Dan John: Wandering Weights, Issue # 58

Wandering Weights
Our Epic Journey Through All Things Heavy, Issue # 58

From OTPbooks.com this week: Hacking the Hip Hinge, with Charlie Weingroff and Mark Cheng

First, a very Merry Christmas to everyone. My traveling is finished for the year and I need a few days around the house to regroup. I had a professor once remind us that “recreation” is actually “RE-Creation” and I think there might be some truth in this considering my travel schedule. Of course, it was only on this planet.

If you haven’t been to a galaxy far, far away, this post on Open Culture will give you some push. The interview with Moyers and Campbell had a huge impact on my teaching career.

I swear many parents today actively try to ruin their kids’ athletic futures.Moreover, they seem to give them a lifelong hatred of fitness in general on the way. This, I thought, was good:

“I find it interesting that some of the most accomplished athletes I have known are not the overbearing parents you might expect when it comes to athletics. In fact they may take a somewhat laisez faire attitude towards their young children’s athleticism. My personal opinion is that these parents have a greater understanding of the developmental process. Laying the foundation, learning the skill sets, and graciously handling the pitfalls competition are put above awards and accolades. They are intimately familiar with the long timeline and sacrifices required to get to the top of a sport, and even the odds of getting there. They tend to be more respectful towards the coaches and patient with the coaching process. They in short have gained a perspective most of us do not possess.”

But, if you really decide to push your kids, be sure to lie about their height and speed. This seems very important. This article is marvelous. Now, I am going to spoil it for you: anyone who really believes football 40-yard dash times needs to ask Santa for a clue. Don’t worry, the elves will bring one! The last line, so I can spoil it for you:

“The only other explanation is that almost all high school 40 times are bogus, but there’s no way that’s true.”

Mike Perry gives us some simple ideas to save the shoulder here…especially for KB work.

To get yourself to do the work, spend some time playing on this behavior grid from B J Fogg. Just clicking the 15 options gives some real insights in behavior change.

Mike Warren Brown sent this in this excellent video on storytelling…worth your time if you write or have to tell stories (and you do).

To get more stories, travel. This article is pretty good and probably obvious to most people, but it is all true.

“Don’t do it, even though I know you want to. Resist the temptation to bring everything from Wellington boots to a third coat ‘just in case.’ In almost every situation you won’t need many of the items you pack, and if there is an extreme need while you’re there, you can always buy something cheaply to help fill the gap. Overpacking can be expensive, annoying and physically demanding at times, so do yourself and everyone traveling with you a favor and only bring the true essentials with you when you travel.”

When you train, train with grace. This article should be printed out and referred to a lot in your life.

“So you sprint on a treadmill. How graceful does it look? Would you like to see yourself run on a big screen observed by others? If not, think how you can run more gracefully. It will not only make you more aware of your running technique but is more likely to keep you injury free. You don’t have to run like Usain but do the best you can to have an aura of gracefulness in your stride. Otherwise in ten years you will feel like, well, like you’ve been running with a poor technique for ten years.”

And, if you still don’t know the goblet squat, this is a pretty good primer. As is this one on OTP.

Reader Scott L sent in some site ideas. I skimmed around this one and I really liked this: Example of a Handstand Push-Up Training Session


Here’s a sample training session demonstrating how this all fits together:

Warm-Up – Spend a few minutes warming up your shoulders and your wrists
Freestanding Handstand Practice – Spend 10 minutes on this, resting as needed between attempts.
Main Exercise Progression – Here is the meat of the practice when you’ve determined the progression that is appropriate for your current level. For example, let’s say your level is the Jump to Bent Arm Stand. You’ll perform 6 sets of 3 repetitions of that progression.
One Repetition Trial of the Next Progression – Only do this if you are feeling good after your main exercise progression work. In this example, you’d perform one repetition of the Handstand Lower to Headstand.
Cool Down – You’ll cool down with a simple scapular mobility drill.
Regular Training – After you do your Handstand Push-Up work, you can finish up with whatever other training you’re working on.”

Some of you will do goblet squats and handstands. Good. I will be training a different way. Morning sessions begin:

“The Huffington Post on Friday reported on a new study out of The University of Alberta that shows that drinking a glass of red wine may have the same affect on the body as an hour at the gym.

“A component in the wine, resveratrol, was seen to improve physical performance, heart function and muscle strength similar to the affect exercise has on the body.

“Principal investigator Jason Dyck says ‘I think resveratrol could help patient populations who want to exercise but are physically incapable. Resveratrol could mimic exercise for them or improve the benefits of the modest amount of exercise that they can do.’”


Mix your increased red wine intake with a high fat diet.

“In his Quantified Self talk, which we first saw on BoingBoing, McCarter said he saw similar results: He got hungry less easily, lost 25 pounds, and shed half his body fat.

“He also reported better concentration, better stamina, and better cholesterol. (Bear in mind that these are the self-reported effects from a single person; large studies would be needed to test whether some of the effects McCarter saw are the norm.)

“For a while though, McCarter said it took him longer to warm up for a workout. He also frequently had muscle cramps, and he got cold more easily. But he said getting about 5 grams of sodium a day had prevented these issues.”

So, drink wine, eat fat, do handstands and have a very Merry Christmas!

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