8. The Brain

WHY?: Read this:  Why every Level of Strength coach Needs to Understand the Brain by Sean Light

Books

WHY: The brain is not a computer. This book examines how the brain uses patterns and predictions created through memory. The book provides context for the next few resources in how we use experiences to create our structure of the world. Understanding this memory-prediction system that forms the basis of intelligence, perception, and creativity, you can start to explore emotions, neuroplasticity, hemisphere difference, sensory processing, etc.

WHY: This book explains the two systems that drive the way we think; system 1 is fast, intuitive, and emotional, system 2 is slower, more deliberative, and more logical. Understanding these two systems allows you to understand biases and dogmas. The book explains how the two systems shape our judgments and decisions. You can utilize this information to help understand the behavior and biases of other professions, the dangers of speaking absolutes, and understanding client/athlete perspectives.

WHY: “A book that will show you the incredible plasticity and adaptability of the brain, a structure once believed to be relatively static and rigid once you reach a certain age. The adage has always been, the human brain can’t make new neurons, once one dies, and it’s gone forever…

 We now know that we cannot only create new synapses, but can also make new neurons.  The human brain is extremely adaptable, even into our older years.  As a physical preparation professional, you need to have a functioning understanding of the brain, as it is the control center for the structural and functional adaptations you desire.  It’s also important to recognize and respect the power of the brain to acquire new information, create new memories, and adapt against all odds.  Turns out you can teach an old dog new tricks.” –  Justin Moore

WHY: This book will also introduce you to the subject of neuroplasticity- the brain’s ability to change its own structure and function in response to activity and experience (written in 2016). This is an important subject to understand as it relates to behavior and physical/activity and experience feedback loops.

WHY:  Dr. Barrett explains how we construct each instance of emotion through a unique interplay of brain, body, and culture. We tend to be focused on the physical aspect of the human body in the fitness/exercise field but we create emotions within our physical bodies that are brought to consciousness by our brain. Understanding emotions is understanding the body; repressed emotions can bring chronic physical pain. Emotions run the show in sport and life.

WHY: This book is also in the movement category as it will provide knowledge regarding both the brain and movement. The book describes how humans on earth perceive and control bodily movement. 

Articles

 Podcasts

  • The Joe Rogan Experience #1109 with Dr. Matthew Walker

WHY: Dr. Walker is a Professor of Neuroscience and Psychology at the University of California, Berkeley and  is the author of “Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams.”

“Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams.” Understanding sleep can help you understand the brain in which sleep may be a allostatic system to restore the homeostatic system of ATP/ADP ratios in the brain. The role of glia cells should also be explored. The podcast explains how sleep is the most important but least understood aspects of our life, wellness, and longevity.

“A digestible introduction into sleep science with Professor of Neuroscience and Psychology at the University of California, Berkeley Matthew Walker, and an eye-opening lesson in just how powerful sleep can be.

Even as someone who has spent quite a bit of time studying sleep science, some of the statistics that were discussed in this podcast absolutely floored me.  The negative impact of sleep deprivation or sleep loss on mental and physical health and performance is absolutely staggering, and, conversely, improving sleep quantity and quality can be one of the greatest free and legal performance-enhancing measures an individual can take.

All physical preparation coaches should be equipped with a basic knowledge of sleep science and have the ability to give clients simple advice and lifestyle modifications to improve sleep if they truly want to optimize human health and performance.

This is a great place to begin if you’re interested in learning more about the fascinating science of sleep.” – Justin Moore

 Seminars

  • The Reckoning with Dr. Pat Davidson Part 1: The Brain, Part Deux: Theoretical & Practical exploration of human history. Each is $125, Purchase both for combined price of $200.

WHY: The Reckoning 1 presentation, entitled “The Brain” is a complete overview of the brain from numerous resources that Dr. Davidson reviewed. He connects and explores how the brain uses prediction and patterns to create our perception of the world. The Reckoning Deux presentation explores evolutionary history and the dysevolution of our species in the modern world. Pat will make you question everything you do and present strategies for the practical application of the models and concepts he presents.