Dan John: Wandering Weights, Issue # 220

Wandering Weights
Our Epic Journey Through All Things Heavy, Issue # 220

From OTPbooks.com: Boris Bachmann, the Squat RX guy, answers a few questions from people struggling to bring their squat up to the level of their deadlift (and that’s a lot of people).

I’m exhausted. I knew this trip would be rough on me with multiple flights, two two-day workshops in the humidity and a new titanium leg….so, hey, I was right!
Hawaii and Okinawa are marvelous. Great food, great people. I enjoy working with the people I work with here, too. George and John have been wonderful guides and I really appreciate the sacrifices made by my family after seeing some of the historical sites where my father, uncles and cousins spent time in WWII.
I will be home for the Super Bowl. One QB played for Marin Catholic and Tiff and I watched him in high school. The other QB played for Serra High School and we watched plenty of games there when we lived in Burlingame. This little “Battle of the Bay” is going to be fun no matter what happens.
Since I need a nap, let’s jump right into this week’s readings. This article broke my heart a little bit.


The great tragedy of Andy Murray’s career is that, like so many tennis players, he never got healthy enough to plan for longevity. He announced his first surgery at the end of 2013 with the reassuring yet oxymoronic phrase: “minor back operation.” He ended the following season desperately chasing his ranking, exhausting himself through grueling matches and countless tournaments in succession. In 2016 again, he pursued the no. 1 ranking with a brutally demanding schedule; six months after finishing the year as no. 1, he faced Stan Wawrinka in the five-set French Open semifinal. And then, give or take a goodbye match this summer, his hip was done.
For the rest of the players, what struck them most was the cruelty of Murray’s fate, dictated not by his own choices but by an injury that proved insurmountable. “This is really sad for all of us,” Novak Djokovic says. “We talked about it. It’s sad to see him go that way, that is not on his terms. Injuries are the greatest obstacle that an athlete can have.”
Bacsinszky says: “This is the thing that I would fear the most in the future. This is the only wish I have. It’s really—the day I decide I wanna stop, let it be my own decision. Mine. It belongs to me. Not to an injury.”

End quote
Simply, a brilliant point about coaching here in this article:


Belichick doesn’t take away what the opponent does best, but what their individual players do best. It’s a subtle but crucial difference. He personally breaks down every offensive player to understand their strengths within their team’s scheme. Then, he matches the talents of New England’s defensive players to whatever system he’s created for that week. Did you ever wonder why former nose tackle Vince Wilfork lined up over the right tackle in certain Patriots games? For years, Wilfork was Belichick’s best run stopper. Whenever New England’s opponent loved running the ball to its right, guess where it made the most sense to stick Wilfork? Fairly simple, yet not often done.
End quote.
This article keeps popping back up. Is this a guy, like, a genius? I think some people think it just came out as it is getting a lot of reposting on social media. Speaking of social media, don’t forget coachdanjohn on Instagram.


One caveat: I insist that your total reps in these three moves be all the same. So, if your workout has 50 pushes, you had better have 50 squats and at least 50 pulls. It’s okay for most American males to pull more. Our throwing sports tend to lead to some issues that pulling seems to help.
If the over-fifty athlete can only do one thing, I would recommend three days a week of push, pull, and squat. You will look good, which tends to lead to feeling good, which seems to help you keep moving good (well).
Beyond that basic requirement, older athletes would be well-served to follow these pieces of additional advice.

End quote
This article basically tells us what John Jerome said in Staying Supple, but I had no idea about cancer curing with movement.


Best known by murky metaphors (a glove, net or web), fascia — in lay terms — appears differently throughout the body. There is the fascia that almost mimics a muscle with thick tissues, such as the fascia that makes up the plantar fascia in the foot or the iliotibial band along the side of the leg; the IT band is a structure that is unique to humans, and the fascia probably developed as an adaptation to bipedal movement, said Neil Roach, a lecturer in the department of human evolutionary biology at Harvard University.
There is also the fascia that appears all over and acts like a casing — a biological Spanx of sorts. “This fascia throughout the body holds muscles and organs in place to make sure they don’t jostle around,” Roach said.

End quote
Until next week, keep on napping and nodding off…

Boris Bachmann: “I have no secret technique or protocol that will magically transform your squat numbers, but I do have some observations that may put you on the path to some degree of parity for your squat and deadlift.

The Sword in the Stone, Part 76
I have argued, since my youth, that The Sword in the Stone is a love story to education. In a moment, we learn how memorization, one of the traditional pillars of education, was crucial to Robin’s army. Let’s read it now. Yes, it is a bit out of sequence, but let me make my point.

After the staff lecture, Robin went to give his orders to the men. He made them a long speech, explaining about the griffin and the stalk and what the boys were going to do.
When he had finished his speech, which was listened to in perfect silence, an odd thing happened. He began it again at the beginning and spoke it from start to finish in the same words. On finishing it for the second time, he said, “Now, captains,” and the hundred men split into groups of twenty which went to different parts of the clearing and stood round Marian, Little John, Much, Scarlett and Robin. From each of these groups a humming noise rose to the sky.
“What on earth are they doing?”
“Listen,” said the Wart.
They were repeating the speech, word for word. Probably none of them could read or write, but they had learned to listen and remember. This was the way in which Robin kept touch with his night raiders, by knowing that each man knew by heart all that the leader himself knew, and why he was able to trust them, when necessary, each man to move by himself.
When the men had repeated their instructions, and everyone was word perfect in the speech, there was an issue of war arrows, a dozen to each. These arrows had bigger heads, ground to razor sharpness, and they were heavily feathered in a square cut. There was a bow inspection, and two or three men were issued with new strings. Then all fell silent.
“Now then,” cried Robin cheerfully.

End quote
“They had learned to listen and remember.”
What a great commencement address that one line would make!!!
Of course, later in the book, we find T. H. White’s most famous line about education. Wart is sad realizing he will never be a knight (he will be a King though!). Merlyn tells him this:
“Sir Ector has given me a glass of canary,” said the Wart, “and sent me to see if you can’t cheer me up.”
“Sir Ector,” said Merlyn, “is a wise man.”
“Well,” said the Wart, “what about it?”
“The best thing for being sad,” replied Merlyn, beginning to puff and blow, “is to learn something. That is the only thing that never fails. You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake at night listening to the disorder of your veins, you may miss your only love, you may see the world about you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your honour trampled in the sewers of baser minds. There is only one thing for it then—to learn. Learn why the world wags and what wags it. That is the only thing which the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting. Learning is the thing for you. Look at what a lot of things there are to learn—pure science, the only purity there is. You can learn astronomy in a lifetime, natural history in three, literature in six. And then, after you have exhausted a milliard lifetimes in biology and medicine and theo-criticism and geography and history and economics—why, you can start to make a cartwheel out of the appropriate wood, or spend fifty years learning to begin to learn to beat your adversary at fencing. After that you can start again on mathematics, until it is time to learn to plough.”
“Apart from all these things,” said the Wart, “what do you suggest for me just now?”

End quote
Honestly, I can’t do better.
Learn something.
Listen and remember.
Until next time.


From OTPbooks.com: You’re likely to have missed some of our best OTP material over the years. Here’s a link to what your peers have been reading so you can catch up.

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

Click here to see the Wandering Weights archive.


Subscribe below and we'll send great articles to your email box. Includes FREE access to our OTP Vault of material from experts in the field.