Introducing: Total Performance Podcast with Siobhan Milner

I am thrilled to introduce the Total Performance with Siobhan Milner podcast. This podcast is dedicated to all things athletic performance and injury prevention. I’m a strength and conditioning coach, currently working with the Dutch Olympic Team, with a background in exercise and rehabilitation science.

I’m a huge believer in the benefits of movement for everyone from all walks of life, but I particularly like to get nerdy about athletic performance and injury prevention, so that’s primarily what this podcast will be focusing on. Over the last decade or so of working with athletes and performance artists, it’s become really clear to me that performing at a high level requires so much more than great training.

Why you should strength train (no matter your age)

I don’t give out advice unless asked. But in the last few years, I’ve felt a rising urgency to at least start sharing the facts. I see so many people losing their ability to move well as they age, and perhaps not even realising the hugely powerful effects that exercise has to help manage (and in some cases, even reverse) age-related decline in almost all of the bodily systems.

So I won’t tell you what to do anymore (unless you hire me!). But I will share why exercise is so vital to living a longer, better life.

How to Return to Exercise after COVID-19 Infection

If you’re not a professional athlete (and therefore don’t have access to coaching staff and a medical team to monitor your training), it can be helpful to know the current guidelines on returning to sport after COVID-19 infection. As I’m sure we’re all aware – COVID-19 (“Corona virus”) is a relatively new virus. And with emerging variants, and more of the population being vaccinated, guidelines on how to return to training have changed a lot since 2020. Older guidelines suggested a slower return to sport. But the guidelines have changed.

With both widespread availability of vaccines, and the circulation of less deadly strains of COVID-19, the approach is no longer quite as conservative.

A Quick Intro to Pain Science and Management: Siobhan Milner on the Science for Sport Podcast

One of the most valuable understandings I took away from my Masters in Rehabilitation Science was a new understand of the intricacies of pain, and a foundational knowledge of pain science (and how different it is to what we used to think even a decade ago). So I was delighted when Science for Sport asked me to chat to them on their podcast about pain science. I spoke about the role of pain, gave a quick guide on how pain works, explained how pain in not a good indicator of tissue damage, and gave some tips on dealing with pain.

What is Pain? Current Knowledge from Pain Science

Pain is always created in the brain. 🧠 That doesn’t mean it’s all in your head. It’s still very real – it’s just a lot different to what we believed about pain a couple of decades ago.

We used to think there were “pain receptors” in the body that sent pain signals to the brain. It turns out, this isn’t the case.

Nociceptors send signals to the brain for processing. Nociceptors detect changes in temperature, pressure and chemicals and send “possible threat” messages to the brain.

The brain interprets this and decides how much protection you need. If the brain deems that pain will be protective (get you out of a potentially injurious situation), it will upregulate pain more than if it deems the situation safe.

Unfortunately… Pain can be learned. Our nervous system is great at learning. The brain can start to associate certain movements or situations with pain, even if the movement or situation is not causing tissue damage.

Siobhan Milner on Simplifaster: Performance Training for Niche Winter Sports

I spoke to Simplifaster about my work with TeamNL, my work in rehab, and my general philosophies around performance and training. I particularly like that they pulled out this quote … Continue reading Siobhan Milner on Simplifaster: Performance Training for Niche Winter Sports