Dan John: Wandering Weights, Issue # 56

Wandering Weights
Our Epic Journey Through All Things Heavy, Issue # 56

From OTPbooks.com this week: Footsteps in Our Iron History, Leroy Colbert, RIP

It was fun to watch Stanford beat USC in the PAC 12 championships. For whatever reason, there is something about the Cardinals that makes me like them. San Jose is an interesting place and the nearby wine country is outstanding. Napa and Sonoma get all the press, but the best Pinot Noir is south near San Jose.

Enough salesmanship. I found this article motivating and fun. “Shrinking” is absolutely the perfect word to describe the aging process.

“‘I like to think it prevents me from shrinking as I get older,’ he says. The Aspen Meadows pool is located outdoors, he adds. ‘I swim year round, even in snow storms.’ Mr. Obermeyer says he uses the gym at his office or the resort’s fitness center every day. ‘Being old is not an excuse to be lazy,’ he says. If he’s short on time, he’ll work out in slacks and a sweater rather than change into workout gear.

“He goes on the elliptical machine at a steep incline for 20 minutes. ‘It’s a great machine to get my legs in shape for ski season,” he says. He does pushups, sit-ups and hangs from a pull-up bar to stretch his body. Occasionally in winter, he’ll take his ski poles and go snowshoeing outside.”

This weekend, I head off to the East Coast to speak at the fundraiser for Brendon Rearick. I think this sums the quality of this young man…and his wisdom. Wisdom:

“I was expecting family, friends, and colleagues to initially share and donate what they could when I first released the news through my ‘Collect Moments Not Things’ fundraiser. What I was not expecting was the outreach I got from people with similar stories and their willingness to share those stories with ME. Vulnerability begets vulnerability. Putting my pride aside, admitting I needed help, and using my predicament to inspire others was something I was initially was very uncomfortable with, but I knew I had to do for myself and others. Usually, I would have suppressed everything to seem strong and to avoid the pain and conversations that go along with being sick. I had done that once before with another stressful life event, and all it led to was depression and many therapy sessions. Looking back now, it may even have caused my Aplastic Anemia. Who knows. So when it came time to share, I decided to bare it all.”

Learning new and wonderful and cool things is always new and wonderful and cool. But, how do you apply them? This is the key, and this article shows one approach to do this. Application:

“Our TLC Training will be structured around the 1,2,3,4 Assessment and The Fundamental Human Movements to ensure that participants are covering all bases in their training. Each session will also include a cardiovascular component as well as mobility & stretching. Many of our members either run their own businesses or have executive office jobs and spend a lot of time sitting down or traveling in cars, trains or planes. This has a negative effect on posture, flexibility and stability.”

This next link is an older article, but I find great advice in it for life, lifting, finances and everything in between.

“The idea of working a job you hate while moonlighting with what you do exactly describes the process of my career. Pretty soon, you find that what you love to do is what keeps the roof over the house.

“Never take advice from someone who doesn’t have ‘skin in the game.’ We live in a world in which people’s actions, opinions, and advice are divorced from consequences. We no longer force people to have ‘skin in the game.’ This fragilizes society. Financial advisors on TV can give terrible advice and pundits can spout off wrong opinions but suffer no consequence for their erroneous predictions, even if those predictions harm others. When determining whether or not to take advice from someone, look to see if they have skin in the game. If the person dispensing the advice or making the prediction has nothing to lose from being wrong, don’t listen to them. Pay more attention to people who have accepted risk and responsibility for their words.”

If you like that, here are some follow-ups.

Take one variable. Change it slightly. Follow it up. That is the scientific method when its done best. This article highlights something we see in the push, pull and squat,but not the other movements.

Let’s review:

·      This study was done on experienced powerlifters.
·      Both groups did the exact same program. The only difference was that one group divided the volume in six sessions instead of three.
·      On average, the high frequency group increased their bench and squat by 11% vs. 5 and 6%.
·      For deadlifting, high or low frequency does not seem to matter much.
·      Their total in the high frequency group increased on average by 10% vs. 5% in the low frequency group.
·      Muscle mass increased more in the high frequency group

Pat Flynn has been on a roll lately. This little list he popped out in his newsletter is money.  I use the app “One Minute Meditation” every morning and follow just about everything here. I have been doing The Chrisopher’s Three Minutes a Day since my mother got me into the habit a little while ago. For reference, she died in 1980, so this is a good habit.


I want to give you a list of some quick tips that have helped me and that I think will help you. They are in no particular order and they are not “rules.” They are reminders, really. Here:

— Start your day an act of discipline, however small. Either a short workout or meditation. (Idea below.)
— Start your day by thanking someone (or something) for their existence. I chose caterpillars.
— Have 20-30 grams of protein within 30 minutes of waking up.
— Occasionally don’t have any breakfast. Fast.
—  Eat 3-4 meals a day.
— Follow the 100/100/10 rule: Have 100 grams of protein a day, 100 grams of carbs (or less) and 10 (or so) glasses of water.
—  Strength train 3-5 days/week. “Work out” (like, get sweaty) 2-3 days/week. Do as much mobility as you can.
— Walk more than you ride. Take the stairs. Park farther away.
— Don’t be afraid to stretch whatever’s tight. It’s actually not a bad idea.
— Have a sleep ritual. Limit electronics before bed. Lights out by 10 o’clock
— Don’t worry about the scale. It doesn’t always tell the story it should. Keep your attention on getting better in the gym. Focus on performance and aesthetics will follow.
— Train consistently for progress. Add variety for plateaus. Randomness for fun.
— “Eat the damn yolks” – Jen Sinkler

Delaine Ross always has a sane, logical approach to health and fitness. This particular blog deserves a review.

“Before this Whole30 I thought my sleeping problem was because of caffeine so I gave up coffee for 30 days and nothing changed. But not having alcohol made all the difference. I would fall asleep right away and be dead to the world for 8 hours (and sometimes wake up without an alarm.) I’m sure sleep quality was the reason I was able to gain three pounds of muscle in one month only training an average of 2.25 times per week. So throw away the scale, overtraining is not the best way to get to your goals, and don’t underestimate the importance of enough good quality sleep. These are the three things that were validated by my second Whole30.”

Walter Dorey is an excellent writer and understands how we get better.

“Carries don’t require a lot of thinking. Just go out there. Pick three objects and carry them back and forth. View it as if it’s a job. You just go do it, no questions asked. Put in the work, push a little, and it’s pretty easy to get stronger and create some work capacity without killing yourself. Plus, it’s a heck of a lot of fun. Heavier and odd-shaped objects are more difficult to carry. You want to develop the endurance to carry the entire time, but don’t forget to bump up the weight and difficulty every now and then. This will help strengthen your body in odd ways as you build more capacity, potential productivity, or whatever you want to call it. Put in the time, and I guarantee in a couple of months you’ll have more bite to your bark.”

One of our readers, Gavin McGraw, sent in a new site. I have just skimmed it, but Gavin is right, the site has plenty of solid information. This workout, The Big Three, is so simple, and a lot of people can use it. I love Q and A at the bottom:

“Can I add in…?

“No. Keep with the three chosen exercises for now.”

Everybody always wants to make things better without trying things in the first place. And really, the key at the end of each day is to answer “yes” to this question:

“Did I get better today?”


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