I hope everyone had a great easter weekend. Mine was filled with family and food, specifically polish food. It was a great time full of a lot of laughter and it allowed us to reconnect with family, recharge the batteries, and get back to the basics. On a side note though if you haven't ever tried a Perogi, you are missing out on a delicious piece of life. But as they say all good things must come to an end. It's monday again, time to get back at it or as Ray Lewis might say time to rise and grind. Everyone hopefully is well rested from their three day weekend and ready to make big progress towards their goals! So to give you a head start on your week's productivity I am passing along this week's list of recommended readings. Get to it!

This installment of the "Stuff to Read" series is a bit different from previous episodes because I have included both a podcast and video in the recommended material, but I found them so beneficial that I just couldn't not share them (yeah, yeah I know the rule, no double negatives, but sorry this isn't english class).

1. Training Schizophrenia by Alwyn Cosgrove

I admit I have dealt with my own case of "Training Schizophrenia." Which refers to the habit of beginning one program working on a particular goal, such as strength and then mid program jumping to another program that focuses on fat-loss. This simply leaves you with taking one step in one direction and another step in the other direction, so in the end you have made almost no progress toward either goal. I think this is probably the most common blockade to making efficient progress towards any particular goal. Alwyn Cosgrove gives a few helpful insights regarding the topic that I think you will enjoy.

2. Most Personal Trainers Shouldn't do Assessments (How to Collaborate) by Jonathan Goodman and Mike Reinold.

This may not interest everyone because it's original intention was to spark discussion about the role that personal trainers play in the healthcare system, but I believe it really helps cut to the edge of what personal trainers can help you with and when you need to seek out a physical therapist. With the subculture movement in fitness being corrective exercise right now it is important for both us as trainers and you all as clients to understand where we draw our line as far as scope of practice. I personally see the assessments I perform as more of a screen to make sure someone is ready for exercise and whether or not I need to refer them out to someone else for additional treatment.

3. Strength of Evidence Podcast Episode 6 by Bret Contreras and Jonathan Fass

So I know I have shared my opinion on crossfit many times and I am sure there are many who disagree with my assessment which is fine that is the beauty of having opinions. But you cannot find guys who are more research oriented then Bret Contreras and Jonathan Fass. I mean they based their whole podcast around the premise of evidence based facts. But in light of a recent study published about the effects of Crossfit training on the body, they decided to hold a podcast discussing Crossfit using published research to draw conclusions. If your someone who enjoys research and wants to get an honest answer about Crossfit I recommend giving a listen.

4. Debunking the Paleo Diet by Christina Warner

Paleo is great I have no beef with the guidelines. In fact I own both the paleo solution and the paleo diet books. I enjoyed reading them and I think that Loren Cordain and Robb Wolf are incredibly intelligent, but I do believe that their reasoning for eating in such a manner is a bit flawed. Specifically flawed in the sense that this diet represents how caveman and our ancestors ate because archeologists and anthropologist have found evidence that directly conflicts this idea. For example there has been evidence provided that some primitive people did in fact include grain in their diet. In addition anthropologist argue that diet is not consistent throughout any part of the world. For example the Inuit people of alaska survived on a diet consisting mostly of animal fat and meat, were as natives in the rainforest survived on a diverse diet of insects, fruits, plants, and various creatures. Christina Warner does a fantastic job explaining why although the paleo diet may be a great healthy way to eat, it is indeed flawed in its reasoning behind the diet's particular guidelines. Again I am not arguing that the diet doesn't work or that eliminating refined carbohydrates from your diet only to replace with fruits, vegetables, and lean meat is a bad idea. I am simply saying the idea that we should eat this way because our ancestors did is sort of misleading. If we truly ate the way our ancestors ate then we would have to model are diet after the diet of the regional people which would have been dictated by the natural resources available in a particular area.