Dan John: Wandering Weights, Issue # 53
Our Epic Journey Through All Things Heavy, Issue # 53
Publisher’s note: You’re a fan of Never Let Go (I can’t imagine you’d be subscribed to this if you weren’t). Ready for an update? Go here to get a look at Dan’s new book, Before We Go. There’s a preview excerpt link at the top of the page if you’re not ready to buy. Check that out, then put the book on your Christmas list!
I am traveling a lot recently. In fact I’m sending this in early so I can hop on a flight that will take me basically around the world.
Just before leaving, the first copy of Before We Go showed up at my front door. As usual, my expectations of my work are pretty low, but I was very happy with the results. TC Louma does a great job with the introduction and the book has the same fun “give and take” as Never Let Go.
But, every book leads to more questions as there’s always that same (although not always fun) give and take concerning more clarity about details. Details tend to bring us into discussing (at length):
I offer this week’s Wander Weights with some examples of reasonable approaches to those three topics.
Well, the Paleo diet people are going to enjoy this part: A dig near Stonehenge reveals the diet of people 6,300 years ago.
“Last month in the journal Antiquity, Dr. Parker Pearson and his colleagues described fatty acid residues they identified on the inside of cooking pots. ‘We’ve got the menu,’ he said: beef and pork, boiled and grilled, with a smattering of apples, berries and hazelnuts. ‘They’re basically eating a very meat-heavy diet.'”
Now, whether they were built like Mr. Universe and glided across the ocean on the backs of dolphins is up for debate, but this is overall just a very cool article.
But, be sure to read the labels! I love this article…look at the graph towards the bottom. Check the protein and sugar. Then ask why kids are, well, not gliding across the ocean on the backs of dolphins.
“Czeisler often shows players the results of a 2011 research article by Stanford’s Sleep Clinic, illustrating the effect of increased sleep on the university’s men’s basketball team. While a small sample size, 11 healthy players were asked to extend their nightly sleep to at least 10 hours for a period of five to seven weeks. At the end, the players ran faster sprints, increased their shooting percentage and improved their reaction time by statistically significant margins.”
So, eat apples, berries, hazelnuts, beef and pork, then sleep. Got it.
And, for exercise? Let me add my own thoughts.
If you’re wondering “when” to work out, I guess it depends on whether or not you want to be a billionaire. Boone Pickens on training before work.
If you don’t know what to do for the next few months in training, I have an idea. T-nationhas been cleaning up and recycling some of my old articles. The 40-Day Workout is back (and better than ever!).
That is nice and all, but this one is far better.
Pat Flynn’s thoughts toward the bottom of the link above are very good:
“Simplify: The Secret to a Good Exercise Program
“Minimalism, applied directly to fitness, it might look something like this:
“Frequent, low rep, high-quality strength work + Less frequent, high-intensity metabolic conditioning + As much joint mobility and low-intensity cardiovascular activity as possible.
“Strength train 5 days a week, frequently, low-rep, constant load. Here’s what I mean: pick a couple of lifts—actually, use my friend Dan John’s fundamental human movement blueprint: push, pull, hinge, squat, loaded carry.
Military Press (push)
Pull Up (pull)
Goblet Squat (squat)
Get Up (loaded carry).
“Work each lift, each day, and in the manner of 1,2,3,1,2,3 (ladder format). Because the frequency is high, the volume is low, and so is the density, too. The intensity, in my book, should not be waved—meaning, start your cycle with a “heavy” load, say, your 5 rep max, work that for three months, in the manner just mentioned, or until it starts to feel “light.”
“Then, reassess, bump the weight up to what is hopefully your new 5 rep max, and repeat the operation.
“In effect, the load has been waved by not waving it at all—no calculating percentages, none of that hooey. You just get strong instead, which, to me, is far more appealing than having to deal with the inconvenience of math. This is strength training in the extremest simplicity.
“Two to three days a week, perhaps a bit less or a bit more, depending upon your sport, recovery, and other such etceteras, add in some high-intensity metabolic work. I like sprints and kettlebell complexes, because they are simple, and metabolics should be simple.”
This material sums Pat’s book, Paleo Workouts for Dummies.
1-2-3-1-2-3 with the SAME weight is probably easier to follow than the original 2 x 5 or my Even Easier Strength (EES) method.
I like that book from Pat A LOT. I have a popular review of it. One site took my review, then basically just used “Yeah, what he said” as their review.
In his 90-Day Program in the book, he adds Power A and Power B…a great concept. I just added vertical jumps with a target, but keep it simple. Note, too, that in his 90 approach you don’t do every movement every day, although you certainly touch on everything, but you slide through them as you march through the weeks.
The reason I always add either an ab wheel or hanging leg raise or L-sit hold to this should be obvious: if you are doing deadlifts as you core hinge…maybe swings or swings in the warm up, you might (might!) need something to go the other way. I call it “anterior chain” as kind of a joke, but it stuck and I think it makes a lot of sense a decade later.
If you’re doing a 40-day template, rule one is this: do the 40 days. Right or wrong, finish it, then come back and make it better.
I do 21, 40 and 90-day workouts all the time. I just get into them and follow it along and don’t judge. Then, after I finish, I ask those big questions about too much or too little.
Pat gives us the template here:
Frequent, low-rep, high-quality strength work + Less frequent, high-intensity metabolic conditioning + As much joint mobility and low-intensity cardiovascular activity as possible.
Until next time, my best to all of you and let’s keep training. And do me a favor, would you? Take a look at my new book (excerpt link below).