Dan John: Wandering Weights, Our Epic Journey Through All Things Heavy, Issue # 6
Last Friday I refereed the annual Union Christmas Weightlifting meet. I had a minor surgery on Thursday, an umbilical hernia operation, and it was nice to get out and see some good lifting by junior high kids after that hospital scene.
Dave Turner has been coaching at Union Middle School for probably four decades, and during that time he's guided me through local, regional and national meets. Dave’s best advice has always been to stick to the plan. His grandson Ethan is 14 and lifted very well. Ethan is weighing 62 kilos now, and went six for six and ended up clean & jerking 90 kilos. He does Dave’s basic front squat workout, so two days a week he does five sets of two in the front squat with varying loads, plus training the pull and the jerk. One day a week he has a meet-like workout with a specific percentage he needs to get. Ethan sticks to the plan, and it's working well.
I also hosted an officer in the Navy this week, who's been doing the One Lift a Day program. Talking with him on the value of the program and seeing Dave Turner’s team lift got me thinking about the roots of the program. I learned One Lift a Day fromBob Bednarski, the original one lift a day guy.
Dave suggested it to me during the time I was having my breakout season. I had finally recovered fully from my experiences in the Middle East, and I could train intensely year-round. When I did this in 1991, I snatched 314, clean & jerked 385, cleaned and missed the jerk with 402, squatted 605 for three, and also threw the discus over 180 in nine straight meets.
But, as always happens, I found…something better.
Stick to the plan.
Let’s talk about some of the stuff I have been looking at on the web lately. Running around the net, I found this article that I think has a great take on Taleb’s idea of antifragile. That antifragile term is almost a cliché in fitness circles now, but this article makes a strong point.
I get asked a lot about that “old stuff.” You can find most of my pre-OTP writings here. It’s not organized, so that might keep you occupied during a lull later this holiday week.
I'm following a new blog by John Strangeway. He was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, and is now living in Missouri. John teaches martial arts and competes in Strongman competitions, where he won in Missouri, Kansas, and Arkansas in the lightweight classes. His best achievement is a 650-pound farmers carry for 60 feet at a bodyweight of 190 pounds. Watch him compete at the youtube link below.
John's doing some solid work clarifying the basics of training here.
I received a nice email the other day telling me this piece is the best thing I ever wrote. I would have to say it might have been the hardest thing I ever wrote, too.
Greg O’Gallager has been writing some interesting things lately. This piece argues for three key lifts—the incline bench press, weighted chinup and Bulgarian split squat—as the cornerstone to all training. His point on group think is worth discussing.
For a while I've been working out an anterior-chain progression: inchworm, ab wheel…then, L-sits to Max Shank’s L Sit to Handstand. This exercise will fit in this progression. You probably saw the buzz last week when it came out, but if you haven't seen it yet, Max’s new book explains the L Sit to Handstand.
Well, Merry Christmas to you and yours. Next week’s New Year’s Edition will probably not feature any resolutions, but maybe some ideas to explore in 2015.
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