August 2018 Links and Review

Every week, my newsletter subscribers get links to some of the goodies that I’ve come across on the internets.

Here were the goodies that my peeps got their learn on in August.

If you want to get a copy of my weekend learning goodies every Friday, fill out the form below.  That way you can brag to all your friends about the cool things you’ve learned over the weekend.

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Biggest Lesson of the Month

Sleep is the top priority.

Summer has been atrocious for me. Where I am currently staying at, we have no AC, and it was a hot AF summer. California fires are no joke.

I was having a hard time falling asleep, waking up consistently between 3 and 4 am, and feeling drained. Poor sleep led to me being less productive, more moody, prone to being short with people, and just a miserable person to be around.

After a reality check, I decided it was time to fix this problem, and redouble my efforts on sleep.

Here were the things I tweaked:

  • Bought a swamp cooler (best substitute I could get for an AC that wouldn’t break the bank)
  • Bought an air filter (since it’s smoky AF in NorCal)
  • Used velcro strips to completely seal off my blackout curtains on the sides (#nolightalright)
  • Became consistent with going to bed between 8:45-9:45pm.
  • Consistent with waking up at 5:45am during the week, sleeping in slightly on the weekends

The results have been pretty dramatic thus far.

Sleep gainzzz have been like whoa

Besides feeling calmer, rested, and productive, I’ve noticed improved alterations in body composition despite eating more. Minimal to no gut issues (a problem I’ve been dealing with on/off this year). My mood has improved, and I’m responding to stressful situations WAY better. And most importantly, I’m less of an ass to the people I care about.

I know that there are steps I need to take in regards to optimizing my health, but I think for all of us, getting sleep dialed in has to come first. The multisystem effects that can happen from great (and poor) sleep are profound, and transcend most other interventions.

While I was considering starting the process with a functional medicine approach, I think milking the sleep brigade for all it’s worth is going to come first. For me, this may lead into me going after more procedures to improve my airway (stay tuned), but I’m excited to go this route.

Hell, after fixing my deviated septum, my resting heart rate dropped 10 beats per minute. What could go wrong? 🙂

What things have been most impactful for improving your sleep? Comment below and let us know

Health & Wellness

Drugs, especially opoids, are bad mmkay

I just read this sad piece in the New York Times showing the death rates from drug overdose, and it seems pretty grim.

While overdoses from drugs such as cocaine have been on the rise, the biggest offender of all is synthetic opioids. Yes, the stuff your doc gives you to control pain. We’ve heard things about the opioid crisis, but you won’t realize the magnitude of the problem until you check out this post.

Block those pesky appliance lights during travel

Ever travel somewhere, get to the hotel, and you are blinded by that random light from the fire alarm? Sleep = ruined

Until now!

These light blocking stickers have been a godsend. Just put them over the bright light, and sleep incredibly well tonight.

Timing is of the essence…for eating?!?!

Do you eat late? You may want to stop after you read this New York Times piece on circadian fasting.

In it, Dr. Satchin Panda discusses how sunlight is not the only cue to wake, but cells within our guts similarly respond to food. Eating most of your food earlier in the day does wonders for sleep/wake cycles and blood sugar. It’s something I practiced a lot when I dropped 30 pounds last year, and definitely effective.


The evolution of Pat Davidson

Lance Goyke wrote a great review on Pat Davidson’s seminar, Rethinking the Big Patterns, and it’s so cool to see how Pat has evolved this seminar since I attended it.

The explanations given in regards to pressure, volume, and filling training holes were excellent, and thoroughly enhanced my understanding of the concepts. Any chance you can learn from Pat, you MUST take advantage of.

Or Pate, as he’s known in close circles

Fix your upper body pushing and pulling skills

Lucy Hendricks, the Holistic Fitness Connector herself, put out a pretty dope webinar on how the way she teaches pushing and pulling has progressed over the years.

One of my favorite parts of this webinar was when Lucy went through the mistakes she has made in the past, and what she does now. I really love how Lucy is willing to adapt when better methods come out, and is something we should all emulate.

How can coaches really help athletes?

Doug Kechijian put out this great post on antifragility and adaptive reserves.

There is a lot of discussion about transfer of what we do to sport. Though unlikely, there are several positive things that we can do for athletes, and Doug gives a 30,000 foot view on what this looks like.

Keeping it real about muscle gainzzz

You really think all that added muscle burns more calories for you? Think again.

Dean Somerset wrote a great post on just how many extra calories you burn when you have put on extra muscle mass, and it’s nowhere near what you think.

The craziest part of this article? Seeing just how much testosterone injections change things. Let’s just say us natty lifters might be a little deflated.

Personal Development

Be careful choosing your heroes

I was saddened to hear about the sexual harassment allegations about an industry leader, Alan Aragon. To think that this beyond inappropriate behavior could happen in our tiny industry had me in disbelief, anger, and saddened. I’m saddened that Alan did these things to these women, tried to tarnish their reputation in the process, and lied to those close to him. The scariest bit was those who favored in his support. The things said just absolutely blew my mind. It is not fair to anyone involved, regardless of the contributions he made to the industry.

With great power comes great responsibility, and it’s clear that power was given to someone irresponsible. I strongly recommend you do not support this man in any way, shape, or form.

Is a happy marriage really a thing?

After you read this article by Eric Barker, you’ll realize this is quite an uphill battle, but not insurmountable.

Turns out, there is a natural decline in marital happiness the longer you are with someone, but by changing key frames of mind, and putting in work, it is possible to offset this natural decline. Check out the post to learn more.

A wise man once told me: don’t get married, don’t have kids, don’t buy a house


A necessary cue for hip extension

Getting fam to get a legit pelvic tilt is hard, but I’ve been playing with an amazing cue I learned from Bill Hartman.

It’s simple: imagine someone is pulling you down from your back pocket.

I’ve found this to absolutely light up proximal hamstring/inferior glute max. And here is an activity which is a great starting point. Once you’ve this, progress to hooklying, and ya ought to be in bidness.

Get that last bit of hip extension

Driving hip extension has been a big theme for me over the last couple weeks, and if I have someone who can’t get that last little bit, I use this drill below.

With this activity, you put the hip at end-range hip extension, and let your peeps struggle. If it’s too challenging, put them closer to the wall so the hip is more flexed.

An added bonus: reach at the angle I have in the video, and you might get some shoulder flexion!

An awesome reference in all things pain science

Aline Thompson put up this awesome reference post on the best resources for pain science. If you want blogs (yours truly made it #famrecognizefam), books, courses, videos, you name it, she’s got it.

Many of the resources I’ve consumed are essential to check out if you want to better understand pain, and I really like the free handouts that Aline linked to as well. Perfect things to give your clientele.

Is muscle tone actually a thing?

Why yes, actually. This article discusses all the evidence surrounding human resting muscle tone, suggesting that there is always some semblance of activity going on within the muscle, and perhaps this is what we alter with many of our endeavors. We have to think beyond EMG, and this study will tell you why.

Tone is cool, bc who wants to be bulky?


Finally, some good hip hop

My mentee Brendan hooked me up with this one. This new Termanology album is straight fire. Tons of street imagery, excellent lyricism, and more.

Definitely give Passport Kingz a listen, it features Raekwon the chef. Killah

The best concerts I’ve seen…from home

A couple of friends have introduced me to Tiny Desk Concert Series put on by NPR, and it’s absolutely amazing.

Basically, a wide variety of musicians perform an unplugged concert in a very small room, and the results, especially the hip hop performances. I’m not saying that because I’m biased, the live music with rap is just otherworldly.

My favorites so far have been Anderson .Paak, August Greene, Masta Ace, Big Daddy Kane, Oddisee, and The Foreign Exchange.

Mix electronic and hip hop, then change your life

KAYTRANADA is one of my favorite new producers, and I found this playlist that shows some of his finest tracks. If you want a great mix of electronic, crazy drums, and incredible production, give him a listen.


Is this the Matrix???

Not the Human Matrix, but this TaeKwonDo demonstration is absolutely stunning. Some of the techniques performed look like they were CGI, but it’s just humans doing incredible things.

We’ve been using a can opener wrong this whole time.

Just watch this. Trust me. Your life is about to be changed.

Just when you thought all I did was open cans of worms

Get high quality stock photos

If you are putting together presentations, seminars, anything, you can’t just simply pull from Google Images. There’s that whole copyright thing. And creative commons, while useful, can have meh quality.

That’s where Adobe Stock comes in. I got some incredibly high quality images for my upcoming seminar, and has been a game changer for me thus far. You can get 10 images for free your first month, which is definitely a plus.

Photo Credits



Eric Villalba

Donar Reiskoffer