Humans of LoLo: Jacob Erbes of Apollo Performance Therapy

Nov 27, 2020

Tell us about your fitness journey.

I grew up in North Dakota where there was not much else to do but to play a bunch of sports! In high school, I played football, basketball, baseball, and track. I played college football and basketball, and that was really when I began lifting. It was during my 2nd or 3rd year of physiotherapy school that I was introduced to CrossFit. Started off with drop-ins and eventually evolved into me doing workouts of my own.

Why Physio?

Initially it seemed like a good compromise as I didn’t want to go to medical school (too long!) and I couldn’t do anything else with my biochemistry degree. Mostly, I was inspired by poor physio experiences. In physio school, strength and conditioning was not focused on. I think we only had one class on this. The focus was more on hands-on assessments and evaluations where the goal was “don’t do any harm.”

This is why I started Apollo Performance Therapy in 2019. I was frustrated by the type of care people were getting. The focus was not on solving problems. It was only to make the acute pain or condition feel better. The trouble is when training, people are often taught incorrect movement patterns that eventually cause them harm, like the old-school squat form. Or, even more frustrating, they are told to refrain from certain movements that we do everyday, like bending over. CrossFit aligns functional movements that replicate the movements we do and need to do in everyday life. CrossFit is actually what really made me enjoy my physio program.

Wait… don’t physiotherapists caution against CrossFit? 

[laughs] Typically, yes. But I think CrossFit is misunderstood and this mindset is a big problem in the physio world. What people need to understand is that CrossFit is infinitely adaptable. Anyone can do CrossFit with modifications and scaling progressions. Once people get into it, they can’t help but fall in love! You are constantly improving, constantly measuring. It is always different, always interesting. CrossFit implements the movement patterns that people are missing in their training. My goal is to provide a way to have longevity in the sport through teaching how to modify for an athlete’s exact anatomy.

While I specialize in CrossFitters, my style of treatment is used across the board for all of my clients. This ensures that everyone has the knowledge of how to take care of themselves. If I see a client who has an acute pain or injury and still wants to participate in CrossFit classes, my goal is to get clients back to class as quick as possible because that is what keeps them healthy in the long-term.

The trouble is, hurt people get scared. Say, for instance, your shoulder hurts. The instinct is to stay away from moving or using it. You stop going to class for a week or two and when you go back, your shoulder still hurts. What remains after “taking time to heal” is an unhealthy shoulder. Staying away from movement does not help with rehab. You can still workout at a high intensity with the issue as there are ways to work around to rehab it. This helps with maintaining fitness which in turn maintains long-term health. And that is the ultimate goal!

Would you share one of your happy moments?

My wedding day! Or, rather, wedding week. My wife, Meghan, and I got married at my family’s farm in North Dakota. Only immediate family was present – our parents, grandparents, siblings and their kids. It was small and intimate, just what I like. We had a party the next day with friends and neighbours, and also another celebration party in Winnipeg. Hence, the wedding week!

Tell us about a sad moment in your life.

I’m very level headed, so it is hard to pinpoint one instance – ride the highs and float the lows. Actually, my grandparents’ deaths were hard to go through. I lived on the same farm as them growing up. We shared a yard. It is a family farm, passed down from my grandparents to my dad. It is funny reflecting back on this now. As you get older you don’t focus as much on visiting them everyday, even when it is literally 2 minute walk away. Next thing you know, it becomes a trip to visit your grandparents in a care home…

Who is an inspiration in your life? 

There are a bunch of physio professionals who I am inspired by! The ones that truly walk-the-walk. They own CrossFit gyms, or train in CrossFit. They focus on big picture health when helping clients, which is exactly how I practice at Apollo.

Personally, my wife, Meghan is a huge inspiration. I would be a disastrous mess without her! Disorganized, for sure. She also keeps me in check. She makes me want to do the little things to be a better person and actually set the time aside to do those things. Plus, I would work 24/7 without her because I love my work. So, she keeps me balanced!


Are you a member of LoLo? Jacob offers a 10% DISCOUNT to all LoLo members! For more information of Jacob’s services, visit Apollo Performance Therapy.

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