My Feature on Mike Robertson’s Physical Preparation Podcast

I was recently featured on my boi Mike Robertson’s Physical Preparation Podcast.

It was quite surreal to be interviewed by a guy who I have tremendous respect for, and who has been a huge influence on me.

MR was one of the people who I was initially exposed to when I got into this field. After reading all the cool things he wrote on t-nation, I bought most of his products, became a huge reader of his blog, and applied many of his teachings to my own training.

Zac = fanboy.

Can you imagine what it was like the first time I met him and Bill at IFAST? Like meeting rockstars, fam. Then he we are, having a conversation as peers.

Point being with this story, if there was no Mike Robertson, we wouldn’t be having this conversation right now.

The Life of A Mercenary PT

All types of mercenary shit

Here were some of the things we discussed in this podcast:

  • How I got started in the world of physical prep.
  • What life is really like in the NBA/D-League, and what it’s like to transition from therapy to performance at the highest level.
  • What skills I was comfortable with, and how he grew and evolved to take his coaching skills to the next level.
  • My biggest struggles in pro sports.
  • Movement Variability: What it is, and why you probably need more of it.
  • What it’s like to transition from the biggest stages in sport, to working in a smaller setting with a more general population.
  • How I get it all done – from working as a mercenary PT, to writing, to public speaking, etc.
  • The BIG Question.
  • A really fun lightning round where we discuss pops Daddy-o Bill Hartman, his favorite hip hop groups, why I started the Movement Debrief, and what’s up next for me.

Click here to listen to the podcast.

ZAC CUPPLES ON THE LIFE OF A MERCENARY PT

 

How Sleep Saved the D-League – Resilient Podcast

Sleep is a big deal.

Not only has a lack of sleep been linked to many big bad diseases, it also contributes to poor performance.

Behavior change through education and persuasion is hard enough as is. We are all resistant to change, namely because our current habits and routines require Herculean willpower efforts to break. This problem  is especially true in non-conducive environments.

It’s hard to eat healthy when your family cooks fried foods and orders pizza for dinner every night.

It is these situations where we just have to make the most with what we have, and that’s exactly what I spoke about on one of my best friend’s podcasts, Doug Kechijian.

Before we go into the content, let me tell you a bit about Douglas, my younger-older brother.

Doug and I first met way back in 2013 at a PRI course in Phoenix. 

So young. So youthful. So of poor quality of a photo. Doug is 3 people right of me

I was the first person who arrived in town, and it was up to me to take care of the rental car.

We had five bros to get to the class, so I needed to find something cozy that could fit everyone and their luggage to and from the class and Phoenix airport.

So I’m looking at some midsize SUVs, a couple sedans, trying to find the right car that I could fit everyone in.

Then I saw this:

So…fast…now my realistic dream car.

Doug and I had never met before, and he was the first person I had to pick up. He asked “what will you be driving?”

I said “you’ll know.”

So there I am, picking Douglas up in this Dodge Challenger flarin’, hip hop blarin’, shade-wearin’, and straight up stuntin’ in that AZ heat.  The car was a great ice breaker towards realizing how likeminded we both were.

All the other guys we had to pick up were flying into town every couple hours. For the hell of it, we made the 20 minute drive back and forth to the airport in that Dodge Challenger. We ended in clown car fashion, but it was totally worth it…Well, for me at least. I got to drive that beast!

It was in those hours, that weekend, that coziness, that these two cats who didn’t know each other developed a long lasting friendship. I am fortunate to say that about every single one of those guys in that picture.

Doug is simply one of the most intelligent, grittiest, interesting, and eloquent individuals I know. He is without a doubt a thought leader in the fields of physical therapy and performance. Each time we hop on our 2+ hour call to catch up, I always become a better clinician, coach, and person. He is a wealth of information, served our country with distinction, and a great human being. I am honored to call him my friend, and you guys should know who he is.

He’s also a really good agent, as he’s gotten me two of my most recent jobs!

So please, check out his site, follow his killer twitter, watch him demonstrate exercises shirtless on Instagram,  see him in NYC, and do all you can to learn from this guy.

On a side note, he and his two partners, Trevor Rappa (aka my son)and Greg Spatz (aka my step-son), put on seminars periodically throughout the year.

One class I want you to know in particular is at Move-SF in San Francisco on October 1st. 

Why am I pointing this one out? Because I’m going to be there. I want to learn all that I can from these guys. As should you.

So if you are a reader of mine, go to this seminar and we can get together for some grub and discussion. I plan on being around the Bay Area for a little while (there’s National Parks to be hiked after all), so please attend and support my dear friends.

 Improving Sleep the Easy Way

I was recently featured on Doug’s podcast where we discussed my sleep initiative that I executed when I was with the Iowa Energy of the NBA D-League.

While the article covers logistics, this podcast details the why’s, how’s, when’s, etc.

If you missed my original article, click here to read it: “He Sleeps He Scores: Playing Better Basketball by Conquering Sleep Deprivation.”

Here were the topics that we discussed:

  1. The challenges a pro sports medical and performance staff faces
  2. Why I started my sleep initiative
  3. The sleep initiative details
  4. How I persuaded the coaching staff to break sacred traditions
  5. How better sleep benefitted the team
  6. Sleep science resources
  7. Eliciting organizational and individual behavioral change

If you want to download this podcast or many of the other amazing podcasts Doug has put out, subscribe to him on Itunes. 

Some of my favorites include the podcasts he did with Daddy-O Pops Bill Hartman, David Epstein, Brett Bartholomew, Dr. John Childs, and of course, the one and only James “The Thinker” Smith.

He Sleeps He Scores: Playing Better Basketball by Conquering Sleep Deprivation

A 16 game losing streak. Worst record in the league. 8 rookies. We were in dire straights.

Could we fix it in 2 hours?!?

The NBA travel schedule is one of the hardest in pro sports. 82 games in a season plus playoffs. Several back-to-back games that require time zone changes, late nights, early mornings, and playing nightly at a high level.

And a high level of sleep deprivation.

Fortunately, many NBA teams, including the one I worked for, take whatever measures possible to ensure our guys get enough sleep. They modulate flight times, stay in the best hotels, and use their unlimited budgets to improve sleep quality.

We call that soft where I come from.

My domain—the NBA D-league. Home of the worst schedule in professional sports.

I can’t even call it a nightmare because you don’t sleep enough to hit your REM cycle.

Let’s take a look at this disastrous schedule.

Continue reading “He Sleeps He Scores: Playing Better Basketball by Conquering Sleep Deprivation”