Guest Blog: Muscle Activation Technique with Chris


By Guest Blogger, Jessica Geraci

Janis White props herself up on the table and Trainer Chris Viggiano scoots in on an exercise ball.  He has his notepad out, but he’s focused on her when he asks her for an update.

“I had my first physical in 5 years,” Janis says.  “I was a half an inch taller!”  She quickly credits Trainer Dagmar for the growth.  “She taught me how to stand up straight and keep my knees from looking old lady saggy.”

Chris and Janis are about to start a session of Muscle Activation Technique.  Ruth let me sit in on the training, to get a firsthand look at how it’s done.  Muscle Activation Technique (or MAT for short) is about muscle health and how it is vital for normal, everyday movement.  The technique helps evaluate an individual’s ability to develop efficient muscle contractions and in Janis’s case,” by first measuring and comparing specific limb and trunk motions of the body.

Janis lays down and Chris begins instructing her on how to move, paying careful attention to each individual movement.

“Have you ever tried calling a phone that was disconnected on the other side, and you get that sound?”  Chris asks me.  “It’s the same here.  Your brain is making a phone call to the muscle, but there’s a disconnect.  I’m basically the Verizon guy that says okay there’s a problem with the signal.  And then I work to optimize that connection, making the client and the connection (the muscle) stronger.”

After he has finished assessing her, they move onto a new exercise, focusing on her arms.

“I don’t plan her workout,” Chris explains.  “What makes the training personal is not because it’s one on one, but because her body tells me what we’re going to work on today.”

Janis admits that she hasn’t always been a firm believer.  ““I was the biggest ‘doubting Thomas’ about the Muscle Activation Technique,” she says.  But now, Janis claims that she no longer wakes up in the middle of the night from pain and that everyday chores are much easier.

“I couldn’t get down on the floor to reach under things,” Janis says.  “I would dread getting things from bottom kitchen cabinets.  Now, there’s nothing I can’t do around the house.”

Chris says that MAT has helped him become a better trainer.  “My clients are far better now with this tool in my tool box than they were before,” says Chris.  Janis nods in agreement.

“It’s all about aging healthfully, staying as strong as I can be,” Janis told me.

I leave CORE to allow Janis and Chris to finish their workout in peace, thinking about my own aches and pains and the strength that Janis just displayed.  Although I’m thirty years younger than her, I can’t help thinking that Janis is probably stronger than me.

“Not only am I feeling great but I’ve added 20 yards to my drive,” Janis had said to me, crediting all three of her CORE trainers: Chris, Ruth, and Colleen.

Well, one thing is for sure, her golf drive is definitely better than mine!


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  1. DAYLE HODGSON says:

    My daughter has been doing MAT sessions with Chris for 2 years. These sessions have helped lessen lower back pain that she suffers from after having a stroke 5 years ago. He also gives her isometric exercises to do at home.

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