Dan John: Wandering Weights, Issue # 65
Our Epic Journey Through All Things Heavy, Issue # 65
I had a great time at the FitRanx cert with Tim and Nick. I enjoy the occasional weekend where I get to sit in the chair, do the workouts and learn the process. This is an outstanding system. The idea of having levels and brackets and clear testing guidelines always appeals to me. For more information on FitRanx, go here.
I missed most of the Super Bowl, but my Denver friends are all very happy. This morning, I think I saw most of the game in the endless game reports, so I don’t think I missed much.
There was a lot to look at on the web this week. This article, and the link to more resources, really got me thinking. I imagine any article on philosophy should get you thinking, but this was excellent.
“If we fail to turn second-graders into Socrates, our kids may end up becoming expert at making a living, but they will be incompetent at creating a civil society.”
As long as you are thinking, watch this very interesting talk on reverse engineering. When I travel, I play lots of chess games with my computer and phone and I found this to be really fascinating.
“Ashley expounds upon the value of chess as a tool to hone the mind in ‘Working Backward to Solve Problems,’ a clip from his TED Ed lesson just above. He begins by waving off the misperception, common among non-chess-players, that grandmasters “see ahead” ten, twenty, or thirty moves into the game, then goes on to explain that the sharpest players do it not by looking forward, but by looking backward. He provides a few examples of how using this sort of ‘retrograde analysis,’ combined with pattern recognition, applies to problems in a range of situations from proofreading to biology to law enforcement to card tricks. If you ever have a chance to enter into a bet with this man, don’t.”
This article really resonated with me as I glide into my last years. The whole article is worth your time, but Stage Four is worthy of discussion for anyone at any age.
“People arrive into Stage Four having spent somewhere around half a century investing themselves in what they believed was meaningful and important. They did great things, worked hard, earned everything they have, maybe started a family or a charity or a political or cultural revolution or two, and now they’re done. They’ve reached the age where their energy and circumstances no longer allow them to pursue their purpose any further.
“The goal of Stage Four then becomes not to create a legacy as much as simply making sure that legacy lasts beyond one’s death.”
“And this is the reason that trying to be happy inevitably will make you unhappy. Because to try to be happy implies that you are not already inhabiting your ideal self, you are not aligned with the qualities of who you wish to be. After all, if you were acting out your ideal self, then you wouldn’t feel the need to try to be happy.
“Cue statements about ‘finding happiness within,’ and ‘knowing that you’re enough.’ It’s not that happiness itself is in you, it’s that happiness occurs when you decide to pursue what’s in you.”
I thought this was excellent—it’s a nice summary on the hinge.
“Why? Well, when performed well, this move can open up a whole new window of opportunity for just about any physical goal a human could have.
“Want to get stronger? Correctly hinging from the hips will allow you to perform a deadlift with power and precision.
“Want to look better naked? All of the exercises that use the hip hinge will open up the doors to create a backside that will quite simply make people jealous.
“You want to lose fat? Using your hips to access some of the bigger compound lifts will challenge your body in ways you never thought possible, consequently building lean muscle and eviscerating stubborn body fat.
“Ah, you want to be a better athlete? Every explosive, strong, and dynamic athlete has a powerful hinge. They have either built it up from years of good training, or get into the position organically from good body awareness, good natural movement, and of course genes. Just look at what most sports require performance wise, and you’ll notice explosive hips and posterior chain as a huge component.”
Like many, I learned the hard lessons of overdoing plyometrics. My first exposure was from Pat Matzdorf who was the last great high jumper who didn’t following Dick Fosbury’s Flop. Fosbury, famously, barely trained, but Pat had a massive training program.
I think that O lifts and kettlebell swings are not only safer moves for the same qualities, but they might simply be better than a lot of the stuff I see off and on boxes. The ONLY injuries I have ever had to deal with in the gym in the lower body were from box jumps. If you own a gym, I’m not sure you want them.
Although this is pretty obvious to many, I thought this article for football and the O lifts to be pretty good.
“Strength is useless in o-line play if there is no explosive, or speed-strength, quality to the strength. To make this strength usable, the muscles’ fast-twitch fibers need to be trained and this is a training effect of the snatch. The dynamic phase of the snatch is essentially jumping with weight. The snatch trains the musculature of the ankle, knee, and hip joints in this synchronous and functional movement to generate maximal explosive power. Fast-twitch muscles of the upper-body are also trained in order to explosively move and stabilize the weight overhead. The beauty of the snatch is that relatively large amounts of weight can be used in a safe manner, which makes the snatch the ultimate plyometric.”
I’ve only seen the show a few times, but The Biggest Loser is not something that I would usually recommend. This article does a nice job lancing the boil of this show and showing a bit of the positive that comes out of it.
“It gives you a big picture perspective.
“The Biggest Loser reminds you of things you take for granted, like being able-bodied and going to bed at night without worrying about dying in your sleep.
“Your perceived body flaws are suddenly forgotten when you hear obese people talk about all the medications they’re on, their difficulty fitting in airplane or theater seats, and the embarrassment they feel on a daily basis. It’s a reality check.”
“Stay healthy in all avenues of life. Keep your relationships happy, and live a positive life.
“How did surgery go?
“The day after surgery I went hiking. Wanna know why?
“Because I don’t have time for minnows.”
“‘There [are] some things you [should] eat a lot of, and I would put things like olive oil, avocado, nuts in that category,’ he said. ‘There are other things you [should] really minimize, especially if you’re dealing with pre-diabetes or some other metabolic problem. You don’t want to go moderate with sugar — whatever that means. You want to get rid of as much of it as you can.'”
Well, until next time, keep lifting and learning.