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Periodized ACL Program - The Fundamentals

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Periodized ACL Program - The Fundamentals

Periodized ACL Program - The Fundamentals

This course includes
9:00:31 of Course Material (View)
Course Forum
Lifetime access after purchase
Certificate of completion
The instructors
This course was recorded in January 2024


Periodization programs for anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) pathologies within the rehabilitative and performance fields are desperately needed, but standardization and implementation are everywhere and only hypothetical at this point. Through this course, I want to teach, educate and improve upon what are the current outcomes for this pathology while demonstrating in video format progressively graded exercise that is periodized to best meet the demands of most field athletes who are status post ACL repair or reconstruction for return to sport.

This online course strives to educate providers within the sports medicine team on how to bridge the gap from the clinic to the field while utilizing and applying the best current research in rehabilitating patients who are status post ACL repair or reconstruction back to their pre-injury performance levels. Module 1 of this course seeks to accomplish this goal by detailing the best evidence-based practices for athletes during their initial 8 weeks from their date of surgery.


Learning Objectives

Because of the scope of this course, the interested participant can either purchase it in its entirety or through separate modules as well.

Regardless of what method the participant chooses to use when enrolling in this course, they can still expect to be educated in applying the best available research and evidence while utilizing the systems, philosophies and methods I’ve developed when building separate Bridge Programs both in the private sector and for one of the top-ranked pediatric orthopedic hospitals in the United States, as both programs supported patients in their quest for return to performance who were status post-ACL repair or reconstruction.

This course offers Module 1 of this Periodized ACL Program -The Fundamentals. The course participant can expect to learn the following:

  1. The ability to summarize current concepts surrounding ACL injury and outcome epidemiology.

  2. The capability to identify commonly experienced pitfalls that patients during the rehabilitation process who are status post ACL repair or reconstruction encounter.

  3. The capacity to identify potential opportunities for different members of the patient care team to interject their expertise while carrying out their professional responsibilities within their designated scope(s) of practice.

  4. The ability to develop a hypothetical model for the initial 8 weeks of the ACL rehabilitation process for a patient with regards to progressive exercise variability for normalization of their active and passive range of motion.

  5. Proficiency in developing a hypothetical model for the initial 8 weeks of the ACL rehabilitation process for a patient with regards to progressive exercise variability for normalization of their ambulation mechanics on both even and uneven ground and when ascending or descending stairs.

  6. The competence to write a hypothetical model for the initial 8 weeks of the ACL rehabilitation process for a patient with regards to progressive exercise variability for maintenance of a patient’s cardiorespiratory fitness and the re-patterning of their running and sprinting mechanics.

  7. The aptitude to construct logical progressive and regressive movement sequences for variations of the major squatting, lunging and hinging movement patterns during the initial 8 weeks of the ACL rehabilitation process for a patient.

  8. The capacity for programming open and closed kinetic chain interventions of different frequencies, intensities, and types while using graded movements comprised of varying tempos and muscle lengths for restoration of normal quadriceps function to patients.

  9. The ability to verbalize the clinical reasoning and critical thinking skills in status post ACLr patients needed to justify and modify exercise interventions to facilitate the achievement of their needs and goals pertaining to their movement variability.


It should be noted that this program is inclusive to anyone that is a part of the patient care team for patients that are status post ACL repair or reconstruction (ACLr), including but not limited to physical therapists, athletic trainers, psychologists, nutritionists, mental skills coaches, strength and conditioning coaches, personal trainers, sports scientists, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, orthopedic surgeons, and so on.

Module 1 of this Periodized ACL Program outlines and details opportunities for physical therapists, physical therapy assistants, athletic trainers, strength and conditioning coaches and other healthcare personnel to delve deeper into current concepts surrounding the rehabilitation of an athlete's status post-ACL injury and/or surgery.

An overview of the following concepts surrounding patients who are status post ACL repair or reconstruction will be outlined here for their initial 8 weeks of rehabilitation: the periodization of rehabilitation and training needed for the long-term athletic development of the biomotor and bioenergetic abilities of athletes’ attempting to return to sport, a hypothetical model for the ACLr rehabilitation process with regards to exercise variability and progressive resistance exercise both in the weight room and through field activities, contributing societal factors for subpar return to sport rates, and proposed philosophies and systems needed in teaching athletes linear speed and change of direction mechanics, along with a brief overview of the methods and means required to develop these speed qualities from as well.

The instructors
Ian Wright

Being involved in athletics his entire life, Ian Wright boasts an impressive educational background and a wealth of experience in shaping the lives of athletes across various levels.

Ian's academic journey commenced at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree while majoring in Exercise Science Education in 2015. Following his academic success, Ian delved into the practical aspects of strength and conditioning during his time interning at Donskov Strength and Conditioning where he gained the hands-on experience of coaching and directing team workouts for AAA hockey teams. Additionally, during this period of time Ian was also working as a full-time member of the strength and conditioning staff in the NHL for the Columbus Blue Jackets. Here, he directed team workouts and small group sessions for both injured and healthy scratch players on a daily basis. His contributions extended to designing in-season and off-season athletic development training programs in collaboration with the head strength and conditioning coach. Ian also played a vital role in developing and implementing training protocols during this time for the rehabilitation of injured athletes, working closely with team physicians, physical therapists, and athletic trainers.

Realizing his limitations in providing comprehensive rehabilitation and athletic development services to the athletes he served in the NHL, Ian ultimately decided to continue his educational pursuits at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. This decision culminated with him completing his graduate studies and earning his Doctorate of Physical Therapy in 2018.

Now armed with a solid foundation educationally in both the movement and rehabilitation sciences, Ian embarked next to working at True Sports Physical Therapy where he trained and rehabilitated high school, college, and professional athletes from a variety of sports while collaborating with the strength and conditioning coaches from Sweat Performance. It was during this period of time where Ian’s eyes were opened to the scope of strength and conditioning as he discovered new training philosophies and methodologies in enhancing athletes’ physical preparation when returning them back to sport after injury. This fact was highlighted again in that he was privileged enough to assist in the rehabilitation of various NFL players from the Ravens, Jets, and Browns during their off-season preparation, and it was at this point where he was taught from their respective skill coaches their linear, curvilinear, change of direction, agility, and overall approaches to field work in general.


Ultimately, Ian left the Baltimore area in 2019 in order to follow his wife down to Dallas, Texas so that she could complete her general surgery residency. This led to Ian landing a pediatric sports physical therapist position with the world-renowned Scottish Rite Hospital. Based at the Frisco location, Ian worked exclusively with pediatric and adolescent athletes and he was afforded the opportunity to work with and rehabilitate athletes of all different sports and sporting positions from here. These opportunities led to Ian building numerous partnerships within the local community. Most notably during this time, Ian was also serving as a part-time strength and conditioning coach at Greenhill School in Addison, Texas. Here, he was responsible for the offseason, pre-season and in-season design, implementation, and training of various sports teams, including the school’s football, women’s soccer, women’s tennis, men’s lacrosse, JV baseball and track and field teams. Ultimately, due to his skills as both a physical therapist and strength and conditioning coach, Ian ended up brokering a partnership between Greenhill School and Scottish Rite Hospital, as Scottish Rite Hospital became the preferred medical provider to Greenhill School. Additionally, during this time, Ian became promoted from a pediatric sport’s physical therapist to the Bridge Program Coordinator at Scottish Rite Hospital. In this role, Ian became responsible for customizing training in a specialized manner to athletes after their allotted physical therapy plans of care expired. Most of these athletes were unable to return to sport safely in the eyes of their supervising physical therapist, so it was Ian’s responsibility to design, facilitate, and implement performance training in small, medium, and large group settings for those pediatric and adolescent patients as they attempted to transition back to return to play and/or sport.


This Bridge Program initially was meant to compliment the traditional sports physical therapy approach at Scottish Rite Hospital. However, the program itself eventually rivaled the sports physical therapy division as Scottish Rite Hospital within 1 year of its inception as participants after returning back to sport ended up re-enrolling month over month so that they could prepare and ultimately progress to the next level within their chosen sport. Overall, Ian thrived in this new position and grew this program from a staff of just himself initially, to a program of that of 200+ athletes with over 450 monthly visits after only one year. He also during this time hired, trained, and on-boarded two additional strength and conditioning coaches onto his team in order to assist him with returning athletes of a variety of different diagnoses and injury pathologies back to their respective sports. The program at its peak grew so large that it rivaled the Bridge Programs offered by Andrews Institute and Children’s Health, which were powered by EXOS.


Upon learning of his wife’s orders to be stationed in Hawaii so that she could serve her country, Ian next accepted a contract position in 2022 to work at the Human Performance and Rehabilitation Center located at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. Within one short year of his initial start date, Ian was promoted to the civilian medical director position for physical therapy for the 15th Medical Group. Here he continues to innovate as demonstrated by his uncanny ability with both outreach and program development. Notable programs that he has designed and implemented at Hickam Air Force Base with regards to improving Airmen’s fitness, health, and performance include: Low Back Pain Classes, Reconditioning Classes, Barbell Medicine Classes, and Running Clinics. Notable squadrons that he has performed outreach for with regards to manual clinics, rehabilitation, and high performance include the 25th Air Support Operations Squadron and associated TACP Airmen, the 19th and 199th Fighter Squadrons, PACAF, and USINDOPACOM.  

Over the course of the last decade, Ian has received numerous certifications with regards to his endeavors within both the professions of physical and strength and conditioning. In addition to holding his Doctorate of Physical Therapy, Ian is also Board certified as a Sports Clinical Specialist (SCS) and as an Orthopedic Clinical Specialist (OCS) through the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties (ABPTS). Ian is also a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), Certified Personal Trainer (CPT), and a Tactical Strength and Conditioning Facilitator (TSAC-F) by the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA). Finally, Ian is also United States of America Weightlifting (USAW) Level 1 Sports Performance Coach Certified as well.

Relevant publications and presentations that Ian has been a part of in the last 5 years include the following: “Models of Care Delivery for Patients with Parkinson Disease Living in Rural Areas” Family and Community Health Journal in 2019, Co-Presenter of “The Emergence of S&C in Healthcare: An Interdisciplinary Model” at the Texas State Clinic for NSCA in 2020, “Leading Athletes to Improved Performance after ACL Reconstruction” for FYTT Webinars in 2023, and finally, “Periodization in ACL Rehab: An Overview” for Allied Health Education in 2024. When not helping individuals of all ages reach their peak performance within their sport or activity of choice through his online fitness and wellness company Competitive Advantage Athletics LLC, Ian enjoys the activities of hiking, powerlifting and walking his dog along the Hawaiian coastline.

Course Material included in this course
  • Chapter 2: Rehab for Training Weeks 1-8
  • Week 1
  • Week 2
  • Week 3
  • Week 4 Part 1
  • Week 4 Part 2
  • Week 5 Part 1
  • Week 5 Part 2
  • Week 7
  • Week 8
  • Chapter 2 Feedback

This course was designed with the intention of providing students with the clinical experience commonly encountered only by students within the fields of athletic training, physical therapy, and strength and conditioning who were lucky enough to serve in the high-performance model of sport.

Typically, this requires students within these disciplines to work for free during their clinical rotations for months on end in order to learn how to apply the knowledge they gathered during their didactic coursework while in college or university. Even worse, this occasionally requires post-graduate clinicians who are interested in making the switch to sports medicine to volunteer what little and precious time they have outside of their full-time job to field coverage and internships so that they can gather the necessary experience to make the jump to a more fulfilling career.

This course aims to fill that clinical void from an application standpoint as it serves as the instrument for mentorship so few of us working in sports medicine had during their graduate studies while at university. While using ACL rehabilitation as the vehicle for learning sports medicine concepts and principles, Module 1 of this course promises to allow the interested student upon completion the following: the integration of both strength and conditioning and rehabilitation principles from an applied perspective to patient care within the weight room, and to a lesser degree, to field activities for athletes that are status post ACL repair or reconstruction, an overview from an applied standpoint of the systems required for the long-term athletic development of the linear speed mechanics of patients who are status post lower extremity injury or ACL reconstruction, and applied teaching progressions and methods for the development of patients change of direction mechanics who are status post lower extremity injury or ACL reconstruction.

While it's true that clinicians and providers have plenty of options with regards to continued learning when it comes to ACL pathologies…….as anything from non-operative to operative management and protocoling, to surgical means and methods, and recently, discussions regarding brace wear both operatively and non-operatively have taken place……none to my knowledge take the enrollee every step of the way through the patient's journey from the table to the turf from an APPLIED perspective while promising the interested learner accelerated recovery and injury reduction strategies for their athletes. This course consists of thousands of videos with corresponding interventions given under different contextual circumstances to best allow the athlete to not only return back to sport, but rather, back to performance at a level equal to that or ideally greater than that of where they were at pre-injury.

This course was designed and developed to give clinicians and all other associated members of the sports medicine team full access to my clinical toolbox from a therapeutic activity and exercise prescription standpoint so that they can best care for the individual in front of them. Drawing from my experiences both as a coach and clinician while working in professional sport, at world-renowned hospital systems, and from my time working with the special operation community from within the military health system, I can promise that every enrollee of this course will learn new strategies that they will be able to immediately implement into their clinical practices or performance models for the physical preparation of their athletes. Module 1 of this Periodized ACL Course will accomplish these goals for the initial 8 weeks only of rehabilitation within the ACLr patient population, as higher means and methods for the rest of the patient’s rehabilitation will be detailed in subsequent modules.

I decided to create my own course detailing the methodologies I use for ACL rehabilitation in order to save other providers and coaches years of time and money that I personally subjected myself to in order to grow professionally. This course is an assemblage of my time and stays in various high-performance settings from within the sports medicine industry, as the perspectives I gathered and present here encompass elements of different learning opportunities I was a part of while working in the professional, private, military, and hospital settings. These perspectives are all very different and unique when compared to one another, but most importantly, tried and tested as they were instrumental in the ACL specific Bridge Program that I developed and oversaw for one of the top rated pediatric orthopedic hospitals in the country, Scottish Rite Hospital. It should be noted this program boasted many positive statistics for participant enrollees, including a 0% participant ACL re-injury rate upon discharge from the program when tracked for 2 years after the post inception mark of the program.  However, no statistic was more important to me than having 87% of my athletes who were status post ACL reconstruction being able to pass their return to sport testing by at least 9 months from their date of surgery. That is because current norms cite this statistic at only 45-60% for the industry standard.

This masterclass I’ve created on ACL rehabilitation is also unique from other courses in that it is predominately application based as enrollees will immediately learn easily digestible therapeutic exercise progressions that can be implemented starting on post-op day 1 of an athlete’s rehab. Not only that, but these progressions also span the entire continuum of care for the athlete, as I take the viewer of this program through each and every phase of rehab, including the return to performance phases of rehab, so that by the end of the course, all enrollees can effectively coach and effectively prescribe training means and methods to best fit the athlete in front of them. However, it should be noted that Module 1 of this Periodized ACL Program will detail only the best evidence-based practices from an applied perspective for athletes during their initial 8 weeks of rehabilitation from their date of surgery. Subsequent modules will detail the remainder of the program as the course is built out for 68 total weeks.

The personal goal I had when creating this course was to give each and every enrollee of this course not only the knowledge I’ve gained through my professional career as both a physical therapist and as a strength and conditioning coach with regards to ACLr rehabilitation, but the clinical reasoning skills and framework needed to improve upon from what are the currently citied norms with regards to outcomes for this surgery.

I wanted to organize and impart this knowledge to the viewer of this course so that they personally had the means I used and implemented when creating Bridge Programs for ACL performance training that I was a part of both in the private sector and at one of the most distinguished orthopedic hospital systems in the United States. And I tried to do this in a manner that used strategies which scaled the entire care continuum, from the table to the turf, and that could be immediately implemented by sports medicine professionals so that they could more readily overcome the major milestones commonly experienced by patients’ status post ACL repair or reconstruction. Module 1 of this Periodized ACL Course will accomplish these goals for the initial 8 weeks only of rehabilitation within the ACL patient population, as higher means and methods for the rest of the patient’s rehabilitation will be detailed in subsequent modules. 

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