How to prevent chronic back injuries – interview with Dave Soucy

how-to-prevent-chronic-back-injuries-interview-with-dave-soucy-photoSometimes I come across interesting, common sense products or information and want to know more about them. I dig in and send a list of questions to the person behind the ideas and they respond. This is done via email, so it offer the opportunity to you to see the results unfiltered … including mistakes.

Here is our first interview with Dave Soucy, author of A Healthy Back in Ten Minutes. I was fascinated to find out more about his methods of handling chronic back injuries. Here is the interview unedited.

TDL: What is your background in personal training?

Dave Soucy: After spending 13 years in senior management roles in the satellite and internet industries, I made the decision to pursue a career in a field I truly enjoyed. I’ve been in the fitness industry for about 5 years now, and own Perfect Fit Personal Training Studio. Most of my focus in the studio now is on running fitness bootcamps. The vast majority of my clients are 25 – 50 years old, 75% female, and looking to lose weight.

TDL: What programs do you offer for in-home exercise?

Dave Soucy: While I do design individual programs for private clients, I’ve developed a program called “No Equipment? No Excuses!” which teaches people how to get a great workout at home, without needing bulky or expensive home gym machines, and without using worthless infomercial gadgets. That program can be found at

TDL: Your healthy back program addresses a common problem for recreational athletes. How does it help them?

Dave Soucy: Almost 80% of the population will suffer from back pain at one point or another, and the most common cause of that pain is deconditioned core muscles. The good news is that means it can be prevented or corrected with a proper core strengthening program. The bad news is that most people think that means doing hundreds of poorly performed crunches. “A Healthy Back in Ten Minutes a Day” ( shows people safe, proven, and effective exercises they can do anywhere that will help them develop a strong core and relieve or avoid back pain in the future.

TDL: What are the more common sports or fitness injuries you see?

Dave Soucy: Most of my clients are professionals, and spend way too much time driving a desk during the day. Unfortunately, poor posture at a desk all day will almost always lead to a sore back, so I see that more often than anything else. Clients beginning a new fitness program sometimes jump in the deep end before they are ready, and either do more than they should or don’t maintain proper form at all times. Suddenly those deconditioned core muscles are asked to do more than they are used to handling, and the resulting sore back is pretty predictable.

TDL: What is the best advice you can give to someone who wants to start exercising, but can’t make the commitment?

Dave Soucy: The most common reason (excuse) I hear from people as to why they don’t exercise is that they don’t have the time. The reality is, I’ve yet to see a situation where that is actually true, because frankly, I can show them how to get in a workout in 15 or 20 minutes. Usually they say because they work, they have kids, a house to take care of, etc. that there is no time left to exercise. Well guess what? Fit people are just as busy as you. And think about it this way, that job won’t be very important if you have a heart attack at age 50. There is no prize for being the richest guy in the graveyard. And if you have kids, they should be the reason you DO exercise, NOT the reason you don’t. They learn by the example you set, and if you show them that fitness is something you can ignore, well, they will, and being the overweight kid is not a lot of fun.

TDL: Why resistance training versus free wright training?

Dave Soucy: I’m actually a big proponent of free weight training. But, there are other ways to incorporate resistance into a program besides dumbbells and barbells. There are plenty of great moves you can do with resistance tubing, medicine balls, sandbags, or simply bodyweight. The things I do tend to stay away from are most of the machines in a typical gym though. In general, they force people to focus too much on training individual muscles, instead of focusing on training their body.

TDL: Why do you think America is experiencing an increase in obesity?

Dave Soucy: This is simple. We eat way too much and don’t exercise nearly enough. I know plenty of people like to blame fast food restaurants, junk food manufacturers, the government, you name it. But in the end it all comes down to taking personal responsibility for your own actions and situation. Nobody forces you to eat junk food, so don’t blame McDonalds. The answer to increased obesity is right in the mirror.

TDL: What is the best advice you can give the weekend warrior playing soccer or softball?

Dave Soucy: In addition to your weekend recreational sports, participate in a regular exercise program during the rest of the week designed to increase your strength and conditioning. Not only will this improve your performance in your soccer game, but it will reduce your chance of injury on the weekend as well.

TDL: How has the internet affected your programs?

Dave Soucy: The internet really allows me to help exponentially more people than I could otherwise. When I started out, I could only work with people that actually could come to my studio. Now I can deliver programs to people no matter where they are. In fact, I’ve sold copies of “No Equipment? No Excuses!” to people in 7 different countries to date. On the flip side, there is a ton of misinformation out there on the internet, so I’m constantly trying to educate people on the need to know who their source of info is. Just because someone has a nice website, that doesn’t mean they know what they’re talking about.

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TDL: What are some future programs you’re working on?

Dave Soucy: Well, at the moment I’m working on a fitness-oriented web community site. As I said, there is a lot of misinformation out there, so I want to create a site where my members can get the truth when it comes to exercise, fitness, nutrition, and weight loss. There will be a members-only forum, fitness programs, downloads, videos, audio programs and interviews, and more. I’m hopeful that I’ll have it launched around the first of the year. People can keep an eye on my blog at for updates.

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