March, 2017 newsletter: learning from others

Newsletter, March 2017: Learning from others

In the book, “Tools of Titans,” Tim Ferriss compiles advice from many different people, all of whom are experts in one field or another. Though it’s a thick book, it’s a quick read, due to its snapshot style chapters with all extraneous thoughts stripped away, leaving the reader with what Mr. Ferriss deems as the heart of the person’s ideas or success. 

I turned down more pages than I expected; I also found myself implementing certain ideas, including:

  • “Grease the groove.” Pavel Tsatsouline, the Chairman of Strongfirst, Inc., says that if you want to improve your pull-up, do 1/2 the reps you are capable of doing, repeatedly, throughout the day with at least 15 minutes of rest in between. I thought this was a clever way to add volume, since doing half of your max is much less daunting than your max. I have been doing one chin-up, once an hour or when I remember, for a little over a month. My chin-ups have gotten smoother, I don’t fatigue as quickly, and it turns out I really like hanging from a bar in between clients (which has the added benefit of shoulder mobility. My bridge is finally resembling an arc as opposed to a flat table). I find myself playing with things like low reps of shrimp squats and horse squats as well because it’s fun and movement tends to breed more movement. 
  • “Do less than you can.” This advice comes from Chade-Meng Tan, a Google engineer and bestselling author on mindfulness. This, actually, was more a confirmation bias than anything else. It’s how I train clients (mostly), and how I practice most of my habits. There is always more that can be done, but at what expense? Will it burn you out, be daunting, or take away enjoyment from other areas of your life? You will become stronger/more flexible/more focused/better at whatever skill you desire if you do a little bit of work in a focused way, enough that enables you to feel you practiced, but not so much you aren’t excited to try it again tomorrow. Less is more.
  • The entire chapter on Scott Adams, the creator of Dilbert, was thought provoking. He suggests things like implementing systems versus goals to hone a skill, picking a dream and writing it down fifteen times per day in some sentence form (it’s the act of focusing on the affirmation, he believes, that makes things start happening), and the importance of being pretty good at two things instead of just really, really good at one thing for success. Seriously, if I could only pick one chapter of the book to read, it would be that one. (I suspect the interview from which the chapter is taken is worthwhile as well). 
  • When asked what the worst advice is he often hears, Stephen Dubner, bestselling author of “Freakonomics, says, “‘Write what you know.’ Why would I want to write about what little I know? Don’t I want to use writing to learn more?” These twenty words sum up my why behind writing.

Other interesting books I’ve read to kick off 2017 include:

  • Sapiens, A Brief History of Mankind, by Yuval Noah Harari
  • Strength Training and Coordination: An Integrative Approach by Frans Bosch
  • Shoe Dog, by Phil Knight
  • The Tao of Pooh, by Benjamin Hoff

And blogs:

Upcoming Events:

  • Saturday, March 3, 10-12PM. I am hosting Catherine Cowey, M.S., at Be Well Personal Training for her workshop, “An Introduction to Hypermobility.” If you have hypermobility, train or teach people with hypermobility, or work with people and aren’t sure what hypermobility is, this workshop will be informative with useful tools you can implement right away. Registration available at
  • Saturday, March 25-Sunday, March 26: Exploring the hips and shoulders. Join me in LA at 360FitHaus for lecture and hands on work discussing the hips (Saturday) and the shoulders (Sunday). CEC units likely available (working on that now). More information or to register:
  • Friday, June 2-Sunday, June 4: Nature and Movement retreat. Early bird registration ends March 1. I am really excited to be co-teaching this with Catherine Cowey. For more info or to register,

Online opportunities:

  • I am teaching yoga classes for Jenni Rawlings’s online library. Check out her website ( and use code BEWELL for a complimentary month.
  • I have online classes available on the feet, shoulders, hips, and ribs, which can either be rented or purchased. (
  • I am currently working on a series of online continuing education courses for movement professionals. The first one, on working with people with non-specific low back pain, should be finished and available in the next 3 weeks. I am also going to update my website to make it easier to find all of this online education; hopefully, by my next monthly update, I will be announcing a website update. Fingers crossed.

Enjoy the longer days and explore daily.

Yours in health and wellness,