August 2019 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.

Get Stuff Done – Biggest Lesson of the Month

Believe it or not, I’ve been struggling getting important things done professionally, personally, everything. I’ve been wasting time procrastinating on things unimportant to me, which is frustrating AF.

Instead of beating myself up (too much), I reflected on why I was procrastinating and where my rate limiting steps were.

Looking critically at my day led me to making some minor tweaks that have led to major results. I thought you may find them useful.

Combining a to-do list with a calendar

I have a love/hate relationship with to-do lists. Many say they are overrated, and to an extent I agree. If you don’t have a temporal component to things, there is no sense of urgency to get things done. At the same time, I have a lot of tasks I need to do on a weekly basis, and need some way to keep track.

The solution: finding a to-do list I actually like. I’ve listed apps in the past, but I found that I stopped looking through them as I cut down spending time on my phone.

What do I use? My handy-dandy notebook.

Both this and my wonderful tax lady have been life savers. Complete with handwriting only I can decipher and occasional messages from the old lady.

Here I just write the big ticket items and areas of focus, then I use Google Calendar to schedule pertinent tasks.

I have a few rules that I operate by to ensure I stay working on the “right” thing. Here is the order at which I tackle things:

  1. Clients first – This could be doing work for online clients, updating the manual for Human Matrix, or anything where other people are depending on me.
  2. Content – All blog posts, debriefs, goodies, research, and such fall under this category.
  3. Chores – This includes emails, ordering stuff I need, making tweaks to the website, checking my mail, etc.
  4. Learning – This is where I spend time learning stuff that is not immediately going to be put into content, talks, or at all. This is where I get better.
  5. Fun – I should put this higher on the list, but this would be hiking, watching movies, and other things that aim to not drive me insane.

I don’t have training in my tasks because that fortunately has become an ingrained habit. I won’t miss training.

Wind Down, Fam

Although I’ve done a ton of stuff on sleep hygiene, the one thing I always struggled with was winding down. I was staying on my laptop either answering emails or wasting time on social media and youtube right before bed. Not shutting down made me sleep less, dropped my sleep quality, and made me tired throughout the day to the point where I wasn’t getting work done.

Despite my best efforts, I had a hard time shutting it down. I needed a solution, and found the simplest thing to tell me to stop.

You ready for this?

I set an alarm!

Groundbreaking, right?

Every night at 8:45pm, I get an alarm that says “turn off tech,” and you’d be blown away at how effective this has been. I’ve been consistently able to shut it down ever since having this put on my phone. I know it worked because when I had to reset my phone, the alarm was off, and up late again I was.

Having a cue to wind down has been a game changer for me. From there, I shut off my electronics, get my room ready for sleepy-time, and get to reading something light.

Don’t Work All the Friggin’ Time

In training, we utilize the high/low model to build in recovery and elicit adaptations. In gardens, we water plants and then stop so they can grow.

Yet we work, work, and then work some more. We don’t follow principles that are fundamental to growth and adaptation, and I was equally guilty of it.

Therefore, I try to spend at least one day a week away from most work, clients, everything. I focus time on the things that give me energy.

My struggle so far on this is I’ve been spending time doing fun activities that are more procrastinatory in nature than something I actually want to do. My major vice is Youtube videos.

To break this vice, I’ve been talking to friends and loved ones, playing basketball, going for walks, reading, and I’m going to get back into something I used to do for fun: making hip hop beats. I’m telling you this now so y’all can hold me accountable to get back into this. How else can I keep Mike Robertson’s podcast and myself having the most fire intros in podcasting (yes, that’s straight up Beats by Zac)?

Gotta get the album ready in 2020 somehow, fam

What systems do you use to get stuff done? How do you keep your down time? Comment below and let the fam know!

Rehabilitation

So uh….bones don’t touch

Think bone on bone is a thing? What if bones never touch?

I’ve been studying joints a lot more, and came across this interesting case study in which an MD undergoes a knee scope and has his knee put in various positions that would have maximal articular contact…only there is no contact. You’ll definitely need to check this out.

Building Rapport with Physicians

One thing I always struggled with was how to build a referral network with physicians in my area, which is why I wish I had this post by Mike Reinold that outlines some useful strategies to achieving buy-in with clinicians in your area.

Does exercise really help with pain?

fWe know that explaining pain isn’t a cure all for persistent pain, but where does exercise fit? The answer depends on which exercise modality and what condition, as evident by this systematic review.

Here, these researchers surveyed how induced and persistent pain respond to aerobic, isometric, and dynamic exercise. Across the board, experimentally-induced pain improved quite a bit, but how did persistent pain fare? Well, you’ll have to read this joint to find out.

Training 

The death of back arching on squats

Cue peeps to arch their backs before they drop on the squat? Did you know the lumbar spine goes kyphotic as soon as the barbell goes on the shoulders? That’s what this paper demonstrated. It ought to open your eyes quite a bit and provide some food for thought on how we are coaching the squat.

Do barefoot training adaptations last?

The old adage is that barefoot running helps reduce ground reaction force and loading through the body, or does it? Check out this infographic which challenges that thought process.

Let’s not even get started

Are eccentrics useful for muscle growth?

Can you use eccentrics to enhance your gains? Do plyometrics have a role in hypertrophy? If you want to know, you’ll definitely want to check out this thorough infographic on a a few different modalities that might be useful for gainzzz mode.

Are athletes really getting better?

Sure, there are major improvements in world records and whatnot, but are we genetically that much different than athletes of yesteryear? Prepare to have all your thoughts challenged by Dave Epstein in this TED talk. He goes through many of the factors that make the athletes “better” now than they were before.

Do you need to lift heavy to get hyooge?

The name of the game is type II fiber muscle recruitment when it comes to strength and hypertrophy gains, but how many different ways can that happen? Is there a common bond among different training strategies? Check this infographic out to get your answer.

Health & Wellness

How stress impacts men and women

Does stress impact women differently than it does men? This post has the answer, and provides great insight as to why we as humans act the way we do in stressful conditions. Most importantly, there are helpful tips provided to mitigate stress.

The morality of meat eating

Do you think you save animals by avoiding meat? Think again.

This post by Diana Roger drops major facts on meat consumption, farming, and processing, and debunks several common arguments on both the health and ethics of meat eating. Prepare to grill some burgers in celebration!

I like my moral high ground medium rare

Personal Development

Take your grammar skills to the next level

Everyone is prone to grammar errors, especially if you don’t know these challenging grammar mistakes. Most of these errors in the list are from common slang that we all use. Which one’s are you messing up? I know I had a few.

What comedy can teach you about the double edge sword of dedication

Daddy-O Pops gifted me Born Standing Up by Steve Martin, his autobiography.

This book shows the hard work, sacrifice, and dedication it took Steve to get to the top of stand up comedy, and the negative things that came from it.

We often see the end result of people’s success, but rarely do we see the cost.

Start saving for retirement. Now!

So it turns out more peeps around my age are saving for retirement (yay), but there are many who are reducing their contributions (boo). Here’s a great article showing why you should increase your contributions. Take care of the future you, fam.

Missing hope? F*ck it

We live in a time where many of the worlds problems are solved, yet we have higher rates of anxiety, depression, and dissatisfaction. According to Mark Manson, we’re f*cked. What are we to do?

Fortunately, he answers that in his book, “Everything is F*cked: A Book About Hope.” Here, he writes how having three things–self control, purpose, community–can have a profound impact on our growing feeling about the world. So far, this book has been quite impactful.

Miscellaneous

Water is pretty interesting

I finally got around to making my way through “The Fourth Phase of Water,” and it’s a pretty fascinating book. It provides some interesting theories on the properties of water, how water can impact energy, and how water interacts with various surfaces. If you want an intriguing explanation as to why your bones don’t squeak when you move, this has been a brain stumper for me. 

The most underrated compound in the game

Music

An Old Soul Speaks the Truth

In my futile attempt to get through all the new hip hop that’s coming out, I came across YBN Cordae’s incredibly personal album, “The Lost Boy.” His sound gives a similar Vibe to Chance The Rapper, but perhaps a bit more profane and lyrical. Doesn’t hurt that he’s delivering these bars over smooth beats! Definitely one of my favorite albums of the year.

You’ll want to for sure check out RNP and Bad Idea.

Back to Being Grimey

I just hit a treasure trove of new hip hop, and the new album I’m pretty juiced up about is Benny the Butcher’s “The Plugs I Met.” This joint is a concept album centered around Benny’s past life as a dealer. It listens like a movie, has incredible beats and lyricism, and will make you legit scared of Benny.

Definitely listen to Crown for Kings and Sunday School.

Wu-Tang Clan is still nothing to f*ck with

Inspectah Deck released a new album recently, and it is what you expect from the Wu-Tang great. Classic beats, rhymes for days, and so much more. The releases from the clan have been exceeding expectations thus far.

Give Game Don’t Change, No Good, and Russell Jones a Listen.

A collection of fire MCs over the dopest of beats

My buddy Kyle recently passed along this gem that features a bunch of unreal rappers (e.g. Freddie Gibbs, Royce Da 5’9″, Talib Kweli, Snoop Dogg, and more) over beats expertly crafted by Statik Selektah. This is a must listen!

Little Brother is back!

Phonte is one of the all time greats, and when teamed up with Big Pooh, you know that BARS will be dropped. That’s why I’m pretty juiced up about Little Brother’s new album, “May the Lord Watch.”

This album has not a single bad track on it, and fills out concepts from their previous work. Though a major downside is a lack of production from 9th Wonder (the 3rd member of the group), the beats on this have a cohesive and wholesome vibe. I think you’ll love it, fam!