The Pelvic Health Podcast
Basics of Strength Training with Dr. Merv Travers

Basics of Strength Training with Dr. Merv Travers

January 9, 2020

Dr. Merv Travers is a Senior Research Scholar working in the area of low back pain, tendon pain and exercise rehabilitation at the School of Physiotherapy, The University of Notre Dame Australia.

In today's episode, Merv discusses what exactly strength training is, why it’s important for all of our bodies and how physiotherapists can get their patients started and progressing. And of course my son, Rylan, had to compete with his sister in podcast recording (and special blooper takes at the end). Check out the reference list below Merv kindly put together for us!

More about Merv...he completed his PhD at Curtin University where he also maintains an Adjunct Research Fellow role. His teaching areas include anatomy and exercise rehabilitation. He has a Masters of Manipulative Therapy and is a qualified strength & conditioning coach (Australian Strength and Conditioning Association – Level 2).

Merv’s clinical background includes working in professional rugby union and he provides clinical consultation for complex musculoskeletal conditions at Star Physio, WA.

Merv guest lectures nationally and internationally on the topics of strength and conditioning for physiotherapists and tendinopathy rehabilitation, as well as runs an international strength conditioning course for physiotherapists.

Optimise Rehab - courses for Strength and Conditioning courses for physios

Some key references pertaining to some of this things we spoke about:

Public Health and strength training:

Steele, J., Fisher, J., Skivington, M., Dunn, C., Arnold, J., Tew, G., . . . Winett, R. (2017). A higher effort-based paradigm in physical activity and exercise for public health: making the case for a greater emphasis on resistance training. BMC Public Health, 17(1), 300.

Dankel, S. J., Loenneke, J. P., & Loprinzi, P. D. (2016). Determining the Importance of Meeting Muscle-Strengthening Activity Guidelines: Is the Behavior or the Outcome of the Behavior (Strength) a More Important Determinant of All-Cause Mortality? Mayo Clin Proc, 91(2), 166-174.

Strain, T., Fitzsimons, C., Kelly, P., & Mutrie, N. (2016). The forgotten guidelines: cross-sectional analysis of participation in muscle strengthening and balance & co-ordination activities by adults and older adults in Scotland. BMC Public Health, 16(1), 1108.

Physio knowledge of guidelines:

Lowe, A., Littlewood, C., McLean, S., & Kilner, K. (2017). Physiotherapy and physical activity: a cross-sectional survey exploring physical activity promotion, knowledge of physical activity guidelines and the physical activity habits of UK physiotherapists. BMJ Open Sport & Exercise Medicine, 3(1)

Lifting with a neutral spine:

Saraceni, N., Kent, P., Ng, L., Campbell, A., Straker, L., & O'Sullivan, P. (2019). To Flex or Not to Flex? Is There a Relationship Between Lumbar Spine Flexion During Lifting and Low Back Pain? A Systematic Review With Meta-Analysis. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther, 1-50

Achilles tendon pain and loading:

Murphy, M., Travers, M., Gibson, W., Chivers, P., Debenham, J., Docking, S., & Rio, E. (2018). Rate of Improvement of Pain and Function in Mid-Portion Achilles Tendinopathy with Loading Protocols: A Systematic Review and Longitudinal Meta-Analysis. Sports Medicine.

Placebo and Exercise:

Crum, A. J., & Langer, E. J. (2007). Mind-set matters: exercise and the placebo effect. Psychol Sci, 18(2), 165-171.

Minimum strength dosage:

Androulakis-Korakakis, P., Fisher, J. P., & Steele, J. (2019). The Minimum Effective Training Dose Required to Increase 1RM Strength in Resistance-Trained Men: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Sports Medicine.


Interstitial Cystitis Bladder Pain Syndrome with physio Jilly Bond

Interstitial Cystitis Bladder Pain Syndrome with physio Jilly Bond

December 10, 2019

Jilly Bond is back to blow our minds and wrap up 2019! This time Jilly shares her brilliant mind on #interstitialcystitis #bladderpainsyndrome (IC/BPS) - what is it, how the nervous system is involved, how this affects pelvic floor muscles and what treatment helps and why...and we can't stress enough why trigger points are not involved (also why they are not actually a thing!).

If you haven't checked out her vlogs, blogs and info...check it out HERE and subscribe to her mailing list!

Thanks for listening and have a happy holiday season! Catch you in 2020 - don't miss first episode with Dr Merv Travers talking all about the basics of Strength Training!


Patron Support link for The Pelvic Health Podcast

Olive & Bee Intimate Cream with physio Claire Osterstock

Olive & Bee Intimate Cream with physio Claire Osterstock

November 22, 2019

Australian #physiotherapist, Claire Osterstock, joins the podcast to talk all about one of my favourite #vaginal #lubricants, in which she created, called Olive & Bee. Claire shares her insights about what it takes to turn an idea into a product and get it on the market, as well as what it took for her to become successful in the process. This episode has some very cool science-y and fun facts about #lube that I never knew.


Menopause with physiotherapist Michelle Lyons

Menopause with physiotherapist Michelle Lyons

November 8, 2019

The beautiful and brilliant Michelle Lyons is back to talk about #menopause - you should remember her from her episode on #endometriosis back in July 2017, if not...go and listen to that as well! 

This episode covers #menopause, #perimenopause, #exercise, #bonehealth, #tendonhealth, #hearthealth, #poo, #hormones, #nutrition, #alcohol, and much more. We may actually need to cover each of these in separate episodes with the amount of information she can discuss. Please share with friends, colleagues, family!

3rd Age Woman

Business Essentials with Jenny Burrell

Business Essentials with Jenny Burrell

October 27, 2019

Jenny Burrell, head and founder of Burrell Education, joins me to discuss the intricacies of successfully running your own business - spoiler: it starts with YOU! Jenny discusses the foundations you really need, which she expands on in the brilliant Burrell Education Business Hub Mentorship. If you run your own ship, listen in and consider trialing the mentorship program. No, I do not get paid nor is she sponsoring this episode! 

Thanks to my lovely co-host for the intro/outro - who does NOT have her own accounts you can follow (but there was no stopping her on the mic) :)

CrossFit and Pelvic Health Considerations in Pregnancy

CrossFit and Pelvic Health Considerations in Pregnancy

October 11, 2019

Pelvic floor physiotherapist and CrossFit coach, Candice Lamb, joins me to discuss CrossFit during pregnancy. Should women who are pregnant continue to participate? What do you tell pregnant women who are doing CrossFit? Should they stop because of harm to pelvic floor and abdominal muscles? Regardless of our biased backgrounds, it's a great listen for everyone. 


Candice is a Physiotherapist working in Continence and Women’s Health in private practice as well as a CrossFit Coach and wannabe CrossFit athlete at CrossFit Contessa, an all female CrossFit gym on the Sunshine Coast.

She is incredibly passionate about the effect that exercise, in particular CrossFit, has on women both physically and mentally throughout their life stages. She loves educating fellow health professionals about the sport of fitness, to help them empower their patients to continue exercising (modified as needed of course) through whatever life throws at them – be it injury, pelvic floor dysfunction or pregnancy.

CrossFit Journal Pregnancy Scaling Guide

Check out my Instagram @pelvicwod for the infographic summary

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Sexual health in physiotherapy

Sexual health in physiotherapy

September 27, 2019

Physiotherapist, sex educator and counsellor, Dr. Uchenna "UC" Ossai, discusses sexuality and sexual health in physiotherapy. She talks about what exactly is sexuality, patient goals vs expectations, sexuality differences with masturbation, and more surrounding sex education for adults. Don't forget to check out all her social media, especially Bourbon Talez on IG - definitely worth the follow!

Instagram - @youseelogic
Web -




Dame products


Bio from

Dr. Uchenna Ossai is a sex-positive pelvic health physical therapist, sex educator and counselor, and is on faculty for the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Sexual Health Certificate Program. UC is only one of three licensed Physical Therapists in the world with an AASECT certification in sexuality counseling; as well as the only Black Physical Therapist with this specific designation. UC spends her days treating people with both sexual and pelvic floor dysfunction, and her evenings educating the masses on everything that has to do with “sexytime.” When it comes to sexual intelligence and great sex education, UC embraces always being unapologetically real, happily crunk, and deliciously kind


Urinary Continence Forever. Age-related changes, prevention and treatment with physiotherapist and researcher Dr. Chantale Dumoulin

Urinary Continence Forever. Age-related changes, prevention and treatment with physiotherapist and researcher Dr. Chantale Dumoulin

September 13, 2019

Dr. Chantale Dumoulin, who will be our keynote speaker for the upcoming physiotherapy conference APA Transform 2019 in October, is a physiotherapist and globally recognized researcher for her work in pelvic floor rehabilitation, specifically urinary incontinence. In this episode, she discusses her research, physiological changes to the female urinary continence system as we age, and what options we may use to prevent and treat urinary incontinence. Spoiler - Dance Like No One is Watching.

Lori :)


Bio from APA Transform Conference website:

Chantale is a Professor at the School of Rehabilitation, University of Montreal, where she developed – and currently directs – the only post-graduate university-based pelvic floor rehabilitation program for physiotherapists in Canada. Concurrently, she is a published researcher with the Centre de recherche de l’Institut universitaire de gériatrie de Montreal; specializing in pelvic floor dysfunction. She is also the founder and director of the Centre’s ‘Incontinence and Aging Laboratory’, in addition to acting as the holder of the Canadian Research Chair on Urogynecological Health and Aging.

Chantale is the inventor of the Montreal Dynamometer, an instrument to measure pelvic floor muscle function. The main focus of her work is to better understand pelvic floor muscle dysfunctions to provide better treatment using conservative management approaches. Her research methodologies include measuring instrument development and psychometric assessment, RCTs and systematic review. Finally, she still is a practicing physiotherapist specialized in pelvic floor dysfunction, a key influence informing her patient-oriented research.

Pelvic floor, running and continence

Pelvic floor, running and continence

August 30, 2019

Lecturer, researcher and physiotherapy clinician, Dr. Monika Leitner, discusses her research on pelvic floor muscle activity and pelvic floor kinematics in continent and incontinent women during running. Julie Wiebe, who has been on the podcast before, was meant to join us but I gave her the wrong date and time (face palm)!

Monika Leitner, PT, is a lecturer, researcher and clinician. She graduated in physiotherapy in 1989 at the University Hospital Graz (Austria). Since then she has been working in Switzerland at medical centers, hospitals and in own physiotherapy clinic. She completed a Master in Advanced Studies in Health and Fitness and a Master of Science in Sports physiotherapy. She works as a lecturer in the bachelor physiotherapy program at the Bern University of Applied Sciences. She has finished her PhD on the pelvic floor at the Graduate School of Health Sciences of the Bern University. Her research work focusses on the dynamic function of the pelvic floor muscles, and she is devoted to contributing to women's health, particularly to the topic of physical activity and urinary continence. In her clinical work she is focusing on pelvic floor rehabilitation and musculoskeletal physiotherapy.


Libido Love with Sexologist Lauren White

Libido Love with Sexologist Lauren White

August 19, 2019

Lauren White, Sexologist, joins me in this episode to talk about libido and how as a sexologist she can help women who feel they have little to no libido. She talks about what sex therapy can involve and how she helps to empower women. I hope you enjoy this episode and please share!

Lauren White

Social Media: @laurenwhiteau (both Instagram and FB)