Dan John: Wandering Weights, Issue # 184

Wandering Weights
Our Epic Journey Through All Things Heavy, Issue # 184

On OTPbooks.com this week: Transfer movements are a vital part of so many exercises and trainers need to ensure that their clients do them with proper form. But, what are your clients doing in daily life? Robert Linkul discusses proper transfers for older adults… [CONTINUE READING]


Saturday night, I went to a fundraiser with Ben and Amy Fogel. Tiffini and I love fundraisers, especially those that have silent auctions.

It’s a weakness for me. I like to find undervalued items and play the whole “cat and mouse” game of getting something either valuable or unique or just plain fun.

So, I’m sitting across from my new painting. It’s a painting of a Notre Dame-Georgia Tech football game from November 8, 1975. It’s an odd game to remember, but most remember the last play.

Rudy sacks the GT quarterback and the team carries him from the field. It became a fun movie and many know the story of Rudy Ruettiger. Here is the famous finish to that game when Rudy makes the sack.

Of course, Hollywood made it much cleaner and crisper, but it’s still a great story. The painting is signed by Rudy with all the information about the moment included.

We tried to outbid people for some other things, but we ended up with Rudy’s painting and some facial stuff. But, it was fun. And, we raised money for a great cause (the fight against blood cancer).

I also spent some time wandering around the internet. This article really connects much of what I have been reading lately. Don’t ignore “decluttering” as an aid in body compensation.


Decluttering your house.  You know all the shit you buy that you think you need but don’t actually use?  Get rid of it. Aside from more physical space in your home, I bet you have more mental space, too!
Reading more leather bound books.  Um, read things.  Things you like, and things that make you think.  People who read are able to take WHAT they read and apply it to a whole bunch of different life scenarios.  READ.

End quote

Mike Brown and I have been taking rucking much more seriously since reading Mike Prevost’s material. This is a great old article from Marty Gallagher on using Heavy Hands, a great way to train…if done correctly.



Then without warning, it died. Like Boy George, Disco and the Yugo, Heavyhands just dried up and blew away. The public, fickle and with a short attention span, declared Heavyhands ineffectual and passé.

The reasons for the plummet were many; but first and foremost, people weren’t getting the results they had expected. The reason for the ineffectiveness could be summed up in one short phrase: insufficient exercise intensity!

It was not the fault of the system, it was the fault of the user. Folks simply did not train with enough intensity. We have all seen the typical Heavyhands jogger, running along with his two little dumbbells. But if you carry the weights and refuse to pump the weights, you’re not going to get any results! Heavyhands became carryhands . . . and carryhands is a lame and ineffectual exercise system!

The public didn’t like pumping the little weights – it was uncomfortable; it was hard; it made you sweat and feel bad. It was a lot easier to run around carrying these little-bitty weights and pretend you were doing the Heavyhands thing. Plus when you didn’t pump them you could run along at a respectable pace and for a respectable distance – you start pumping the damned things and you’d be lucky to make it a block – how embarrassing!

After a month or two of carryhands, the Heavyhands dumbbells got tossed into the back of the closet along with the leisure suits, Deep Purple records and bell-bottoms. Carryhands was (deservedly) an unqualified failure as a exercise form. Sadly, Heavyhands, the baby, got tossed with carryhands, the bath water . . .

We need to rummage around in the closet, find those funny weights and use them as they were intended.

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This next article really is picking up some steam on the various forums I hang out at on the web. It is very interesting.


All the back-and-forth arguments about error rate calculations distract from even more important issues, said Andrew Gelman, a statistician at Columbia University who said he agrees with Sainani that the paper claiming MBI’s validity “does not make sense.” “Scientists should be spending more time collecting good data and reporting their raw results for all to see and less time trying to come up with methods for extracting a spurious certainty out of noisy data.” To do that, sports scientists could work collectively to pool their resources, as psychology researchers have done, or find some other way to increase their sample sizes.

Until they do that, they will be engaged in an impossible task. There’s only so much information you can glean from a tiny sample.

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I just liked this article on highballs. I’m trying to improve as a cook so I also look at mixology as another way to prepare the whole meal.



Long days and steamy nights call for a grown-up ginger ale, and this zingy highball is the answer. If you can track down some real, old-school fermented ginger beer (rather than the carbonated, syrupy, flavored sodas you get at the supermarket), all the better. Throw in a lemon slice to balance out the sweetness.

2 parts Glenlivet Founder’s Reserve
4 parts ginger beer
1 lemon wheel

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I think Pat Flynn does a nice job here explaining the basics of health and fitness.

This week I get ready to travel internationally again. Summer and St. Mary’s is just around the corner, but I do have a few short trips before I go.

But, until then, let’s all keep on lifting and learning.


New release on OTPbooks.com: Sue Falsone’s book called Bridging the Gap from Rehab to Performance [CLICK FOR MORE INFORMATION]


The Sword in the Stone



The Wart got up from his stool and stood in front of his tutor. Merlyn put down his knitting.

“First you go small,” said he, pressing him on the top of his head until he was a bit smaller than a pigeon. “Then you stand on the ball of your toes, bend at the knees, hold your elbows to your sides, lift your hands to the level of your shoulders, and press your first and second fingers together, as also your third and fourth. Look, it is like this.”

With these words the ancient nigromant stood upon tiptoe and did as he had explained.

The Wart copied him carefully and wondered what would happen next. What did happen was that Merlyn, who had been saying the final spells under his breath, suddenly turned himself into a condor, leaving the Wart standing on tiptoe unchanged. He stood there as if he were drying himself in the sun, with a wingspread of about eleven feet, a bright orange head and a magenta carbuncle. He looked very surprised and rather funny.

“Come back,” said the Wart. “You have changed the wrong one.”

“It is this by-our-lady spring cleaning,” exclaimed Merlyn, turning back into himself. “Once you let a woman into your study for half an hour, you do not know where to lay your hands on the right spell, not if it was ever so. Stand up and we will try again.”

This time the now tiny Wart felt his toes shooting out and scratching on the floor. He felt his heels rise and stick out behind and his knees draw into his stomach. His thighs became quite short. A web of skin grew from his wrists to his shoulders, while his primary feathers burst out in soft blue quills from the ends of his fingers and quickly grew. His secondaries sprouted along his forearms, and a charming little false primary sprang from the end of each thumb.

The dozen feathers of his tail, with the double deck-feathers in the middle, grew out in the twinkling of an eye, and all the covert feathers of his back and breast and shoulders slipped out of the skin to hide the roots of the more important plumes. Wart looked quickly at Merlyn, ducked his head between his legs and had a look through there, rattled his feathers into place, and began to scratch his chin with the sharp talon of one toe.

End quote

“Nigromant” is a form of the word “necromancy.” This was a form of magic where the practitioner communicates with the dead to find hidden things, foretell the future or, and this would be something we see a lot in TV and movies, using the dead as a tool. Usually, we would see the term “Black Magic” here.

I have never fully understood Merlyn’s relationship with the “whatever” that he converses with when doing magic. It does make for fun reading as the two of them are both confused by Merlyn’s life moving backward in time. The reference to spring cleaning always makes me laugh here as anytime someone cleans up my desk, I tend to lose everything for a week. Moving my notes one inch, it seems, is too much for my brain to handle.

There is a line that makes me laugh here:

“First you go small,”

T. H. White has no idea that Steve Martin would later have a comedy album based on “getting small.” Here is an example:

“I’m on drugs. I’m, uh, I mean, you know what it is. What’s the deal, man? I like to get small. It’s a wild, wild drug. Very dangerous for kids though, because they get really small. I know I shouldn’t get small when I’m drivin’, but, uh, I was drivin’ around the other day, you know and a cop pulls me over. And he goes, ‘Hey, are you small?’ I said, ‘No, I’m tall, I’m tall.’ He said, ‘Well, I’m gonna have to measure you.’ They’ve got a little test they give you; it’s a balloon, and if you can get inside of it, they know… you’re small. And they can’t put you in a regular cell either, because you walk right out.”

Steve Martin exploded in the 1970s when I was in college. His skits on Saturday Night Live, his albums and his shows gave us a kind of humor no one had ever really seen before him. So, when White notes “first you go small,” I chuckle.

One final note here: I like the way White simply tells us that Wart is made small, then turned into a hawk. By this time in our story, we as readers don’t need a bunch of fanfare, bugles and technicolor when magic happens.

Next time, Wart will be exposed to great learning and great danger.


New on OTPbooks.com: Mike Prevost reports on the latest research to bring you information on dietary protein and muscle hypertrophy—including the different protein needs for bulking up, maintenance and weight loss. [CONTINUE READING]


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