Dan John: Wandering Weights, Issue # 54

Wandering Weights
Our Epic Journey Through All Things Heavy, Issue # 54

From the OTP Content Files: Click here to read Dan writing about getting started as a fitness writer.

As I type this, I am still overcoming the jet lag and travel issues of a quick pop back and forth to Australia. Sitting down in a plane (after a first plane flight and “just one more” little hop in a jet after THIS flight) and hearing the pilot announce:

“And, uuuuuuuuuuuuuuh, we are looking, uuuuuuuuuuuuuuh, at about a 13-hour flight today. Uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuh, with luck, uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuh, we can get that to 12 hours and 50 minutes.”

I didn’t have a Monday this week, but got two Saturdays, so that’s nice.

This week, I found a few things online that I have actually been looking for. Sometimes, as we all know, we click onto the internet and end up reading a list about the best movies with penguins or whatever.

This is something I know some of you will recognize, either the story or the various pictures. I remember when it came out. It was on the Oscars and I caught in the City the next week. This bit is only two minutes. I should have started doing loaded carries back then! It’s a brilliant short film, and is also the inspiration for sissy squats.

And, after you push a boulder up a mountain for eternity, freshen up with a cold shower to burn body fat and change the keys to fat burning at the cellular level. This article provides some science and some insight into shivering and fat burning:

“Can cold showers, winter plunges, and brisk walks in the chilly outdoors provide some of the same benefits as intense exercise—including weight loss and increased energy levels?  Such a link has been suspected, because cold exposure is known to convert metabolically docile white adipose tissue (WAT) into metabolically active brown adipose tissue (BAT). This “brown fat” helps you stay warmer and burn more energy.  But now there is some evidence that cold exposure doesn’t merely help you turn up your inner furnace, and burn off a little fat in the short term.  It may actually lower your body’s weight set point by activating a hormone that is also released during intense exercise.

“That hormone is irisin (pronounced “EYE-rissin”), a cytokine produced in skeletal muscle.  From the initial evidence, irisin and its partner hormone FGF21 may provide lasting benefits by boosting your metabolism and inducing you to shed excess pounds.”

To help you understand why pushing boulders up hills and getting used to the cold is valuable, you might want to read this short piece on Chuck Yeager:

“Everything about airplanes interested me: how they flew, what each could or couldn’t do and why. As much as I flew, I was always learning something new, whether it was a switch on the instrument panel I hadn’t noticed, or a handling characteristic of the aircraft in weather conditions I hadn’t experienced. Unlike many pilots, I really wanted to learn the various systems of aircraft…it was a terrific advantage for me when something went wrong at 20,000 feet. Knowing machinery like I did, and having a knowledgeable feel for it, I knew how to cope with practically any problem. I knew what was serious and manageable. All pilots take chances from time to time, but knowing-not guessing-about what you can risk is often the critical difference between getting away with it or drilling a fifty-foot hole in mother earth.” -Chuck Yeager

And, don’t forget the basics. I found this article “shocking,” in that kind of shock that you get in 2015 when bad diets are epidemic.

“But looking back at his food choices over the previous year or two, it made sense. ‘It was 90 percent take-out,’ he says. Chinese food, grinders, pizza. Even his ‘home-cooked’ meals consisted mostly of frozen pasta dinners and cold-cut sandwiches. He opens a Walmart freezer to point out his favorites: Bird’s Eye chicken Alfredo, sweet and sour chicken, and beef lo mein. Mark is not a fringe patient with extreme mental illness. He is a quiet man, prone to mild depression, raising a teenage daughter alone. He works 12 hours a day or more as a maintenance worker for commercial property, spending most of that time driving around in his truck from job to job. You could see how fruits and vegetables might fall out of his routine.”

I enjoyed my group at the Art of Coaching in Melbourne. I asked a few of them to share their websites. If you find yourself needing a gym in Australia, look these fine people up!

Durham McInnis
Melbourne Victoria
We are specialists in elite athletic development and injury rehabilitation. Our athlete list includes professional basketballer Liz Cambage (the first woman to dunk at an Olympics). Most importantly, we are proud to have two of our athletes, Funda Nakkasokolu and Rachel Brewster, playing for the great Utah State University!

Brett Turley
Wollongong NSW, Australia
Kettlebell, running and coffee aficionado, Brett is the author of The Minimalism Effect. He enjoys helping clients discover pain-free movement and achieving amazing things by following his “Less is More” philosophy.

Eilish and Miskad Kidd
We have an exercise space that does not look like a traditional gym. There are paintings, plants and a large floor space. We aim to attract clients such as artists, writers and others from the general population who are not comfortable in regular gyms.

Aleisha and Erik are both physiotherapists and trainers focused on restoring movement and regaining resilience through strength: Rehab to Reload. Reload for Resilience.

I travel a lot and I enjoy blogs on travel. I found this site and I love it. This is the best list I have ever seen.

Oddly, this is good advice.

This part is the best, though.

My best training journals through the years have cut out and taped in stuff, printed out emails and lots of phone numbers. I thought this was great.

There you go for this week. As I begin to get my clock reset, I will also be prepping for Thanksgiving. It is my favorite holiday and I celebrate it whenever I can. So Happy Thanksgiving to you and keep on lifting and learning.


Help me out—Share on Facebook!
Like Dan John's Wandering Weights: Issue #54 on Facebook

Publisher’s note: Woohooo! Congratulations, Dan!

Dan John Before We Go

Click here to get this each Wednesday in your email box.

Click here to see previous issues.