13. Find a Mentor

Website Blogs to Follow

WHY: “With presentations from Dan Pfaff, Stuart McMillan, Bryan Mann, Ken Clark, Loren Landow, JB Morin, Cameron Josse, Boo Schexnayder, Mike Young, Brett Bartholomew, Buddy Morris, and many many more, this is one of the best one stop shop educational platforms for all things physical preparation.  Altis itself primarily works with elite track and field athletes; but Dan Pfaff understands the complexity of the human system, and an appreciation for the need for interdisciplinary integration in order to optimize health and performance. This resource is a demonstration of Altis’ appreciation for education and an interdisciplinary approach to human performance that covers nearly every conceivable aspect of physical preparation, and also offers the elite-level sprint technical coaching, exercise and drill selection, programming considerations, and speed development model that you would expect from an organization that is quickly rising to the forefront of elite track and field development.”  –Justin Moore

WHY:  “Zac Cupples’ name appears on this list more than once, and for good reason.  The man is an absolute stud.  Zac is a charismatic and brilliant PT who is one of the most well-read individuals I know of, has trained under Bill Hartman, worked with the Memphis Grizzlies NBA team, studied PRI as hard as anyone; written and produced great content for years, understands the relationship between performance and physical therapy, knows performance training and programming exceptionally well, does a great job of coaching (I can personally attest to this), understands the complex science of sleep and it’s vital role in performance and health, and so much more.

In his weekly movement debriefs, Zac openly shares his knowledge, responds to viewer questions, and dives into topics and case studies that have helped tremendously with my understanding of some very complex topics that I was struggling with at the time.

Examples of topics include diaphragmatic breathing, infrasternal angles, the Postural Restoration Institute, shoulder and hip impingement, sleeping tips, hypermobility, advice for new graduates, shoulder and hip mobility, meeting the patient’s needs, scoliosis, the IT band, squatting, learning advice, and a great deal more.

Zac is incredibly giving with his time and knowledge, and in the short amount of time that he has done these debriefs he has helped to expand my knowledge, inspired me to dive further into various topics, and helped to make me into a better coach and practitioner in the process.  I highly recommend checking out his debrief series, as well as taking the opportunity to look into the rest of his Youtube channel, which is full of movement deep dives as well as quick exercise demonstrations and tips that are incredibly practical and digestible.

Respiration Visited WHY:  This hour and a half presentation comes with a free 27-page handout jam packed with information regarding respiration.  Simply put, if you do not take advantage of this free material, you are an absolute fool.

Zac delivers a tremendous presentation on why breathing is so important, his model of health and performance, his definition of the term “variability” which has grown tremendously in popularity in our industry, respiratory anatomy, the mechanics of respiration, respiratory physiology, possible outcomes associated with hypo and hyperventilation, assessment and treatment, how he coaches and cues breathing exercises differently based on his assessment, and pages upon pages of references for further reading.

While I thoroughly enjoyed the entire thing, my favorite part and something that I believe is a game changer in our understanding of not only the mechanical and neural aspects of respiration, but in energy system development and capacity optimization as well, was the respiratory physiology section.

Whether you’re a clinician, a young coach looking to understand more about why so many people in our industry are talking about breathing, or a seasoned veteran looking to dive deeper into the mechanics, physiology, and practical application of assessment and intervention based on respiration, this is an incredible resource that is such a steal it’s not even funny.” –  Justin Moore

WHY: “Bill Hartman is one of those guys in this industry that I had never heard of until just about every coach or PT I respected started talking about him as if he were Yoda.  At that point, I had to find out more about him.   What I discovered is one of the most knowledgeable and experienced PTs in the industry, and a man who loves to share what he knows to bring the entire industry up. I have no idea how this is free and how more people don’t take advantage of it.  In a series of Youtube Q & As, Bill Hartman answers questions from other incredibly smart PTs and physical preparation coaches around the country.  Topics include advanced application of PRI principles in training and rehabilitation, the mechanics of the ribcage and pelvis, the mechanics of respiration, the impact of pressure on the system and how pressure moves both in and out of the body, aerobic training, assessment, intervention selection, how to move people out of the treatment room and into performance training while not sending them right back, and so much more… If you aren’t watching these hour-long Q & As, you are severely missing out on a window into the mind of one of the greats in our industry.” – Justin Moore

WHY: “Lee Taft is considered by many to be the premiere multi-directional speed coach in the world, and has been referred to by many as “a genius who has no idea how brilliant he is.”

Not only has he created an incredibly effective system for looking at athletic performance and then designing and implementing strategies to improve performance in a way that mimics the reactive/chaotic nature of sport, but he is a phenomenal coach, who seems to just have a knack for saying just the right thing, at the right time, and in the right way to elicit a response from the athlete.

Lee is a former gym teacher who spent years playing sports and looking at high-level sport performance, and then contrasting what he was seeing with what coaches were telling athletes to do.  In many cases, he recognized a lack on congruence between the two, and so set about the process of developing his own training means, methods, and principles that respect the self-organizing nature of the organism.

For example, in many sports that require athletes to start in a bilateral symmetrical stance, coaches will cue athletes repeatedly to not take “false steps,” or a step backwards, before moving forwards.  Lee looked at this and recognized that in the heat of the moment, when the athlete was not thinking about what he/she was doing, and simply reacting to stimuli in the game, the athlete would “false step” every single time.  He concluded that this was not a mistake; rather it was a reaction by the athlete’s nervous system based on environmental stimuli and task/environment constraints to create a better angle by which the athlete could push down and back to project themselves forward.

Lee Taft knew and applied dynamic systems theory long before it became popular in the world of physical preparation, and without probably ever reading one thing about it.

In this course, Lee breaks down his entire system for developing various qualities associated with multi-directional speed.  He details and demonstrates his warmup exercises, plyometrics/jump training, linear acceleration training and mechanics, lateral acceleration in the form of shuffles and crossover runs, hip turns, backpedal/retreating acceleration, change of direction drills linking shuffles, crossovers, and linear accelerations, mistake recovery training, top end speed mechanics and progressions, and finally, an entire section on workout and program design, and much more.

My favorite part of this entire course was having the opportunity to watch Lee coach live.  The videos are clearly not overly rehearsed, and therefore, we get a fantastic insight into Lee’s mastery as a practitioner.

This gives you the opportunity to see how Lee cues the athlete performing the drills, how he intervenes and breaks from reactive drills to make technical adjustments, and exactly what he’s looking for from a movement/intent perspective.

Speed kills, and if you want to improve the on-field performance of your athletes, Lee Taft is the man you need to learn from.  This online certification is a convenient and yet comprehensive way to learn about his methodologies, as well as watch him put on a coaching clinic.” – Justin Moore

Social Media

WHY: Find a mentor to provide direction, limit confirmation bias, limit selection bias, create relationships, introduce application, and increase shared experiences and context. Sometimes social media gets a bad reputation for promoting false social connections, egocentric and aesthetic material. However, if you use it right you can learn from great people who take the time to put out great content. You just need to be able to create a filter and get pointed in the right direction. The following people are posts that I will stop scrolling and read every word:

  • Pat Davidson @dr.patdavidson [S&C, Ex Phys, Coaching, Movement/Biomechanics]

WHY: No one is changing the fitness industry game more right now then Dr. Pat Davidson. Your world is about to catch on fire. Visit his site, find him on Facebook here and here. He posts great content frequently on Facebook.

  • Justin Moore @jmsb_strengthtraining [Power & speed, S&C, Coaching, Movement/Biomechanics]

WHY: Justin is one of the best coaches in the field and he is providing creative content via social media; especially relating to power and speed development along with his coaching techniques (highly valuable information).

  • Ben House @drbenhouse [Nutrition]

WHY: Ben House is an excellent resource for functional medicine and nutrition. He          teaches you how to guide clients, not just direct them. His content covers everything from testosterone, macro and micronutrients, sleep, training, social interactions, self awareness, environment, GI health, mitochondria function, and much more. Visit his website . He posts detailed, research supported content frequently on Facebook:here.

  • Michael Mullin @mjmatc [Coaching, Movement/Biomechanics]

WHY: Mike not only is the nicest person you will ever meet, he is amazing at his craft. Check out his website: Integrative Rehab Training.

  • Rebel Performance @therebelperformance [S&C, Coaching, Ex Phys, Movement/Biomechanics]

WHY: The team of people James Cerbie has on his squad is a stacked line up. The shop and blog has great training resources. Check out the site: Rebel Performance

  • Resilient Performance Physical Therapy @resilientppt [S&C, Coaching, Movement/Biomechanics]

WHY: Dr. Doug Kechijian, Dr. Greg Spatz, and Dr. Trevor Rappa are excellent sources for performance and rehabilitation content. Check out their site: Resilient Performance Physical Therapy

  • Kyle Dobbs @kyledobbs_ [The Brain, Autonomics, Stress, Behavior]

WHY: Kyle can become a valuable mentor with is knowledge and years of experience in the fitness industry. He shares his thoughts frequently on Facebook and Instagram.

  • Lucy Hendricks @lucy_hendricks [S&C, Coaching, Movement/Biomechanics]

WHY: There are ONLY TWO females on this list (the other one made this ha), that’s insane. Lucy is establishing herself as someone who is creating a paradigm shift in the fitness industry. She recently created a website to share information between practitioners and fields. She provides an enormous amount of free, high quality content. Check out her site: Holistic Fitness Connector

  • Bill Hartman/IFAST @billhartman_net [Coaching, Movement/Biomechanics]

WHY: You need to follow him, go to seminars with him, subscribe to his email list, everything. Check out his site: Bill Hartman

  • Colby Mamigonian @comamperformance [S&C, Coaching, Movement/Biomechanics]

WHY: Colby is becoming a game changer and provides content very focused on movement/biomechanics in performance based training.

  • Adapt Performance & Rehab – @adaptperformanceandrehab [S&C, Movement/Biomechanics]

WHY: “Owned by Cody Plofker and Physical Therapist Dr. Payal Patel, Adapt Performance & Rehab is a young facility that integrates elite level fitness and physical preparation training with rehabilitation. Through their social media Cody and Payal share exercise demonstrations, techniques, common exercise mistakes, PRI activities, alternatives to replace common exercise that may have a low return on investment, progressions/regressions for common movement patterns, as well as their athletes and clients getting after it. This is a must-follow account if you’re interested in seeing PT/performance integration at the highest level.” – Justin Moore

Dr. Payal Patel and Cody Plofker created an excellent facility connecting rehab and performance. They also provide great content. Check out their site: Adapt Performance and Rehab.

  • Cody Plofker – @codyplof & @adaptperformanceandrehab [Power & speed, S&C, Coaching, Movement/biomechanics]

WHY: “I can honestly say that no one in this industry has had as big an impact on me as a coach as Cody Plofker.  In our time working together, Cody pushed me daily to learn more, read more, and expand my skill set in physical preparation.  He is the reason that I know what I know about PRI, sprinting, plyometrics, assessment, energy system development, and maybe most importantly, why I never stop learning and pushing myself to seek more information in this field.

 Cody continues to share his wealth of knowledge and experience through social media.  He posts great exercise demonstrations, application of PRI principles, heavy lifting, sprinting and change of direction development for athletes, energy system’s development, flywheel training, velocity-based training and load-velocity profiling, as well as quality resources related to both training and business.  If he’s not a household name yet, he will be.” – Justin Moore

  • Michelle Boland @mboland18 [S&C, Coaching, Movement/Biomechanics]

WHY: A professional in the field of collegiate athletics provides content about sports performance. Check out site: Michelle Boland

  • Sean Light @slight20 [S&C, The Brain, Stress, Autonomics, Movement/biomechanics]

WHY: Sean is the Director of Performance Education at 4A Health & Performance Sciences @4AHPS. He provides great performance based content. Check out his site: 4A Health & Performance Sciences

  • Zac Cupples @zaccupples [S&C, Coaching, Movement/biomechanics]

WHY: Dr. Zac Cupples is a brilliant Physical Therapist who provides an unbelievable amount of free content relating to both rehab and performance. Check out his site: Zac Cupples

  • Dave Rascoe @davidrascoe [Personal Development, Nutrition]

WHY: Dave is one of the nicest people you will ever meet. He posts valuable lifestyle information and connects people between different fields of interest.

  • Vinny Brandstadter @vinvanstrong [S&C, Coaching, Movement/biomechanics]

WHY: Vinny is an amazing coach (and a beast). He is very consistent with sharing very valuable and high-level content on social media relating to performance training.

  • Perry Nickelston, DC @stopchasingpain [The Brain, Autonomics, Movement/Biomechanics, Perspective]

WHY: Stop Chasing Pain is one of my favorite accounts to follow. He posts consistent content about health, movement, and unorthodox perspectives.

  • Gary Vay-Ner-Chuk @garyvee [Business/Entrepreneur]

WHY: This is for people who work for themselves. Gary will light a fire under you by providing tips and motivation for entrepreneurs and personal trainers.

  • Hakan Andersson @sprintcoach [Power & Speed, Coaching]

WHY: “A fantastic account to follow if you want to watch a world-class coach with world class athletes train to increase sprint speed.  Drills, strength training, and of course, beautiful examples of acceleration and max velocity sprinting.  If I had advice for young coaches who want to learn about sprinting it would be to watch what the best sprinters do and begin to pick out common technical characteristics demonstrated across the board.  This account will provide you with plenty of material to do just that.” –Justin Moore

  • Max Schmarzo @strong_by_science [Power & Speed, S&C]

WHY: Strong by Science “If you are interested in sports science or in diving deep into the weeds of high-level athletic performance, this is the account you have to follow.

Max is currently the Director of Sports Science at Resilience Code in Englewood, Colorado, and has become something of a social media sensation by bringing the science of sport and human performance to Instagram in a way that is both digestible and incredibly practical.

Max is co-author of multiple eBooks about improving power and speed as well as utilizing isometrics to improve athletic performance.  He is incredibly well-read, and brings together theory, evidence-based practice, and years logged in the trenches, experimenting with different training methods and technologies, to create a holistic resource aimed entirely at improving athletic performance.

 He has over 1k posts on his Instagram, covering topics such as the types and 

unique adaptations to isometric training, velocity-based training, plyometrics (including testing out some pretty reckless depth jumps on himself), eccentric training, hamstring training for performance and injury prevention, blood flow restriction training and testing, energy system’s development, RSI, sprinting and change of direction ability, Olympic lifting derivatives, using technology to maximize effort and intent, physiology and biomechanics of performance, stress physiology, the nervous system, and so much more.

Max is a very young coach and sports scientist who has already been prolific in his content production.  If improving sports performance is at all of interest to you, do yourself a favor and give this guy a follow, and then dive deeper and check out his website and YouTube page.  I have not only learned a great deal directly from his content production, but he has inspired me to constantly continue learning and diving into various topics related to sport performance, which has only made me better as a practitioner AND a student of my craft.”  –Justin Moore

  • Altis @altis [Power & Speed]

WHY: “Altis has established itself as a world-leader in sprint development, working with some of the fastest track and field athletes in the world.  There is a great deal that can be learned by watching the best of the best hone their craft, as sprinting is the one biomotor ability common to all field and court sports, and speed is often most desired trait in athletic performance.  Altis also offers a great deal of online education and content through their social media presence.  Any young coach who wants to understand the mechanics of sprinting, programming for speed, and how to coach sprinting at a high level should be following this account. “  – Justin Moore

  • Matt Gifford @coachgiff  [Power & Speed]

WHY: “Matt is physical preparation coach from Wisconsin who specializes in speed and power development.  He offers great insights into his technical models for acceleration and max velocity development, his progressions/regressions for linear and multi-direction speed, the way he coaches and cues his athletes to improve mechanical efficiency and force application, as we as countless pictures and videos of he and his athletes sprinting and hitting excellent positions to help coaches better understand the technical model in practice.  Matt is a must-follow for any coach who wants to understand sprinting and how to teach it at an elite level.” – Justin Moore

  • Mike Robertson @robtrainsystems [S&C, Coaching, Movement/biomechanics]

WHY: “Co-owner of IFAST and owner of Robertson Training Systems, Mike Robertson is truly an OG in the fitness industry.  He has been training, coaching, and producing elite-level content for decades, dating back to when he burst onto the scene as an author on T Nation.  Just a quick Google search of Robertson Training Systems produces almost 100 pages worth of content including decades of writing, videos, and podcasts that Mike Robertson has brought to the fitness and physical preparation industry. Mike’s Instagram is filled with exercise examples, techniques, cues, programming tips, footage of Mike training professional basketball and soccer players, and resource suggestions.  When you’re done giving him a follow, do yourself a favor and go to robertsontrainingsystems.com and start working your way through Mike’s articles, it’s one of the best free resources on the web.” – Justin Moore

  • Mike Zweifel @bbaperformance [Power & Speed, S&C, Coaching]

WHY: “The man to go to if you’re looking for affordable flywheels or an insanely cheap do it yourself flywheel manual.  Aside from his awesome products, Mike is a fantastic young physical preparation coach that posts extremely creative ideas for reactive, play-like youth training, speed and acceleration development, and reactive, multi-directional speed methods that bring competition and stimulus-response elements to the gym to develop athlete’s that can transfer their speed and agility to the field.” – Justin Moore

  • Chris Beardsly @chrisabeardsley [S&C]

WHY: “Stay up to date with the latest research in strength and conditioning beautifully summarized in well-organized charts and graphs for your viewing pleasure. Like many other realms, there seems to be two extremes:  a group that won’t do anything unless it’s been proven in the literature, and a group that believes the literature is useless because it’s behind what’s actually being done by practitioners. While it is true that practitioners drive the literature, and that the scientific method is by nature reductionist and therefore flawed, it’s important for us to appreciate the value that peer-reviewed literature can provide. Be a practitioner that lives and experiments in the trenches, stays up to date with what the best in the industry are doing, but who also reads and respects the literature.  Like so many other examples, when you live at the extremes, you limit yourself, and there’s no reason to do so.  Learn all that you can, and embrace the positives and negatives of both worlds.” – Justin Moore

  • Brett Bartholomew @coach_brettb [S&C, Coaching]

WHY: Brett is the author of ‘Conscious Coaching’ and shares a lot of his experience and knowledge about coaching and training.

  • Seth Oberst @sethoberst [Behavior, Stress, The Brain, Autonomics, Movement/Biomechanics]

WHY: Seth is a brilliant individual who shares his thoughts often on the brain, autonomics, stress, trauma, and movement.

  • Mike Baker @coachmikebaker [S&C]

WHY: Mike is an excellent coach who owns Bolt Fitness & Performance Training. “One of the best coaches and business owners in the industry, I have learned a great deal from Mike Baker about business, the power of doing simple things savagely well in training and coaching, how to always maintain a “white belt mentality,” the importance of connecting with those around you and building relationships, playing the long game, and how to better manage my life in general.

Mike is the owner of Bolt Fitness & Performance in New Jersey, and another individual who constantly learns, grows, and refines his process while living it as hard as anyone I’ve ever met in the gym.

Mike’s Instagram account covers all aspects of his life from his own personal training log (he’s a savage), to continuing education has takes, recommends, and has hosted, to the team of coaches that work at Bolt Performance, to advice that is applicable to life, training, and business, to pictures and videos of his athletes and clients training, demonstrating exactly what he does at Bolt.

Bolt is a shining example of what happens when a man starts and operates an organization based on a set of principles and values that creates an environment that people want to be part of.  If you want to see quality training and coaching, hard work, workout and exercise examples, and recommendations for other resources as well as practitioners to expand your network, go follow this account yesterday.”  – Justin Moore