Dan John: Wandering Weights, Issue # 116

Wandering Weights
Our Epic Journey Through All Things Heavy, Issue # 116



I had a great time at Fort Lewis this past week. I worked with the U. S. Army and I had a lot of adventures. Training facilities are miles ahead of what they were just a few years ago in the military, but bodybuilding training ideas still seem to be the norm.

It’s hard to get people to understand that performance isn’t necessarily connected with looking good in the mirror or for photo shoots. Most coaches “wake up” one day and finally figure out that pecs and biceps don’t do a lot of work in most sports.

But, bodybuilding still dominates the magazines and internet. And…there is nothing wrong with that. But, when it comes to getting a job done, we need to train for performance.

As I was reviewing my articles from the web this week, it seems like I basically just found a bunch of articles that would make my next book. There was a lot of material on falling and basic training that just leaped out at me.

Pat Flynn does a nice job here. This little piece really seems to be a map for most of us. Synergy, in my experience, is a miracle worker. Pat has another term for this and I like it.

“A force multiplier is something you can add in to boost the results of whatever program you’re already on.

“What makes something a force multiplier is that it should have a compounding effect. Meaning 1 + 1 = 3. In other words, the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. That’s one of those sayings people like to use.

“For example, ketosis is a force multiplier, and so is fasting. By adding in either one of these to heavy resistance training you get better results than if you did either on its own. There are a whole bunch of reasons why but mostly it has something to do with geology.

“Another example is brisk walking. Walking by itself is great. Strength training by itself is great. But when you combine the two the effects are multiplied, not added.

“This is why I often say the best type of exercise program lays in the extreme ends of the intensity spectrum…

“Low Intensity + High Intensity > Moderate Intensity.”

First, this article is just flat out interesting. Second, the game they are discussing is in Twickenham where I teach at St. Mary’s. This is something many of us have noticed but the impact on sports is surprising.

“Sportsmen and women who spend half their lives glued to their smartphones should look away now. According to the expert hired to improve the hand-eye coordination of England’s rugby team, there has been a significant decline across all sports in skill and visual awareness over the past six years – a period when staring at a screen has become increasingly normal for all ages.

“Dr Sherylle Calder, a South African vision specialist recruited by the England head coach, Eddie Jones, has worked in American football, golf and motor racing as well as rugby and, ahead of the Six Nations Championship this year, has already advised England’s players to spend less time on their mobiles if they wish to become the best in the world.

“’We have seen in the last five or six years when we assess elite players in different sports that there is a decline in skill levels,’ said Calder, who also worked with England’s 2003 World Cup‑winning squad. ‘In the modern world the ability of players to have good awareness is deteriorating. When you look at your phone there are no eye movements happening and everything is pretty static.'”

This article got a lot of splash on Facebook. But, if you missed it, here you go. It is very good…and a bucket of truth.

“In my case, above, I hired a coach and we came up with a simple workout program that met these criteria:

    No more than 3x a week.
No more than 10 minutes per session.
Has to be done upon waking up, right next to the bed.
Requires no equipment.

“I did that for about 6 months. Was it the Best Workout Ever? No! Did I end up, after 6 months, fitter than ever? Heck no!

“But was it better than hitting the pause button and doing nothing? You bet!

“See, perfectionism is not the point.”

I can’t emphasize training breakfalling and rolling enough. This article is a nice introduction.

“The procedure is strikingly similar to how martial arts practitioners learn to take a fall when they are, say, thrown over someone’s shoulder or have their legs knocked out from under them. “I would say the principles we follow are: Accept that you’re falling and go with it, round your body, and don’t stiffen and distribute the energy so you take the fall in the widest area possible,” said Paul Schreiner, a black belt jiu jitsu instructor at Marcelo Garcia Academy in New York City.

“While martial arts falls often have a gymnastic aspect, with rather elegant and snappy kinds of somersaults, it’s still all about spreading out the force of impact. ‘There may be an aesthetic component, but what it does is save the body,’ said Mr. Schreiner. ‘If you don’t take the fall in any single place, you’ll still walk out sore, but you’ll walk out of there.’”

My friend, Anne, has an interesting point about the glutes here and their ability to help with life (and creating life).

“Even if you don’t care about catching somebody’s eye with your booty, it’s in your best interest, whatever gender you are.

“A sedentary lifestyle or a desk job turns off your butt muscles, which is a recipe for a sore back, and puts you at higher risk for injury.  There is more stress on the surrounding muscles and joints – hamstrings, knees, lower back and hips – while you’re working out or even simply walking.

“I know people who have sprained their ankles just from walking on the sidewalk!”

My contributions to “Getting Back Up” have been translated several times now. I liked this one.

“Opvarmning? Et must, fordi det forbedrer præstationen. Alligevel glemmes opvarmning desværre ofte i styrketræning. Her er en super specialøvelse, en mobility workout i sig selv, til alle former for individuel træning og holdtræning.

“En stor tak til supertræner Dan John for at give tilladelse til at bringe hans øvelse i oversat udgave. En gave til alle, der vil i bedre form.

“Jeg synes selv min mobilitet er nogenlunde o.k., men denne øvelse viste noget andet!”

This is your “one stop shop” to how to handle the world today. This article got me to buy Sagan’s book and I am loving it. Keep this article on your favorites.

“In a chapter titled ‘The Fine Art of Baloney Detection,’ Sagan reflects on the many types of deception to which we’re susceptible — from psychics to religious zealotry to paid product endorsements by scientists, which he held in especially low regard, noting that they ‘betray contempt for the intelligence of their customers’ and ‘introduce an insidious corruption of popular attitudes about scientific objectivity.’ But rather than preaching from the ivory tower of self-righteousness, Sagan approaches the subject from the most vulnerable of places — having just lost both of his parents, he reflects on the all too human allure of promises of supernatural reunions in the afterlife, reminding us that falling for such fictions doesn’t make us stupid or bad people, but simply means that we need to equip ourselves with the right tools against them.”

“Equip ourselves.”

Not bad advice for life. So, until next time, keep lifting and learning.


Help me out—Share on Facebook!
Like Dan John's Wandering Weights: Issue #116 on Facebook