Dan John: Wandering Weights, Issue # 39

The Long Beach Perform Better Summit was outstanding. I sat in on many sessions and enjoyed delivering my talk, based on Can You Go? I have been expanding the last part of it, adapting the assessment to the reality of a specific gym or facility. Chris Poirer is going to let me have a two-part workshop next year. I’m looking forward to it.

If you aren’t clear on the fundamental underpinnings of how I see program design, OTP has done a nice series of articles giving the framework.

There is a great series on The Art of Manliness on leaving home. This one really stands out to me. Their emphasis on the classic models of success recently has been fun to read. I just reread my “To Do” list for the day and was reminded about Earl Nightingale’s belief that this might be the single best time and life management tool.

In addition, I found this older piece from the Art of Manliness that’s worth the time to review. Often a phrase from another language “says” things clearer than one’s native tongue.

These two stood out:

  • udere est facere: to dare is to do
  • barba non facit philosophum: a beard doesn’t make one a philosopher

Speaking of beards…

It made me laugh.

The broad smiling face of the internet seems to devour “weigh less” articles lately. They are everywhere and most of them are hucksters. I thought this one had merit. Simple and to the point…

“So how did I end up losing 100 pounds if I failed? Well, I decided to strap on my boots and give this a real shot. I started researching diets and foods to avoid while trying to lose weight. I took the 21-day book and really sat down and read it. I educated myself. I started doing 30-minute workouts, 3-6 days a week. I started to use these little containers provided by this program, to measure my foods, but not “by the book.” I cheated my way through it. I followed my bracket, but if I wanted white rice I had it and stuffed it into my little yellow cup. If I wanted chips, I did the same thing. If I am still hungry at the end of the day I eat another green, and sometimes even a red (veggies and protein). I just try my very hardest to make better choices and learn what the 21-day fix is really teaching people. How to control how much we are eating, what we eat matters, that being active is important, and that if you make better choices you will feel better.”

On a bit of different tack, we have this:

“The GI index ranks foods on a zero to 100 scale; in general, a GI of 1 to 55 is low, 56 to 69 is medium, and 70 to 100 is high — you should limit these high-ranking foods in your diet. If you know your GI values, you’ll know that you need to avoid white rice, white flour, and packaged cereals, and choose whole grains, whole fruits, and other complex carbs instead. You can also choose foods that are low on the glycemic load scale, which measures the blood-sugar-raising power of that food. A glycemic load of 10 or less is low, 11 to 19 is medium, and 20 or more is high.”

In the world of weightlifting, this post really impressed me. If you need more information on the 5 x 5 after reading this, well, I really admire your need for clarity.

Your one-stop shop for everything five by five.

“Stronglifts 5×5 is the simplest, most effective workout to get stronger fast. Thousands of people have used the StrongLifts 5×5 workout to gain strength, build muscle and burn fat. The program is easy to follow and only takes three workouts a week of about 45 minutes. Stronglifts 5×5 uses five free weight compound exercises: the Squat, Bench Press, Deadlift, Overhead Press and Barbell Row. You do three of these exercises each workout, three times a week, for about 45 minutes per workout. You Squat every workout, three times a week. 5×5 stands for five sets of five reps. These are the sets and reps you do on every exercise except Deadlifts. Deadlift is only one set of five reps (1×5) because doing more would beat you up. Plus, Squatting three times a week will get you stronger at Deadlifts since it works similar muscles. Unlike most bodybuilding routines, your goal on StrongLifts 5×5 isn’t to reach failure, get “pumped” or be sore. Your goal is to add weight. Here’s how: start light, focus on proper form and add 2.5kg/5lb each workout for as long as you can. This is the simplest way to get stronger – fast.”

For a great explanation of movement and exercise selection, Josh Hillis makes a lot of sense here.

“Here’s what’s crazy — you may find one variation doesn’t feel great for your body, but a so called harder variation actually feels great for your body.  I’m giving you permission to ‘skip’ to the one that feels good for your body.

“None of this is rocket-science, but it does go totally against the prevailing wisdom in the industry right now.  I know there are MANY fitness gurus that deliberately turn their movement progressions into a “belt system” like martial arts.

“Look, it’s just a fat loss workout.  Make each movement in the workout fit you, don’t try to cram yourself into some “magic movement sequence.”  Don’t let anyone tell you different: You can, and should, use whichever movement variation that fits for you.

Quoting more:

Each movement in the workout should fit:

Your body
The rep range for the workout
How your body feels today

Changing our sails back to the intellect, I am a huge fan of David Denby’s Great BooksHere is a Q and A and a list of great books to read. Have them finished by next week’s edition of Wandering Weights.

If you want to further your education, this site is fun.

Let me just highlight Rick Long, for no other reason than this great quote:

“A nation that expects to be ignorant and free, in the state of civilization, expects what never was and will never be.”

This is as true today as when Jefferson penned it in a letter in 1816. Education benefits more than just the recipient. We all benefit. While many are making the argument that completing high school or college will benefit only the individual, Jefferson made the argument that the nation as a whole benefits. While Jefferson was most likely reflecting the values of the day, today these words point us to a much richer direction of meaning in that we all benefit from each individual’s thinking and problem-solving skills.

While we are on the subject of Five Things, let’s look at what successful people may (or may not) do every day:

“Map Out Your Day. Maximize your potential by mapping out your schedule for the day, as well as your goals and to dos. The morning is a good time for this as it is often one of the only quiet times a person gets throughout the day. The early hours foster easier reflection that helps when prioritizing your activities. They also allow for uninterrupted problem solving when trying to fit everything into your timetable. While scheduling, don’t forget about your mental health. Plan a 10 minute break after that stressful meeting for a quick walk around the block or a moment of meditation at your desk. Trying to eat healthy? Schedule a small window in the evening to pack a few nutritious snacks to bring to work the next day.”

Like Rock and Roll? Do you like the Olympics? This video nails it:

And for gender equity, I insist you watch these two brave explorers!

In case, by the way, my attempts at humor go over your head, Openculture has a primer for you on sarcasm, “to tear flesh.”

Yeah, right.

Until next week…


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