5 Questions with Juan Carlos Santana

Dollamur has partnered with Juan Carlos "JC" Santana of The Institute of Human Performance to create a mat built for the Speed, Agility and Quickness of their unique fitness programs. Be sure to get a closer look and chat with the Dollamur team at FIBO 2019!

We got with Carlos to chat a little bit more about the newly designed Dollamur SAQ fitness mat and IHP – Here’s what he had to say:


Q1: Tell us a little about the design on the Dollamur SAQ Fitness Mat -

A1: The design of the Dollamur SAQ Fitness Mat was inspired by the effectiveness of various speed, agility and quickness drills, as well as the potential benefits of having them in a dedicated area that can be moved around.   The softer surface helps athletes, especially bigger athletes, to reduce the impact that many plyometric drills have associated with them. Excessive impact of the lower body can cause various overuse injuries, such as shin splints and plantar fasciitis.

Drills involving various pieces of equipment, such as a Julie ladders, crooked steaks, and hurdles are ineffective. However, any coach that has had athletes performed drills on such equipment knows the problems associated with this equipment flying all over the place when athletes kick them. This agility mat allows the visual parameters, without the nuisance of unorganized and unsecured equipment. There’s nothing more distracting than having to stop a line of athletes because an agility ladder was hit and now tangled, a hurtle was hit and is now 20 feet away, or a crooked stick was hit and it’s no longer in the shape the drill requires.

Therefore, we’ve designed the Dollamur SAQ Fitness Mat to have the most popular drills readily available to a group of athletes, with a soft surface to be gentle on the ankles, knees and hips.


Q2: How does this relate to your functional training programs?

A2: Quickness, agility and coordination are the basis for athleticism. Athleticism is the primary function of every athlete. Athleticism is what allows an athlete to learn specific skills that make them successful in their sport; athleticism makes the player!

The Dollamur SAQ Fitness Mat is designed to develop short and fast foot movements, which are the essence of quickly repositioning the base of the body and quickly changing directions.  In my experience plyometric training has been abused and misused at all levels of athletic training. We have found the low-level plyometric training associated with low amplitude, fast, changes of direction to be extremely effective and very forgiving to all joints of the lower body.

We designed the mat, with all of these things in mind. It’s not just a mat, it’s a training tool that has been carefully thought out to provide the best in stationary SAQ training, in a portable format - and most importantly a safe environment.


Q3: Please give us a quick overview of the IHP training philosophy –

A3: The IHP training philosophy was centered around the basic concept of functional training.  We define functional training as multi-disciplinary training system that focuses on improving a target activity. This philosophy implies that we are more concerned with enhancing the quality of movement, as opposed to the building approach that is more concerned with seeing the aesthetic appearance of muscle. Therefore, we use all available training methods with one thing in mind - improve the function of the target activity.  Selected SAQ drills, have been shown to improve athletic ability.  This is why we came up with the Dollamur SAQ Fitness Mat, as a part of our multidisciplinary approach to athletic enhancement.


Q4: Tell us a little about how your programs “push through mental and physical barriers” –

A4: Through the years we have seen fast and enormous improvements in athletic and functional capacity in the absence of physical changes.  We have also seen enormous performance improvements in the absence of significant changes in standard physiological evaluations, such as VO 2, lactate threshold, reaction times, vertical jumps, and 1RMs. This begged the question, ‘what was responsible for the huge changes in performance in the absence of huge changes in physiology’?

We now know that something else can change much faster than any physical parameter, human will! Our training philosophy uses physical effort (training) to reset the barometer of the human will and allow people to discover new levels of transcendence and performance! The stimulus of the effort, discomfort, suffering and pain has been used to fortify the will and transcend the spirit in practically all religious disciplines. From fasting to total body suspensions, spiritual disciplines have used physical challenges to fortify the human will. The discomfort associated with the intense IHP training is no different, and we have developed a very specific way to coach this process.


Q5: Any final words?

A5: “Dollamur and IHP usher in a new era of training and technology. If you are in the air you want Dollamur under you!!”

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