Dan John: Wandering Weights, Issue # 207

Wandering Weights
Our Epic Journey Through All Things Heavy, Issue # 207

Frequency of Training: Success in training comes down to building recovery into the program from the beginning. Is this a factor in your workout programming?


It’s a windy morning in Galway. Yesterday, the weather was perfect and Tiffini and I headed out to Black Rock. We stayed in the water a long time; the sky was perfectly blue and the water was crystal clear.

And, we stayed in too long. My skin reminded me all afternoon about the chill. Later, we went to Macnas, the most amazing parade I have ever seen. Adrian, Vicky, and Eimear Cradock found a wonderful spot to view and I really appreciated it.

This afternoon, I have a podcast and then tonight I will be speaking at Cradock Performance for three hours or so. My talk will be on the lessons I have learned…and relearned…in strength training since I first put my hands on a bar in 1965.

I’m having a great trip. We average about five miles of walking here and swim almost daily. For the next WW, I will be reported from beautiful Murray, Utah. It’s gone fast.


Ah, the internet. It spawns such venom, but I do my best to find things that teach us. This article on longevity is nothing fancy, but the message resounds.


“People are getting to 100 these days and they’re from a generation that never smoked – especially the women,” he said. “I’m still a bit wary as to what effect people born in the 1950s and 1960s will have on the trend over the next 20 to 30 years as they’re the first wave of massive female smokers.”

Back at the Mercado de Maravillas, a woman who looked to be in her late 50s was wandering the busy aisles. María, who didn’t want to give her surname, turned out to be 75. “Yes: seven five.” Her secret? “It’s olive oil, vegetables, fruit, fish, not too much meat, the odd beer and a little bit of wine,” she said. “Oh, and you need to enjoy your life, your friends and, above all, your family.”

End quote

I wrote an article not long ago for OTP on “Do it or Diet.” This article helps us remember the basic truth that exercise has a role in weight loss. I would still argue that “FAT” loss is a bit different.


The ability to jog for 30 minutes uninterrupted, or ride a bicycle for 60 minutes, is what separates so many would-be dieters from their lean counterparts and accounts for most tried and failed weight loss attempts.

Moreover, once a person achieves a critical point of exercise capacity, the experience of exercise itself becomes more pleasant, and the experience can even be fun.

So,, can you exercise your way to weight loss? Absolutely.

Of course abrupt calorie restrictions will result in weight loss for the short run, but it is extremely difficult for folks to maintain that restriction for significant lengths of time, and most either end up quitting or regaining lost weight.

Exercise, though, is a tried and true way to make dietary changes more tolerable.

Focusing on exercise and changing exercise capacity first makes it easier to ultimately make better food choices and enjoy clean living, which in the end means significant weight loss that can be maintained over time.

End quote

Let the sunshine in! I think I knew this, but it is nice to know it is true. This article will get you to open the blinds.


What they found surprised them and confirmed what your grandmother already knew: Rooms exposed to daylight have fewer germs. In fact, the study showed that the lit rooms had about half the viable bacteria (those that are able to grow), compared with dark rooms. Rooms that were exposed only to UV light had just slightly less viable bacteria than ones exposed to daylight. Their research was published Wednesday in the journal Microbiome.

End quote

I thought Bud Winters worked with the Navy…and his nickname was “Bud”…but this article sums “Relax and Win” fairly well. It actually goes much deeper than the book in some aspects, but it’s nice to see Coach Winters remembered.


Recently, an old method used by the U.S. Army to help soldiers fall to sleep in less than ideal conditions (like battlefields) has resurfaced. The Independent says the technique was first described in a book from 1981 called Relax and Win: Championship Performance by Lloyd Bud Winter.

In the book, Winter describes the technique designed by the U.S. Army to make sure soldiers didn’t make mistakes due to grogginess. The technique apparently sends you off to sleep within two minutes.

End quote

This article has a lot of obvious points, but I think it does a nice job teaching one of the keys to survival. Well, it doesn’t include how to deal with sharks, bears and rattlesnakes, but you know what I mean.


Small Decisions Lead To Big Outcomes

Another drink wouldn’t hurt, right? Sleeping in today is not bad, right? No one cares if I skip my workout today, right? I can easily spend $1500 on a new iPhone, right?

The answer is no, no, no, no, and NO to every other small decision you think has no impact on your life. The truth is that your life is the result of your small decisions.

You are what you do every day. Surprisingly, that’s actually really good news.

That means you can turn your life around today—simply by doing something small that has a good impact on your life.

And what if you keep making mistakes? Who gives a shit!? Just make sure you always learn from it.

End quote

I’ve got to get going with my day. I have a lot of things coming up, but I always enjoy my time prepping these WWs. So, until next week, keep lifting and learning.


Frequency of training is an often-debated variable when it comes to optimal delivery for performance enhancement. Determining the frequency of training runs parallel with the volume of training to allow adequate time for recovery after a training session.  [CONTINUE READING]

The Sword in the Stone, Chapter 10, Part 63


“Well,” said Kay, “I am not afraid. If the adventure was for me, it is bound to be a good one.”

They went in, and were surprised to find that the going was not bad. It was about the same as a big wood might be nowadays, whereas the common forest of those times was like a jungle on the Amazon. There were no pheasant-shooting proprietors then, to see that the undergrowth was thinned, and not one thousandth part of the number of the present-day timber merchants who prune judiciously at the few remaining woods. The most of the Forest Sauvage was almost impenetrable, an enormous barrier of eternal trees, the dead ones fallen against the live and held to them by ivy, the living struggling up in competition with each other toward the sun which gave them life, the floor boggy through lack of drainage, or tindery from old wood so that you might suddenly tumble through a decayed tree trunk into an ants’ nest, or laced with brambles and bindweed and honeysuckle and convolvulus and teazles and the stuff which country people call sweethearts, until you would be torn to pieces in three yards.

This part was good. Hob’s line pointed down what seemed to be a succession of glades, shady and murmuring places in which the wild thyme was droning with bees. The insect season was past its peak, for it was really the time for wasps and fruit; but there were many fritillaries still, with tortoise-shells and red admirals on the flowering mint. Wart pulled a leaf of this, and munched it like chewing-gum as they walked.

“It is queer,” he said, “but there have been people here. Look, there is a hoof-mark, and it was shod.”

“You don’t see much,” said Kay, “for there is a man.”

End quote

I have this book on audio and I often enjoy walking with my dog, or anywhere really, listening to this story. While teaching at St. Mary’s (Twickenham, London), I listened to this section wandering over to the stadium. This story—it extends over several chapters—is a great listen for walking.

In the stadium is the Rugby Hall of Fame Museum. It’s a remarkable place and I guess even more so that day because I was the only person there. I spent a great day not long ago in the County Sligo museum with W. B. Yeats’ original handwritten poetry on display.

This time, Tiffini was here.

Just us.

I’m amazed how people can live near shrines, stones, memorials and museums and only “see them” when a tourist or visitor points them out. There are many places in Ireland where you can walk among stones put in place by humans long before the Egyptians thought about pyramids and sphinxes. Yet, few touch them.

I have an affinity for stones, especially those that were set in a pattern by our long-forgotten ancestors. As I write this, I am taking a History of the Celts and the stones I touch in Ireland were placed 3,000 years before the first hints of the Celts on the historical record.

So, when Kay points out “a man,” I certainly understand Wart’s focus elsewhere. Most of us have this odd skill to wormhole into something and miss the obvious right next to us. As we go through this story, Kay will really (finally!) assert himself. He will be the hero, basically, of this story.

I love White’s use of language here.

The description of the forest is amazing. Most of the words are obvious, but “convolvulus” is a kind of flowery, binding plant and “teazles” are a family of tallish grasses. Sweethearts have evolved into a houseplant. Fritillaries were not part of Europe until almost 1600, but it is a lily plant. I have a massive mint area in my garden (in six different varieties) and I often find myself chewing it like Wart.

We will quickly come back to this forest and the dangers of walking through it. We are about to meet someone very famous…and you say his name wrong.


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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