’t matter what time I go to bed, as long as I wake up the same time every day, I’m actually good for the rest of the day which is kind of cool.


No coffee needed, no supplements, none of that. It’s just, if I wake up the same time every day and it will be plus or minus 10 minutes depending on what time I went to bed or how tired I am from the day before but if I get up at the same time, I’m actually pretty good. So I’ve been doing that for the better part of an entire year and it’s been working out really well for me. And then after that, then was the diet portion because I had found out that I had developed a lot of food allergies and I knew that that wasn’t a good thing and that if you develop a lot of food allergies, that typically means that there’s something wrong with your immune system or what not.


So I had that all checked out and I started taking care of that a little bit more and I found out that I actually had candida, the candida overgrowth. In Thailand they had like a Mora test which is basically a bio resonance feedback and it tells you things that you have an intolerance to things that your body doesn’t like and I kind of found out all these things and I took my own approach to this candida, got rid of it or basically evened out my levels in about two months which is actually very quick, just because of the way that I did it.


And then because my body was feeling better, it would actually respond better to my workouts. So I wouldn’t have the aches and pains in my joints that would make lifting painful sometimes. My back wouldn’t hurt from the aches and pains from whatever response that my body had to the things that I was eating and then my workouts got better, I felt stronger, I had more energy and I was actually more motivated to go workout and train.


And then that’s when the consistency in the work outs happened is just naturally because I was happy that I could actually train and not be in pain. It’s just one of those things that feed where I train because I feel good and I feel good because I train and you just kind of keep going with it. That’s kind of, I think, the biggest thing that I’ve had overcome in the last several years other than the whole breaking the back thing.


[0:33:21.1] RT: One thing that you mentioned to me that I wouldn’t mind asking you a little bit more about is, you said, you started to feel what it was like to be normal again, to be healthy again, like no injuries and whatnot. When you are injured and you’re injured for a prolonged period of time or when you are not training for a prolonged period of time, would you say your perception of what being 100% will change? Because you’ve become accustomed to operating at a lower level, being injured and whatnot. So now your new normal has adjusted downward?


[0:33:55.8] JW: Yeah, well I would say normal and100% are two different things. Obviously that will depend on how you view it because if you’re chronically injured, your new normal has obviously declined, your new normal is a constant state of pain, it’s a constant state of inability. And you now that your 100% is more than you have because you can remember back to the days where you were still able to do the things that you cannot do now.


[0:34:21.6] RT: Right.


[0:34:24.9] JW: So you know what your 100% is and it’s just not what your normal is anymore.


[0:34:30.3] RT: Okay, the reason I bring that up is because I think many times, for somebody who maybe hasn’t ever really excelled let’s say with physical training, they may not realize what’s truly capable for them. I’m not talking about maxing out their genetic potential and being somebody who just trains all day long and that’s all they do. Just in terms of, like you said, just getting your sleep in order, all of a sudden now you don’t need caffeine, you don’t need anything to kind of wake you up.


I have friends of mine, “Don’t you drink coffee?” And I’m like, “No, not at all.” “Don’t you don’t need it?” I’m like, “No.” I’m not “abusing” my body by staying up like really weird hours many times and not getting enough sleep and over stressing over things that you shouldn’t even be stressing about. Then on top of it, people go drinking on the weekends and all this other stuff when you’re not doing any of that stuff, your body is much more able to function, it doesn’t have to recover from all the crap you’re putting it through.


[0:35:22.5] JW: Oh yeah.


[0:35:23.6] RT: Many times people don’t even realize that they kind of get in to this almost downward cycle and they don’t understand that with some slight tweaks, what you think is feeling good, all of a sudden you realize, “Oh damn, I’m capable of feeling so much better,” and I think it’s also something that could sneak up on you and many times I think that’s what occurs because like you said, you get injured, it’s pretty obvious, “Prior to the injury I was doing X, after the injury I’m doing Y.”


It’s a pretty black and white kind of scenario there. But for somebody who never really went through that and just like you said, okay, your knee was bugging you so you didn’t train and then for many people it’s, “I’m busy, I don’t have time to exercise or maybe I don’t like exercise,” whatever it may be and over time, things start to decline and their understanding of what normal is just goes down, down, down and it kind of sneaks up on them.


[0:36:12.1] JW: Yeah.


[0:36:12.8] RT: I think that’s something to be aware of.


[0:36:14.6] JW: That is 100% something to be aware of. I think the biggest issue with a lot of people, I don’t want to say issue as a bad thing, but I think it’s something to be aware of that I think the biggest thing that most people have as far as not being able to get in shape or not being able to do the things that they want to do or reach the goals that they want to reach is the excuse of not having enough time.


I am a huge proponent of prioritizing your time and knowing what your priorities are and making the time for those things. I haven’t watched TV in I don’t even know how long. Many, many, many years because I think TV is a waste of time, there’s nothing good that comes from TV. People are constantly telling me about this new shows and these new movies and this new whatevers and I I’m like, “I have no idea what’s going on, don’t even care because what good is it going to do for me?”


It may be enjoyable for them to watch and that’s fine but I mean, if they’re taking the time to watch three or four hours of TV every night but they don’t have the time to go do a quick 20 minute workout and get themselves in shape and they complain about being overweight or feeling bad or not having energy well they should probably take a look at their priorities and just kind of rearrange a little bit and see what things are really a priority for them. If their health is actually a priority for them, they should take that pretty seriously I think and they should reevaluate what they’re putting as a priority instead of what they would like to.


[0:37:41.5] RT: Yeah, but I think again it kind of goes back to that whole concept of what your opinion is of normal, right? It kind of either goes up or down depending on how you live your life. I think the same thing could be said about what you find enjoyable. There’s a time when we’re really young and we thought it was great to play with wooden block toys and I’m not the only one that was stuck with those right?


Some of the guys because of course the girls didn’t do this, you know, picking your nose and flicking it around and whatnot. That was a lot of fun, right? Then all of a sudden you realize, “Well no, it’s time to mature and go beyond that point,” and you find things that are much more enriching and much more rewarding to do. Sure there’s some TV shows out there that probably do provide entertainment or a great time, but like you said, to spend hours and it’s so easy to spend hours a day doing stuff that’s just pointless.


When you step back and really take a look at how you spend your time in the run of the day, in a week, in a month, it could be mind-blowing how much time is wasted on just utter crap at the end of the day. That may give you a bit of a hit in terms of enjoyment in the moment but compared to what you could be doing with that time and the enjoyment you can get even short term, let alone long term, I mean it’s just, you got to be kidding me.


Look at that schedule of yours, how we spend our time sometimes, wow, this is crazy. That’s what happens when we don’t kind of pay attention to what’s going on, it’s so easy to get caught up in the day to day, hustle and bustle and business, before you know it, you’re sliding into this stuff and it’s creeping up on you.


[0:39:10.5] JW: Yeah, that’s the most dangerous ones.


[0:39:14.0] RT: Okay, how about sharing a story of a time in your training that you had a breakthrough moment, if you could take us back and tell us the steps you took to turn that moment into success?


[0:39:23.2] JW: There’s no really one single moment that was a breakthrough moment for me, my history of training and physical activity has been just basically this string of observations, theories, applications and results. Now being permanently injured forces me to be more aware of how and why I move. For example, some days I can do some pretty cool stuff and some days I just can’t.


You just have to know when those days are and I just kind of design my workout accordingly. For example, some days, you’ll see pictures of me on Facebook or Instagram or whatever doing some things like swinging a 69 kilogram kettlebell and then right after that I’ll do some crazy yoga pose or whatever. By the way, I don’t do yoga, it just looks like fun and just see people do it and I’m like, “Oh, let me see if I can do that.”


Those are my good days and then there’s some days, if I did jiu jitsu a little bit too hard or whatever the day before, my back might need a little bit of a rest so the day after, I might just have to do a little bit more of a recovery or rehab workout. I’m not going to do anything like swinging heavy kettlebells or crazy yoga moves.


It just really depends on the day but I think whenever the day was and I don’t remember when but whenever the day was when I realize that my workouts would never be like anybody else’s because of my situation where as like I used to be able to have a program and follow that program and whatever happens, happens but I have to follow that program no matter what.


To versus now where I can have a general outline but I have to also be very versatile and I have to be able to adapt. So I think that’s probably one of the most important things that I have incorporated into my training is just the fact that I am aware of that kind of thing and I don’t force my body to do things that it shouldn’t or doesn’t want to do at that day.


[0:41:23.2] RT: Paying attention, right? Not trying to force yourself to fit in to some type of a program which ultimately could lead to some issues.


[0:41:28.3] JW: Exactly, exactly. Especially because for me the reason why I work out is not to compete in something like bodybuilding or running or whatever. I’m not training to compete even though I actually could compete in things with the way that I train but I’m not training for something specific that needs to be, “Oh well I’m trying to get to a max deadlift of whatever.” I’m training for life.


I’m training so that I can play and do the things that I enjoy doing pain free and it makes it a lot easier for me to be able to be versatile with my work out because I don’t have to worry about, “Oh well I want more hypotrophy in this area of my body, I want more fat loss, I want more of this, I want more of that.” The rest of that actually all kind of comes into play with the lifestyle that I lead. I know one of the questions that you had me answer for one of the questionnaire thing or whatever, it had a question about diet and cheat days. I don’t really follow a diet.


I don’t have cheat days, I don’t follow diet, I used to when I was a competitive athlete. I used to have a diet and I used to have cheat days and all that and I’ve been through several varieties of that but now I don’t have any of that and I would say I’m in pretty decent shape, I have a decently low percentage of body fat and that I don’t have a six pack or anything but you can see my abs, it’s one of those things where I feel good, I like how I look, there’s no qualms about any of that but the way that I eat is I just feed my body things that make me feel good. Things that it needs and it has to taste good. Those are my requirements.


[0:43:18.4] RT: Those are good requirements.


[0:43:22.7] JW: I mean I eat ice cream almost on a daily basis, I eat lots and lots of cheese. I’m a little bit lax on my vegetables lately, I should probably eat some more vegetables but I don’t have anything like that regimented because it’s too much of an extreme for my body. My body doesn’t need extremes, it needs what it needs, not what I’m telling it it needs. It’s telling me what it needs and that I’m feeding it what it needs.


[0:43:50.2] RT: All right, I think that’s probably providing a bit of relief for a lot of listeners when it comes to the diet aspect of things. I think many people fall into the misbelief that misunderstanding that we got to live off of low fat water and low sodium air and it’s like what? Let’s throw in some rice cakes too.


[0:44:09.7] JW: Oh jeez. I remember the rice cake days.


[0:44:14.6] RT: That’s not really true. I mean when you see these extreme diets, more often than not, that’s somebody trying to get down to a ridiculously low body fat percentage for a bodybuilding competition. They don’t do that for 95% of the year. That’s for the last so many weeks prior to the show, they get insane with what they’re doing because they’re trying to achieve a pretty ridiculous goal in terms of — when I say ridiculous, not something to laugh at, some people may laugh at. In terms of just really look at an anatomy chart, that is a pretty intense and insane goal and it requires you take some pretty drastic measures to achieve it. But anyway.


[0:44:51.4] JW: I think it all blows on to the reason why you’re doing everything. If your sport is cutting weight and cutting fat and cutting water to show your muscles, obviously that would be a better decision for them because that’s the reason why they’re doing it but it runs with everything else, the same thing with the reason why they train. They train completely different than how I would train because they would train for muscle hypertrophy and I don’t. I think that applies to everything, it’s just knowing why you’re doing something, not just doing something because somebody said it was good.


[0:45:25.2] RT: Yeah, exactly, that’s a big part. It goes back to, “What is my body telling me, what is the feedback? Okay, all right, okay, this is kind of bugging me. Maybe I need to put some more on this movement or this session.” It just kind of listening right? Making sure that your program fits you as supposed to the other way around.


[0:45:45.5] JW: Yeah.


[0:45:46.2] RT: For the vast majority of people, that’s basically what you need to do, again, if you’re competing at a very high level, it gets to a point where it could be argued, it’s almost the other way around to a degree, just because you have to meet certain criteria. Even guys that, and gals that train like that, again, the extreme end of that, it tends to be for short periods of time. Just because the body is not going to handle it for extended periods of time, nonstop, it just kind of break down eventually. Just something to keep in mind.


[0:46:15.1] JW: Exactly.


[0:46:16.5] RT: Okay Jackie, we’re going to go to a break and guys we’ll be right back, we got Jackie Wu on the show from Live to Play and we’ll be right back guys




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[0:47:30.2] RT: All right guys, we’re back with our guest Jackie Wu from Providing us all kinds of goodness here during this interview. I got to tell you Jackie, this is like 10 interviews in one with all this information you’re saying with us, I really appreciate it. Each point I got so many follow up questions I want to ask you but I’m trying to keep an eye on the clock. So maybe I’ll have to ask you them in some follow up interviews.


[0:47:54.3] JW: Sure.


[0:47:54.9] RT: Alrighty. Next question, if you could recommend one training resource for our listeners, what would it be? It could be anything from a piece of equipment, training, let’s say program, maybe some type of coaching program, online program, a book. What would you recommend?


[0:48:10.8] JW: Honestly, it depends on what their focus is because everyone’s different with the reason why they’re training. My piece of advice for this would actually just to actually know what your focus is. So find your focus and then do some research, find likeminded leaders in that area and then follow them but take everything that they say with a grain of salt.


Don’t just accept every word that they said just because they said it. Understand why, and challenge it, and if you still agree with it, then fine, then great. But recognize that not everybody knows everything and not everything that people say and no matter who they are is 100% valid especially in your personal case.


Do some research on whoever you want to follow or training modalities that you want to do, challenge it, question it and figure out the reasons why they’re saying these things and why they would work and if you can’t understand why they work and you can’t figure out and you can’t find an answer to it, leave it, take the good stuff and leave the rest. But I don’t believe in following only one person or one modality or one method.


Our gym is mostly based on kettlebells but we don’t just use kettlebells, we use other things too. There’s other things, I mean you can use bars and free weights and whatever but it really depends on what your focus is. Just know that to take everything with a grain of salt and just take the good stuff.

[0:49:38.6] RT: Clear and critical thinking, I like that. All right, let’s get to the next question and that is, one that I kind of goof around with a bit on, I’m going to be honest with you. But anyway, when you answer, if you don’t mind providing some specifics and that way there we have something that we could take away and really apply. Here we go.


You are in the middle of a Jiu Jitsu session and I don’t know about you but I’ve experienced this before, all of a sudden you smell a funk and it’s like, “What’s going on here?” You start poking around at everybody else in the room, you just look and everyone else in the gym, you’re thinking to yourself, “Who is the offender? Where is the funk coming from? Because I’m going to fly myself to the other end of the room and I’m going to avoid as much as possible having to spar with this guy.”


Now, obviously it’s a guy because girls, it’s never girls right? All of a sudden you look over and you see me just sitting there and I got this funny look on my face, you’re like, “Oh my god, are you kidding me? This is not good Ray, what? I thought you’re a professional, what are you doing here?” And then I look at you and get up and I come over and I go, “Look, I know, it’s kind of me but not me. The smell followed me and it wasn’t me I promise.”


I give you the keys, I say, “Outside, full tank of hot garbage, look, you live in San Diego, the car’s been outside in the heat, the sun’s beating down on that full tank of garbage, it’s starting to smell bad, right? But don’t worry about it, that just gives you a few extra horsepower and you’re going to need it because with this vehicle, you know what you’re going to do? Go back in time and knowing what you now know, how to structure your training to get the best results in the shortest period of time and set you up for long term success?”


[0:51:05] JW: [Laughs]


[0:51:07] RT: Yeah, exactly. It’s like, “I’m supposed to give serious advice after that Ray, really?”


[0:51:12.8] JW: I love that, that’s awesome. Nothing like a great picture of that in my head. Actually I think the thing that I would have added into my training. This is something that is relatively new to me even though I’m a professional at it now and I teach it is actually neuro kinetic therapy. Neuro kinetic therapy or NKT, if I had known this when I had hurt my knee or even when I hurt my back, I would have immediately applied it to my training.


Because what NKT does is it identifies the root causes or basically the dysfunctional pairings of motor control issues that cause the pain and also a lot of that cause injury. For example, a lot of people know what glute amnesia is or have at least heard about it where your glutes are not as neurologically connected as you would like them to be, they’re just kind of sleepy.


Because your glutes are sleepy, other muscles in your body are going to be compensating for them and trying to do the work that the glutes should be doing. In a lot of therapy modalities now even like physical therapy or massage or chiropractic’s or even corrective exercise by themselves, you’re only solving one part of the issue and you’re guessing on the rest.


You’re either guessing on or you’re either finding something that is tight and “needs to be released” but we don’t know that. Then they’ll release it just hoping that that was it and then hoping that the body just kind of catches on or it’s the other way around where you find things that are not working and you try to wake them up, hoping that the things that we’re compensating for them automatically shut down.


But a lot of times that’s not the case. Neuro kinetic therapy is actually a diagnostic tool that will help you find the exact pairings of which muscles are compensating for which muscles. This way, you can actually fix a lot of pain very quickly with this. You’re basically reprogramming the motor control patterns that are going on in your body, in your brain. And so if I’d known this — pardon?

[0:53:16.5] RT: I was going to say, how long does it take for that to occur?


[0:53:19.1] JW: It really depends on how fast you do your homework and how quickly your body catches onto things. So if you have a good practitioner that can find more high priority type relationships and you do your homework, because again, it’s just like training a dog. You have to teach them something and they have to learn it and it depends on how smart the dog is. For your body, if you’re an athlete and you work out and you’re good with your body, it will take a lot less time than if you were not active.


[0:53:46.1] RT: Okay yeah, gotcha. Now you were saying if you would have known this when you first started, you were going to say something else there and I jumped over the question.


[0:53:55.9] JW: Yeah, if I had known what NKT was before I hurt myself or when I hurt myself way back when, I would have completely used this 100% with my rehab because it would have taken things a lot more quickly to get better and get me back on my feet with things.

[0:54:10.9] RT: Okay, and is this something along the lines of MAT — Muscle activation therapy?


[0:54:17.0] JW: MAT is one of those other modalities where it’s the guess work, it will find an inhibited muscle and it will activate it from both ends of that muscle and it’s just going to hope that the brain catches on that whatever was compensating for stops compensating. So it’s still the same thing as if you were to do corrective exercise but it’s just a different technique of corrective exercise.


[0:54:38.8] RT: Okay so where can people find out if they can get — It’s NKT right? Neuro kinetic therapy. Where can people find out if there’s a practitioner in their area or is there like a website you can go to?


[0:54:49.8] JW: Well a couple of options actually, they can either go on directly on to the neuro kinetic therapy website which is and there is a list of certified practitioners all around the world. Or they can actually go on to my Facebook page which is or you can just type in “Strength Therapy” and I will actually connect you with people that I know that are better practitioners.


There’s different levels of NKT just like everything else. I can point them in a better direction as far as who to go to in their area. Or even if it’s not NKT, there’s a couple of other modalities that are pretty good too that are out there that I can point them in that direction, since that’s kind of a network.


[0:55:32.0] RT: Now NKT, does it address only muscles, does it also address joints?


[0:55:37.7] JW: Well joints are put together by muscles, so in that sense, yes, it does address muscles, it does joints, it addresses scars, it address fascia and it addresses ligaments and tendons and skin. Pretty much all of that. There’s another modality also called PDTR which is Proprioceptive Deep Tendon Reflex which is also good.


That deals with other receptors of the body. So it’ll deal with different pain receptors and vibrations receptors and sound receptors, all sorts of things. But NKT is a very, very good place to start. It deals with more than the more common type things I would say.


[0:56:19.0] RT: Okay, definitely going to have links then in the show notes page, thank you so much, I appreciate that.


[0:56:22.6] JW: Not a problem.


[0:56:23.5] RT: All right, we are pretty much at the end of the interview and I got to tell you, I appreciate you taking that time from your day, I know you’re very busy, we went a little over time here but I can ask you probably 10 more hours’ worth of questions here. This has been really helpful, I really appreciate this.


There’s a lot to be said about somebody like yourself who is willing to say, “Listen, I’m not the person for the job, however this person is.” So it says a lot about you and your character and whatnot. Thank you so much for offering that and setting up the Facebook site obviously where you can help point people in the right direction.


[0:56:57.7] JW: Absolutely. I hope a lot of people can get help with this.


[0:57:00.8] RT: Yeah and the way you could help, those who are listening right now, is you actually, you got to get out there and you got to ask somebody, right? Here you go, right now we have Jackie and sounds like a tremendous resource, she had to overcome a serious injury to get herself back up and running and here she is back and better than before. She’s willing to point you in the right direction.


What I do want to ask you though is before we leave, I’m wondering, where can we find out more about you Jackie? You had mentioned, we’d mentioned the website, we mentioned the Facebook site and whatnot, the page. How about you kind of give us a little run down of where we could find out more about you, how can somebody work with you, what do you got for us?


[0:57:36.0] JW: I think the easiest way to contact me is either through Facebook or send me an email at or just find me on Facebook, probably easiest just to find through the Strength Therapy page because there’s a million Jackie Wu’s on there. I think that’s probably the easiest way to get ahold of me. I am also going to be writing a book, I don’t know if I can plug this quite yet.


[0:57:59.6] RT: Oh yeah, Definitely, go for it.


[0:58:01.4] JW: I’m in the process of writing a couple of different books on self-rehab for athletes and active people and I would love to have people’s input on what they would like to read about and various conditions that they would like or even if it’s something that I don’t put in the book, I can actually put it on the Strength Therapy page because I do put a lot of educational things and also some case studies and just examples of things that we can do with modalities like NKT and PDTR and things like that. So yeah, they can totally contact me. I think Facebook and email are probably the best ways.


[0:58:38.1] RT: Okay, one more time, the email is And the Facebook page is, correct?


[0:58:50.2] JW: Correct.


[0:58:50.9] RT: Okay, so there you go guys. If you want to get some information, here she is, right now, Jackie is saying, “Send me the input.” And again, through email, through the Facebook page, people can contact you and basically say look, I’m interested in learning about maybe sciatic pain or maybe recovering from MCL surgery or something of that nature and you can help — that will help you determine what to include either in the book or on your website, you could produce content for that, helping people.


[0:59:19.0] JW: Absolutely, 100%.


[0:59:21.5] RT: All right, that’s great, that’s a really good offer actually. I mean guys, you heard it, she’s in charge of an army. I don’t know about in charge, but you’re definitely the go to resource and maybe you could explain that just before we leave here because I think that’s important to impress upon people. You’re in Taiwan and what is it exactly that’s going on in Taiwan for you?


[0:59:41.5] JW: I am the instructor for the NKT in most of Asia. Right now we’re in Taiwan and this year we’re actually opening up Hong Kong and Korea markets as well. So I’ll be teaching seminars in those areas. If you guys are interested or if anybody’s interested in taking those classes, they can actually look on the neuro kinetic therapy website for those dates and how to register for those.


But in the states and in Western countries you typically have a student, we typically have more trainers and massage therapist and some chiro’s and physio’s. And in Taiwan, 90% of my students there are medical doctors and physio’s. There are no massage therapist there just because it’s Asian, it’s different over there. We have a few trainers but we have a lot of medical background as my students over there.


Me teaching over there, I learned quite a bit about a lot of the medical stuff and then also I teach in the states as well too. I get to work at the very large variety of people who love helping people get better.


[1:00:51.2] RT: Right now, you had told me before starting that you are dealing with one of our prior guest, Max Shank and what do you guys got going on there between the two of you?


[1:01:01.1] JW: Oh Max is wonderful.


[1:01:02.7] RT: He is, great guy.


[1:01:04.0] JW: He is fantastic, I actually got my start of kettlebells from Max. I ended up at his gym form one of his trainers who I was taking chemistry class with because where I think we’re both going to try to go to PT school or something. I got my kettlebell start with Max and love his gym, love his philosophy and I actually based my gym in Taiwan, Live to Play, on a lot of the philosophies that Max and Ambition Athletics has.


Anytime I’m back in the states to visit I would always go work at Ambition Athletics. This is in Encinitas, California, fantastic gym, great people, it’s a very family type gym, everybody is close and they’re very cool. Their training philosophy is awesome. So I train there but recent happenings with my personal family life, there’s things that happen where I’ve decided to actually move back to the states.


So Max has offered for me to be the person in the gym to kind of fix people up a bit, which is nice. So we’ve got this little partnership going on, we’re actually working out of the Ambition Athletics. So the people there will be all nice and pain free. If anybody wants to actually see me at Ambition, that would be great too or I can actually do mobile appointments too.


But I’ll do training and I also do rehab type things, I can’t say I do rehab because I’m not technically a physical therapist but I do rehab type things or corrective exercise I guess, but in a different way. And also help people get out of pain.


[1:02:45.9] RT: All right, there you go. So anybody who is in the California area, specifically Encinitas, I would highly recommend you get ahold of Max’s gym, Ambition Athletics because Jackie is there right now. Who knows, you sound like, it’s just amazing some of the guest that come on the show, actually pretty much all the guests, just how much they want to help people. You could really hear when you talk, and I really appreciate that.


So guys, girls, gals, guys, whatever, all of you out there, I can’t stress this enough, I’m constantly saying it. You’ve got to reach out to these people, these specialist, these experts, these people who have been there and done that. Man, nowadays with the advent of the Internet, things like social media, obviously email’s been around for a while, it is so easy to get a hold of people and just as important, it’s relatively easy or easier to find people.


In the past it was like, somebody like Jackie here, it would be very difficult to discover somebody like Jackie because either she’s writing papers for some institute of some sort or working somewhere and she’s kind of hidden away some type of a secret weapon of some sort to keep people healthy and running and operating at a high level in the Olympics, let’s say, or professional teams. It’s very difficult to find somebody like this.


Nowadays with the advent of the internet, people are just much more out there and obviously there’s more people than ever that are in the health and physical training and just in general type of health and fitness field and general wellness and because of that, it’s just easier to access people with this type of education and knowledge.


That being said though, as Jackie said, you want to make sure the person you’re going to really know what they’re doing. Again, Jackie, I think will be the first to say, heck her out, see if she really does know what she’s talking about and so far, you got my vote and I got to tell you, it says a lot, again as I mentioned earlier, when somebody who is in business will take and “turn business away” by saying, “You know what? I’m not the right person for you, you need to go see this person. This person is the one that will really helps you.”


Says a lot about their character and Jackie I highly recommend you guys check her out, if anything she said resonates with you, if anybody’s got an issue, don’t waste time, you got any injuries or even before you get injured, you should be doing things prehab. But if you are injured, definitely I know it can be a bummer, it can really get you down but don’t waste time rolling around in misery and solo and whatnot, you want to get out of that as quickly as possible and find the people that can help you get right back on your feet.


Jackie and I before talking, we mentioned, I mentioned George St. Pierre to her, The UFC fighter. I think a pretty serious knee injury, he had to get surgery and what not but he was on top of his recovery and he was back and better than ever and off he went. I highly believe that’s because of obviously had a very competent surgeon and he had a really effective program. More importantly I would say all of that is that he had the right mind frame, the right mindset to get in there and to get himself healthy again.


It’s going to be a bummer, you’re going to be in pain, you’re not going to be 100% right away but the quicker you get in there and the quicker you kind of put the stuff that for example Jackie can teach you and help you with, the faster you can get to recover.


So I can’t recommend enough to reach out to these fantastic guests that we have and really, really take advantage of their knowledge, the wisdom and their experience. You can do that by going to or and you can find out more about Jackie there.


If there’s anything you guys want to learn about she is writing a book as she mentioned, guys, send in the questions, send in the things you’d like her to talk about and she’ll either put them in the book as she mentioned or create content for her website. Can’t recommend enough the resources that Jackie’s offering to you.


Other than that,, you put in Jackie’s name, Jackie Wu. You’ll get the show notes page, you could listen to the interview again there, you can download it, you can share it with all the social media buttons, we really appreciate it when you do that. There’s links to take you to the various podcasting platforms we’re on so you could sign up and get the podcast sent directly to you so you don’t miss anything.


That’s really important, I think that helps so that way you’re not — you’ve got enough on your mind, last thing you need to be doing is remembering to constantly have to check in for the new shows. This way here they come straight to you, that’s great. There’s also an option to leave a review. Now, if you’re on a mobile device or even on your desktop, let’s say in iTunes for example, there is a way to leave reviews there.


There is a way to leave a review right on the show notes page, a little link there, leave a review, Stitcher you can also leave reviews there. It means a lot to us when you do that because what that does is it brings the show up higher in the rankings which exposes it to more people and in addition to that, it shows great guest like Jackie that it is worth her time to come on because we do have an engaged audience.


So we really appreciate everybody who has done that so far and we always ask for more. In addition to that, guys, when you’re on the page, the show notes page, we’re going to have all kinds of goodies including all kinds of links to get you in contact with Jackie, links for the various resources that she mentioned, all that good stuff will all be on there. We got that bonus Q&A she mentioned, it’s fun to read the answers that our guest have for that. Any type of videos, there’s a lot of good content there.


So we recommend check out the show notes page which is in the search bar, put in Jackie’s name, Jackie Wu. When you’re also on the site, don’t forget to sign up for the free report and the newsletter, it’s always a good way to get some great information. Other than that, Jackie, we’re pretty much wrapped it up for today so thank you so much.


[1:08:09.3] JW: Thanks for having me.


[1:08:10.5] RT: All right, okay guys, quickly here, almost forgot. Feedback, good, bad or fugly, and training photos before and after’s, your home gyms, whatever you want to send us so you could show it to others, whether it’s photos or videos that you already got posted online, send us the link or the photo itself, to, we’d love to share it with everybody. That’s also really greatly appreciated and motivating for others.


All right, as I always say, put this stuff to use guys, get out there, put it to use okay? The only way you’re going to benefit from it is if you really put it to use. Other than that, as we always say, train smart, train hard and until the next time, we’ll talk to you then.


More Specifically in this Episode You’ll Learn About

  • Jackie shares her journey from breaking her back to where she is at right now
  • Make sure to have PLAY in your life
  • The things that you do should either make you happy or benefit you in some way
  • CrossFit: Exercise Vs. Sport
  • Rehabilitating injuries from Jiu Jitsu
  • Know when to tap
  • Focus on technique
  • Manage your energy properly
  • Train the areas that don’t usually get trained
  • Focus your energy on the proper muscles that are needed for a specific task
  • Being Normal Vs. Being 100%
  • Prioritize your time
  • Pay attention to your body and don’t force it to do anything it doesn’t want to do
  • How to train for life
  • The importance of knowing why you’re doing something
  • Nuerokinetic Therapy

About Jackie Wu

Jackie is the owner of Live to Play. Athletically, she was not blessed with the gift of coordination, but rather awkwardness and asthma. A love of physical play led her to an early sports career in high level competitive Taekwondo, and some Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, amongst other bits and pieces of various sports.

In 2008, an ATV accident left her with a broken back, which led to her journey of strength in therapy. At Live to Play, Jackie does mostly one-on-one sessions with either training or some type of clinical therapy (injuries, imbalances, movement, etc).

She takes a therapy-oriented approach to strength and conditioning. She is certified through the RKC system as a Hardstyle Kettlebell Certified coach, Functional Movement Systems, Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilization (DNS), Active Release Techniques (ART) and Neurokinetic Therapy. She has experience with elderly and pre/during/post-pregnancy training, but specializes in athletes and injuries.

She is the head instructor for Taiwan and Hong Kong’s Neurokinetic Therapy (NKT), which includes over 170 medical doctors and physical therapists. When she is not in Taiwan seeing clients or teaching NKT, she is traveling to various countries to learn from the best about strength, movement, physical rehabilitation, and other forms of therapy.

You can connect with Jackie by visiting or her FB page at


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Success Quote

Jackie Wu - Strength Therapy - Quote

Training Resources Mentioned in this Episode

Know your focus and find like-minded leaders in that area.

Neurokinetic Therapy

Guest Videos

Skin the cat with tuck lever hold


Basic Lumbopelvic Rotation Strengthening


Lateral breathing; diaphragm self release

Connect With Jackie Wu

Instagram  – @strength_therapy

Bonus Q&A

Every person that we interview on The Super Strength Show has an opportunity to answer some extra questions that aren’t asked in the podcast. It’s a chance for our listeners to learn a little bit more about our guests and to get even more value from our show. Check out the answers that  Jackie Wu provided below!

Can you share one of your habits that contribute to your success in the gym?  Consistency. I wake up at the same time every day (regardless of what time I go to bed). I make sure I use the movement I have every day, whether or not I go to the gym.

What are your favourite exercises?  Exercises that involve some sort of play. I’m not a big fan of boring, repetitive things like machines or counting reps.

What are your favourite muscle groups to train?  All of them, because the body is synergistic. But if you do want to break it down, I like lower body and core the best.

What are your favourite pieces of equipment?  Kettlebells, bands, bars, and toys.

What is currently on your workout music playlist?  Whatever is on the gym. I’m pretty versatile with workout music. I just need some type of background sound, and I’m good.

How do you psych up for a workout or set?  Don’t need to psych myself up. Just need to be focused and know what I’m going to do.

What was one exercise or routine that gave you great gains in muscle mass and/or strength?  Single leg deadlifts, swings, pushups, arm balances, skin the cat/ice cream makers.

What’s your favourite way to speed up recovery between workouts?  Single leg deadlifts, swings, pushups, arm balances, skin the cat/ice cream makers

What’s your favourite meal?  Mostly anything with good quality ingredients. I like food.

What’s your favourite cheat meal and how often do you indulge?  I don’t have “cheat meals.” I eat food that makes me feel good and is delicious. Sometimes that’s steak, sometimes it’s veggies and nut butters, sometimes it’s a salad, sometimes it’s ice cream.  I don’t really have a regimented eating schedule/protocol. I just eat when I’m hungry, feed my body what it needs, and make sure it’s delicious.

What supplements do you feel work well for you?  I’m not big on supplements, but I take a high quality fish oil, D3/K2, tumeric, and some vision supplements (since my eyes are horrible) pretty much daily.

What do you do to relax?  I play 🙂 I also read. I’ve recently picked up the piano again, and waiting for my bow to come in so i can pick up the violin again, too.

Check Out What Others Are Saying on iTunes! 

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