Dr. Jones graduated magna cum laude with a B.S. in exercise science in 2013 and attended physical therapy school at the Medical University of South Carolina.
Over the next three years of physical therapy school, Nate trained for and competed in many strongman competitions in the under 175 pound weight class. He won a couple, podiumed in a few, and did less well in others. He began to notice a pattern emerging: when an event called for brute strength (i.e. deadlifts, car deadlifts, basically deadlifts in general), he would do well. When it called for quality movement and speed, he wouldn’t do as well. After being beaten in several strongman competitions by the same Crossfitter who demonstrated precise, efficient, beautiful movement, Nate began to wonder if there was something he was missing.
In November of 2015 Nate walked into his first Crossfit gym and never looked back. The community was amazing, the workouts pushed him to places he’d never been before, and all the cardio and mobility he’d been neglecting for years were now a priority (shout-out to my peeps at Angel Oak Crossfit!). He’d continue to compete in strongman as his main interest as a competitor, but Crossfit has changed his life and transformed him as an athlete. Nate earned the Crossfit Level 1 coaching certificate in early June 2018 to further his knowledge of the sport.
As a physical therapist, Nate firmly believes in the body and nervous system’s ability to recover from injury and adapt to nearly any stressor through movement and exercise. Our bodies crave physical stress and become more robust and resistant to pain and injury with the proper guidance. Throughout his years of training he’s experienced a multitude of injuries – broken arms, patellar tendinopathy, multiple sprained ankles, a broken toe, a herniated lumbar disc, sciatica down the leg into the toes, a torn shoulder labrum and biceps (only surgery), golfers and tennis elbow, a sprained wrist, a torn adductor longus, torn lats – and has found ways to recover and return not only to previous levels of performance and function, but to exceed it. Nate uses his personal experience with a multitude of injuries and knowledge of physical therapy and exercise science to be a better clinician.
“Physical therapy should not be limited to a typical clinic with a table and rubber bands. The bands have their place, and the table has its place. However, the ultimate goal of physical therapy should be not only to recover from injury, but to make injuries less common in the first place.”