Dan John: Wandering Weights, Issue # 118

Wandering Weights
Our Epic Journey Through All Things Heavy, Issue # 118


Publisher’s Note:  Many Wandering Weights readers already know of Dan’s bulking programs, but sometimes we see things we’re not ready to use so we pay less attention, or none at all. If that was you the day you read a post about Mass Made Simple, but *today* you’re thinking winter 2017 is the right time for a bulking program, here’s another chance: Dan’s bulking toolkit.


I am writing this between trips. I spent some time with some government people in St. Louis training the basics of movement. This weekend, I go off to Denmark and do a two-day workshop. So, unpack, laundry and repack. It is often my life lately.

The more I do this movement workshop, the more I realize that most people can’t hear me. Most people want to chase two rabbits at once and go home hungry. Over and over and over again! Give yourself two to six weeks and work on a quality. At the end of that period, assess. Then, either stick with this quality or work on something else.

Don’t come home hungry every week.

Let’s look at the web this week. I found this article so “obvious” that I had to read it twice. Don’t smoke, watch your booze, stay lean and go for a walk seems like a good idea no matter what we are discussing. Considering it keeps cancer at bay is simply a “win-win.”

“To tease out cancer risk, they divided the participants into low- and high-risk groups based on four well-known cancer risk factors: cigarette smoking, alcohol consumption, body mass index (to measure overweight and obesity), and physical activity.

“The low-risk group was made up of people who never smoked or smoked for only a few years and people who drank no or only small amounts of alcohol (one or fewer drinks per day for women and two or fewer for men). It also included people with a BMI between 18.5 and 27.5, and people who exercised vigorously for at least 75 minutes per week or moderately for 150 minutes.”

I first was reminded about hill sprints in the 1992 book Strictly Business by Roger Craig. He was a 49er running back and had an excellent few pages on why the carryover from hills to football was so good. The book “inspired” me to add hill sprints to our throwers training. The 1990s were probably the best coaching/competing years of my career and hill sprints could have been a bigger part of it than I thought back then.

This article brings them back into the news.

“As Perry documented in July, the hills behind the Gillette Stadium are a big part of the Patriots’ training. There are two hills, according to Perry. ‘One is 20 yards long and steep. The other is 60 yards long and features more of a gradual incline,’ he wrote. They are both finely manicured, with 5-yard lines so players know the distance left to run.

“The Patriots run these hills in training camp, but apparently they were running them up until the week before the Super Bowl.

“‘We were running the hill last week,’ said tight end Martellus Bennett. ‘And I was like, who runs the hill in Week 23? Guys were tired, but guys got out there, they ran full speed up the hill. We’re just a team that works.'”

Not everyone likes Tim Ferris. This interview is good as he rejects the term “hack” and is pretty upfront and honest about a lot of important things in life.

Tim Peterson does a nice job with the theme “two rabbits” here. It’s always a good point to circle back on every so often.

“The best things about spending decades as an Intermediate, is that you eventually obtain life-long adaptations, one of which is known as ‘Old Man Strength.’ This is your father’s ability to lift an engine block, despite not having followed a training plan in years and not “looking” like he is strong. Also, you establish a base level of strength, which is your ability to lift a certain weight in a certain lift, at any time regardless of the last time you performed that lift previously (and this is usually a ‘benchmark’ weight, for example, a 225 bench press or 315 deadlift for men). Third, you are able to take a month or more off from lifting completely without regressing back to Beginner status.”

This issue, finances, came up in a discussion over the weekend. Many young people know nothing about writing checks, doing taxes and the basics of personal finance. This article gives some good insights.

“One of the most effective ways to add by subtracting is to eliminate your rent cost by moving in with Mom and Dad. Despite the fact that more young adults are currently doing this than at any time in almost eighty years, the arrangement still comes in for a surprising amount of shame and finger-wagging about Millennials’ ‘failure to launch.’

“Pay no attention to this peanut gallery which largely consists of older folks who came of age in a time when rents were low, and a college education costed, well, peanuts. To the naysayers, point out that the number of young people living at home was even higher in the 1940s — you know, when those ‘lazy,’ ‘entitled’ Greatest Generation folks were sponging off Ma and Pa.

“There’s no shame in living with mom and dad as an adult, so long as it’s a short-term arrangement to increase your financial autonomy for the long-term. So quit it with the self-flagellation, accept the economic necessity of the situation, and make the most of it.

“Instead of using the money you save from living with your parents to fund a comfortable lifestyle that includes partying, streaming video games, and traveling, use that money to set yourself up financially. Funnel your savings towards paying down your student loans and sock away enough to get your own place. To ensure that living with your folks is a short-term plan, establish financial goals that you want to accomplish while living under their roof and set a target date to complete them by. The goal is to trade less autonomy in the short-term for more autonomy in the long-term.”

Lots of people sent me this article. I think it has merit in many discussion I have been involved with over the past year.

“That message was reinforced by the sheer predictive power of grip strength. In a study published in 2015 in The Lancet, the health outcomes of nearly 140,000 people across 17 countries were tracked over four years, via a variety of measures—including grip strength.3 Grip strength was not only ‘inversely associated with all-cause mortality’—every 5 kilogram (kg) decrement in grip strength was associated with a 17 percent risk increase—but as the team, led by McMaster University professor of medicine Darryl Leong, noted: ‘Grip strength was a stronger predictor of all-cause and cardiovascular mortality than systolic blood pressure.’”

I hope that the readers of WW have also been getting my weekly blog. It comes out every Monday and it provides a basic, simple training message.

Until next time, keep lifting and learning.


Help me out—Share on Facebook!
Like Dan John's Wandering Weights: Issue #118 on Facebook

New on OTPbooks.com this week: Josh Hillis shares his fat-loss coaching system

“Behavioral weight loss programs blow the doors off of the entire fitness industry when it comes to average results. Behavioral weight loss programs have clients who average 8-10% weight loss every six months. That smashes the average weight loss of other gyms and trainers.” Read more from Josh about his coaching system.

Click here to get this each Wednesday in your email box.

Click here to see the Wandering Weights archive