Dan John: Wandering Weights, Issue # 303

Wandering Weights
Our Epic Journey Through All Things Heavy, Issue # 303

Well, it was my birthday weekend. I have had 63 of these and I tend to enjoy them a bit more every year. Social distancing was a factor and a number of people simply couldn’t attend our little gathering because of health fears.
I had a good training session. Just before I started lifting, Dick Notmeyer called me and we talked for a while. He is sneaking up on 90 and he still calls me now and then to catch up. He was happy to hear that I am still squat snatching. He always reminds me that good food, good supplements and the basics of health are really important.
I would like to say, “I know, I know,” but I can’t. When Dick talks, I listen and take notes. Since 1975, he has been giving me the message of strength and health and I listen.
And take notes.
I also signed up for a course on fermenting foods. I have all the gear now and I begin in a few weeks. I like to take courses every year. I go to clinics, courses, workshop and classes and keep my hand in “learning.” Many of the courses have changed my career; some have just been challenging.
I’m a big fan of the “gut biome” stuff and it is making a difference in my health, I think. This course will give me some insights and maybe it will make me a better chef. It’s online, as is everything right now, and I hope to enjoy it.
So, I need to start shredding some veggies.
This week on danjohnuniversity.com:
Here’s a link to Episode 57 of the podcast.
This week, Dan reviewed Weightlifting, Olympic Style by Tommy Kono for us as well. We also posted The Purposeful Primitive review since I updated you last.
Dan also sent me some more footage from one of his recent Olympic lifting training sessions and there are some fun lifts to watch, a couple of misses that can be learned from and Dan hits a new PR as well.
I added an exercise library to the website this past week and it’s been very popular. Here’s a link to that in case you missed it.
Have a great week!
I had a number of podcasts this week. Chip Conrad visited and his video work is amazing! See my house, dog, back deck and front room and learn a ton.
Pat and I had a great talk, more on this later in this WW.
My third discussion with Jason went really well. I enjoy our talks.
Looking around the internet this week, I think I found some good stuff. This article, on fiber, ties into my fermenting course.


But, let’s face it, eating a completely unprocessed diet isn’t exactly easy, fun, or feasible. So, there are a few tricks of the trade you can use to get more fiber. First, get out of the habit of peeling fruit. If there’s skin on there—apple or pear-type skin, obviously, not thick and inedible peels—you want to eat it. That’s where a lot of the fiber is hiding.
Add beans to your diet. Beans have sooooo much fiber. They are also low in fat and high in nutrients. Yes, beans do cause gas. That is very annoying and is, for many, a valid reason to skip the legumes. Unfortunately, it’s the fiber itself that’s partly to blame for all that farting. To alleviate this, try adding beans slowly into your diet, which has been shown to help get your body—and your microbes—used to that delicious increase in fiber.
While it might be hard at first, it doesn’t take very long to see an effect from these changes. As studies have shown, just three days of more or less fiber can influence the diversity of your gut microbes.
And while there is still more work to be done on understanding the relationship and mechanisms through which our microbes work to keep us healthy, it’s clear that they’re important—and that they need our help getting plenty of fiber.

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Pat and I discussed Pirate Maps at great length. Here is his take on them: Pat Flynn on Pirate Maps!

Pat addresses it slightly different than me. Here is mine:

Pirate Map for Dan John
Sleep Ritual: Make coffee for the morning. Supplements. Make tomorrow’s To Do List (From Robb Wolf)
Wake up and be grateful. (Pat Flynn)
One Minute Meditation (App on iPhone)
Daily work on Original Strength (Tim Anderson); A-B-A, B-A-B training at
Gym. Other work as appropriate (Ben Fogel)
Eat eight different veggies a day. (Josh Hillis)

Pat writes (quoting):
The idea of a Pirate Map came about in responding to someone who (more or less) complained that some of my programs were “only one page long.” I mentioned how I thought this was honestly ridiculous: like, could you image a Pirate wishing his map to a buried treasure were dissertation-thick? Obviously not. The Pirate just wants to know where the treasure is, and that’s it. Brevity, in such cases, is seriously preferred. Remember: Programs are meant to direct people toward outcomes, by providing clear-cut, actionable steps to get there. It’s precision we want.
Anyway, Dan John has taken hold of “Pirate Mapping” and we frequently discuss Pirate Maps on the podcast for achieving various outcomes, from body re-composition to enhanced recovery. The wonderful thing about “Pirate Mapping” is it forces you to eliminate clutter, clear away distractions, and focus on the critical, most essential elements for reaching any given outcome. They (Pirate Maps) also remove our typically lame excuses, like not having enough time to read, or whatever. Because now it’s all right there: simple, straightforward, and written down.
Of course, Pirate Maps can be as general, or specific. One might, for example, pirate map an action plan for general physical preparedness, such as…
Strength/hypertrophy training 3x/week (30 – 60 minutes).
Daily brisk walk (30 – 60 minutes)
Metabolic conditioning 2x/week: complexes, sprinting, etc (20 minutes).
Consume .75 – 1g/protein per lb of bodyweight, daily.
Fast 15 hours 2x/week.
Restrict/Eliminate: sugary beverages, hyperpalatable foods (chips, pizza, etc), booze.

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This article gives an insight about deliberate walking versus “sauntering,’ as Coach Dejong used to complain about our laziness on the field. It is interesting.


Overall, the findings suggest walking for any duration or any purpose, but especially walking to work, makes people feel healthier. Across the board, people who walked more frequently and for longer, for whatever reason, had higher self-assessed health scores.
The team did notice some varying effects from different types of walking.
“We find that the benefits of walking mainly come from home-based walking trips,” Akar says. “An additional 10-minutes of walking for home-based work trips increases the odds of being in a higher health outcome category by six percent, while this effect is smaller for home-based other trips — about three percent.”
This surprised her.
“I was thinking the differences would not be that significant, that walking is walking, and all forms of walking are helpful,” Akar explains. “That is true, but walking for some purposes has a significantly greater effect on our health than others.”
On average, people who walked for work also walked faster, about 2.7 miles per hour, than people who walked for other reasons. People who walked for recreational purposes, an after-dinner stroll or afternoon jaunt, walked about 2.55 miles per hour.
These findings suggest city planners should consider how to create interventions that encourage people to walk within, to, and from their neighborhoods, Akar says. This could manifest as more sidewalks or rest areas for commuters and recreational walkers.
Ultimately, the study demonstrates that moving, in general, improves how you feel — and that shift can translate into positive health outcomes. Getting these benefits doesn’t require a taxing sweat session in the gym: Midday walks or trips to the grocery store can add up to meaningful health gains.
“When it comes to health benefits, intensity is not the only factor,” Akar says. “Walking can have significant impacts on public health outcomes by helping individuals meet the recommended physical activity goals within their daily routines, without any monetary cost, and the need for new skills and extra planning.”

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I liked this little hint on keeping things “ready.”

Bring Every Room Back to “Ready”
I learned this trick from Marilyn Paul’s clever book, It’s Hard to Make a Difference When You Can’t Find Your Keys. It’s a known fact: Clutter causes stress; order creates a haven from it. This mood-boosting routine is simple: Take about three minutes to bring each room back to “ready” before you depart it. (Unless you have a toddler, or a partner who likes to simulate earthquakes, three minutes should be sufficient.)

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I read this article lovingly.

The first chapter in the book is on the advice of whether or not you should use –ly adverbs. This is also the first chapter I wrote chronologically. It’s mostly on Stephen King’s advice not to use –ly adverbs in his book On Writing, which for a lot of writers is the book on writing. But lots of other writers—Toni Morrison, Chuck Palahniuk—and any creative writing class advises not to use an –ly adverb because it is an unnecessary word and a sign that you are not being concise. Instead of saying, “He quickly ran,” you can say, “He sprinted.”
So I wanted to know, is this actually true? If this is such good advice, you’d expect that the great authors actually do use it less. You’d expect that amateur writers are using it more than published authors. I just really wanted to know, stylistically, first if Stephen King followed his own advice, and then if it applies to all the other great and revered authors.

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An interesting way to achieve a daily goal/habit. I “cut to the chase” for you: This Weird Research-Backed Goal Setting Hack Actually Works

How it Works
    Pick your routine. For me, my routine was hitting the gym.
    Book your time. Make time in your schedule for the routine. If you don’t reserve the time as you would booking an appointment or important meeting, the routine won’t happen.
    Find a crisp $100 bill. Other denominations will work too but it has to be an amount you’d hate to lose.
    Find a lighter.
    Buy a wall calendar and place it somewhere you’ll see every day. My calendar is in my closet and it’s the first thing I see when I get dressed in the morning.
    Tape the $100 bill to today’s date in the calendar and place the lighter somewhere visible near the wall calendar.
Now you have a choice to make. Everyday, when the time comes to do your routine, you can chose either option A and do the routine, which in my case was to feel the “burn” in the gym, or option B and literally burn your money. You can’t give the money to someone or buy something with it, you have to set it aflame.
Yes, I know it’s technically illegal to destroy government tender but the reason this technique works is that you should never have to actually burn the money. Instead, the threat of watching your money go up in smoke makes this technique work. I’ve been on “burn or burn” for six months now and I haven’t burned a bill yet. (UPDATE: As of writing this, I’m going on 17 months now and still haven’t burned the bill.)

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Well, that should be enough for this week. Enjoy the last weeks of summer here in the Northern latitudes and, until next week, 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 157

“Hold fast,” was what the rocks thundered. “Hold, cohere.”
But all the time they were broken apart, thrown down, and their hold broken. There was nothing to be seen the mountain except a flat green plain which had some pebbles on it. They were bits of the cliff which he had first watched.
The dream, like the one before it, lasted about half an hour. In the last three minutes of the dream some fishes, dragons and such-like ran hurriedly about. A dragon swallowed one of the pebbles, but spat it out.
in the ultimate twinkling of an eye, far tinier in time than the last millimeter on a six-foot rule, there came a man. He split up the one pebble which remained of all that mountain with blows, then made an arrowhead of it, and slew his brother.

End quote

The dream ends here. This chapter concludes in a moment with Wart and Kay fighting about snoring.
Of course, this dream of stones ends with a fairly heavy-handed moral. When I first read it, I thought it was interesting how White brought us to this one moment of murder, but I don’t seem to be emotionally invested anymore.
I do think that the “hold fast” point was very good and I wish White would have spent more time on the stones. But this is just me nitpicking.
These two dreams are removed from the 1958 version and I think that is a mistake. First, Archimedes is central to this story and we really don’t get a chance to learn much about our owl friend. Second, I think these dreams are good reading and, even as I reread them again, they make me think.
I think thinking is a good thing.

DanWandering Weights is published each Wednesday by On Target Publications


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