Dan John: Wandering Weights, Issue # 37

I got into a discussion with some advanced lifters about training methods here in Munich on Friday, and I tried to explain what I learned from Marty Gallagher. Basically, it's a week-by-week template with reasonable and achievable challenges each week that lead to a bit of a peak. Marty uses it for cardiovascular work by increasing both the number of days walking or running each week, as well as the time and even something as simple as the weight on the scale. As he told me, “I don’t care what you have to do on the weekend to get the weight right on Monday. Do it!”
Of course, if you follow the plan and don’t lose your mind, you don’t ever have to worry about making weight or making the weight on the bar. Phil Scarito did an excellent job a few years ago explaining this approach.
Can You Go? continues to get nice reviews over at Amazon. It really is the textbook for my workshops now, and I was able to fill in some gaps by answering some excellent questions recently. A nice summary of inefficient exercise can be found here. This is pretty much a summary of my discussion of the Three Triads inCan You Go?
 In the Three Triads, the other tool is caloric restriction. Bryan Krahn gives us a good insight here:
“In fat loss, there are 7 Big Rocks that most would agree must be accounted for before worrying about many of the smaller things that often only serve as distractions.
"However, these Big Rocks are at best… boring.
"A calorie deficit may be the big poppa of fat loss, but it’s also about as sexy as buying underwear at a dollar store.
"But carb cycling? Intermittent fasting? That sounds cool! That sounds “technical.”
"Work in a bunch of dubious assumptions to ancestral eating and it creates a false sense of control over our metabolism that we simply don’t have. Not to mention builds fanbases and sells books. Where do I sign up?
"So now you have armchair experts saying they only eat between 7 and 9 pm (9:30 in Newfoundland) because it increases GH and enhances insulin sensitivity.
"Well, it doesn’t. At least not in any significant, impactful way.”

Of course, the bulk of our people are under the label Dazed and Confused. The internet does its best to make it more confusing!

Coffee is good. Coffee is bad. Which is it? This week: good! 

“Levels of serum amyloid, one of the inflammatory markers in the blood, seemed to explain some of the relationship between coffee and diabetes, the authors write. Higher coffee consumption went along with lower amyloid levels.”
You know, I was thinking the same thing. Except for the fact that I have no clue what it means! I know this: more coffee.
Recently, OTP did a great job explaining the Quadrants. As we seek clarity, it's nice to have a common vocabulary. And it's nice to see them becoming a norm in strength discussions.

“You see Quadrant 2 and Quadrant 4 are traps for most of the general population that thinks they are higher level athletes than they really are. We aren’t honest with our abilities, our training age, or the legitimacy of our training goals, and this realization isn’t meant to stomp on your dreams, it is meant to give you a fighting chance to see them to fruition.
"For example, if your goal is to qualify or compete in the American Open (Great Goal/Dream) then you have to assess your strengths and weaknesses, create a training, movement, and recovery protocol, assess the results, and then tweak it as you go. It is very likely to include training for qualities that would never be included in someone like Klokov’s training regimen and that is OK because he likely built these qualities to the extent that he needed them by the age of 12 in Mother Russia.”
I don’t know the site well, but they have articles on loaded carries, kettlebells and O lifting. Try this for a refreshing review of One Lift a day (OLAD):

“One very good thing about OLAD is its straightforwardness and reliability, just like the case with AK-47. You only have one lift a day to worry about, and that is a very simple yet powerful way of training. Naturally, when focused on one lift and getting a lot of high quality work sets in, you get very good at that lift. After the first few sets you will “dial-into” the lift, and unlike most training programs where you would typically move on to another exercise, you keep going instead!”
On thing outside of anything I know is biking, but my friend James Wilson has a great insight that can be translated into any field.

“Now, admitting that you were fooled isn’t easy for most people and this is where I’ll lose a lot of clipless pedal riders. Everyone has this image of themselves and being fooled by a lie usually isn’t part of it.
"And when presented with info that contradicts this image the ego gets busy constructing excuses to either dismiss this new info or to find reasons to attack the messenger.
"But we’ve all been fooled and making mistakes is actually a way to find the path towards improvement. Hell, I’ve been fooled so many times I’ve lost count.
"From crappy training advice I found in muscle magazines to countless supplements, I’ve wasted so much time and money on these mistakes it makes me sick to think about it.”
James discussed the Quadrants a while ago, too:
It will be nice to sleep in my own bed for more than one day. I’m looking forward to a few nights at home. Having said that, there is nothing more exciting than to work with the best and brightest in the field of strength and conditioning, and to share it with others.
Until next week, let’s keep on training.


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Publisher’s note: Have time for another sweet article? Here's Dan talking about what he learned about assessments while writing Can You Go.

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