Dan John: Wandering Weights, Issue # 103

Wandering Weights
Our Epic Journey Through All Things Heavy, Issue # 103

New on OTP this week: T-Spine Mobility—Why It’s Important & How to Regain It

Gatwick WW

I was just sitting with my buddy, Philip, formally of the Royal Marines. The RM are famous for returning from conflict, then cleaning up before doing anything else. In order, he told me, they clean:


Then, they eat and rest. The idea of readiness has been floating in my head as I prepare to return to the States and pick up a very busy schedule. But, Phil is right…clean up before doing anything else.

Let’s look around the web.

Ryan sent this in. It’s an interesting way to look at the future…and how little one might have!

Or maybe Desmond Doss will show up!

“Doss, a devout member of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church and a conscientious objector, entered service as a medic for the 77th Infantry Division. Although he refused to drill or train on Saturday, Doss had no reservations about caring for his fellows’ medical needs on his Sabbath. His commanding officer tried to initiate a Section-8 discharge for Doss, but the lanky medic refused, saying ‘I’d be a very poor Christian if I accepted a discharge implying that I was mentally ‘off’ because of my religion.’ In all other ways, Doss was an exemplary soldier who worked extra hours during the week to make up for his Saturday Sabbath — except once.

“In April 1945, the war in the Pacific was raging and the 77th had landed on Okinawa after fierce combat in Guam and Leyte. After prayers from Doss, his unit captured the 400-foot Maeda Escarpment in an incredible sweep in which not one man was killed and only one minor injury was sustained. When a photographer arrived to capture the moment and asked how they pulled it off, Doss’s company commander answered, ‘Doss prayed!'”

This doesn’t end the debate about Shakespeare, but adds some more controversy.

“’I believe Shakespeare collaborated with all kinds of people … but I would be very surprised if Marlowe was one of them,’ Carol Rutter, professor of Shakespeare and performance studies at the University of Warwick, told BBC News. ‘Yes, Shakespeare collaborated. But it’s much more likely that he started his career working for a company where he was already an actor, and collaborated not with another playwright but with the actors — who will have had Marlowe very much in their heads, on the stage, in their voices.’”

This is a very interesting article on coaching. Like the County Mayo article from last week, this keeps us focused on what’s important.

“Before the 2015 season, when he was 60 years old, Maddon agreed to become the Cubs’ manager and shoulder the weight of history that came with the job. The new sheriff in town gave his team a set of nonmarching orders. As he described them last week:

“’I don’t have any rules or regulations other than I want you to run hard to first base and I want the pitchers to work on their defense. There are no dress codes; I think they’re nonsensical. The concept of being late is overblown. You can’t really be late for anything.’

“In less than two years, Maddon’s freethinking philosophy has elevated him to cult-figure status in Chicago, where his Zen-like preachings are emblazoned on T-shirts sold all over the city.”

This is just an interesting article. I remember my wealthy high school students lamenting their pain and soullessness when Nirvana first arrived on the scene, but I had no idea about this second act.

“When he arrived for basic training at Fort Benning, his hair was cut, his nose ring was removed; he was as anonymous as every other recruit. At 26, he wasn’t an old-timer, but he was close to it. Training had been going on for about a month when Cobain committed suicide and Everman’s rock past was discovered, which gave more ammunition to the drill sergeants. There was a lot of ‘O.K., rock star, give me 50.’ Everman insists he didn’t expect anything else.

“A fellow soldier named Sean Walker told me that Ranger instructors begin by asking recruits to quit now to save time. ‘You had to pass a 12-mile road march in three hours or less,’ Walker said, ‘run 5 miles in 40 minutes or less, complete the combat-swimmers test, as well as other evils the cadre decided to throw at you.’ Half the recruits quit. But Everman refused to let himself be left behind this time. He completed every last requirement.”

I’ve been a fan of Dane Miller for a long time. His blog is very good and he always has smart things to say about lifting and throwing.

“But what happens when things go awry?  Maybe a kid gets sick, they roll their ankle, maybe they completely lose the feeling to throw or maybe they go to another coach and that coach has an input on their volume entirely different from that of your own…all of these things can completely throw off the peak of a track and field athlete.
What can you do to save the peak for the individual.  Maybe saving the ‘peak’ is out of the question, but how can we as coaches save the result so they can still throw well in the big meets?  There are a few quick things to use.  First, if the athlete has no feeling in the throw, I usually recommend giving them a heavy implement to use.  The heavy implement will force them to have more “feel” than they typically would with the competitive weight. If they start to feel it with the heavy implement, they might start to feel it with the competitive weight.  Another quick trick is to have them warm up with pauses.  Make them pause in the power position to feel where they need to be and to relearn that specific position.  Finally, I like using “no feet” throws.  Have them do a full throw without moving their feet at all. They can’t step forward and they can’t reverse.  They have to completely control the final position and finish properly.
Save the peak and throw long!”

Mcluhan’s use of the word “Corporate” is worth thinking about here. It’s not what you think, but it has really got me thinking. I liked both Ford and Carter, by the way. Carter continues to be the embodiment of what Americans say they want for President…and couldn’t wait to get rid of him. Ford, famously as a student-athlete at Michigan, stood up for Civil Rights during a time it was not a popular thing to do.

Pat Flynn has a great “almost daily” email—I thought this advice was outstanding.

“How to Train for the Zombie Apocalypse

“Consider this your study guide for tomorrow. I don’t know a whole lot about zombies except they want to eat you and are virtually indestructible.

“This means you need to be fast enough to run away, powerful enough to punch, kick, and probably bludgeon, and strong enough to wrestle them and not get bit.

“Flexibility would also help for whenever you need to squirm your way through any tight spots. Also, stamina, endurance, and mental toughness. Fighting zombies, this is no easy assignment.

“It sounds to me like survival of the fittest, literally. It also sounds like the specialist loses. You need to be well rounded. I like this. You should train for zombies even if there aren’t any.

“My recommendation? Work within the minimalist framework. (Think of this as your exercise “food pyramid”.)

Metabolic Conditioning – 1-3x/week (Complexes, circuits, sprints, etc.)
Strength Training – 3-5x/week (Push, pull, hinge, squat, carry. Low reps, high weight.)
Mobility and Walking – Daily (Frequent low-level movement, and bodywork.)

“People ask what the right amount of strength and conditioning work is, plus mobility. I think this is the framework you should go off. It’s well-balanced, and effective. (It’s also the framework for Pocket Sized Programming, and my 30-Day Hormone Optimization Challenge. Join up, if you haven’t already!)

“You can use this exercise pyramid as your go-to framework for building out a sensible and effective program, because with this you’ll have all the bases covered. You’ll be strong, hard, lean, athletic, and not overtrained. Your joints will be cared for and your heart will be healthy. You will survive the assault, maybe!”

My month-long trip to Ireland was one of the best things I have done in my life. Looking forward to my return next year!


Help me out—Share on Facebook!
Like Dan John's Wandering Weights: Issue #103 on Facebook