Sleep: The "Magical" 8, Quality or Quantity

Sleep: The "Magical" 8, Quality or Quantity

The issue usually is not the amount of sleep as measured in time, but the quality of sleep that you have, and this goes back to your habits and rituals if you will tha your have established over your lifetime. There is usually no preparation for sleep time, and if you are over the age of 10 years old you have not had a ritual for sleep time that has worked to help you sleep in over 20-30 plus years, but even with that said we still fought the idea of going to sleep “early” before 9 pm. I remember when I was around 8-9 years old and it was the beginning of the school year and the time had not changed and it was still light at my bedtime( 6pm) and I literally had a temper tantrum in the bed kicking and crying because I could hear the other neighborhood kids playing outside and here I was being put to bed like a baby.

Create Your Environment or Your Environment Will Create YOU

Create Your Environment or Your Environment Will Create YOU

As I continue my journey as a father, coach/trainer, (ex-husband lol) and entrepreneur/business owner, sometimes I can have in a bit of a negative disposition, if I allow these short-term situations within the surrounding environment around me control my attitude and my approach towards my daily activities that negative environment will  influence my behavior to a certain extent and if I don’t recognize this negative influence my  environment will create my reality, which will influence my behavior and when that happens my environment is creating who I am..... Unless I make a conscious effort to maintain a positive environment.

The value of what you do

The value of what you do

Tonight I had the opportunity to attend a high-speed networking event and I learned a lot about myself, I am beginning to see how to communicate my “message” and my purpose in a more effective way. I have come to the realization that connecting with people is the best way to reach people, not by manipulating their emotions but connecting with them, don’t sell yourself be yourself within your purpose. I am on a mission to reach as many people as I can so that I can show my value to the people who are ready to receive my message.

Are you Ceasar?

Are you Ceasar?

As I write this post I continue to ask myself are you, Caesar? And to be honest I would like to think that I am and I see myself in that way (most of the time) but sometimes my impatience leads me in the opposite direction; not all of the time but enough for me to see it. I truly love helping people and seeing them reach their goals and go beyond any perceived limitations. I truly care about the well-being of everyone because I feel showing someone that they matter and that they are acknowledged and their opinions and points of view are valued leads to them passing those valuable traits onto someone else and leading them to hopefully develop other leaders.

Is your success Too expensive?

Is your success Too expensive?

 Everything has a price, what price are you willing to pay to reach your goal successfully? What are your goals? Or do you just have dreams and aspirations inside your head in a confortable place that you just admire and they are fun to think about. Where is your plan if action to make your dreams a reality? And most importantly what price are you willing to pay to make it happen? Those are the questions I ask myself everyday some days I have to force myself to make my actions match my goals. Over the last year my goals have been good but that were not great!

What is Your why?

What is your reason for getting up this morning? What gets you going? What inspires you? These are the questions that you should ask yourself. Answering these questions honestly help you pinpoint your "Why", keeping you focused on your path to reaching whatever goal(s) you want to achieve. Finding your "Why" will carry you past passion when you have self-doubt and your passion weakens and starts to fade. Finding your "Why" will help fill in the gaps when tough times hit, and help carry you to the next step on your path to success.

My "Why" is and always has been to help and serve people. That is one of the reasons I love team sports, it gave me the opportunity to be apart of a team and be apart of a collective unit.  I never really paid attention or put a high value on my individual stats, my main goal was to be the best team player I could be and do whatever it took to win.... with a team-first mentality leading my actions. Some of my old teammates would say I fell short of this objective a few times. Every successful year I had stat wise as an individual player, I set out at the beginning of the season that my main focus was on helping my team win. I held my own personal achievement on the back burner and focused all my energy being the best teammate I could be. This helped me discover a lot about myself and helped give me directly through my career, and was the being of me discovering my “Why”.

I wrote a blog post last month about motivation called "You cant be soft your whole life"  which was inspired from several conversations I had about the loss of motivation with a few of my clients and friends. In my opinion if you "lose" motivation to do something, either you don't know your "Why", your "Why" is to complicated for you to apply to your goals, or your "Why" is not defined through a purpose; therefore you are just going through the motions and working towards nothing like a ship with no rudder. There are steps that you can take to discover your "Why" and define it with purpose and direction. I use three three steps to define my "Why" which are:

  1. I write down a my objective in five words

  2. I set up a plan of action with steps

  3. I go to work

   This is a fluid process and sometimes I skip steps (due to my ADD lol) but this process helps keep me focus, especially when things are not going as planned, miss out on an opportunity or when I fall short of a a benchmark I have set for myself or my company.

You may have several "Whys" that you just don't know how to define or focus on, but with honesty and effort you can define, and discover your “Why” and be on your way to a more fulfilling life. 





I recently rebooted my workout program and I am going back to basics, relearning all the lifts that I learned over the past 30 plus years. the first time I picked up a weight was when I was 8 or 9 years old after my mom and dad divorced I was over my dad's house for one of few weekend visits. He had a two bedroom apartment where one of the rooms had turned it into a makeshift weight room with the old school Sears or JC Penny's weight set (I am not sure which one), it was one of those plastic plate weight sets with the skinny bar and bench that by today's standards would be recalled due to stability deficits. After a dinner of my dad's famous desert dry rump roast and instant potatoes washed down with a few liters of kool-aid went into his weight room just to check it out. I picked up a dumbbell and I have been hooked ever since.  Every time I got the chance to go in there on my weekend visits I would try "lift" weights (was lucky I didn't lose a toe). Then my dad moved to Chicago and my lifting weight days were over as far I knew it.

Fast forward to 1988 my sophomore year of High School after football season I meet a 5'10 280 lb Italian guy named Raul Denotti, he was a bodybuilder and part-time volunteer football coach. It was in the weight room talking and "working out" which was basically doing curls and triceps cable extensions in between sets of talking. Raul pulled me aside one day and asked me "what are you in here for?" I said something to the effect I want to bench press 300 pounds and get stronger for football. So Raul told me that you on the wrong track and wasting time talking and just doing "curls for the girls", I laughed but he had my attention. Raul then took me under his wing and gave me a basic training plan that was a "Three day Split", which is 3 training days out of the week (usually the days are Mon-Wed-Fri). He told me to start with the bar and work my way up to 135lb and when I could do 135lbs for 10 reps for 3 sets I would get stronger and be closer to my goal of joining the 300lb bench press club which was mostly upperclassmen. From that point on I was on a mission to be a member of the 300lb club, I started with the 3 day split, then it went to 4 days then I found myself in the weight room 5 days out of the week, if I could have lifted on Saturdays and Sundays I would have. I even began to hate holidays and days off from school because I knew that I could not lift on those days. I was officially a Meathead, without even knowing it. That love of lifting was stayed with me to this day.

With that said just because I love to lift weights does not mean I have been consistent over the last 30 year. I have had my issues with lifting weights,  I have even hated lifting (for a very short time) but the one thing that was never needed to reboot that love was motivation. Motivation was a word that was never mentioned to me by any of my coaches, one thing that was made clear was to give great effort and have the resolve to keep moving forward finish goals you set out to accomplish. All good faith effort will be rewarded, it may not be the a reward you were expecting all the time, but you will develop the grit to get things done even if I didn't want to. Motivation can be a good thing but it can also be the poison that kills your goals. Motivation has its place but it should not take the place of giving your best effort and having the attitude to finish. Motivation can get you out of the starting blocks but giving your best effort and some grit will get you over the finish line.  So F&#K YOUR MOTIVATION and remember why you started your journey keep the process simple and get to work. 

Inspirational info:



Energy System Development Series


ESD/Energy Systems Development Training

By Coach E. Allen Founder Atlas Pro Training LLC 

This Blog series is an expansion of an article of mine that was published in the November 2016 edition of the Nonahood News. All reputable trainer try to tap into one of more of these energy systems to help their clients reach their specific training goals. Educate yourself and make sure you know the fundamentals of your training program. Enjoy the process and -TRAIN WITH A PURPOSE-

Whether you are high school athlete looking to gain an edge on the competition in your offseason/preseason training program or a weekend warrior training in your spare time for an obstacle race, marathon, or an adult athletic league, or trying to lose that last 10-15 lbs of holiday weight, the old way of improving your physical performance and condition has changed. Enter the phrase Energy System development (ESD) training. ESD training should be the foundation of any training plan to improve your performance; it could be the difference between competing at a high level, or coming up short in a game. In order for muscles to contract and produce movement ATP (adenosine triphosphate) must be present. The body’s energy system is responsible for converting ATP to usable form of energy called ADP (adenosine diphosphate). ADP can be produced using three energy system:

·        ATP-CP Phosphagen energy System- used during short term, high intensity activities Ex. Throwing a Shot Put, Sprinting, Olympic lifts of 2-4 reps: Last 1-30 sec   

·        Anaerobic Glycolytic energy System- used during medium/high intensity activities, Ex. Strength/endurance: lasts 30sec-3mins

·        Aerobic energy System- used during long durations of exercise lasting longer than 30 min to 1 hour.

So let’s look at the ATP-CP Phosphagen energy System which is used to produce energy for high intensity, quick powerful bursts of movement. This energy system does not require oxygen to produce ADP from ATP.  Creatine phosphate (which is stored in the skeletal muscles) is used to produce form ADP from ATP. This process is instant and the energy created is used and depleted almost just as fast, causing the athlete to fatigue faster. The goal when training this energy system is to use short bouts of exercise at a minimum volume (number of repetitions) to insure full recovery. As the athlete progresses through the training program the training load is increased not the volume (number of repetitions). This form of training (called Plyometric and or ballistic training) is used to increase the explosiveness of athlete, which increases the force that is produced during movement. Example of these forms of training are Box jumps, Medicine ball throws, and in Olympic lifting. This stress is beneficial to an athlete’s performance because by increasing the force that is produced during movement the athlete can run faster (by producing more force against the ground i.e. Box Jumps), which is referred to as improving the ground force reaction of the foot against the surface, which is essential to improving athletic performance. This energy system should be stressed in a conservative manor because the recovery time is longer than the duration of the energy systems use, and should be performed on a firm yet energy absorbent surface like rubber flooring.  The quality of the explosive movement is more important than quantity of repetitions of the movement.

The second energy system we are going to look at is the Anaerobic Glycolytic energy System, which uses glycogen stores from the muscle and blood glucose to produce energy. This is considered by many trainers (including myself) as the predominate energy system, which is used to produce energy to sustain movements that last 30 sec to 3 minutes. It does not require oxygen but produces lactate acid which causes muscles to fatigue and shut down. The goal when training this energy system is to improve the lactate threshold (which is the time that it take for the muscle to experience limitations due to the accumulation of lactic acid) the athlete. This is an important aspect of improving the muscular endurance of the athlete, which is the goal to decrease the chance of injury and increase their work capacity during competition. Strength training with a focus on limiting the recovery times 30sec to 1min between sets and exercises; also tempo runs (running at 70-80% effort for short distances less than a mile for repetition).

The third energy system we are going to look at is the Aerobic energy system, which uses oxygen to produce APD from body stored fat and skeletal muscle, making it the most complex of the three and the most labor intensive energy system. The Aerobic energy system is used during activities that last for relatively long durations, like 30 min to 1-2+hours. The goal of training this energy system is to improve the cardiovascular efficiency of the athlete. This form of training improves the work capacity of the athlete allowing them to train for longer periods reducing debilitating cardiovascular fatigue. This could be considered the foundation of improving the performance of the athlete. Steady state cardiovascular training such as distance runs between 1-3 miles (depending on the sport the athlete is training) can be used to train this energy system, and some forms of HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) with recovery times that are limited to less than 1 minute between exercises.  

The goal of any training program should be to develop these energy systems and “train” them to produce the energy in an efficient manor during practice and competition so that energy is readily available to the muscles during physical activity.   All of three energy systems are interdependent of each other, but in most sports one energy system or a combination of two of the three are required to make things happen. This goes into the concept of sport specific training and how to create training programs that are designed specifically to produce the improvements in muscular endurance, cardiovascular fitness, and improvements in speed and power of the athlete. As your youth athlete enters the offseason training program’s make sure that EDS training is the foundation of their training program. 

Over the next few blog post I will be exploring how a training specific energy system can:                  

  • Improve Performance
  • Increase Weight Loss
  • Increase Muscular size and Strength

Your Comments are welcomed below! 



Trust the Process... Even if you Don't!

Why play the game if you think you can't win A@#hole! Everyone hears this little voice in their head (if you love to compete). That is my challenge everyday, some days it leads to a productive work, but day some days it leads to just spinning my wheels in my office.  But one thing that keeps me on task even on the days I am doing wheelies in my office chair (both figuratively and sometime literally) is my process.