Dan John: Wandering Weights, Issue # 45

A few years ago, I bought John T. Reed’s book Succeeding for both me and my son-in-law, Andrew Jolley. Fathers of the bride take note: I also sent him to Anthony Robbin’s workshops and a local success workshop. It is a wise long-term investment! Now, both of us have a love-hate relationship with the book, but it makes some points that are simply excellent. To get a taste, here is the errata section online.

“By the way, losing weight has economic consequences. You spend less on food but more on clothes. I now have a nine-inch drop, that is, the difference between my chest (42) and waist (33). Furthermore, because I have broader than average shoulders, the drop is more like ten inches. Because the shoulder seams must be correct from the start, whereas they can take in the chest. To get clothes to fit well when your body dimensions, waist mainly, are significantly different from the usual obese American to whom the clothing manufacturers want to sell, you have to get custom made, made-to-measure (maybe—the drop is a problem), tapered, and so forth. The clothes I had taken in when I first lost weight now have to be replaced, probably by bespoke stuff (custom made from scratch). I also routinely get jackets and shirts taken in at the waist after I buy them because they typically are made to fit the people who are part of the current obesity epidemic in America. That is, they have lots of blousing (pear-shaped wide diameter of loose cloth) around the waist.

“Many have asked me what the trick is to losing 38 pounds and keeping it off.

“Eat less.”

I loved Pat O’Shea’s work. We sent a few guys from Utah State up to study with him at Oregon State and I knew his work from Strength and Health. The first workout I ever organized was based on his training. He was the real deal. He is getting a popular new following with the resurgence of his Interval Weight Training (IWT), which is popping up again. Someone mentioned O’Shea’s workouts from 1969 on the old Crossfit board and I quote, “Looks like Crossfit.”

As the kids say: “This.”

Here’s a classic interview with O’Shea and Clarence Bass and is well worth your time. It is just so quotable!

“”If you’re an athlete, train as an athlete.” ~ Pat O’Shea

I also bought his books…again. I hope his family is reaping some of the benefits of his work. Bass had a lovely follow-up tribute.

Breakingmuscle.com can drive me crazy. This article is part of the reason nutrition confuses so many of our friends, family and clients.

I appreciate the article and Matt Beecroft does a nice job with it, but this kind of point really confuses people:

“Followers of the paleo diet have become healthier by default – not necessarily by design. This is still a positive thing, but we need to stop calling eating healthier “paleo” and understand that we will never be able to eat like our ancestors did. What we term a “paleo” diet – according to our modernized, publicized version of abandoning grains, legumes, and dairy and instead, according to many advocates, eating mainly meat, supplemented with vegetables, fruits, some nuts, and oils, are not what our ancestors actually ate anyway.”

Hand this out to teenagers or coworkers or the nice lady at Landmark Grill and ask them to sum what they should eat for breakfast. Not meat, veggies, fruits, nuts and oils? Wait, not grains. Wait…what’s a legume?

As Robb Wolf asked me to do years ago: ask a teen “What is Vitamin C?” You will get “ascorbic acid and it prevents scurvy.”

Then, follow up with “What is a good breakfast?” and you won’t get an answer.

I am not attacking Matt in any way, but this kind of article just leads to more and more confusion.

Breakingmuscle also has Marc Halpern. This article of his seems to be more helpful to the normal client and coach.

The news is good?

““At least we’re not seeing it go up,” said one of the report’s authors, Cheryl Fryar. The report was released Wednesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There’s also been no change in the proportion of calories that kids get from fast food daily. It’s been at about 12 percent for the last decade, slightly more than the 11 percent previously reported for adults.”

This is a very nice discussion about the goblet squat. This is gold:

“The goblet squat is primarily a teaching drill or a mobility drill. I try to include it in almost every warm up I prescribe as it ensures that the students hips are sufficiently ‘warmed and opened up’ for whatever we’re about to do that day. Emphasis on ‘teaching and mobility’. Sure you can go ‘heavy’ on a goblet squat, but that’s a relative term. I don’t see many people using a 48kg kettlebell or 50kg dumbell and doing goblet squats.”

Here is a great interview with champion Highland Gamer, Dan McKim. Excellent discussion, Bret.

“Taller guys do have leverage advantages as well as release point perks, but I’d say your success in those actions is due to your athleticism. You are an athletic guy, Bret, which translates well, I believe, into those movements which are more athletic than a static box squat or deadlift. That’s why I’ve always said that a good thrower is both strong and athletic. In the Highland Games, we are throwing such heavy implements, that you truly have to have a base of strength that rivals other strength athletes (strongman, powerlifting, weightlifting). But, it’s the combination of strength, athleticism and explosive ability that makes you a formidable and successful thrower.”

Bret has a couple other articles worth your time today…glutes!

This next reading is long. But, it is an interesting look at how things connect. Also, justthinking that the best way to predict the future is to invent it seems like a good idea to me. The last line:

“Like Dolu and Desideri, the gender-bending abbé and the Siamese astronomer-king, and, most of all, like Hume himself, I had found my salvation in the sheer endless curiosity of the human mind—and the sheer endless variety of human experience.”

I am going to finally take the time to put together a complete Recommended Reading for the Strength Coach. I have been talking about it for a while and it is time to make it and keep it updated. So, in the next few editions, I’ll start highlighting a book or two that I think makes the cut.

Until next time, enjoy this odd time of year when summer and autumn seem to change places every day. If, like me, you live in the cold parts, train outside and remind yourself you are on borrowed time with outdoor workouts.

My best to you.


Help me out—Share on Facebook!
Like Dan John's Wandering Weights: Issue #45 on Facebook

Click this link for preview clips on how to relieve shoulder and neck tension.