Dan John: Wandering Weights, Issue # 205

Wandering Weights
Our Epic Journey Through All Things Heavy, Issue # 205

The new Johnny Parker, Al Miller, & Rob Panariello book on periodization is IN STOCK and ready to ship to you today.

“This book, from start to finish, is a master class in strength coaching. This is the how-to/do-this book we have been looking for in strength and conditioning.” ~ Dan John


I’m sitting on my porch overlooking the Galway Bay…cue Irish Trad musicians. It was a perfect day here; the sky was bluer than blue and Tiffini got tan lines out at Black Rock. Niall and Louise Greenan spent the day with us and it couldn’t have been better. We were at their wedding in Belfast in August and the good times keep rolling.

Aoghus O’Flaherty from Tucos Taquira here in Galway spent the evening with the four of us last night and we joined him for the best Mexican food in Ireland this afternoon. He had to work, sadly, but what a delightful day.

Since I can’t visit US Cryotherapy in Salt Lake City daily…the flights would kill me…I have to make do with a daily or twice daily dip in the bay. To say it is “cold” is like saying “the sun is hot.” But, I can hang in there for quite a while now and feel the magic happen. I think cold treatments, hot treatments, fasting and exercise are a pretty simple formula to stay “pretty good.”

I learned, like many, that the search for perfect is going to kill us. I love discovering “better” and getting on the path of “pretty good.”

Frankly, right now, my life is “pretty good.”

On the internet this week, I did my best to keep abreast of all the craziness than is the internet. I didn’t understand the bulk of this article, but I loved the “go to” parts of the piece. Sometimes, I just need a Do This!


Five more ways to cheat death


This well-established, cheap diabetes drug seems to have some bonus age-defying side-effects in the form of an extended lifespan and fewer age-related diseases for those taking it. A clinical trial in elderly people, set to start next year if funding comes through, aims to get to the bottom of whether it really is an anti-ageing drug. One way metformin works is to inhibit senescent cells’ nasty secretions.

Fix your lifestyle

Exercise, reducing stress and a healthy diet stave off multiple age-related diseases, in essence slowing ageing. Studies also indicate that so called intermittent fasting, which restricts when you eat rather than how much you eat, promotes a longer lifespan in both animals and people.

End quote

This next article just hugs my heart at that edge of silliness. Since I was a kid, I loved pictures and cartoons of simply ridiculous inventions. Doctor Seuss was a master, as was Rube Goldberg…a name that would be recognized by my older readership.


1.     A Chindōgu Cannot be for Real Use — They must be, from a practical point of view, useless.
2.     A Chindōgu Must Exist — A Chindōgu must be something that you can actually hold, even if you aren’t going to use it.
3.     There must be the Spirit of Anarchy in Every Chindōgu — Chindōgu inventions represent the freedom to be (almost) useless and challenge the historical need for usefulness.
4.     Chindōgu Tools are for Everyday Life — Chindōgu must be useful (or useless) to everyone around the world for everyday life.
5.     Chindōgu are Not for Sale — Chindōgu cannot be sold, as this would go against the spirit of the art form.
6.     Humor is Not the Sole Reason for Creating a Chindōgu — Even if Chindōgu are inherently quirky and hilarious, the main reason they are created is for problem solving.
7.     Chindōgu are Not Propaganda — Chindōgu are, however, innocent and made with good intentions. They should only be created to be used (or not used).
8.     Chindōgu are Never Taboo — Chindōgu must adhere to society’s basic standards.
9.     Chindōgu Cannot be Patented — Chindōgu cannot be copyrighted or patented, and are made to be shared with the rest of the world.
10.  Chindōgu Are Without Prejudice — Everyone should have an equal chance to enjoy every Chindōgu.

End quote

I had several people send me this article, thank you. I love the article for one reason: this first paragraph I share with you. “Right.”


Dad Bod or Man Candy?

Speaking of my son. My “healthy lifestyle” really took a nose-dive after he was born. Part of it was terrible planning on my part. I knew I was going to be training (and sleeping) a lot less after he showed up so I went on a fairly restrictive fat loss plan leading up to his arrival. Because every Dad should have abs in the delivery room. Right.

All I did was set myself up to be extra hungry, stressed, and sedentary at the same time. Just as my newborn son came somersaulting out of the oven.

Well done, “coach.”

Good news is I got my shit together fast and bounced back with some of the best training of my life. I think wanting to set an example for the mini-me watching every damn thing I did was the big motivator, plus remembering that “this stuff” (training, eating well, living a healthy lifestyle) is more than just a hobby—it’s part of who I am and what I feel I’m meant to do.

So what was the plan? I doubled down on the Big Rocks to “bounce off” the chunk I gained.

(Tip: fat you gain quickly tends to fly off just as fast when you get back on task.)

Once things were really rolling I cranked up the volume on certain days and cycled calories and cardio accordingly.

I’ll map it all out in an upcoming blog. But the biggest takeaway is: I began by nailing the BASICS before I got fancy. And the basics included reminding myself why training and nutrition was important to me in the first place.

End quote

The minimalist movement. I don’t know. Sometimes, I nod along and applaud and, at other times, I just think: “Are you kidding me?” So much of the information…the philosophy…could have been heard at my dinner table growing up. But, I have to check myself: not all of you had nightly dinner with Depression-era people who literally survived WWII. My mom’s worldview was pretty much: “Be thankful and eat.” I offer this article as a bit of a standard in the field…it’s good, but many of you might live this life without labeling it.


6. Take Care of Yourself.

There is little joy in a selfish life focused entirely on self. What matters at the end of our life is not the house we lived in, the car we drove, or the possessions we purchased. What will matter in the end is how we treated others. Keep selfless living the goal of life. However, an empty cup cannot pour into another. If we are going to live selfless lives (the true measure of success), we must learn that caring for ourselves is the first step in caring for others. Rest, exercise, and pursue healthy habits… we need you to be the best version of yourself.

7. Appreciate Your Season in Life.

Just as seasons of the year come and go, so do seasons of life. We’re kids, in college, young adults, newly married, raising children, empty-nesters, grandparents, caring for aging parents, being cared for ourselves… or any combination of the seasons above. Those who are most satisfied with life are those who appreciate the current season of life they are in and learn to make the most of it. They do not long for the next one or attempt to continue living in the previous one. They accept the reality of changing seasons and embrace each one with grace and resolve.

End quote

I will continue to report on all my fun and adventures here in Ireland. Until then, keep on lifting and learning.


Periodization for the Strength Coach: in The System, coaches Johnny Parker, Al Miller, Rob Panariello and Jeremy Hall lay the foundation for a scientifically based, field-tested, and effective system of training using periodization with sport athletes for both strength and conditioning.

The Sword in the Stone, Chapter 10, Part 61


Wart knew that if he told the elder boy about his conversation with Merlyn, Kay would refuse to be condescended to, and would not come. So he said nothing. It was strange, but their battle had made them friends again, and each could look the other in the eye, with a kind of confused affection. They went together unanimously though shyly, without explanations, and found themselves standing at the end of Hob’s barley strip after Mass. The Wart had no need to use ingenuity. When they were there it was easy.

“Come on,” he said, “Merlyn told me to tell you that there was something along here that was specially for you.”

“What sort of thing?” asked Kay.

“An adventure.”

“How do we get to it?”

“We ought to follow along the line which this strip makes, and I suppose that would take us into the forest. We should have to keep the sun just there on our left, but allow for it moving.”

“All right,” said Kay. “What is the adventure?”

“I don’t know.”

End quote

I want to stop here and comment on the lovely understanding that White has for human interaction. Not long ago, Mark Toomey told me something that really cleared up much of how we, the people, get along:

With women: first they bond, then they battle.
With men: first they battle, then they bond.

Toomey’s life experiences are vast and varied and I know when to shut up and listen. Sure, summing the interactions of seven billion of us is probably always fraught with issues, but this paragraph of White’s seems to be true in my life.

At reunions, the battles seem to be forgotten. The bonds over true experiences remain. I could say the same at funerals…maybe at weddings, too. Your mileage may vary (YMMV).

Wart says something amazing here: “I don’t know.”

I continue to think that most of us would be happier if we added “I don’t know,” “let’s find out,” “please” and “thank you” to our lives.

But what do I know?

The adventure begins!


Periodization for the Strength Coach: in The System, coaches Johnny Parker, Al Miller, Rob Panariello and Jeremy Hall lay the foundation for a scientifically based, field-tested, and effective system of training using periodization with sport athletes for both strength and conditioning.

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