Top 10 Posts of 2017

At the end of each year, I like to see what you beautiful…sexy…outstanding people liked the most from the jazz I be putting out.

I want to understand you. Let me in!!!!

While most of the top 10 were in the exercise-specific realm, I didn’t really see a common trend. It seems as though my fam have eclectic tastes.

It’s probably why we get along so well!

I want to thank you, the fam, for making 2017 an outstanding year. It has been all the comments, questions, stories, and praise that keeps me outputting content for you.

I got some big things planned for 2018, and we may mix up the format a bit, but I think you will like the changes.

But enough rambling. Let’s check out the top 10. First off…

10. Resilient Movement Foundations Course Review

Squat game on point, fam

One of my favorite classes of the year,  put on by my fam from Resilient. Here we learned all the fundamental keys to effective movement, how to perform the big lifts savagely well, and how to use specific movements to improve joint position in these lifts.

Follow these guys, they are some of the biggest stewards of the profession.

9. Practical Pain Education

Chinese version

My thoughts on pain education have morphed a substantial degree over the past year. While I think my understanding of pain’s complexities have enhanced, I’ve worked on simplifying my education paradigms.

I’ve often found that going down the neurophysiological rabbit hole is completely unnecessary, and providing simple examples has led to substantial changes in buy-in and client understanding.

Check this talk out to understand the process, and get my updated thoughts.

8. Recommended Resources

The most thugged out library in physical therapy

Man, fam. I literally just posted this and am amazed to the extent that this post skyrocketed.

Pretty much everything I discuss is not original, but my interpretation of what other incredibly intelligent individuals are saying.

Here are resources that I draw from, and something I hope to continually update and refine.

7. Continuing Education: The Complete Guide to Mastery

This is about as artsy as I get.

When approaching continuing education courses that you really want to learn and understand, there are key processes one must undergo to maximize the learning experience.

Consider this the guide.

6. How to Deadlift: A Movement Deep Dive

Nothing like hitting that 115# 1-RM

Deadlifting is one of my favorite moves for getting all types of gainzzz in the gym. It also happens to be one of my favorite exercises to coach.

When I am thinking deadlift, I am thinking of particular biomechanical processes, coaching cues, and programming tips.

In this deep dive, I highlight all of those pieces to provide my understanding of what is going on with the deadlift.

5. How to Treat Pain with Sitting – A Case Study

Planking was so 2013. Starting the Copenhagen revolution.

I’ve done quite a few online movement consultations this year, and this case study highlights that process

Here, I outlined the entire treatment process and post-treatment reflections. You get a glimpse in terms of what presentations lead me to making particular clinical decisions. If you can understand what compensatory strategies to look for, and what movements can drive favorable change, you can accomplish a lot without even touching someone.

4. The Squatting Bar Reach: A Movement Deep Dive

Not a shorty, but can get low

If there is one thing I’ve improved upon over the last year, especially with working with basketball cats, it’s been squatting.

Squatting is a great fundamental movement that ought to be mastered, and here you’ll learn the art of changing levels.

No vertical tibias here, fam!

3. The Ultimate Guide to Treating Ankle Sprains

Pulling your leg from the beginning.

When you work in basketball, ankle sprains are more the norm than the exception. The sooner you can get the players back on the court, the better chance you have at winning.

I developed a pretty successful protocol to doing just that. Treating acute ankle sprains in this fashion got most peeps to return immediately.

2. 90/90 Hip Lift: A Movement Deep Dive

The amount of photoshopped horrors that could be created from this picture.

If breathing is a part of your program, you probably should have this basic position down pat. If it’s not, srsly?!?!

In this post, I outline the rationale behind the 90/90 hip lift, relevant testing that would implicate it’s usage, and a few different variations you can use with it.

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

Much needed after 2017

I guess you guys need some help with sleeping (don’t we all). This post was by far the most popular.

This article discusses my sleep problem that I had with my fellas in the NBA D League, and it was a big one. With early flights and poor travel conditions, sleep was a luxury.

How do you make the most of a terrible situation? Read on to find out, and see the amazing results.

Final Remarks

I want to thank everyone for making my return to blogging a joyous occasion. 2017 was a mixture of failures and successes for me, and you wonderful people have made this transition back to the blogosphere so smooth.

I am forever grateful that you have decided to become fam to this blog, and I look forward to seeing you here next year!

Stay hungry, stay learning, stay moving,

Zac

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.