Dan John: Wandering Weights, Our Epic Journey Through All Things Heavy, Issue # 8
Ah, the New Year’s resolutions are tumbling down around us like leaves in autumn. It’s a rare year that I don’t get asked a hundred questions about training and diet just before January. It's hard to completely redo every aspect of your life on January 1st, and still keep the momentum going for the rest of your time on this planet. So, I keep my January 1st resolutions doable and repeatable.
My res was simple: I'm going to do a declutter once a day. Computer files, drawer, packing list, gym stuff, whatever—something each day. So far, I've spent a few minutes just putting things where they belong. The mental clarity after clearing a desk is shocking. Here's a simple idea that involves a junk drawer.
Follow up your decluttering with a perfect 20-minute nap. There's some fun research on caffeine and napping that really makes sense. I 've done this twice now, and it’s pretty simple. Why I don’t nap every day is a mystery to me.
Others might need the power of a checklist. This is a nice summary of why checklists help. My best work tends to have a checklist as part of the process.
Speaking of work and getting back to it, let’s talk about practice. Practice? We’re talking about practice?
Although some people don’t like John Reed’s combativeness, I always come away with insights from his work. I don’t know baseball as well as I should, but he asks a great question here: What if practice HURTS performance?
I enjoy his contrarian approach in all things, and this is an interesting way to look at practice. What are we doing that's not only worthless, but even counterproductive?This follow-up piece reminds me of what we were told at the USOC: Style is one thing; physics is another. If your physics are sound, good things will happen. Having one sock high and the other low might help you throw farther, too…if you think it will. It did for me.
Now that leads us to the discussion of what to do in a workout. If you're an Olympic lifter, should you do other stuff? The answer is not so simple. Read this bit on assistance work from Jim DeCoste via Tan Slacks. Be sure to look at the article through the lens of a career, not a six-week training cycle. When looking into other people’s programs, that's the single thing that is usually ignored: It was one or two months out of a two-decade career. In the article, there are some links to Bigger Faster Stronger articles—you'll need to cut and paste them into the browser, but it's worth the trouble. The Romanian deadlift article has an example of the RDL where the model goes too deep. I’m glad the kettlebell swing resurged and that allows many of us to get the value of the RDL without all the discussion. It’s not good or bad; it is just a damn lift.
Proper training and performance tends to come down to the basics, as most of us know. I like this article from Mark Fisher Fitness—this post, Brilliant at the Basics, should be on your wall.
Dan Martin posted an article link on Facebook and I can’t agree with it more. If you want boot camp, join the French Foreign Legion. I just don’t think it's possible to train to the wall all the time. Something is going to give and it is always your body.
As many know, I am a big fan of James Clear. This little piece sums intermittent fasting as well as anything I've read. Like I said recently, after a certain age, you can’t eat six meals a day and still lean out. That certain age might be 12.
I found two interesting takes on male bodybuilding this week. I am a fan of Kinobody,where last week Greg Gallagher offered up something that at least got me thinking. What I thought was: I am glad I'm a discus thrower!
How to increase one’s “T” is something I see every time I log into Yahoo. Tucker Max…yes, him…has a nice summary of the basics of increasing T.
Ben Bruno, a rising star in the fitness industry, sent me this link to the library listing of a VERY well-read professional hockey player. My wife is a Hemingway, so she knows two of the authors very well.
This week’s Wandering Weights continues to try to get us thinking. January is a great time of year to begin to link up some new ideas to add to life in the upcoming year. It’s also a good time to consider decluttering some of the old, too.
Happy New Year—I'll be back at you next week. You can put that on your calendar.
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