Dan John: Wandering Weights, Issue # 57

Wandering Weights
Our Epic Journey Through All Things Heavy, Issue # 57

From OTPbooks.com this week:
Sue Falsone uses yoga moves for strength, stability and mobility. Here’s how.

I had a wonderful weekend doing a fundraiser for a young man who is struggling with some physical issues. Mike Ranfone and Scott Tribby put together the day and asked Taylor Lewis and me to speak. It was a wonderful day and we raised a nice sum. I love that kind of thing.

I have to add one thing: his physical issues are from a disease. All too often, I have been asked to help or donate toward problems caused by sports or, much worse, a workout.

Speaking of fundraisers, my daughter Kelly’s school fundraiser “Computers on Wheels” (COW) raised enough money to provide the whole needed system. Many children don’t have computers in their homes and I can only think that this is much like not having books in a home: it is going to be hard to catch up. This week, Benedict Cumberbatch shared his letter to Father Christmas and asked that Father Christmas remember those who are illiterate and cannot write to him. I thought it was a beautiful sentiment, but let’s also cure the issue in the beginning if we can.

Many people involved in Wandering Weights contributed to both fundraisers and I can only say “Thank You!” for your generosity.

I’m submerged in thinking this time of year. Our articles this week will be small in number because I think they argue key points for fitness, health and performance.

This first article gives us a look into the collapse of the Bronze Age. This is an odd article. I remember when the information about the massive droughts of 1220 BC first were discussed as a cause of the end of Bronze Age and how this might be the routes of The Illiad, the great changes in Egypt and Israel and the fall of many of the Bronze Age Kingdoms. But, the book discusses a much more complex answer. The ARTICLE wants a simple answer. Be sure to read the comments, too.

What I like about this article and discussion is this insight that something simple might cause a cascade of events. This is how Robb Wolf describes hormonal changes in the body. “Cascade” is still the best term I have heard for that wonderful explosion of power, speed, lead body mass and strength that seems to come from nowhere when one trains appropriately.

From Patrick Riedl, this article on intuition might answer a lot of questions about how coaches seem to pick up things better and faster over time.

“I remember the first firefighter I interviewed, this was just a practice interview, and I said, ‘We’re here to study how you make decisions, tough decisions.’

“He looked at me, and there was a certain look of not exactly contempt, but sort of condescension, I would say at least, and he said, ‘I’ve been a firefighter for 16 years now. I’ve been a captain, commander for 12 years, and all that time I can’t think of a single decision I ever made.’


‘I don’t remember ever making a decision.’

‘How can that be? How do you know what to do?’

‘It’s just procedures, you just follow the procedures.’

“My heart sank, because we had just gotten the funding to do this study, and this guy is telling me they never make decisions. So right off the bat we were in big trouble. Before I finished with him, before I walked out, I asked him, ‘Can I see the procedure manuals?’

“Because I figured maybe there’s something in the procedure manuals that I could use to give me an idea of where to go next. He looked at me again with the same feeling of sort of condescension, (obviously I didn’t know that much about their work) and he said,

‘It’s not written down. You just know.’

‘Ah, okay, that’s interesting.”

Like Tony Robbins (a little bit like him anyway), I was able to follow this exact advice in the early 1980s when I worked for less than $10,000 a year. My first contract was “four figures” and I was able to start saving. Outside of one’s education, and probably choice of spouse, I don’t know of a better financial bit of wisdom than putting aside ten percent of one’s income.

“Tony, any amount of money that you feed your business, it will eat. So in writing a book, you are doing something here that is outside of the business. You are doing something that is going to support the company hopefully by bringing in new fans of your work, who then maybe engage with your brand, and do business with your company.” Since the company is getting that benefit, make sure you take the profits of your book and set them aside, and never allow them into your company’s account. This is the most important career advice given to me by another man and I want to pass it on to you. Remember Tony: A business is always hungry.”

That came from this series on successful people, and all of the bits of advice are probably correct, at the right time and place in your life.

This other follow-up on Tony Robbins’ money tips will save you the cost of his most recent book (in my opinion, not his best).

Financial secrets are just like health, fitness and performance secrets: there are none.

And, nothing is linear in life. Josh Hillis does a nice job explaining this here.

“GMB Fitness taught me an important lesson about bodyweight strength: It’s more effective to cycle goals than it is to keep banging away at one goal forever.

“In other words, it’s more effective to spend 3-6 months on parallel bar training, and then 3-6 months on ring training, and then come back to parallel bar training, than it is to bang away on either one for a solid year.”

Still quoting:

<facepalm!> Of course!

My most successful long term clients have almost always followed this pattern:

1.) Focus on fat loss for 3-6 months
2.) Hit short-term fat loss goal
3.) Fat loss plateau

4.) Focus on strength for 3-6 months
5.) Hit short-term strength goal
6.) Strength plateau

1.) Focus on fat loss for 3-6 months
2.) Hit short-term fat loss goal
3.) Fat loss plateau

4.) Focus on strength for 3-6 months
5.) Hit short-term strength goal
6.) Strength plateau

“And then repeat that cycle until you’ve hit all of your fat loss goals.  And then, you get to do strength all of the time!”

Or you can do this.

I sometimes worry about humanity. Until next time, keep on living and lifting.


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