All Good Things…MAT® Program Finale

Plano, Texas - I have made more trips to the Dallas Ft Worth (DFW) area, aka, the Metroplex, more times than I can remember in recent memory. Now, at the onset of what will be my final time as an introductory student, I find myself in somewhat disbelief that the end of the program is now here. Where did the time go? Though I guess, the better question would be, what exactly have I been doing to make all these trips?

A Return to MAT®

In the last blog, you read I decided to update my credentials. Ever since co-founding and directing the FMI Guild, I really have never had the time to get back into wellness like I have wanted to. I actually took this course 13 years ago.  Last July, I made the down payment and followed through in starting my way back to becoming a Muscle Activation Techniques Specialist.  Some of you may be thinking, "Great...what is that?" Let's begin with the video below.

“In the Specialist Program we learn specific muscle tests and treatments. This 8 month course teaches you an unique approach that accounts for all of the muscles in the body. This total body process is designed to improve the communication between the nervous system and the muscular system.”Greg Roskopf, Founder and Developer of MAT®

Beginning in late October of 2016 for me, I was to re-enter this world. One of the key changes that influenced my decision was the satellite course option. I chose to attend the Dallas satellite class vs. fly to HQ in Denver. The savings involved was the difference between me attending and not attending.  With that said, here is a glimpse of what I returned to,  

Course Details

This  month program has eight 3-day intensive weekends. The MAT® Specialist Program is comprised of four units; Lower Body, Upper Body, Trunk & Spine, and Cervical Spine and accessory muscles and integration. This course provides students with the education they need to become MAT® Certified Specialists.


  • To educate all segments of the health industry on the benefits of Muscle Activation Techniques®
  • To offer new opportunities for advancement of careers within the health industry
  • To train specialists across the country in order to make Muscle Activation Techniques® ‚ available to anyone that experiences pain or injury
  • To expand the MAT® program both nationally and internationally
  • To provide trainers and physical therapists with a way to immediately increase their income potential while separating themselves from their respective fields

Interested MAT® candidates should, but are not required to, have:

  • Have a degree in health or exercise related fields
  • Have a thorough understanding of anatomy
  • Have a passion for their work and the well-being of others

Typical Schedule

Instruction and practical application over eight (8), three (3) day weekends

Friday: 9:00am – 6:00pm*
Saturday: 9:00am – 5:00pm*
Sunday: 9:00am – 2:30pm*

*Dallas Time Zone (Central Standard Time)

Course Outline

Week 1 & 2 – Lower Body
Week 3 & 4 – Upper Body
Week 5 & 6 – Trunk & Spine
Week 7 & 8 – Cervical Spine, Accessory Muscles & Integration

All classes will be directed specifically towards each attendees educational background.

MAT® Commitment

  • 176 hours of education on MAT® Technique, which includes lecture and practical work.
  • Covers all components of Muscle Activation Techniques, including muscle function, origin and insertion points, and palpation methods.
  • In depth analysis of gait, function, muscular integration and orthotic therapy.
  • Education on the thought processes of all related therapy techniques.
  • An understanding that will enable each person to evaluate compensation patterns that lead to tight muscles as well as pain and injury.

Testing Requirements

Midterm will be a 8 hour combined written and practical exam in Denver or at your official satellite location (I was at the Dallas satellite).  Final exam will be an extensive combination of written and practical exam administrated in Denver at the MAT® World Headquarters or official MAT® educational hub.

My MAT® Specialist Program Journey


Weekend 1 : October  28-30, 2016 (Lower Body)

MAT Dallas Weekend 1 Photo: Glenn Haugk

I arrived 2.5 hours late on my first day. As a quick reference point, I returned from Southern California after a 3 week business/vacation trip a few days before starting the program. Let's just say, there were some issues adjusting back to Central Standard Time (2 hours ahead), creating a delay in my arriving on time. I do remember arriving just in time for lunch. I missed all of Greg Roskopf's introduction. (Ugh). Not exactly the start you want.

FYI - I have never been late to class since that day. 🙂


Weekend 2: December 2-4, 2016 (Lower Body)

Weekend 2: Introduction to the Royale

Not much studying had occurred to be honest. Business took me to Indianapolis, South Padre Island, Dallas (non-MAT business), and then there was Thanksgiving. Essentially, weekend 2's role was to stabilize and catch-up! Note: No more travelling save the class has taken place. I learned my lesson quickly.  On a post classroom note, the comradery really began when we were introduced to the Royale Magnificent Burgers Restaurant.

Weekend 3: January  6-8, 2017 (Upper Body)

The Beginning of Upper Body Weekend 1

With the Holiday season out of the way, it made it easier to study. We switched upstairs to the upper body.  Lots of detail with the shoulder complex especially.  A brain musher of  a weekend for sure.


Weekend 4: February  3-5, 2017 (Upper Body)

Yea! We reached the midpoint!

The second class featuring upper body.  Everyone is starting to get to know each other better. 2:1 ratio in in shoulder rotation is embedded in memory. 🙂 I may have started to learn snapchat too. 🙂


Weekend 5: March 3-5, 2017 (Mid-Term, Spine & Trunk)

I let the 3 captions above express the first day. Mid-term had arrived. For the day, we were given a notepad, essay questions and a time in which to do a practical. In terms of the practical, it took 30 minutes. The essay questions took as long as they needed for you (between 9am-5pm that is).

After the mid-term, a few took to the local theatre. This seemed to have started a tradition from this point forward.

Jake & Company - Trunk & Spine Weekend 5

After day one of the 5th weekend, we were introduced into Spine and Trunk. I remember a lot of lecturing (and have the audio to prove it 🙂 . There is a lot of information every weekend. This one in particular, it felt like quite a bit more. Perhaps that was due in part to the mid-term. If that wasn't enough, I was working on a side project to help get the word out about MAT in my area (and online). I was able to interview a few people in class and Glenn, our main hub proctor/instructor.

Glenn Haugk (L) & Rebecca Valdez (R). Took this snap not realizing it's significance later.


Weekend 6: March 30-April 2, 2017 (Spine & Trunk)

We put into practice what we learned about mostly in lecture in weekend 5 with Spine and Trunk.

Whatever it takes to get the mechanical advantage 🙂

During the month between weekends 5 & 6, I completed an article on MAT I was working on for Oklahoma Sports and Fitness. The issue was published a few days before weekend 6.

Oklahoma Sports & Fitness Magazine, May/June 2017 Issue


Weekend 7: May 5-7, 2017 (Cervical Spine)

Weekend 7 - Cervical Spine

I had a short-term gig with USA TODAY Sports. However, I learned from Weekend 2, it is not possible to study (well) and be involved in detail with event planning services. I gave up a trip to an event in Los Angeles (something I have never done) for this weekend. I'm so glad I did. This particular subject especially, needs to be highly respected and given ALL of your attention. Weekend 7 we began covering the details for the Cervical Spine.

Weekend 8: August 4-6, 2017 (Cervical Spine & Accessory Muscles)

This does not occur until this weekend. 🙂 However, I am anticipating nothing but good things....and of course, a trip to the Royale sometime this weekend. A nice foundation has been laid down for the final exam, which I hope to take in December.  🙂

Special Thanks

Food & Friends are a great combination.

My classmates are the best! They have made this experience worthwhile.

Kate Bigbee - Boston Strong. 🙂 Keep that East Coast fire going.

Jonah Brooks - I can tell we'll be keeping in touch for a LONG time.

Melissa Gold - thanks for putting up with all the SnapChat shenanigans.

Yahdhira Gonzalez - Keep wearing the awesome t-shirts!

Jerry Orta - Proud to have you in our class Sir.

Brook Price - Enjoy the Rockies. So much opportunity for you there.

Mathew Pulickal - Learned quite a bit from you. Pleasure meeting you.

Melissa Rountree - Loved the Ginger Root Shot. That can wake up anyone!

Noah Salih - I pay more attention to MLS now. 🙂

Rachel Martinez - Your humor is infectious. Love your attitude.

Beto San Miguel - Do well in PT school. Cannot wait to hear how business takes off for you back home.

Rod Sims - Let's do big things here in the Sooner State!

Dianne Rockefeller - Thanks for all your helpful input!

Daniel Tague - Eat some real food sometime. 🙂 That great work ethic of yours is going to skyrocket your career.

Rebecca Valdez - Thanks for the help with the interview!

Peter Wade - Always remember, "2:1 ratio" 😉

Brent Ziemann - Keep at it. You have more of this down than you realize "coach". Oh...and stay away from the avocados. 🙂


Muscle Activation Techniques HQ 
Specialist Weekend Instructors

Ryan Coufal (1-2)
Aaron Lakanen (3-4)
Megan Leyba (5)
Charlie Cates (6)
Eric Seifert (7)
Eryn Paetz (8)

It isn't easy to talk in front of a group of people, much less having a multiple cameras in your face.  Thank you for accommodating us in other cities and those in Denver.

MAT Dallas Hub Hosts & Instructors/Support

  • Paige Cervantes
  • Jake Harden
  • Glenn Haugk

Paige, Jake, and Glenn - Thank you for taking the time to host and help us in Dallas. You all play the most important part in the success of this Dallas class. I dare say, this has been more educational and entertaining than my first experience in 2003. You all have been stellar in professionalism (and fun). Thank you for your time and effort. Your passion for the technique comes out in your teaching work.  I also would be remiss if I did not thank you all for introducing us to,


The Royale Magnificent Burgers - What ended up becoming, "the spot" for comradery outside the classroom.

Second would be the Cinemark West Plano (Logan, Ghost in the Shell, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2). There were a lot of good times here as well. 🙂

Last but definitely not least....

Photo by Matt Nager

Thank you Greg Roskopf for assembling and developing the technique. Without your effort, none of this exists.

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