The weekly digest draws inspiration from people like Eric Cressey and Tony Gentilcore. It’s not always going to be “current”. Rather, it will be pertinent to what I am studying and I will share the highlights.

This week covers August 10th through the 17th. The topics covered will range from business, finance, physical training, mindset, and anything else I am interested in reading. Without any further ado, here is Gorilla Strength’s first Weekly Digest. Enjoy!

Note from Gorilla Strength: Unless noted, highlights are taken directly from source. I will make comments from time to time and it will be made clear. For this reason, quotes are not included.

Article 1 Highlights:

Author: Vern Gambetta

Title: Periodization – Myths & Reality, A Coaches Perspective


  1. Over the years the best translations were done by Jess Jarver, they were accurate and without apparent bias (he was not trying to sell anything, just educate). Often I would compare the Jarver translations with the Yessis translations and it was as if there were not even the same articles. Jarver’s material in Modern Athlete and Coach and in his books was very helpful.
  2. Traditional periodization literature is heavily drug biased, if you look carefully at the various theoretical periodization models they are essentially drug cycles. This has been validated by the writing of Berendonk and Franke in their in-depth study of GDR Systematic Doping – “Doping: From Research to Deceit” and this excellent article in Clinical Chemistry. 1997 Jul;43 (7):1262-79.
  3. In traditional thinking about periodization there is an over emphasis on time when in actuality it is all about timing of the training stimulus and the interaction of the various training stimuli. This seems to get lost in the translation. Very simply I look at training as having a period of preparation, a period of adaptation and then a period of application. The length of those periods varies with the sport and the athlete.
  4. Pedagogy is the science of teaching, great teacher lesson plan. They teach the lesson, evaluate the lesson, revise it and deliver another lesson. That is what we do as coaches, no more, no less.
  5. Fundamentally, our body works on and is influenced by various circadian rhythms. These rhythms control the sleep to wake cycle, heart rate, blood pressure, neuromuscular coordination, body temperature, pain tolerance, and the menstrual cycle. If the training cycles are in conflict with the body cycles then the athlete will not get the optimum return from the training.
  6. Periodization has been portrayed as a strict model which it is not, it is a concept. As a concept periodization is an educated attempt to predict future performance based on evaluation of previous competition, training results and what we know from science about the body’s adaptive response to stress. 
  7. To be more effective the long term planning should focus on global themes and training priorities based on competition performance, training, and testing data from previous years. Think of it as the table of contents of a book. It directs the reader to each chapter for more detail. The detailed planning of the microcycle and the individual training sessions is where focus needs to be for planning to be more effective and practical.
  8. We must consider the drug influence/bias in traditional periodization models developed in the former eastern bloc nations. 
  9. There has been an overemphasis on volume loading relating to the previous point. 
  10. The reality and demands of the extended competitive schedule that exists today. In classical periodization competition was strictly controlled and limited. 
  11. A serious decline of basic physical fitness levels and fundamental movement skills at the developmental level. Even elite athletes do not have the broad base of movement skills that the athletes had when I began coaching in the late sixties. This necessitates a remedial emphasis throughout the athlete’s career because this was not incorporated in the foundation.

Article 2 Highlights:

Author: Adam Grant

Title: He never gave his last lecture


1. Great mentors don’t give answers. They ask questions.

2. Great mentors are proactive, not reactive. They don’t just respond to outreach; they reach out to their mentees.

3. Great mentors see more potential in their mentees than their mentees see in themselves.

4. Great mentors focus on their mentees’ success, not on their own.

Article 3 Highlights:

Author: Adam Bornstein

Title: Tabata Training, Fat Loss, and the Intensity Effect


  1. Tabata protocol is 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off for 8 rounds (8 min)
  2. Tabata protocol and tabatas are different. The original study by Dr. Tabata was conducted on a bike. You can use the protocol for various exercises but once you extend the time or rounds it becomes less intense, taking away the desired effect.
  3. To go longer, do 10 seconds on and 30 seconds of rest or low intensity work and repeat for 8 rounds. Rest 1 minute then you can repeat for 3-4 more times. This allows for a shorter workout and enough rest between to ensure high intensity throughout.

Article 4 Highlights:

Author: Christian Jarrett

Title: The Braggart’s Dilemma: How to Promote Yourself Without Being a Jerk


  1. Selling Yourself: In 2010, psychologist Nurit Tal-Or found that participants disliked a fictional character “Avi” who bragged about his exam results if he, and not his conversation partner, brought up the topic of exams. But if the friend brought up the topic, then Avi could boast all he wanted (even if he wasn’t asked directly about his grades)—the participants still thought he was a nice guy. This result provides a useful reminder, especially to quiet types, that it is sometimes acceptable to brag—especially if you’re in an interview or other assessment situation, the fact is people will often expect you to stand up for your own achievements.
  2. By contrast, “self-improvement” claims, such as “I am better than I used to be” and non-comparative claims, such as “I am a good friend” attracted favorable ratings. The lesson here is clear: if your boast involves claiming your superiority over others, then you’re at grave risk of entering jerk territory. Try to focus on selling your own achievements without taking cheap shots at your colleagues or rivals.
  3. The result shows how we tend not to trust positive claims that people make about themselves; yet we trust the exact same claims far more when they’re made by someone else, even someone likely to be biased, such as a friend or hired agent.
  4. Candidates could get away with making self-promotional boasts when the participants were distracted.
  5. People who made self-enhancing statements were actually rated as more likeable.

Article 5 Highlights:

Author: Scott Dinsmore

Title: The “Magic” formula for getting faster results, going full-time, & Doing it all


  1. Think for a second about how you’re spending your time.
    What do you know deserves your attention? What will allow you to have your biggest impact? What fun new sexy shiny objects and ideas are detracting from that? What needs to die so something else can thrive?
  2. If you want to do it all, stop trying to do it all. Focus on one thing right now. Save the rest for later.
  3. We have a million ideas, many of which sound pretty cool and exciting. But we hold off on going all-in on any of them because we’re afraid we’ll pick the wrong path or that the one we choose will fail. So we try to work a little on everything. But in doing so we deprive all of them of the two ingredients most important for making them work – focus and action. Our fear of failure leads us to act in a way that dramatically increases our odds of failing. Go figure.
  4. Perpetual dabbling kills possibility. Yes, exploring and experimenting are crucial steps, but at some point dabbling becomes an excuse for not drawing your line in the sand, going all-in and doing the work.
  5. Less dabbling. More focused action – No matter what your stage or how advanced you are.
    This applies just as much to those just starting as it does to those already building and working on your thing full-time. The shiny objects and dabbling always have to be reigned in. I’m no different.
    And the solution is not to decide to cram every idea and interest into one venture or career. That’s the same problem in disguise. The only way to effectively do that is to start with just one right now. That focus might give you a chance to incorporate some of the others later on.
  6. If you want a chance at pursuing all of your wild, crazy, fun ideas, you have to be willing to put them all on hold for now. All but one.
  7. Keep a long list of ideas and future projects that grows much much faster than what I’m able to build and accomplish. Sometimes that’s frustrating. Sometimes that causes me to try to do too much. Plus, it’s exciting knowing I have a stockpile of possibility saved up for later. Leaving a few stones unturned is a good thing.

And that’s it for Weekly Digest. All highlights are taken from sources unless explicity annotated. Hope you enjoyed!


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