Dan John: Wandering Weights, Issue # 314

Wandering Weights
Our Epic Journey Through All Things Heavy, Issue # 314

I finally traveled again. Covid is raging in Utah, but I have been very good about mask wearing, staying home and social distancing. Obviously, once I started breathing the recirculated air at 30,000 feet, most of my precautions might have become moot.
I enjoyed working with my group. I was on a military base and I’m happy to see that the equipment is beginning to look more like my gym than a spa at a ski resort. The machines are still in use for rehab and other issues. The bulk of the equipment is kettlebells, bars of various kinds, med balls and a host of things that make me want to train people.
I was asked, originally, to just do “hands on.” I like that, of course, but without context, all the physical work in the world just makes people tired. I like to start my courses with a review of the keys I came up with in Now What?:
Heart Rate
Tension is the best “gift” I can give as a strength coach. I teach tension with the whole plank family.
Push Up Position Planks
Batwings (or Suspension Trainer moves like T, Y and Is)
Glute Bridge (and variations)
Goblet Squat
Farmer walks
The last two, I call Moving Planks. Holding a lot of tension AND moving is the key to performance and probably life’s little jobs. Learning to move with tension is the key to blocking, tackling, throwing, lifting and moving couches. Couch moving continues to be my standard for the value of a training program.
Years ago, we were moving my wife’s grandpa’s stuff. Tiff’s cousin showed up with this massive truck and I was glad to see it as we could cut everything into one trip. When I carried some stuff over to load his truck, he stopped me:
“No, no! Not my truck…I don’t want to get it scratched.”
I told him I would probably quote him for the rest of my career.
And, see, I am.
Massive truck. Couldn’t handle a liquor box filled with Grandpa’s shirts.
When I train people, I often use this story, and the sexist phrase “Looks like Tarzan, Plays like Jane.”  I need another way to say it, but I think you get the point. I’ve been to many Highland Games where some young man shows us in a tank top with a gym name on the front and struts like a peacock.
This guy looks great until we pick up the first implement. It’s at that moment we see the reality of performance versus presentation.
Planks aren’t very sexy. But they are the foundation of training. I review these at every workshop and I often see people get massive hamstring cramps from the Glute Bridge (Isometric Hip Thrusts) and a lot of “wows” from Farmer Walks.
It’s the simple stuff. In most of life, it comes down to simple stuff:

            Eat veggies and protein. Drink Water
            Read Great Books
            “Have a friend or two worthy of the name.” (Jerome K. Jerome)
Good friends show up with trucks and move the couches. Life can be pretty simple.
This week on danjohnuniversity.com:
Here’s a link to Episode 68 of the podcast.
It was another big week on the site. I completely revamped the On Demand Workout section of the site to include some of Dan’s more popular workouts like the Armor Building Complex and his Tonic Thursday workout. We also created options for creating single workouts with the generators based on new equipment options so you can create workouts in a hotel without messing up your normal settings.
We also added a few Community Challenges to the site. There’s one for the 10,000 Swing Challenge and a couple focused on building consistency. You’ll be able to track your progress on your Dashboard and see everyone else that has joined the challenge as well.
We’re staying busy trying to make the site great for you!
Have a great week!
I’ve been busy with podcasts. As always, Pat Flynn and I had our wonderful weekly meeting. Just before seeing Pat, I had a talk with Paul Northway’s college class and I was “on a roll” with success discussions. Here you go.

John Buck is Major League Baseball All-Star and a good friend. He is starting an online program for baseball and I am happy to be part of this.

Podcast episode
Youtube Workout Segment
Youtube Sit-down Segment
Once the original Coyote Point KB Club got going, some of us decided to add a day. We agreed to meet at “Taco Bell Beach.” I had no idea that the world would follow. I can almost promise that it used to be an A & W’s when I was a kid. Whatever. This is a great memory.


So what makes the place so legendary? First of all, it’s a Taco Bell Cantina, meaning it serves alcohol. According to TikTok user Megan Homme, who visited the restaurant earlier this month, you can add alcohol to “pretty much any drink” on the menu.
Homme’s clip, which shows just how “boujee” the location really is, has been viewed more than 650,000 times. It’s easy to see why, too. Her TikTok shows off the restaurant’s sprawling beachside view and its interior — which has a full-on glass fireplace.

End quote
This is just something I can’t read enough. I love how difficult the English language can be sometimes; I have been speaking English since Eisenhower was in office and I still marvel at the number of just weird things we find in the language. Give this a go.


19. Go means “to proceed,” but also “give out or fail,” i.e., “This car could really go until it started to go.”
20. Hold up can mean “to support” or “to hinder”: “What a friend! When I’m struggling to get on my feet, he’s always there to hold me up.”
21. Out can mean “visible” or “invisible.” For example, “It’s a good thing the full moon was out when the lights went out.”
22. Out of means “outside” or “inside”: “I hardly get out of the house because I work out of my home.”

End quote
I thought this was a “straight to the point” article about diet. It’s simple stuff and sometimes I have to spend some extra time reminding myself that so much of “all of this” is just sticking to the plan.


Find a diet that someone can live with that fits their lifestyle. This is important because everyone’s lifestyle is different. If the person is a salesperson who has to attend cocktail parties on a regular basis or has to entertain clients at dinners, it may be unreasonable to have them stay on a high fat diet or even a special diet. In that case, I have them make the best possible choices available to them. For instance, drinking a light beer instead of a fruity, sugar laden cocktail. Or having one slice of cake to be social instead of a bunch of desserts that will sabotage the diet. It’s key to have a diet for them that allows flexibility. In those cases, I’d have them look at the day when they knew that the dinner was coming, and have them eat mostly protein and low carb during the day, planning for the influx of carbs and or “bad food” at night. That way, the damage would be minimal if any damage occurred at all.

End quote
I was online quite a bit this week but I didn’t find a lot of things I thought I could share with my friends on WW.  I’m sure between the election and Covid, some of us have other things tugging at their interest. Stay safe and remember that, as Pete Seeger once advised, “This too shall pass.”
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 168

“We shall have to rescue him,” whispered the Wart. “It is poor old King Pellinore, and he must have fallen into one of those traps you were telling me about, while he was after the Questing Beast.”
“Let him stay,” said Merlyn. “A chap who doesn’t know enough to keep himself out of the clutches of one of these giants isn’t worth troubling about.”
“Perhaps he was thinking about something else,” whispered the Wart.
“Well, he shouldn’t have been,” hissed the Magician.
End quote
Merlyn is about to defend the giant’s actions here. I just wanted to stop here as this discussion brings me back to something I have discussed before:
Merlyn is NOT some befuddled elderly man with a hint of magic. Like Albus Dumbledore, whom J. K. Rowling clearly admits is based on Merlyn, Merlyn is a wizard with amazing powers.
Including honesty.
Giants are part of this world and getting caught by a giant is, in Merlyn’s mind, YOUR fault.
It’s a point I don’t want you to miss. Art Devany once answered the question: “What’s the best way to lose fat?”  He answered:
“Don’t get fat in the first place.”
Of course, as I have noted before, the audience member wanted to kill him.
It’s hard in life to accept this lesson. I have worked in schools nearly my entire life and parents can lose their minds when little Billy or Suzy isn’t allowed graduation, the field trip or the class pizza party. Understanding that one’s child has somehow done something wrong is a complete shock to some of these moms and dads.
Years ago, a woman came in to talk with my brother, the school principal. She actually said the following;
“I’m sorry that your house burned down and your father died, but what is the deal with canceling the sixth-grade pizza party?”
You can’t make this stuff up.
Merlyn is teaching Wart a good lesson. Wart won’t listen, of course, as all of us grapple with this idea of personal responsibility. Certainly, we might march waving signs arguing for personal responsibility for other people but, alas, like my mom used to say: “When you point your finger, three point back at you.”
Just so you know, Pellinore will be saved. But our hero won’t be Wart or Merlyn.

DanWandering Weights is published each Wednesday by On Target Publications


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