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Decorated Local Masters Athlete Talks Training and Recovery

2014 April 10

Congratulations to local Masters athlete, Nick Berra, on his recent success! Berra has been one busy, but very successful person in the 2013-2014 running season.

Berra participated in The World Masters Athletics Indoor Championships that took place March 25-30, 2014 in Budapest, Hungary and returned home with some hardware. Berra ran a total of  8 races in 16 days, some of which were trials and qualifying races, which certainly takes a toll on the body. Without the proper preparation and training, the body will begin to break down sooner than expected, which can really derail a runner’s plans. However, Berra went into these Championships with a positive outlook, a great deal of past success and hours of training and preparation. Berra’s training program ranges from land running, treadmill running, underwater treadmill running, strength training and more.

Here is what Nick Berra has to say about his recent success and training program:

I knew I would be turning 45 years old towards the end of the 2014 indoor season, so I tailored my training to peak after my birthday in late February.  With the rough winter we had here in the Northeast I did much less running outdoors than I have in years past – the weather was too ugly and our roads and trails were often covered in snow.  I used a variety of methods to try to keep the quality of my workouts where I wanted them to be – I did lots of interval workouts in the HydroWorx pool, I tried to find indoor tracks when I could during my work layovers (Ottawa, New York City). I hit an occasional elliptical machine, and then did do some tempo workouts on the roads when I could.  I got in a groove in the month prior to my first big race, alternating between land and water for my “quality” workouts, then the “day after” recovery runs would almost always be in the HydroWorx pool.  I was probably getting 3 or 4 workouts in a week for almost a straight month – a ton of quality work for me but, the water made it all possible with little to no soreness throughout this tough stretch.  Once I started serious racing, all of the work paid off. In consecutive weeks I anchored a world record indoor 4x800m relay, broke the M45 (45-59 age group) indoor world record in the 800m in 1:56.10, won two national titles at the USATF Masters Indoor Championships in Boston, then won two world championships in Budapest at the WMA Indoor World Championships.  It’s safe to say that turning 45 has been pretty good to me…

I just got back from the meet in Europe on Saturday, and I am beat.  The month of solid racing took its toll on me, so despite the break in the weather I’ll probably spend the next week or so recovering in the pool on the underwater treadmill – long slow runs to start, then maybe some easy intervals to get back into the swing of things.  Hopefully my outdoor season will be as fruitful as the indoor one was – I look forward to hitting the track and roads before too long with the rest of the HydroWorx Track Club.  

Here are the results from Berra’s two gold medal races! Congratulations again!

Event 250 M45 800 Meter Run

World Masters Athletics: Record 1:56.10 

Finals: 1st Place Berra, Nicholas (M45) United States 1:59.36

Event 262 M45 1500 Meter Run

World Masters Athletics Record: 3:57.91

Finals:  1st Place Berra, Nicholas (M45) United States 4:07.75


To learn more about underwater running,  download the book, “Underwater Treadmill Running” by Alberto Salazar and Dr. Dennis Dolny>>

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Research Shows That Aquatic Treadmill Training Reduces Blood Pressure Reactivity to Physical Stress

2014 April 9

Cutting edge research has been done at Texas A&M University on aquatic treadmill training and the results are pretty amazing.  And they were totally unexpected.texasamresearch

The study, published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, took a look at a lot of aspects of underwater treadmill training and its effects on adults. One major (and unexpected)  finding was how aquatic treadmill training affected blood pressure. Sixty sedentary adults were randomly selected to be a part of either the land treadmill training group (LTM) or the aquatic treadmill training group (ATM) for 12 weeks. The maximal Bruce Treadmill test was performed before and after training and blood pressure was measured prior to, at the end of each stage and for 5 minutes following exercise testing. The maximal Bruce treadmill test is a standardized diagnostic tool used to evaluate cardiac function, which involves walking on a treadmill while being monitored by an electrocardiograph. Not only did they use this technical means of gathering data, they also went a step further and were able to get muscle biopsies from 12 of the participants. The muscle samples were tested for eNOS content (the controller of smooth muscle content).

The results of this 12 week study found that ATM, but not LTM, had a significant impact. It reduced resting diastolic blood pressure, exercise systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, mean arterial pressure, and pulse pressure during exercise and recovery. They also found that the ATM group also had an increase in skeletal muscle (but not the LTM group).

This is a big deal!  We always knew that underwater treadmill training makes us feel great and we have known for a long time that runners and athletes use it for training because they feel it makes them stronger and recover faster. And we know that patients recovering from surgery, rehabbing from injury, or working to lose weight find amazing results from the water. But now we know WHY! This means that underwater training is truly affecting blood pressure and strengthening muscles.

You can find the research study here>>

To learn more about the research being done at Texas A&M University, please watch this video:

For a full library of research studies on aquatic therapy please visit our website>>

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Free Webcast : The Stages of Aquatic Rehabilitation After ACL Tear

2014 April 8

Join us in person or online for our upcoming educational event, The Stages of Aquatic Rehabilitation After ACL Tear. Our presenter, Randy Cohen, ATC, Assistant Director of Athletics, University of Arizona, will be presenting live from the HydroWorx 2000 Series pool at University of Arizona on April 15, 2014 from 1:00pm to 2:00pm EDT.Blog Cohen

Many athletes are affected by the complicated and long term rehabilitation associated with an ACL tear. Randy Cohen is an athletic trainer at the University of Arizona who has over 10 years’ experience utilizing the HydroWorx pools to rehab ACL injuries. During the webcast, whether attending in person or online, participants will watch Randy review the use of the pools from the time of injury to days after surgery to low impact conditioning after the athlete has returned to sport. He will discuss all steps along the rehab process and the ways that water therapy and the HydroWorx pools enhance the overall rehab process and improve function when the athlete returns to sport.

Attendees will learn:

  • the importance of aquatic therapy through each stage of ACL rehabilitation including: controlling pain and swelling, early stage rehabilitation and low-impact conditioning
  • protocols for each stage of ACL rehabilitation
  • how to identify an athlete’s progression timeline
  • how aquatic therapy enhances function for returning to play

This 1 hour webcast will broadcast live from the HydroWorx 2000 Series pool at University of Arizona in Tucson, AZ. Live attendees will have the opportunity to try out the HydroWorx 2000 Series pool and 1200 Series Pool as well as the ThermalPlunge and PolarPlunge pools. Make sure you bring your bathing suit and towel!

When : April 15, 2014

Time : 1:00 -2:00pm EDT

Where : University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ

If you are interested in attending in person, please contact Michele Reber today by email at

If you cannot attend in person, please join us on the Live Webcast. Register online today for the live webcast!

About our presenter:

Randy Cohen is currently the associate athletics director for medical services at the University of Arizona. He has been in that position since 2001. Before coming to Arizona, Randy was an assistant athletic trainer for eight years at Purdue University and spent one season as an intern athletic trainer at University of Notre Dame.  Randy has a degree in athletic training from Purdue University, a degree in physical therapy from the University of Illinois – Chicago, and a doctorate of physical therapy from Simmons College. He is the chair of the National Athletic Trainers Association (NATA) College and University Athletic Training Committee.


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Try Out a HydroWorx Pool in Your Area in April

2014 April 7
by hydroworx

Have you considered purchasing an aquatic therapy pool, but wonder what makes HydroWorx so different than a regular pool? We are pleased to offer events at customer locations throughout the country where you can try out Hydroworx technology first hand. Bring a bathing suit and towel to get in and feel the difference. Find a location near you from the list below and make a time out of your day to try it out! Please email Michele Reber at to register for any of these upcoming April demonstration events.

University of Arizona

HydroWorx pools at University of Arizona


Maryville, MO

Where: Northwestern Missouri State

When: April 8, 2014 8:30am – 12:00pm CDT

Pool: HydroWorx Instafit Series


Phoenix, AZ

Where: University of Arizona

When: April 15,2014 10:00am – 11:00am MST

Pool: HydroWorx 2000 Series, 1200 Series, ThermalPlunge and PolarPlunge


Eden Prairie, MN

Where: Summit Place Senior Campus

When: April 15,2014 4:30pm – 6:30pm CDT

Pool: HydroWorx 2000 Series


Dallas, TX

Where: Presbyterian Village North

When: April 15, 2014 5:00pm – 6:00pm CDT

Pool: HydroWorx 3500 Series


Seattle, WA

Where: University of Washington

When: April 29, 2014 3:00pm – 6:00pm PDT

Pool: HydroWorx 2000 Series


Michigan City, IN

Where: IU Health – Lifeworks

When: April 30, 2014 7:00pm CDT by appointment

Pool: HydroWorx 2000 Series


Click here to view all of our live events!


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Submissions for the 2014 Excellence in Aquatics Award are Now Open!

2014 April 4

Submissions now open!

 We are now accepting exceptional case studies for the 2014 Excellence in Aquatics Award through April 30, 2014. This award will recognize sports medicine professionals who, despite all odds, garnered superior rehabilitation results through innovative, and sometimes unconventional, methods. The winner will be announced at NATA this year in Indianapolis, IN.

As you may remember, we held the inaugural Excellence in Aquatics Award (SMED) in 2013.  The four 2013 Excellence in Aquatics Award nominees were nothing short of exceptional stories of dedication and perseverance, both from the athletic training staff and the athlete themselves. Here were the 2013 nominees:

The 2013 Nominees

The 2013 Nominees

Carson-Newman College Football for Facilitating the Rapid Return from a Fractured Fibula. Carson-Newman College’s starting middle linebacker Jarell Emanuel, sustained a fractured fibula, when he was hit on the lateral aspect of his lower leg during practice, just days before their season opener. The rehabilitation plan began two days after the injury with Jarell walking chest deep in their HydroWorx 1200 Series pool. After just two weeks of rehab in the pool, Emanuel was cleared for non-contact practice and was finally cleared for contact on September 17th — just one month after sustaining a fibula fracture in practice!

The Duke Basketball Sports Medicine Team for Managing Potential Season-Ending Injuries to Key Players. The 2012-2013 Duke basketball team was hit with injuries to two key players at critical times during the season.  Ryan Kelly, senior forward, missed 13 games due to a right foot injury while senior guard, Seth Curry, suffered from a right shin injury. Despite these setbacks, the sports medicine team consisting of Jose Fonseca and Nick Potter, were determined to not allow these injuries define their team’s season! Kelly returned earlier than expected for a critical match-up against Miami.  In his first game back, Kelly scored 36 points (career high) for the team on just 14 shot attempts, securing the victory for the Blue Devils. Curry scored a team high 17.3 points per game during that season and was named a second team All-American by the Sporting News!

Eric Sugarman and the Minnesota Vikings Athletic Training Staff for the Rehabilitation of Adrian Peterson. On December 24th, 2011 Adrian Peterson, while being tackled, incorrectly planted his leg during a run and tore the ACL in his left knee.  Following surgery, Peterson and Viking’s Head Athletic Trainer, Eric Sugarman, began the rehabilitation process with Peterson’s goal of starting in the 2012 Season Opener.  Just three weeks after surgery, Peterson was walking on the underwater treadmill at the Viking’s facility.  Peterson went on to have the best season of his career, finishing with 2,097 rushing yards and being named the NFL’s 2012-2013 MVP.

Nova Southeastern University’s Dustin Gatens MS, ATC for the Rehabilitation of Basketball Player Brian Cahill.
NOVA Southeastern’s basketball guard, Brian Cahill, has had a long and hard road to be where he is today. Cahill has suffered from serious back and spinal injuries since his senior year in high school, undergoing two serious back and spinal surgeries. After undergoing two surgeries, red-shirting one season, taking another year completely off of school and rehabbing in the pool every day, Cahill was finally able to play in every single game of this past 2012-2013 basketball season!

The winner of the 2013 Excellence in Aquatics award, Eric Sugarman and the Minnesota Vikings Athletic Training Staff, were announced at the 2013 National Athletic Trainers Association meeting in Las Vegas last year! We look forward to another great group of nominees.



Excellence in Aquatics Award-02

To participate, visit our submissions page  for all of the details about submitting case studies and to download the submission form!

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