Dan John: Wandering Weights, Issue # 275

Wandering Weights
Our Epic Journey Through All Things Heavy, Issue # 275

It’s a delightful time of year. Without football, I haven’t yet started watching XFL, I find my weekends suddenly more open as I don’t binge watch games. We went to Breaking Bingo yesterday afternoon and my friend, Nick, won the big pot.
Yep, I’m excited about Bingo.
That’s how fast it all happens in life: whoosh!
I am getting ready to Ruck and then do Complexes with Mike Brown. Twice a week now, I am adding additional training sessions of these long, loaded walks and then barbell complexes. After over a decade of chronic pain, I find these delightful.
I am working with a former student who is facing double hip replacements. The fact that he is in his 50s is shocking enough, but he has to deal with this issue. He played baseball and never really lifted, but the hips need some work. We got into a discussion about this and I have wondered out loud for a while that something as simple as the modern THR (Total Hip Replacement) has changed the “rules” of aging.
For me, it’s strange to think that I am older than my mom when she died and my dad at my age wasn’t exactly a “Spring Chicken.” In their defense, both were depression era, WWII people who knew, firsthand, death and poverty. My mom’s best friend had polio and she lost more than her fair share of siblings in their youths.
Today, we can fix a lot of issues with people. Sadly, some of us seem to go out of our way to make it worse. I understand that we have a generation predicted to die earlier than their parents; that hasn’t happened for a long time.
Oddly, some flu or virus will get a school to spend tens of thousands of dollars to install all kinds of sanitizing stations (I was there) but continue to serve nothing but beige food at lunch: nuggets, tots, chips, fries and the like.
Long term, obesity is going to be worse than most flus for my students. Sure, yes, I know: the flu can be horrid. But, we don’t talk about the “low hanging fruit” with exercise and nutrition nearly enough with our youth.
At least, in the USA.
When I talk to former students about obesity and aging, all too often, I get the sense that they also have the “whoosh” feeling: I was so young and vibrant and…
One of our readers found this video on youtube. Yes, the middle part is my old backyard. Enjoy.

As always, I had a lovely conversation with Pat Flynn. I  seem to “embrace the obvious” better than most people.
This week on danjohnuniversity.com:
Here’s Episode 25 for the podcast. Dan previews the Art of Coaching course we’re creating for the site at the beginning of this one, so it’s worth checking out.
New essays posted in the member’s area this week:
The One Arm Press… One of My Favorites
Humane Burpee
Train Three Days a Week… Then What?
We also added a new Bus Bench program this past week called Easy Strength Olympic Lifting and Complexes. I’m doing it personally and am really enjoying it. It’s fast, effective, and a great way to get some reps with the Olympic lifts. Based on my soreness, I’d say it’s great for your hinge, traps, lower back, and shoulders.
Thank you for your patience in dealing with the url change last week. I think all the bugs are worked out at this point and we’re excited to take this to the next level for you.
Have a great week!

I have a workshop in Sweden coming up and quite a few others in Europe. Over the next few weeks, I will share the details with you.
In July, I will be back in England. 

If you want a discount, here you go, from the people running the clinic: “We’ve sorted you a personal discount code which you can send out to your network. They can use code DAN10 at checkout for 10% off the current listed price. The pre-sale rate elapses at the end of February, so be good to get this out into the ether before it expires.”
Let’s run around the internet. Marty Gallagher’s new blog has become “must read” for me every week.


Back to coaching: those regular types I work with every Sunday all get results and get them on a consistent and ongoing basis. Each is an ongoing case study. I take into account everything I know about them as I plot their next move.
I adjust their lifting, advise them what to do nutritionally, request they get serious about cardio and psychologically coddle them or, alternately, kick their asses. I use elemental child psychology. I continually exhort them to storm the barricades of their current limits and capacities in some manner or fashion.
The coaches challenge is to find the right tweak at the right time. There are so many potential progress stimulators to pick from. The validation of your coaching is the performance of your students. Competitive formats are the best place to find out if your methods are working.
My trainees enter powerlifting competitions to test strength. What better place to get your report card than in the cold spotlight of white-hot competition in front of impartial judges? All types of formal competition are encouraged.
Part of our success is due to the dynamic of peer pressure. When we train, each man lifts while the others spot or watch. Everyone, regardless of level is expected to equal or exceed last week’s effort.
The eternal goal is to improve. If our lifters improve ever-so-slightly over what they did the previous week, we have succeeded. Each week small incremental gains in reps or poundage handling ability force the body to trigger the adaptive response, muscle is built as a defensive response to the decimation we administer every Sunday.
Our men arrive coming off six days rest. A lot of CNS excitation can be related to stresses outside the gym. Assuming the lifter hasn’t had some catastrophe or upset occur, they arrive for Sunday’s session with rested muscles and a rested CNS. Now they are ready for “rested efforts.”

End quote
This is a simple little article that emphasizes the NEED for walking.


Another article described the evolutionary pattern to exercise. Apes walk on all fours, and climb, but rest most of the time. Humans evolved to gather food resources in less rich environments, savannah as well as jungle.
Hunter-gatherers sought a more nutritious diet, and today’s hunter-gatherers walk during much of their waking hours. Importantly, their survival requires that the brain carry out an array of cognitive tasks while on the move.
Our ancestors had to remember where and when food resources were to be found. Their brains had to make decisions and plan their routes, working with their social groups – all this while walking typically tens of kilometres per day. And their brains grew, accordingly.
Even just walking on two legs involves complex coordination of the stabilising muscles, as the body is balanced on one foot much of the time. This requires a surprising amount of brain activity, which can be observed by modern medical technologies.
Back to the present, there is some medical evidence that walking, especially walking while doing cognitive activity, improves brain function in pre-Alzheimer’s cases. Just working out in a gym appears to be less beneficial to brain function.

End quote
My experience certainly supports the link between regular walking and cognitive ability.


Researchers are looking at variety of animal models to see what they can tell us about the mysteries of the human metabolism.
Of particular interest is the hummingbird. “In the entire animal kingdom, among all the animals with a backbone, the one with the highest metabolic rate is the hummingbird,” said Johns Hopkins’s Wong. “They have a wing beat of 60 to 80 stokes per second.”
Interestingly, most of their diet comes from sugary sources like nectar, and they have a blood sugar level that would be considered diabetic in humans. But they manage to burn through it rapidly to keep their wings fluttering at top speed.

End quote
I have no ability to keep up with offensive talk anymore. It morphs by the day. I found this article to be interesting.


Cleve Evans is a professor at Bellevue University in Nebraska who studies onomastics — the history and etymology of proper names. “There are myriad examples of words derived from names,” he told me in an email, including as racial or ethnic slurs. Names like “Paddy” and “Mick” functioned as anti-Irish slurs in the 19th century, while “Guido” was a common slur for Italians.
Evans said the takeaway wasn’t that “Karen” is an insult now, but rather that names have always been fodder for this kind of use. “They are just another linguistic item that’s possible to be associated with a particular group because of the perception that it’s common among that group,” he said.
Nick agreed. “The use of a personal name to refer to an entire group(ing) of people is a long-documented, cross-cultural, linguistic phenomenon that can be attested over many, many centuries,” she said. “The specific names used, the connotations intended, and the peoples involved, vary greatly.”
Karen itself was originally a Danish form of “Katherine,” descended from the ancient name “Aikaterine,” which Evans told me was often confused and conflated with a Greek word meaning “purity.” That does lend a bit of accidental irony to the “Karen” meme, with its emphasis on sanctimonious morality, but it had nothing to do with the way the meme came about. In other words, there’s nothing in particular about the meaning of the name “Karen,” or the specific trajectory of the name in pop culture, that lends itself to this kind of pejorative use.
What does seem to be new, Evans said, is that names can increasingly stand in for a generational slur — like “boomer” — because there are more names associated with specific age groups and naming fads and trends over the years. Especially among women, he said, “the fads and fashions of the last century have led to many more names that can be linked to a particular age group in addition to names that can be linked to a particular ethnicity.”

End quote
This boomer has had enough.
Until next time, let’s keep on lifting and learning.


For your quick access link, here’s Dan’s full OTP page, including all of his articles, books, lectures and videos, all in one place.

The Sword in the Stone, Part 128

The sergeant had thrown out his chest so far in crying Tally-ho and telling everybody which way they ought to run that he had lost all sense of place, and was leading a disconsolate party of villagers, in Indian file, at the double, with knees up, in the wrong direction. Hob was still in the running.
“Swef, swef,” panted the huntsman, addressing the Wart as if he had been a hound. “Not so fast, master, they are going off the line.”
Even as he spoke, Wart noticed that the hound music was weaker and more querulous.
“Stop,” said Robin, “or we may tumble over him.”
The music died away.
“Swef, swef!” shouted Master Twyti at the top of his voice. “Sto arere, so howe, so howe!” He swung his baldrick in front of him, and, lifting the horn to his lips, began to blow a recheat.
There was a single note from one of the lymers.
“Hoo arere,” cried the huntsman.
The lymer’s note grew in confidence, faltered, then rose to the full bay.
“Hoo arere! Here how, amy. Hark to Beaumont the valiant! Ho moy, ho moy, hole, hole, hole, hole.”
The lymer was taken up by the tenor bells of the braches. The noises grew to a crescendo of excitement as the blood-thirsty thunder of the alaunts pealed through the lesser notes.
“They have him,” said Twyti briefly, and the three humans began to run again, while the huntsman blew encouragement with Trou-rou-root.
In a small bushment the grimly boar stood at bay. He had got his hindquarters into the nook of a tree blown down by a gale, in an impregnable position. He stood on the defensive with his upper lip writhed back in a snarl. The blood of Sir Grummore’s gash welled fatly among the bristles of his shoulder and down his leg, while the foam of his chops dropped on the blushing snow and melted it. His small eyes darted in every direction. The hounds stood round, yelling at his mask, and Beaumont, with his back broken, writhed at his feet. He paid no further attention to the living hound, which could do him no harm. He was black, flaming and bloody.
“So-ho,” said the huntsman.
He advanced with his spear held in front of him, and the hounds, encouraged by their master, stepped forward with him pace by pace.

End quote
Alas, poor Beaumont. His time is short.
If you have to summarize most of life’s adventures, you could do worse than this section. The sergeant is leading the villagers in the wrong direction…loudly. We have injury, we have blood and we are at the arc just before the climax.
My junior college history professor, Norman Harold Friend, explained discobulus, the discus thrower statue, as being so prized not because of the action…but the hint of the action about to happen.
At this lecture, I learned a life truth: it is the moment BEFORE everything starts (good or bad) that needs to be captured. It’s like the last minutes before a game that seem to drag on like days or the time between rounds at a track meet or lifting meet.
And then…poof! It’s over.
It’s about to begin now. It’s about to be the end of this boar. But there is a price to pay.
Valiant Beaumont.

DanWandering Weights is published each Wednesday by On Target Publications


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