Who’s Doug Kelsey and Why Should You Care?
Doug Kelsey is an international educator, author, inventor, and healthy lifestyle guru. As a physical therapist and former university professor, he’s an expert in human movement & performance training. He has authored numerous articles and books, is the inventor of the world’s first anti-gravity exercise device, and has created hundreds of training videos. Along with his brother, Joshua, he co-developed the ActiveAge™ Blueprint Membership
My name is Doug Kelsey and I’m the creator of Fusion Performance Training and co-developer of ActiveAge
My core health philosophy is simple: life is movement.
When you can’t move freely or in a way you need or want to, suddenly your life seems a lot smaller. So, I promote movement through the fundamentals first: know your abilities and weaknesses, work on the weakness, build your stability, balance and endurance, then your strength, then stamina, then power.
Why? I make complex, sometimes even contradictory, health & fitness concepts dead simple to understand and use. If you’ve tried just about everything under the sun to get healthy & fit or are fed up with programs that leave you feeling worn out, frustrated with lousy results or worse, injured, then I’m your guy – we can help you.
My Street Cred
- Founder of the largest, independent physical therapy practice in Austin, Tx.
- Performance coach and physical therapist since 1981
- Conducted over 20,000 consultations and 100,000 training sessions with people from all walks of life (Olympic and Professional athletes, to weekend warriors to moms and dads and their kids).
- Former Associate Professor and Assistant Dean for Clinical Affairs, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.
- Former Adjunct Professor, Texas State University, School of Physical Therapy
- Presented independent research nationally and internationally.
- Owner of two patents on anti-gravity exercise devices (here here
- Author of hundreds of articles and four books.
- Conducted over 250 national and international seminars for trainers, therapists, and clinicians.
- My online resume is here
Walking the Walk
I’ve been a physical therapist since 1981 and specializing in orthopedic and sports injuries since 1983. I’ve conducted over 25,000 consultations and over 100,000 training sessions with all sorts of people – major league baseball players to weekend warriors to moms and dads and grandmoms and granddads. I understand how to help people recover from injury, disease, and surgery and most of my patients left my care in better condition than before they were hurt.
But, the problem was I took better care of my patients than myself. Now, I wasn’t completely inactive or sedentary but I didn’t have an established, consistent training routine and I ate without any plan or framework. And because I’m nearly 6’3” tall, I could carry more weight without looking too heavy – until I took off my shirt. But, the truth was that my physical condition was not good and I knew it.
My knees ached, I had three spine fractures that then turned into some gnarly arthritis and my back hurt to do just about anything. I couldn’t exercise very long without something hurting at the time or later. So I finally yielded and put my self in physical therapy to get the knees and back in better condition.
And once I was released from rehab, I decided it was time to get really serious about taking care of myself. It was at this point, I tried things like P90X (about killed me), Insanity (got a nice case of Achilles tendonosis from that), circuit training, etc. Jog a little. Do “cardio” several days a week – that’s good for fat burning right? I was experimenting and failing mostly. In hind sight, I knew better but didn’t want to put my self on an “easy” routine. I knew I wasn’t really ready for the in-your-face intensity of P90X but the ego can make you really stupid sometimes. Oh, and my food plan was still a distant second thought.
My body weight was climbing, waist expanding despite my peristence on an elliptical machine, weights, circuit training,etc. And I didn’t feel good at all.
Then, in 2008, I had a nasty fall while snow skiing and ruptured a disc in my lower back. It was a huge rupture. A very bad injury. This injury essentially forced me into 9 months of relative inactivity. I stood for all my meals for almost six months. I worked (which at the time was mostly research and writing) lying down. Oh, and I drank a lot of wine too. I felt entitled.
So, over that year into 2009, I gained about another 15 pounds and was now closing in on 225 – 230 lbs.
In 2009, I started a “come back” but this time I was forced to come at it differently due to the spine injury. I had to accept where I was and where I was pretty damn weak, deconditioned, and emotionally bankrupt. I had to design training routines that would do more than one thing. They had to help me fix any weaknesses and turn my body into a fat burning furnace and help me re-energize my life. I really needed some way to slow down the aging train I was on and turn my life around so I could do the things I enjoyed and feel good doing them.
This process lasted quite a while. I tried a lot of combinations of things. I made mistakes like tearing my right shoulder rotator cuff. And then I had a meniscus tear in 2010 (but not from training – it was just a freak twist of my knee as I got off the floor and slipped). Some of the routines would do wonders for my weaknesses but do nothing for my body fat. Others were great for elevating metabolism but were beyond my abilities and something would hurt. I didn’t make much headway until about the middle of 2010 when I finally figured it out.
“I believe the most unique thing about Doug compared to others is his global understanding of fitness, injury, the rebuilding process. Further, his uncanny and unique ability to apply the hard science of musculoskeletal/body health to the client in a fun, specific way is remarkable…Not to mention his extraordinary background in physical therapy really gives him a leg up on other trainers.”- Ken Katz, MD
What I Did
So, what happened was this. I changed three things.
First, I changed how I viewed food. I had done a ton of research on various “diet” plans and I knew what I needed was not a diet. I needed a fuel plan; a sustainable lifestyle proven to help build lean muscle, lower body fat, lower systemic inflammation.
Second, I changed how I viewed exercise. I adopted a mental view of “practice”. Just as I used to go to basketball practice when I was younger, I needed to think of my training as a practice to serve a purpose beyond some vague notion of “health” or “wellness” or even “fitness”. I used a Goal Map from Brian Mayne and that tool, which I still recommend, helped me build the focus I needed.
Third, I changed the training routines and looked at them from a human performance perspective instead of an exercise/weight loss perspective. In a nutshell, the routines are highly structured, purpose driven, and scalable. This allowed me to feel better about what I was doing (I wasn’t doing something “easy”) and I could train at a level that my body would actually respond to. See, if the training is too hard or too easy, nothing really happens. The sweet spot is when the training intensity is just above your tolerance and capacity. Then it’s magic.
Once I implemented these three things, here’s what happened:
- I lost 35 pounds
- Lowered my body fat from about 30% to under 10.5%
- Shrunk my waist from about 40 inches to 34 inches…
- ….in 88 days.
Now, those kinds of changes may not happen to you. I was very focused and determined but even if you could apply 50% of what I did, you’ll feel better, stronger, you’ll be leaner and , well, feel younger.
What’s In it For You?
I’m a creative at heart. I teach, write, and speak about health, fitness, and the physical arts.
And because of both my own experiences and my eclectic background, I can help you transform yourself if you really want to do it. Not everyone can, I know. I’m not promising a magic bullet. But a LOT of people can if given the right information, taught to train and eat optimally, and learn how to take care of themselves. But if you keep doing what you always have done, you’ll have exactly what you always have had. Work on the things that you need to work on to make your life better.
This is the essence of the ActiveAge Blueprint Membership