Dan John: Wandering Weights, Issue # 122

Wandering Weights
Our Epic Journey Through All Things Heavy, Issue # 122


Want to coach your clients to bigger numbers in the deadlift? (Silly question for sure.) To help you create coaching success in the deadlift, we’ve collected some top information from our OTP contributors: How to Coach a Bigger Deadlift.


I had a great time in The Netherlands. I managed to link up with some old friends and my workshops went well. Amsterdam is an amazing city; it is filled with people riding bicycles everywhere. The bikes often come with unique baskets and many businesses move parcels and goods around the city with a fleet of bikes.

And, yes, the people look healthy.

I am struggling with jet lag a bit today; there is an issue with leaving Thursday afternoon, flying over the ocean and landing Friday, then speaking Saturday and flying back on Sunday. The issue is losing two nights sleep in four days! So, today I will fast, train and then get on with the business of life.

One of the things that amazes me is the political climate of the past few years. Sometimes, there are great insights in the arts to help me “see the future” historically. If you have time, this discussion by Leonard Bernstein on the music of the 1960s is well worth it. Listening to the whining of the “younger generation,” now in their sixties and seventies and still whining, is, at best, to quote Spock: “Fascinating.”

“But back in 1967, when that gap yawned so chasmically wide as to render any communication across it seemingly impossible, the young Baby Boomers and their own Great Depression, Second World War-forged parents used the musical landscape to draw their battle lines. Who could broker a peace? Enter composer, pianist, and New York Philharmonic director Leonard Bernstein. Born in 1918 and hailed as one of the most accomplished and astute musical minds in American history, he could not only appreciate the techniques and innovations of the youth-driven pop-rock explosion of the sixties, he could get the ear of his middle-aged peers and explain to them just what they were missing.”

As I type this, I have a ham bone slowing becoming split pea soup. There was an interesting discussion on the Dave Draper Forum about broth and the health benefits. Well, that got me reading more.

“With the advent of low-tech diets like raw food, whole food and Paleo, the foundation has become increasingly visible, providing a central resource on topics like raw milk, biodynamic agriculture and the health benefits of animal fats. (On the website, a photo of a glowingly healthy family at the beach is captioned, “They are happy because they eat butter!”)
Although there are few reliable studies on the medicinal effects of broth, the foundation has done analysis that shows it may provide benefits for inflammatory diseases, digestive problems and even dopamine levels.”

This article doesn’t agree in the magic of broth.

“‘The idea that because bone broth or stock contains collagen it somehow translates to collagen in the human body is nonsensical,’ says Dr. William H. Percy, an associate professor and biomedical scientist at the University of South Dakota who has spent more than three decades studying the ways the human gut breaks down and absorbs the food we eat. ‘Collagen is actually a pretty poor source of amino acids,’ he says.

“‘And while there are two protein compounds that are found only in collagen, neither confers any special health benefits,’ says Dr. D. David Smith, an associate professor of biomedical sciences at Creighton University and an expert in the chemistry of peptides and the biological activity of amino acids.

“Just as the dietary fat you swallow doesn’t directly translate to body fat, swallowing collagen doesn’t become collagen in or between your bones. Percy says bone broth may contain both essential and inessential amino acids, and that your body can use these nutrients to augment or support various parts of your skeleton.”

I haven’t talked to Mark Twight in a while. I miss his insights and genius and one of my friends (yes, you, Patrick) sent me this article. I still enjoy the philosophy that Mark outlines here:


The Gym Jones Philosophy was spelled out in every seminar and on the website:

·      The Mind is Primary
·      Outcome-based training (train for an objective)
·      Functional training
·      Power to weight ratio (you must carry the engine)
·      Train all energy systems
·      Training is preparation for the real thing, do something with your fitness
·      Nutrition is the foundation
·      Recovery is more than 50% of the process

The Mind is Primary.

End Quote

Honestly, “you must carry the engine” is an excellent insight into the decision-making matrix of power and hypertrophy.

This site from USC has a lot of really interesting links. It has research from students and faculty and I thought this idea on fasting and cancer fighting to actually be an interesting insight into the war on cancer.

“Prolonged fasting forces the body to use stores of glucose, fat and ketones, but it also breaks down a significant portion of white blood cells. Longo likens the effect to lightening a plane of excess cargo.

“During each cycle of fasting, this depletion of white blood cells induces changes that trigger stem cell-based regeneration of new immune system cells. In particular, prolonged fasting reduced the enzyme PKA, an effect previously discovered by the Longo team to extend longevity in simple organisms and which has been linked in other research to the regulation of stem cell self-renewal and pluripotency — that is, the potential for one cell to develop into many different cell types. Prolonged fasting also lowered levels of IGF-1, a growth-factor hormone that Longo and others have linked to aging, tumor progression and cancer risk.”

I’m getting a lot of positive emails about my weekly blog. This one had only been out a few hours when people started emailing me and giving it some praise. My blog comes out every Monday and WW comes out on Wednesdays. I realize that I leave you alone the other five days a week! I stand by this statement, obviously.


But, you need to take care of Survive first. Have you seen your eye doctor, dentist or MD lately? If not, take care of this! Do you know how to take a tumble, First Aid, or CPR? Address that. Here is my whole list, from “Do this right now” to “It would be good to take care of this soon.

  • Eye doctor, dentist, medical doctor
  • Breakfalling and tumbling
  • First aid, CPR and the Heimlich Maneuver (and using a defibrillator)
  • Defensive driving or advanced driving course
  • Swimming class
  • Bicycle riding and bicycle repair
  • Stress management course or appropriate application of stress management tools
  • Personal finance course
  • Gardening and/or gardening class
  • Survival course/survival skills

Once you master these, then get back to thriving and sex driving.

End quote

Until next week, keep lifting and learning.

Perhaps no nutrition coach alive is better than John Berardi at getting compliance from clients—and at teaching others how to get the same quality results. This article is a fabulous recap of how he gets such great results.