At Muscle Activation Schaumburg, we see a variety of clients for Muscle Activation Techniques®, also known as MAT®. We see clients who are younger and older, clients who are more physically fit and those who are not, and clients who are highly athletic as well as those whose athleticism may be lacking.

But, despite this variety, there is a consistency that we see regarding the differences between our clients who are professional athletes and those who are not.

You may be thinking to yourself, “There are a TON of differences between those who are pro athletes and those who aren’t,” and you would be correct, but really the biggest differences fall into two categories.


Yes, the pro athletes have bigger muscles, stronger muscles, and better endurance. But, that’s not the biggest difference.

The biggest difference between our clients who are pro athletes and those who are not comes down to two things:

1) The pro athletes have a greater ability to tolerate stress

2) The pro athletes have a great ability to recover from stress.

And, it is the combination of these two characteristics that is so potent, because a strong determining factor in their ability to tolerate and recover from stress is having a greater ability to compensate.

Now, as we have written about before, having a greater ability to compensate is not the same as having a greater need to compensate. Having a greater ability to compensate means you have more options available to get the job done.

If you think of driving your car to the grocery store, the more routes you have to get there, the better. If one route is closed down or is slower because of traffic, you can access a different route and get to the store without issue. However, if you only have one way of getting to the grocery store and that route gets shut down, then there is a big issue.

Having a greater ability to compensate is a really good thing. For your body, it means having more muscles working well to help protect and move your joints. If some muscles stop working as well for the time being, other muscles can pick up the slack and help move and protect you. As long as your ability to compensate stays greater than your need to compensate, things will be okay in the moment.

However, when your need to compensate starts to exceed your ability to compensate, that’s when we start to see more issues popping up.

In the short term, compensation is a brilliant thing. In the longer term, it may not be ideal. This is where MAT® can step in.

The goal of MAT® is to figure out where in your body there are muscles that are not working as well as they should, where the ability of the muscles to contract on a moment’s notice is not there. Then, a certified MAT® practitioner can address these issues to get your muscles back up and working how they are supposed to work.

In other words, the practitioner can figure out where you have the need to compensate and improve your ability to do so.

Often, an increased need to compensate can present itself as tight or achy muscles, stiff joints, joints feeling unstable, or generally feeling weak. All of these issues can impact your ability to do the things you love to do in life, whether it is playing golf, going for walks, or chasing your kids around the yard.

Even simple daily tasks such as going up and down stairs, bending over to pull laundry out of the dryer, or putting groceries away on the top shelf can all start to feel more difficult. This is usually a sign that your need to compensate is becoming greater than your ability to compensate, and would be a good time to give your local MAT® practitioner a call.

If your body is not keeping up with the things you want to do in life, your muscles may be in need of a tune up. By visiting your local MAT® practitioner, your muscles can get firing again and your ability to compensate can start to become greater than your need to compensate, giving you a greater ability to do the activities you love most.

Remember, while there are many testimonials from professional athletes on the power of MAT®, most pro athletes already have a very high ability to compensate. MAT® was not designed only for pro athletes, but rather for people of all ages and physical abilities.

To learn more about MAT®, you can download our free 20-page report here.

And, if you are in the Chicagoland area – including downtown Chicago and the neighboring suburbs such as Schaumburg, Arlington Heights, Barrington, Inverness, Palatine, and Hoffman Estates – and would like to start experiencing what MAT® can do for you, book your initial consultation and assessment with us here.

Julie & Charlie

Team MAS

Muscle Activation Schaumburg is an exercise facility located in Schaumburg, IL with a goal to help you keep your health for as long as possible. We know that it is your health that allows you to do the things you love in life. This is why we promote a lifestyle that includes exercise, rather than exercise that is a burden to your life. Muscle Activation Schaumburg provides Muscle Activation Techniques® (MAT®) and personal training services to its clients. We use MAT® and exercise to increase the function of your body. A well-functioning body is what allows you to stay healthy and do the things you love. We value helping the members of our community of Schaumburg as well as surrounding communities of the Northwest Suburbs improve their health.