My 1-2-3 Moment: Jesse Ohliger

Jesse is a former NFL player and the inventor of The Breath Belt. He has trained thousands of developing kickers and punters over the past 18 years from high school to professional level. He is passionate about Injury Prevention and helping the public make the connection between optimal hip function and breath mechanics. You can follow him on Instagram. You can also pick up a Breath Belt directly from RPR here!

How I Found RPR

I first heard about RPR by going down a podcast rabbit hole!

In December 2017, I was listening to the Barbell Shrugged Podcast where Cal Dietz was being interviewed on Triphasic Training. During the interview he mentioned the prone hip extension test for his athletes, which I kept rewinding because I was so excited that a high level coach in S&C was actually talking about it! Among physical therapists, glute firing pattern issues have been a subject of conversation for decades. But in my experience, NO ONE was ever talking about it in Strength & Conditioning. I had kept coming back to the glute firing pattern over the years with my athletes, but kept hitting a brick wall as it wasn't a "sexy" topic in the S&C community. I sent Cal a message immediately and he was kind enough to respond. At the bottom of his message, he left bunch of videos about RPR for me to check out. As soon as I watched those RPR videos it made perfect sense. I was hooked and couldn't wait to learn more. I went up to go see him in Minneapolis soon as I could!

As an NFL kicker whose career had been cut short by an injury and whose life was turning into a battle with hip and low back pain - which all show up when people have a suboptimal glute firing pattern - I set a goal to create a tool that would get me out of pain. At that point, I’d spent five years diving really deep into breath mechanics building on the work of Brian MacKenzie from Power Speed Endurance. In early 2017, I tied the threads together that if I could create a tool that helped both hip stability and breath mechanics I could get myself out of pain and help my developing athletes avoid the position I was in. This is such a common occurrence for kickers and punters that I needed to get it together as soon as possible. And The Breath Belt was born!

Of course, a tool is only useful in the hands of someone who knows how to use it. While we were testing out prototypes of The Breath Belt, I was using it as a tool to coach people, both in-person and online, into better patterns. Prior to RPR, I thought the strategies I was teaching were efficient to keep people in top form through a practice or a game, but I realized two things IMMEDIATELY in the clinic: my strategies had a lot of holes and it wasn’t a system that was repeatable across athletes or environments. One thing Cal said a couple times during the clinic that stuck with me: “we’re all doing the best we can with the information that’s available to us.” In that clinic, there was a bunch of new information that became available. And by using it, my best got better.

The Light Bulb

From the moment I arrived at the Velocity Training Center and met the other RPR attendees, even before the clinic started, I was impressed. I was surrounded by fellow professional athletes, chiropractors, physical therapists, NFL strength coaches, and athletic trainers. It was clear that everyone there was looking to go deeper so they could be better. For the first time in years, I felt comfortable at a clinic like this because this was the missing piece I have been looking for years in my movement education. I knew I was home.

I would have to say my 'ah-ha moment' came at the end of the clinic. Through the clinic, I was feeling really good about all the education and pattern tests and was already locked in on how to implement with my athletes. A couple times during the day, Cal had hinted towards some of the additional things we would learn in Level Two - especially around vision and some things he’d found with concussions. We all stuck around for a little preview. Cal asked for volunteers and really nice college athlete I had worked with during the clinic went to the front of the room.

This athlete had a number of concussions from soccer and had been in a recent car crash. He was having a lot of trouble with headaches and eyesight which were discouraging him. And then … something amazing happened. Cal was testing his vision field and found a point in his eyesight that he had been protective of (it may have been the same angle that the collision had come from). Cal had him work through a few of the wake up drills while focusing on that point. During the retest, I had a close view of the changes that occurred. Even though he was standing in place, I noticed an immediate improvement in his hip and shoulder position. His face and hands had flushed from the lymphatic response. It literally looked like a weight was taken off his shoulders and tears were showing. That was the moment right there for me. Anyone who coaches knows they make a tremendous impact on their athletes, but once in a blue moon a coach makes an impact that is immediately embedded in the athletes psyche. Those are the kind of moments I coach for and my psyche was forever impacted when I saw that.

What I Did Next


When I returned home I was immediately ready to put this to work. I am fortunate to have high level athletes come to see me in Miami weekly in the offseason, so I knew I had lots of bodies to work on for practice. Without a hitch, the tests worked great on everyone and exposed hints of compensation my old system had missed. I could then teach someone exactly what to do to overcome this compensation!

For those select few who I wasn't experienced enough to identify, we just went through the drills again to see if we could force a change. This showed me just how different each athlete is. One athlete’s erectors fired up when he worked on his calf points. Another's QL completely changed the way his opposite foot hit the ground. I’d say about 90% of the clients I work with are pretty straightforward and RPR really helped both me and the athlete understand the story of how his or her body may have been compensating for a specific movement. As an athlete, you can quickly bond with and trust a coach who helps you make that connection. As a coach, that athlete who knows how to affect change in themselves is going to go out into the world and send more people my way.

His calf before

His calf before

So if 90% are pretty straightforward, the 10% that aren’t typically have crazy background stories. A great example of this is an athlete I had trained for 8 months prior to introducing them to RPR. He was very explosive but had an imbalance in the way he pushed off his kicking foot. His hip extension pattern was correct, and I had given him many foot, ankle and calf mobilizations to work on. The athlete continued to complain about the issue that was appearing to get worse. Taking one of the keys from RPR that you can’t fix a neurological issue with a movement strategy, when I got back from Cal’s, I taught him RPR. He’d gone through the wake up drills on his own, but had a hard time finding anything in the calf and asked me to help. As soon as I put my fingers on that point, he practically screamed in pain. I understood his pain tolerance and was confident enough in our relationship to know there was something deeper going on. As he calmed down asked him to sit up and we talked a bit. It turns out, when he was a six or seven, he tried to slide under a security fence while playing with friends. He didn't make it all the way through and the end of the wiring had sliced a thin but very deep 'S' scar at the bottom of his calf. He said he was too afraid to tell his parents about it at the time and was hiding a limp from them for a few months. He’s in college now, and still felt ashamed about it. Obviously, I’m a coach not a therapist, but I could tell it was good for him to get this off his chest.

His calf after. Magic!

His calf after. Magic!

The next day I set him up for soft tissue work with a chiropractor friend of mine. After that session and few one-on-one RPR sessions over the next week, the pain from deep scar on his calf, and the mobility restrictions that came with it, vanished and hasn't come back since. Thanks to RPR, I was able to make a real deep connection with this athlete. More importantly, it helped him deal with something he’d pushed back into a memory vault and was holding his performance back. There is no telling how a traumatic emotional or physical experience can affect an athlete years down the road. I’m not saying that coaches should look for these things, but as anyone who’s worked with people in private environments knows, the coach-athlete relationship is a big part of an athlete’s life and we need to treat that with the highest respect.

This is one of the biggest reasons why I believe RPR is so effective. It's a catalyst for any athlete to understand that they can’t separate their performance, mindset, or nervous system. With my athletes there is always a physical compensation that we’re trying to solve, but more often than you think it’s attached to an emotion or feeling about that experience or memory. With RPR, the athlete is able to process that history and unlock their potential.

Jesse Ohliger

RPR (L2)

My 1-2-3 Moment: Angi McRobbie

Angi is the owner of Dynamic Sports Massage Recovery. Based in Cleveland, she works with athletes of all stripes - from youth to professionals. She’s passionate about Ohio State, the Indians, and most of all the Browns. You can follow her on Instagram and Twitter.

I first heard about RPR from a massage client of mine. Completely honesty, my first response was that I had no idea what he was talking about but it didn’t sound like something for me and dismissed it. Then he comes back after going to a Level 1 clinic and says that it’s amazing and it works. He says that he can’t really explain how it works, but that I just need to feel it. Not ready to jump in, but impressed by how excited he is, I decide to look further into the RPR thing.

After reading about it on the website, it seemed interesting but I’m a massage therapist and this looks like it’s focused more on strength coaches and trainers getting their athletes ready for game day or events. I don’t know how it fits into what I’m doing but, going back and forth about it, I decide to go to Indiana for a Level 1 clinic with Chris Korfist. I figure it’s pretty simple - if I learn something, awesome. If not, well, it wasn’t too expensive.

In the clinic, it started to make sense, we’re going through the Wake Up Drills and I think back to a conversation I had with one of my clients who’s on the Cleveland Browns. We were talking about glute function and how the psoas effects that and he told me, “Ang, when I was in Jacksonville, they showed me this thing on the back of my head and jaw and I felt like I could run forever.” He couldn’t remember what it was called but as soon as Chris showed us the glute wake up drill, I realized: this was it!

At the end of the Level 1, I knew there was something to it but I still wasn’t sure how it was going to fit into my massage practice. One thing I’ve learned is that when something’s fresh, you just have to start using it, so I show a few of my clients the Wake Up drills and they think it’s magic - they feel awesome and, well, it makes my job as a massage therapist easier. They ask me why it works and it’s still fuzzy for me, so I know what I have to do - I go to Columbus for a Level 2 clinic hosted by JL.

Here’s where my 1-2-3 moment happens. We’re partnered up doing the compensation pattern tests and my partner and I are having a really hard time finding my stability. We thinking we’re doing something wrong, so we call JL over, thinking we just missed something simple. He does the tests on me and then asks if I’ll come to the front because he wants to use me as an example. Sure - why not?

“Here is a perfect example of a zero,” says JL. You can guess how I felt right then. JL goes on to explain that someone who has no neurological base of stability is a zero. “I don’t know her and I have no idea what’s going on in her life, but her sympathetic nervous system is in overdrive.”

I’m standing there, feeling like I’m naked in front of a room full of strangers, and this guy is telling everyone about me. He was right, by the way, I had a lot of stress going on in my life. All I wanted to do was sit down.

When we break for lunch, I go up to talk to him one-on-one. He asks if we can talk about what I have going on. I wanted to say no and run away but instead I looked at him and said, “Everything you said is no surprise at all to me. I just left a job that I loved. I was stressed about what people thought of me - my coworkers, and my clients. I had just started a business, which obviously brought a lot of pressure and stress. And I was dealing with it by ignoring it and just pushing forward - just plugging along.”

JL says this to me, and it really changed my perspective: “Pretending the stress isn’t there isn’t doing any good to you. And if you’re not doing right by yourself, you can’t do right for your clients.” Now, he’s telling me this because of how I tested? I feel myself getting emotional, and honestly just wanted to get out of this conversation and go home - I came here for some muscle testing stuff to help my athletes and now I’m having a therapy session? What is this?!

For the rest of the clinic, I was kind of in my own head. “How can I help myself get out of this spot?” “How can I fix this?” But as the day went on, I started to feel better. I got stronger, we did some really awesome stuff with vision and color. I went home that night resolved that I was going to take control of my 1-2-3. I was going to get my 1 in line so I could be better in 2 and then 3.

So what did I do? I started doing RPR every day (really just Zone 1). I started working out again. I did meditative yoga to give my brain a rest. I started journaling. I started taking time through the day to simply breathe and focus on that. And I can honestly say that I have never felt better.

That day gave me the confidence to really bring RPR into my life, and then into my practice. My practice has always been about educating my clients, and RPR fits right into that. And it’s not just my athletes who love it (and they do), but my regular everyday clients are seeing such success with it that they use it first whenever something comes up.

That day showed me that RPR truly is a game-changer. Not to sound dramatic, but RPR really did change my life and helped me learn how to thrive in my body. I’ve said it before and will say it again (I’ll say it until I’m blue in the face!): RPR was one of the most influential clinics I’ve ever been to and the 1-2-3 lens is something that I try to bring to every one of my clients.

B Briefly on Breathing

We’re excited to introduce a series of content by Glenn Buechlein! Glenn is a legend in physical culture, but also - and probably more importantly - an educator. Any introduction we could give would pale in comparison to Paul Leonard’s. Go read that, then come back here!

We’re excited to partner with Glenn because he truly embodies the power that comes with living 1-2-3. Enjoy!

B Briefly on Breathing

by Glenn Buechlein

I am now 52 years old and I have worked out or lifted weights non-stop for approximately 35 years.

Along the way I have competed and picked up a variety of certifications. I have read a library of books on the topic of strength and conditioning and have written in the neighborhood of two dozen published articles. Oh yeah, and a book, The Tao of B.

In the past year, especially after learning about Be Activated and RPR, I have come to the conclusion that something we all take for granted is the key to overall health and well being. If one chooses to eat clean and diet, do P90X, compete in a Tough Mudder, powerlift, run a mini, etc. nothing will be optimal unless there is a focus on correct breathing. Breathing plays second fiddle to nothing. Breathing is Batman and all the other things are Robin.

Take a deep breath…

Actually disregard the previous statement.

I will share some key things I discovered about breathing. These may be a bit random because that is how I think.

  • When stressed we will breathe faster and more often

  • When stressed we will breathe with the upper chest

  • When stressed we tend to mouth breathe and sigh more

  • When we breathe too hard or over breathe we get rid of too much carbon dioxide

  • When we get rid of too much carbon dioxide then oxygen cannot be efficiently transported to all the body’s tissues.

  • When your circulatory system is laid end to end it would circumnavigate the earth at the equator 3 X.

  • When we were born we belly breathed (diaphragmatic) and we breathed through our nose.

  • When do we stop doing this?

  • When we breathe through the nose we release nitric oxide that dilates the blood vessels and enhances the amount of O2 taken up by the blood. Drink beet juice.

  • When we nose breathe the diaphragm is activated and we get into the parasympathetic instead of the sympathetic (fight or flight)

  • When we mouth breathe it can change our appearance and facial structure.

  • When we breathe less, it is actually more.

  • When we mouth breathe while sleeping we will wake up tired.

  • When we breathe correctly in the proper pattern then our movement will improve.

  • When breathing pattern disorders exist this will have a negative effect on functional movement.

  • When we breathe with the upper chest it may lead to neck pain, TMJ, low back pain and overall poor posture including forward head placement.

  • When we chest breathe accessory muscles are forced to work harder such as the scalene, SCM, and traps. Basically this leads to a pain in the neck.

  • When I do my daily breathing drills I consider it a workout. I can mimic high altitude training and can enhance O2 delivery as well as unclogging my nose. Warning: High altitude training can make your legs shakier than constructing a Jenga tower on top of a jackhammer.

  • When I help people breathe correctly while working out or lifting weights they consistently perform better and feel better.

  • When you really focus on breathing it should be separate from the exercise.

  • When you know how to activate your diaphragm then it is much easier to learn how to belly breathe.

I have spent a great deal of time researching breathing. It may sound mundane, but it is beyond fascinating. I have experimented with Wim Hof style breathing, but I personally adhere to the principles of Buteyko. Some good reads on the topic are The Oxygen Advantage by Patrick McKeown and Advanced Buteyko Breathing Exercises by Artour Rakhimov.

I have always been somewhat of a mouth breather. I have made progress in becoming a better breather. It takes time and patience as well as discipline and commitment. I did not become a big bencher overnight and I am wise enough that it will take many turns of the clock and changes in the season for me to be a primo breather. I designed my own breathing workout that I do each morning. It is mine. I will share it, but do not be reluctant to get your own. Do some research and experiment. You will then discover what you need to do to improve.

So…do not take a deep breath. Do not enhance or amplify what you were doing to get into a state of stress. Rather, take a light breath… breathe lightly in and out your nose.